For immediate release
October 14, 2021
Treaty Five Territory, Norway House Cree Nation, MB – Norway House Cree Nation is experiencing its first wave as the fourth wave hits the rest of Manitoba.
Chief Larson Anderson said today that Norway House is experiencing a high load of COVID-19 positive cases which originated from outside our community early in September. I am saddened to report we lost one of our members to COVID-19, our condolences to her family and friends.
On October 12, 55 people were tested. 12 were positives, 18 negatives and 25 sent to Cadham Lab. Most of our cases were fully vaccinated with high cases in children, adults age groups 20-29 and 40-49 years old. This brings our total to 172 cases (84 active cases, and 87 recovered and one death).
At the start of the pandemic, we developed our own Pandemic Response Gauge. Norway House is in our Critical Red stage with staff working around the clock to contain the numbers with contact tracing, testing and isolation, community lockdown, school closure and essential businesses only. We are also doing mobile testing, community testing and vaccination. School closure was critical. The schools are overcrowded and was a focal point for increasing the spread. Doing all these tasks with limited resources is difficult to do when we are not getting the cooperation of our stakeholders. There are some things beyond our control that they must assist with. We are fortunate that we are a very strong sovereign nation and have been able to do with what we have in our community.
50% of our cases are from household contacts. Overcrowded homes, lack of proper heat and ventilation, inadequate washrooms and healthy space for families are contributing to the pandemic emergency. Limited health care services and underlying health issues are also part of the problem. Both Governments must step up and assist us in our battle.
Flora Simpson, Public Health Nurse Manager added Norway House has done well following guidelines and we remained COVID free. However, there were risky behaviours that contributed to the spikes, including misuse of alcohol and drugs. Unfortunately, there are those who prey upon other’s addictions. Staff are currently working on a Harm Reduction Strategy to address this.
The FIGHT is not yet over. Everybody has a responsibility to work together again to make our community SAFE.
“Thank you for the prayers and everyone continue to stay safe! Ekosani.”