Opaskwayak Cree Nation suffers first death linked to COVID-19

WINNIPEG — The Opaskwayak Cree Nation confirmed on Tuesday that one of its members has passed away due to COVID-19.

Chief Christian Sinclair made the announcement in a Facebook video, noting this is the first death on the First Nation.

“COVID-19 is impacting our community. Our first loss is felt in the community. We are at a critical point in our decision making and the plans to fight against COVID-19,” said Sinclair, who noted they are doing everything possible to protect the most vulnerable.

Sinclair said the person who died was a resident at the Rod McGillivary Memorial Care Home and he offered his condolences to the family and also the care home workers.

As of Tuesday, he noted the test positivity rate in the community is at 20 per cent.

“This is very concerning as the high number would suggest significant community-based transmission.”

Sinclair said the community is going on lockdown to help curb the spread of COVID-19. He said there will be security in place on all the main roads into the community.

If people don’t follow the lockdown orders, Sinclair said they will receive a fine of $2,000.

The lockdown and security measures are expected to be in place in the community for two weeks.

On Wednesday, the province announced 431 new cases of COVID-19. Thirty-three of the cases are in the Northern Health Region.

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