Military helping northern Ontario First Nation deal with COVID-19 outbreak

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FORT ALBANY, Ont. — Members of the military are helping a remote First Nation in northeastern Ontario deal with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Canadian Rangers will be in Fort Albany First Nation until at least next Monday.

He says the Canadian Armed Forces approved a request on Thursday to help the Indigenous community, which is on the west side of James Bay.

The military says four local Canadian Rangers are providing information on protective health measures and will be distributing personnel protective equipment to minimize the risks of the spread of COVID-19.

The Weeneebayko Area Health Authority says there are now two active cases of the novel coronavirus in the community, which is only accessible by plane, water, or ice road.

According to the 2011 census, Fort Albany has a population of approximately 1,500 people.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press