The fourth wave of COVID-19 infections continues to hit First Nations communities nationwide as the Delta variant makes its way through populations with lower vaccination rates while new cases – and deaths – continue to climb, numbers published by Indigenous Services Canada this week showed.
There are 1,661 active cases currently ongoing in First Nations communities across Canada, up from 1,482 last week.
The statistics continue to paint a grim picture as the fourth wave takes hold in First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities, as the numbers continue to climb, helped by the more-contagious Delta variant of the virus.
ISC reports ‘the rate of reported active cases of COVID-19 in First Nations people was going down since mid-January 2021 and reached its lowest point during the first week of August at 84.2 per 100,000. Since then, it started to rise again and is currently 291.8 per 100,000 or 3.5 times the respective rate in the general Canadian population.
Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have all been hit hardest, with more than 9,000 active cases in First Nations communities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Alberta is the worst off, with more than 10,000 active cases.
In addition, the death toll rose again to 404 lives lost to the virus and its complications, up seven from last week’s 397.
The vaccine passport program is well underway in Quebec and in Kahnawake, with proof of vaccination required to enter movie theatres, festivals, bars, gyms and other non-essential services. Case numbers continue to rise as fourth wave hits hard.
Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase