Manitoba First Nation sees COVID-19 outbreak in personal care home

The George M. Guimond Care Centre on Sagkeeng First Nation has 23 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

They’re currently the only 23 in the entire community, infecting 19 residents and four employees.

Chief Derrick Henderson said all of the cases are confirmed as the highly transmissible Delta variant.

“It’s a bit concerning,” Henderson said. “How did this happen when you’re double vaccinated?”

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Only 34 per cent of Sagkeeng First Nation residents have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Henderson said he couldn’t say for sure if every resident of the personal care home (PCH) has had the vaccine, but said the staff are all double vaccinated.

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It’s the only outbreak in a personal care home in Manitoba right now. Winnipeg hasn’t had a PCH outbreak since June 30.

Epidemiologist Cynthia Carr said the news isn’t shocking when so few in the population have received the shot.

“No clinical trial or study ever said that this vaccine, or frankly the majority of any other, had 100 per cent efficacy at anything,” Carr said.

The epidemiologist stressed that just because an outbreak has occurred doesn’t mean the vaccines aren’t working.

“We already knew that nothing was 100 per cent, but it was better than significantly beyond zero per cent.”

Read more: Unvaccinated make up majority of Manitoba’s 31 new COVID-19 cases, officials say

Henderson said he won’t get an update until Monday, but was told Friday if anything substantial happened over the weekend, he would receive a call, which he did not.

The Chief said they are yet to figure out how the virus made its way into the care centre. There are no known active cases outside the care home and the First Nation’s Facebook page’s update states every infected person’s symptoms are mild.

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