Another COVID-19 case has been found in northern Manitoba - this time, in the Island Lake district near the Ontario border.
It is the first such case to be reported in the region, which includes communities such as Wasagamack and St. Theresa Point. No further information about the case has been provided by provincial or regional health officials.
Three northern Manitoba First Nations have restricted travel in the past week due to COVID-19 concerns. Tataskweyak Cree Nation, York Factory First Nation and Norway House Cree Nation have all announced restrictions, with at least one active case being reported in both of the first two communities.
Churchill-Keewatinook Aski MP Niki Ashton brought up the recent cases in York Factory in the House of Commons Tuesday and called for increased support from the federal government to assist in testing and treatment.
"Today, I called on the federal government to act urgently to support York Factory First Nation, a community that has seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more people showing symptoms. The community needs tests, personal protective equipment and mental health supports," said Ashton in a statement, also calling for the province to reinstate ferry services to the community to allow for essential supplies to be taken in.
"We know that COVID-19 can have a disproportionate impact on First Nations. The second wave is here. York Factory needs help now and all governments need to be working with First Nations to ensure that they are receiving the support they need."
Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said in response that more medical personnel have arrived in the community, with others on the way soon.
"We are deeply concerned by the recent cluster of cases in York Factory First Nation and are monitoring the situation closely.Since the outset of COVID-19, we have in fact shipped five shipments of personal protective equipment to the community. Additional nurses have been deployed to the community, with two arriving just yesterday," said Miller.
The other cases in northern Manitoba are mostly centred around the northeast regions. Eight active cases remain in the Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake district - seven in York Landing, one in Tataskweyak - while two cases have been found in the Bunibonibee/Oxford House/Manto Sipi/God's River/God's Lake region. One case remains active in the Bay Line district, while one other case is listed as "unknown district".
Forty total cases of COVID-19, including the new northern case, have been reported Sept. 30, with 31 cases in Winnipeg. A new outbreak was declared at the Calvary Place personal care home in Winnipeg, along with possible exposures at Glenlawn Collegiate, Les enfants precieux child care centre in St. Boniface, the La Roca Mexican restaurant and at the Penecostal House of Prayer on Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation in the Interlake region.
There are now 13 active cases of COVID-19 within communities covered by the Northern Health Region. There are currently 599 people with COVID-19 in Manitoba, with 13 people hospitalized and seven in intensive care.