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For immediate release
October 30, 2020


Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is responding to today’s announcement of 480 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Province of Manitoba.

“It is definitely worrisome that we are seeing growing rates of COVID-19 in the entire Province of Manitoba as well as the Northern health region. Although the announcement of 480 new cases is scary news for many people, I do want to remind everyone to remain calm and look out for one another. Once again, I am reminding citizens in Northern Manitoba to remain vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Continue to practice public health measures and limit your gatherings. We also continue to recommend that Northern residents limit their travel to Winnipeg as the city moves into code red on the province’s pandemic alert system,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee.

MKO reminds Northern residents that there are public health restrictions in place for the Northern health region. These include:

  • reducing gathering sizes;
  • closing casinos, bingo halls, and entertainment facilities with a license under the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act that requires the licensee to present live entertainment must close to members of the public, with the exception of providing food for take-out or delivery;
  • limiting the occupancy of other licensed businesses, retail businesses, and restaurants of 50 per cent of their usual capacity;
  • limiting the occupancy of personal service businesses of 50 per cent of their usual occupancy or one person for each 10 square metres of the premises that is open to the public, whichever is less; and
  • requiring a restaurant or licensed premises, theatre, museum, gallery, library, personal service business, concert hall, or fitness facility to keep contact information for members of the public attending their premises and maintain those records for 21 days to support contract tracing.

“MKO citizens: This pandemic is a difficult time for everyone. Please be kind and support one another. Don’t spread rumours on social media about people testing positive. Listen to the measures recommended by your leaders at this time, especially any guidance they have shared for Halloween. Let’s work hard to keep our communities safe,” shared Grand Chief Settee.

MKO is also reminding Manitoba residents that there is a public health order restricting travel to Northern Manitoba.

MKO encourages everyone to keep following public health guidelines:

  • Practice physical distancing: Keep two meters apart from other people.
  • Practice good hand hygiene: Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. If you aren’t able to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Wear a non-medical face mask when in public, especially in indoor spaces where distancing is not possible.
  • Do not hold large gatherings.
  • Keep interactions virtual as much as possible.

If you do get sick and have symptoms of COVID-19, you need to self-isolate and contact your local health care provider. You can also call Health Links for guidance toll free at 1-888-315-9257 or in Winnipeg at 204-788-8200. Health Links is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

MKO continues to work closely with the leadership in First Nations to stay informed of any challenges they are facing when it comes to responding to the pandemic. MKO will advocate on behalf of the First Nations on an as-needed basis.

MKO is also sharing recommendations from the Province of Manitoba on how to have a safe Halloween. You can find the recommendations posted on our website.



For more information:
Melanie Ferris, MKO Communications
Phone: 204-612-1284
Email: [email protected]

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is a non-profit, political advocacy organization that has represented 26 First Nation communities in Manitoba’s North since 1981. The MKO represents more than 72,000 First Nations people.