Numbers of new cases of COVID-19 in First Nations communities across Canada rose again this week, with new case numbers climbing back up slightly and two provinces climbing over the 12,000-active-case plateau this week.
There are 1,889 active cases currently ongoing in First Nations communities across Canada, up from 1,821 last week. Four more deaths were also added to the toll of lives lost to the virus and its complications. The death toll rose again to 451 lives lost to the virus since the pandemic began, up from last week’s 433.
The statistics continue to paint a grim picture as the fourth wave takes hold in First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities, across Canada, thanks to the more-contagious Delta variant of the virus.
Indigenous Services Canada reports ‘the rate of reported active cases of COVID-19 in First Nations people living on-reserve was going down since mid-January 2021 and reached its lowest point during the first week of August at 84.2 per 100,000. Since then, it started to rise again and is currently 417.5 per 100,000 or 4.2 times the respective rate in the general Canadian population.’
Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have all been hit hardest, with both Alberta and Saskatchewan jumping over the 12,000-new-case barrier with Alberta counting 12,682 active cases of COVID-19, and Saskatchewan close on their heels with 12,220 active cases this week, with Manitoba not far behind at 9,937 active cases.
Quebec boasts just under 1,000 active cases in Indigenous communities, coming in at 997.
With the colder weather on its way, officials are encouraging those as-yet-unvaccinated individuals to get the vaccine and curb the continued spread of the virus. Hand-washing, social distancing and wearing masks when social distance can’t be maintained.
The vaccine passport program is well underway in Quebec and in Kahnawake, with proof of vaccination required to enter movie theatres, festivals, bars, gyms and other non-essential services. Fines of up to $6,000 are possible for non-compliant businesses in Quebec.
Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase