Ginoogaming First Nation Update: Nine Active Cases of COVID-19

656
State of Emergency

Ginoogaming First Nation – COVID-19 Update Ginoogaming First Nation (GFN) Council are announcing a continuing COVID- 19 outbreak in the community with a total of 9 active COVID-19 positive cases confirmed and one of which being a GFN staff member.

“We are experiencing an ongoing outbreak in our community with more new cases being confirmed while others are being resolved simultaneously. When we declared at State of Emergency (SOE) last Saturday—there were 6 active COVID-19 cases in the community,” said Sheri Taylor, Ginoogaming First Nation Councillor. 126 COVID-19 tests have been administered in the community since January 4, 2021.

Over the past week, GFN Council has been engaged in a Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) process which acts as a single point of contact in emergency situations and ensures key decision makers are able to respond to evolving situations as quickly as possible. “Through our work with PEOC, we have been able to receive support of the federal and provincial governments that will begin to address some of the assistance needed including the deployment of the Canadian Rangers to provide more needed boots-on-the-ground in our community,” Councillor Taylor added.

With the continued difficulty to contain and eradicate the COVID-19 virus in the community, GFN Council is forced to strengthen restrictions at the community-access gate including:

  • stoppage of medical transportation (community members are urged to call 911 for emergencies) and change electronic fund transfer (EFT) for medical travel;
  • taxi and food delivery services not allowed entry (services that follow COVID-19 prevention protocols can leave goods at community-access gate, GFN staff will assist with providing rides to the gate);
  • closer tracking of community traffic (limiting times for community members to leave for essential goods/services to only 2 times/day or less)
  • stoppage of medications pick-up (GFN staff will pick-up and deliver);
  • a change in how medication to treat opioid use disorder will be dispensed (it will be brought in to the
    community for the next 2 – 3 weeks tentatively starting on February 3, 2021).

With the situation resulting in a high level of anxiety and stress, mental health service providers will be available in the community starting this weekend. Being identified as a priority in the roll-out of Phase 1 of Ontario’s Vaccination Plan, GFN has begun the process of vaccination planning and will be working with other health partners including with Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health of the Thunder Bay & District Health Unit.

No date for community-wide vaccinations has yet been determined.