Northern Saskatchewan First Nation enters lockdown over growing COVID-19 outbreak

·1 min read
Black Lake First Nation is under lockdown due to a COVID-19 outbreak. A health official says low vaccination rates are a concern in the community. (Submitted by Michelle James - image credit)
Black Lake First Nation is under lockdown due to a COVID-19 outbreak. A health official says low vaccination rates are a concern in the community. (Submitted by Michelle James - image credit)

Black Lake First Nation has officially entered lockdown as a result of a rising COVID-19 outbreak in the community.

Black Lake First Nation is about 790 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon. The outbreak was officially declared on July 23, with more than five cases reportedly being linked to the delta variant COVID-19 strain. As of Monday, there were 28 known active cases in the community, an increase from the previous week.

Following recommendations by the Athabasca Health Authority (AHA), chief and council from Black Lake First Nation have imposed a lock down until Aug. 5.

Allan Adam, CEO of the AHA, said leadership in the community has been co-operative with health officials.

"The chief and council have taken our recommendations in that community. They do have a lockdown so they are controlling people who are leaving and controlling people who are coming in as well, designating non essential travel and discouraging travel from outside the community," he said.

Another safety measure being practised by members of the community is the use of colour-coded signs to show neighbours how they are faring and whether or not they require assistance.

Low vaccination rates in the community continue to be a source of concern for the health officials.

"We are fearful because of the low vaccination uptake — that if it does come back into the community again it will spread like [in] other First Nation communities and other Northern communities because of low vaccination uptake," Adam said. "That's our fear."

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