Remote communities locking down, banning outsiders as COVID-19 spreads

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The latest wave of COVID-19 is bringing health-care resources in some remote communities in Canada to the breaking point as case numbers explode.

Nunavut confirmed another 22 cases of the illness Sunday, bringing the total to 196 in just 10 days.

That's more than one-fifth of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the territory since the pandemic began almost two years ago, and the territory's chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says it is putting immense strain on health care.

On Labrador's remote northern coast, where COVID-19 showed up for the first time last week, leaders are pleading with residents to be cautious and imposing tight travel restrictions into local communities.

Innu Nation Deputy Grand Chief Mary Ann Nui says in a Facebook post that the inability to get confirmed test results quickly is adding to the stress.

A federal rapid response team with nurses and a paramedic is now in Bearskin Lake First Nation in northern Ontario, as the fly-in only community reports more than one-third of its 400 residents have COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 2, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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