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August 26th, 2020

The Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Coordination Team advise that, since August 22nd bulletin, 1 new First Nations COVID-19 case was identified as of 7:00 am, Tuesday, August 25th. The total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive First Nations cases in Manitoba are now 22. All the cases identified so far are in off-reserve First Nations. There are zero on-reserve cases reported until now. The total number of recovered cases are now 18.

Details of the 22 cases:

  • 15 people in Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA)
  • 1 person in the Interlake Eastern Regional Health Authority (IERHA)
  • 3 people in the Prairie Mountain Health (PMH)
  • 2 people in the Southern Health-Santé Sud (SHSS)
  • 1 person in the Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA)
  • The number of recovered cases is 18
  • The number of currently hospitalized cases is 0
  • The number of deaths among First Nations people due to COVID-19 is 0.
  • 17 females and 5 males
  • The age range of positive people: 1-69
  • Most people in the 60-69 age group (in comparison to 30-39 for other Manitobans)
  • Travel-acquired cases: 18% (in comparison to 20% for other Manitobans)
  • Acquisition through contact with a known positive case: 69% (in comparison to 47% for other Manitobans)
  • Average time from symptom onset until testing: 6 days (same as the rest of MB)
  • 40% of cases reported the presence of an underlying illness (same as the rest of MB)

    Figure 1. Epidemic curve of First Nations cases in Manitoba.

First Nation Testing

As of August 25th, 2020, the number of First Nations COVID-19 tests has risen by 535, for a total of 13795 tests conducted for First Nations across Manitoba since the pandemic began. Current 5-day COVID-19 test positivity rate in Manitoba First Nations is 0.6%, which is less than Manitoba’s 5-day test positivity rate of 3.1%. For First Nations the average test number per person tested is 1.18, which is higher than the overall testing rate in Manitoba, at 1.13 tests per person tested.

Figure 2. Number of tests performed and number of people tested.

The total number of tests in First Nations represents 11% of the overall tests done in Manitoba; testing numbers are highest in hospital, particularly in Winnipeg; the main sources of test samples excluding Winnipeg were from nursing stations.

  • Asymptomatic surveillance has yet to identify any First Nations cases.
  • Except in the very young, testing rates are higher in women, 59% overall. This mirrors the provincial testing trends where there are also more women who are being tested at 56%.
  • A total of 11715 First Nations people have been tested to date. Of those, 60% of tests were completed for First Nations  who live on reserve and 40% of tests were completed for First Nations who live in urban or rural areas.

First Nations people are most likely to be infected through close contact to a known case of COVID-19.

Below are some of the testing trends noted for First Nations individuals.

Figure 3. Epidemic curve of First Nations testing in Manitoba.

First Nation Contacts

  • 94 First Nations have been named as contacts over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 47% of COVID-19 infections were a result of close contact to a positive COVID-19 case
  • Of the 22 First Nation cases, 7 cases can be linked to clusters or outbreaks

As Manitoba continues to review and change public health measures, the PRCT encourages people to continue to be diligent about following the effective public health measures to keep the spread low and minimize the risks.


Phase 4 of Manitoba’s Restoring Services started on July 25th. This included some changes to support increased visitation at personal care and long-term care facilities, opening movie theatres and resuming stage performances, and opening casinos at 30% of the site’s capacity. Changes to public gathering sizes and travel requirements have been deferred. More details are available here:

In the past weeks Manitoba has seen rising case numbers. As of August 26th there are 408 active cases, with 8 current hospitalizations and 1 individual in the ICU. We remind everyone that we need to continue to be vigilant about following effective public health measures to reduce and slow the spread of COVID-19. At this time, PRCT encourages the following actions.

  • Be cautious with and if possible, delay travel to/ from regions of the province designated as Orange (Restricted) or Red (Critical) risk levels. This includes PMH currently.
  • If travel to an Orange zone is necessary, keep the number of people traveling as low as possible and be diligent with physical distancing and hand hygiene and follow all measures such as mandatory non-medical masks that may be in place.
  • Practice physical distancing measures and stay 2m/ 6ft away from people who are outside of your household.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
  • Regularly clean commonly touched surfaces such as door handles and countertops.
  • Wear non-medical masks when you are in places where physical distancing cannot be maintained (e.g. crowded stores or when using public/ community transportation services).
  • Following gathering size orders.
  • Stay home and self-isolate if you have any new symptoms that could be from COVID-19, no matter how mild the symptoms are.
  • Present for testing if your symptoms last for more than 24 hours.

You can access testing by calling the health facility in your community, going to the RHA testing site closest to you, calling your health care provider, or use the Screening Tool available here to find out when/ where you can be tested.


COVID-19 resources and links:

Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Alert Levels

School Division Reopening Plans

Restoring Safe Schools: August 13 – School Settings Practice Guidance and Protocols

Applying Current Public Health Orders and Guidance to Community Events

Public Health Considerations During COVID-19 for Sundance Leaders

Manitoba government COVID-19 information


Please visit any of the following websites for more information and resources on COVID-19:

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Southern Chiefs Organization, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc., First Nation Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba