Remote Manitoba First Nation declares state of emergency over COVID-19 spread

WINNIPEG — A remote Manitoba First Nation has declared a state of emergency in response to growing COVID-19 cases in the community.

Red Sucker Lake First Nation also issued a full lockdown within the community. The orders went into effect Friday at 2 p.m.

Residents are required to stay home to reduce the risk of transmission in the community of approximately 1,000 people. 

“Our community has been unexpectedly hit hard and are in shock by the test results,” Chief Samuel Knott said in a news release. 

The First Nation said approximately 40 COVID-19 test kits are being flown into the community, and will be administered by the nurses and physicians on Saturday. In addition to the 11 confirmed cases on Dec. 9, the First Nation also noted others are exhibiting symptoms. 

Chief Knott said the pandemic preparedness plan has been initiated, and the First Nation is accessing all local resources available. 

“Front line workers will be providing door to door services to the membership for essential deliverables such as food, sanitation supplies, water/wastewater hauling, solid waste disposal and other services,” said Chief Knott. 

“We believe that these aggressive actions are necessary to keep our people safe, we ask our community members to respect and abide the lockdown orders.”

Chief Knott pointed to a housing shortage and over population in community housing as big concerns while the community waits for more testing. 

Red Sucker Lake First Nation is a fly-in community located approximately 540 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg near the Ontario border. 

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