Ginoogaming First Nation Declares State of Emergency – Six Positive Cases of COVID-19

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Ginoogaming First Nation

Ginoogaming First Nation – Ginoogaming First Nation (GFN) Council have declared a State of Emergency (SOE) in response to 6 COVID-19 positive cases confirmed today in the community.

“We are seeing an exponential spread in our community going from 1 to 6 positive cases in a span of less than a week—we are close to exhausting internal human/other resources and are now needing outside government assistance to address the outbreak,” said Sheri Taylor, Ginoogaming First Nation Councillor.

On Friday, January 22, 2021, the community began to mandate more stringent restrictions on the community access-gate that limits access to residents and essential workers. Effective, Sunday, January 23, 2021, they will be imposing further restrictions by only allowing access between the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. with the exception of those needing to leave for work or medical emergencies. This will be in place until further notice.

This is the first time the community has had to declare a SOE during the COVID-19 pandemic. GFN Council say that the biggest challenge is lack of access to isolation space due to overcrowded homes and a back-log in housing. It calls for health resources and infrastructure, and priority for community-wide testing and vaccination, amongst other needs including additional isolation centres.

Similar to how the city of Thunder Bay has addressed using hotels in Thunder Bay as isolation centres since the start of the pandemic—GFN Council wants to work together with the municipality of Greenstone and hotels in Greenstone who are in a position to accommodate families who test COVID-19 positive and have no other place to self-isolate so the outbreak can be better combatted locally.

GFN Council reminds its members that, “if our members are self-isolating and have had tests come back negative, they must continue to self-isolate/stay home and monitor symptoms for the 14 days since exposure.”