Wake service may have exposed people to COVID-19: Wiikwemkoong officials

·2 min read

Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island advised the public on Wednesday of a potential exposure to COVID-19 for anyone who attended a local gathering for a wake service.

The service was held at the Kaboni Church located on 2525 Wikwemikong Way on Nov. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Anyone who attended the service is being asked to self-isolate immediately, monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, and contact the Wikwemikong Health Centre or local health unit to book a COVID-19 test.

“We are reminding everyone to follow public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” press release issued on Dec. 1 said.

“The safest options are to limit close contact to your own household members, stay home, and do not attend work or school when ill. Avoid non-essential travel, and remember to practice physical distancing, wear your mask, and wash your hands.”

Wiikwemkoong leadership declared a COVID-19 outbreak in the community on Nov. 27 after four residents tested positive for the virus.

Ogimaa Duke Peltier, the chief of the First Nation, said six new cases were confirmed in the community, bringing the total number of active cases to 13.

“Our nurses are currently contacting the close contacts for these new active cases. The six new cases are three adults, and three children,” Peltier said in a social media post.

“It is incredibly crucial that everyone stays home and book a COVID-19 test so we can do our part to lessen the exposure of COVID-19 in the community.”

According to a release, all COVID-19 testing for residents will be done by appointment only. Those who wish to be tested are encouraged to contact the Wikwemikong Health Centre at 705-859-3164.

“There will be testing available for the community every day this week,” said Peltier.

Testing will be conducted at the Blue Med tent located in the Band Office parking lot. Drive-thru testing will also be available on Dec. 3 at the high school.

The Manitoulin Health Centre’s (MHC) Little Current site also offers COVID-19 testing by appointment Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. To book a COVID-19 test at the MHC, call 705-368-2300.

Peltier also advised that all families who have a student enrolled at the Wikwemikong Junior School should book a COVID-19 test as soon as possible.

The First Nation’s crisis team can be reached 24 hours a day at 705-348-1937.

“Please continue to do your part, and to stay home. We will get through this together,” said Peltier.

The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.


Twitter: @SudburyStar

Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star

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