New positive COVID tests reported in Sioux Lookout area, Keewaywin First Nation - NWHU, SLFNHA ask residents to avoid non-essential travel to Winnipeg and Manitoba
Travel, particularly to Winnipeg, to Manitoba is not recommended at the moment
Tim Brody - Editor
The Northwestern Health Unit reported three new positive COVID-19 test in the Sioux Lookout area last week.
According to the health unit the latest case, announced on Nov. 4, is connected to the two cases in the Sioux Lookout area announced on Nov. 3 and earlier in the day on Nov. 4.
Follow up with the persons involved and their contacts is underway. The health unit said anyone who is identified as a contact for these cases will be contacted directly.
“For reasons of privacy, NWHU does not release or comment on information about the location of COVID-19 test results,” the health unit clarified.
“NWHU recommends that everyone assume COVID-19 is in their community and practise preventive measures like physical distancing, wearing a mask in enclosed public spaces and when physical distancing is a challenge, good hand hygiene, and not touching their face. Anyone who has symptoms, or who has been in contact with a positive case, should self-isolate and get tested. For information about getting tested, please visit the NWHU website (https://www.nwhu.on.ca/covid19/Pages/home.aspx) for instructions on how to schedule an appointment at an assessment centre,” the health unit shared.
Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority Public Health Physician Dr. John Guilfoyle shared on Nov. 7, “We have two cases, positive for COVID, in the community of Keewaywin. This is related to travel outside the community and it is in a family grouping and everybody is doing well.” He explained that case management and contact tracing were underway.
Guilfoyle confirmed the Keewaywin COVID-19 positive test results are the two positive test results reported by the Northwestern Health Unit on Nov. 9 in the Sioux Lookout region.
“The importance of physical measures as we have outlined them, handwashing, protecting others from your cough and sneeze, keeping to your social bubble, avoiding large gatherings, wearing face coverings, particularly face masks where you can’t maintain the physical distance all remain critically important,” he remarked.
On Nov. 4 Guilfoyle shared, “We have unfortunately had our first death from COVID in a community member. This was an Elder who is a Sandy Lake member who unfortunately has passed away from this.”
Speaking with members of the media on Nov. 3, NWHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kit Young Hoon shared, “Yesterday (Oct. 2) we put a media release out on avoiding non-essential travel to Winnipeg and Manitoba. The case numbers in Manitoba show community spread of COVID-19. Many new public health orders were put in place yesterday in Manitoba and Winnipeg to limit the spread of COVID-19. If anyone from the region travels to Winnipeg for an essential reason, after returning home they should limit interacting with others as much as possible for 14 days. Parents should consider keeping their children home from school for 14 days after visiting Winnipeg, especially if they were unable to avoid higher risk situations. If attending school after travel to Winnipeg, children must pass the daily school screening tool and parents should be vigilant about doing the screening daily and self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who develops symptoms should get tested.”
In an update to the communities served by SLFNHA on Nov. 4, Guilfoyle echoed that message stating, “The important message I would like to reiterate is the importance of avoiding non-essential travel. If you have to go out of the community for medical care, for important reasons, please do, particularly if it is something related to your health, you must get that attended to. But, if you do not have essential reasons to leave the community, then don’t. Travel, particularly to Winnipeg, to Manitoba is not recommended at the moment if you can avoid it.” For more information about COVID-19 topics, the public can call NWHU’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-866-468-2240. NWHU also hosts a weekly online Question and Answer session with Dr. Young Hoon where the public can ask questions via Facebook live or GoTo Meeting.
More information about the hotline and the sessions can be found at www.nwhu.on.ca/covid19.