COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: active cases reach 500!/cpImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/covid-que-20200512.jpg

Active cases of COVID-19 jumped to 500 from 362 in the last week, according to data from Indigenous Services Canada.

In the last week, 356 new cases have been reported on-reserve with the majority occurring in the Prairies. Cases in Manitoba doubled, while Quebec also saw a spike in cases.

Akwesasne, south of Cornwall, Ont., announced that it is dealing with an outbreak after five cases were reported in the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s northern jurisdiction and four cases in the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s southern jurisdiction.

“While we understand the effects of COVID-19 fatigue, we cannot let our guards down,” the Mohawk Council said in a news release.

“The time to take collective action is now in order to prevent a much worse scenario and stricter measures in the future.”

As of Nov. 2, there have been a total of 1,610 cases on-reserve in Canada since the pandemic started. Ten additional hospitalizations were reported since last week bringing the total to 83. The death toll remains at 15. The number of First Nations people who have recovered from the disease has reached 1,095. 

In an Oct. 30 update, ISC said the increasing number of cases has been linked to community transmission and to large private and public gatherings in settings where physical distancing and wearing of masks were not observed.

There have been a total of 28 confirmed positive cases in the Nunavik region of Quebec.  All have recovered as of Oct. 30.

Total cases on First Nations reserves per region reported as of Nov. 2:

  • British Columbia: 182
  • Alberta: 478
  • Saskatchewan: 339
  • Manitoba: 356
  • Ontario: 159
  • Quebec: 96

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What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • new or worsening cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • temperature equal to or over 38°C
  • feeling feverish
  • chills
  • fatigue or weakness
  • muscle or body aches
  • new loss of smell or taste
  • headache
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
  • feeling very unwell

If you think you may have COVID-19, please consult your local health department to book an appointment at a screening clinic. 

CBC Indigenous is looking to hear from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who have contracted COVID-19. If you would like to share your experience, please email us at