New COVID-19 cases at Metepenagiag First Nation brings total to 7

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Metepenagiag Chief Bill Ward says community buildings and a school will remain closed to the public until Sept. 13. (CBC - image credit)
Metepenagiag Chief Bill Ward says community buildings and a school will remain closed to the public until Sept. 13. (CBC - image credit)

Three new cases of COVID-19 have been detected at Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation, bringing the total to seven.

Chief Bill Ward said Monday all seven cases are directly connected to one case first detected on Saturday. He said there is no evidence of community transmission and everyone who tested positive has been isolating.

"As of right now, Public Health feels that it's contained to the cluster and they've all been isolated," he said in an interview.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Ward asked community members to stay within their household bubbles and limit their travel. He said health staff will be available to help people book tests or vaccine appointments.

The nearest testing centre is in Miramichi, about 30 kilometres away from the First Nation, Ward said. Community members are driving people who want to get tested and don't have transportation.

"We do have plenty of resources, a lot of people are helping, and the community coming together to help one another," he said.

If a new cluster emerges or community transmission is detected, he said Public Health will work with the community to set up a testing site.

Many members of the community are already getting tested in Miramichi for "peace of mind," including himself, Ward said. He expects his results later Monday.

Ward said Public Health is not setting up any pop-up testing sites because the cases are all directly connected.

He said public buildings are closed to the public until Sept. 13, including the school in the community.

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