Military arrives at Pauingassi First Nation amid surging COVID-19 cases
A Canadian flag patch is shown on the shoulder of a member of the Canadian forces at CFB Trenton, in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg)
WINNIPEG -- The military has been sent to another Indigenous community in Manitoba, where COVID-19 cases have spiked.
Late Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government approved a request for help from Pauingassi First Nation.
Pauingassi Chief Roddy Owens told CTV News 18 rangers arrived in the community, which sits about 280 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, Saturday morning.
"We are a small community of about 500," said Owens. "Last night, the report we got from the rapid response team said we are up to 145 cases with 29 recoveries."
The military will help out in the community and provide wellness checks throughout their stay.
"Basically, we lost our entire workforce here at the community throughout this outbreak, and we've been struggling to find replacement workers," Owens said.
In December, the military was sent to Shamattawa First Nation after nearly a third of the community tested positive for the virus.
Troops have also been helping out in Garden Hill First Nation since January.
COVID-19 IN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
In its most recent update, the province's First Nations COVID Response Team said 668 new cases have been identified among First Nations people in Manitoba. That brings the total number of active cases to 2863.
There have also been four new deaths, bringing the total number of Indigenous people to die of COVID to 138.
-With files from CTV’s Renee Rodgers