Manitoba Indigenous population hit hard by COVID-19

WINNIPEG — The latest COVID-19 numbers released by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) show Indigenous people in the province are being hit hard by the disease.

On Friday, the organization announced its weekly numbers, showing there are 630 new First Nations cases of COVID-19 and there have been 2,785 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Of the total cases, 1,860 are off-reserve and 925 are on-reserve. There have been 36 deaths and there are currently 1,642 active cases.

The test positivity rate is 21 per cent compared to 14.5 per cent in Manitoba.

Indigenous people are making up 26 per cent of all hospitalizations and there are currently 85 people in hospital, 23 of which are in intensive care.

With the numbers continuing to grow among the Indigenous population the Manitoba First Nations Pandemic Response Coordination Team is urging people on First Nations to keep to their own households and avoid house parties.

“Even if you, yourself, don’t think you’re at risk. You have to think about everybody that you’re in contact with and whether you are in contact with Elders in your own house or elsewhere, as well as other people you might be gathering with,” said Marcia Anderson, who is part of the response team.

The AMC said out of all the cases, 69 per cent of COVID-19 infections are a result of close contacts.

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