Fourth wave of pandemic continues to impact Indigenous communities

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in many parts of the country as the fourth wave of the Delta variant rages on and Indigenous communities are being impacted.

The latest wave of the pandemic is causing cases to rise and is mostly affecting people who aren’t vaccinated.

According to the latest numbers from Indigenous Services Canada, there are 1,682 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities. The feds say 1,773 people have been hospitalized and 406 people have died as a result of the virus since the pandemic began.

Since the beginning of September, the reported active COVID cases among First Nations has risen to 3.5 times higher than Canada’s general population.

In Manitoba, as of Sept. 13, there are 213 active cases of COVID-19 and 18 of those people in the intensive care ward.

With the fourth wave also comes the return of school.

Dr. Marcia Anderson of the Manitoba First Nations Pandemic Response Coordination Team says vaccines are the key to beating the virus and keeping schools open.

“The single most important thing for keeping schools open and kids safe in schools is the amount of community transmission of COVID-19 so the most important thing to keeping schools safe is keeping our case numbers in our communities and across the province low,” Anderson said in a Facebook update.

“And the most important way that we can do that of course is by having as many people who are eligible for the vaccine vaccinated.”

As of Sept. 14, there are 181 active cases in the Northwest Territories. The N.W.T. town of Kakisa has a 100 per cent vaccination rate in residents 12 years of age and older.

In the Yukon there are 23 actives COVID cases and just one active case in Nunavut.

In total since the pandemic began, Alberta has been the hardest hit province with over 10,652 cases.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba are approaching that number as well with over 9,992 and 9,415 total cases each.

B.C. has seen 3,874 COVID cases and Ontario has had 3,114 cases each. Quebec is approaching 1,000 with 926 cases of the virus and the Atlantic region has seen 39 cases of COVID-19.

The federal government says 755,639 vaccine doses have been given to First Nation, Inuit and territorial communities, and along with the first doses 332,768 second doses have been given in individuals aged 12 and up.

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