By Marc Lalonde
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The number of new, active cases of COVID-19 in First Nations communities in Canada took a dip in November, federal officials indicated in the newest round of available COVID-19 numbers.
Indigenous Services Canada reported that the number of new, active cases of the novel coronavirus dropped to 318, down from 437 last month.
Six more deaths could also be attributed to the virus and its effects, bringing that total to 772 lives lost since the pandemic hit in 2020.
Hospitalization numbers remained steady, with 3,588 hospitalizations with COVID-19 as either a primary or secondary diagnosis.
The continued pressure that COVID-19, in combination with the flu and RSV, have put on hospital emergency rooms across Canada, is forcing many hospitals to operate at higher than capacity.
Health officials urged the public to get their booster vaccination as well as wearing masks in crowded public spaces, or even avoiding those situations at all. to protect themselves and others.
“We continue to encourage people to continue thinking about the risks and making informed decisions on using individual public health measures to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, including wearing a mask in public indoor settings. You should feel free to wear a mask even if it’s not required in your community or setting,” ISC officials said.
They added frequent hand hygiene, including before and after removing one’s mask as well as keeping high touch surfaces clean, self-isolating following a positive COVID-19 test or staying home if sick, even if you have tested negative for COVID-19.
Improving indoor ventilation by opening windows and doors when possible is also recommended, as well as updating one’s flu shot or other vaccinations against respiratory illnesses as per their eligibility.
High-risk First Nations members are encouraged to get their
COVID-19 booster dose. This is especially important if you are at high risk for severe illnesses from COVID-19.
If it has been six months since your last booster, it might be time to get it updated, ISC officials added.
In some provinces and territories, members may be offered a booster as soon as three months after their prior vaccination based on local epidemiology and circumstances.
Marc Lalonde is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter. The LJI program is federally funded. Turtle Island News does not receive LJI funding.