Manitoba First Nation adds security measures amid COVID-19 case in community
Sagkeeng First Nation put check points in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Source: John Schneider)
WINNIPEG -- A Manitoba First Nation is reporting that a member of its community has tested positive for COVID-19, and now the community has added extra precautions.
According to a statement on the Sagkeeng First Nation website, leadership was notified of the infected individual on the evening of Monday, Sept. 14.
The First Nation’s health centre is working with the person who tested positive to complete a case investigation, and will notify anyone who has been in close contact with this person and ask them to self-isolate.
The infected individual is in isolation and public health officials are monitoring his health.
“It was inevitable that we would see cases in First Nation communities,” the statement said.
“Our goal is to quickly contain the spread of COVID-19 and limit it to small numbers of cases or clusters. We want to prevent widespread community transmission and avoid outbreaks in settings like health care facilities and schools.”
The First Nation is reminding residents to be vigilant when it comes to public health measures.
It encouraged residents to:
- Delay or be cautious when travelling to or from regions in Manitoba that have been designated as restricted or critical risk levels;
- Only go in vehicles with people who live in their households;
- Avoid sharing food, serving dishes, condiments and utensils with others;
- If someone is visiting an older relative, they should limit their visits with other people or attendance at large gatherings;
- Practice physical distancing and stay two metres away from those not in their households;
- Wash their hands frequently;
- Regularly clean commonly touched surfaces;
- Where masks in places where physical distancing is not possible;
- Follow gathering size orders;
- Consider postponing big gatherings or reducing the number of people who can attend in person;
- Stay home and self-isolate if they’re showing any COVID-19 symptoms; and
- Prepare for testing if symptoms go on for more than 24 hours.
The statement noted Sagkeeng First Nation will be putting in checkpoints, and will only allow 262 Sagkeeng members into the community.
The First Nation noted the check points will limit the access of people coming into the community, with crews taking down the names of those coming, as well as their licence plate numbers and the companies they represent.
The First Nation will also be screening people to determine their travel history.
Sagkeeng asks people to limit their visits to the community, and asks contractors and suppliers to stay out of the community if their work is non-essential.
The First Nation said community members will be able to come and go, but they have to declare if they go out of the province and self-isolate for 14 days.
“Notification will be sent to Sagkeeng Health Centre to make them aware so they can monitor your health as we do have vulnerable people in our community and we want to ensure they are safe,” it said.
All offices on the First Nation are closed and staff will be working from home.
The Sagkeeng Superstore will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the elder’s shopping hours from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Only 10 people will be allowed in the store at a time.
The First Nation also asks people to refrain from posting their concerns or reporting people on social media, “as it can lead to panic and stress.”
“Sagkeeng Health Centre will work closely with individuals to ensure the safety of our community,” the statement said.
The First Nation noted it has been preparing for this situation and protocols are being followed to make sure people are safe.
“If you have travelled outside of Manitoba, experience fever, cough, shortness of breath or have symptoms of a respiratory illness (regardless of travel), even if mild, stay home and contact Sagkeeng Health Services, 204-367-9990,” it said.
Sagkeeng First Nation is the third First Nation to report COVID-19 cases in the past few days, with Peguis and Fisher River First Nations also confirming cases.