U.K. variant not prevalent in Manitoba First Nations as originally feared

Cases were found to have shared the sane genetic marker as the variant but further sequencing determined the cases were in fact different.


Pauingassi First Nation in Manitoba does not have the U.K. variant in their community as they originally feared over the weekend.

The community sent seven cases of COVID-19 to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg for further testing.

The cases were found to have shared the same genetic marker as the variant but further sequencing determined the cases were in fact different.

“While we are not out of the woods yet, so to speak, it is a great relief that we are not in fact dealing with the B.1.1.7 UK variant of concern. We will continue to work with our health counterparts and ensure that we keep our Nation as safe as possible,” stated Chief Roddy Owens, Pauingassi First Nation in a statement regarding the update in the cases.

Other cases from Manitoba’s north were also sent in for further testing, including one case from Pimicikamak Cree Nation, also known as Cross Lake. They are still awaiting for those results in the community which currently has 107 active cases.

Manitoba’s provincial public health officer said there is no reason for concern in regards to the cases that were sent in for sequencing.

“We haven’t had any indication that this is a variant of concern, we’ve, you know we’ve seen this variant in the past here in Manitoba as well so as of right now this does not appear that this is a variant of concern,” Dr. Brent Roussin at a COVID-19 briefing.

Darrell is a proud member of Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. He is a graduate of the television program from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton. He is returning to APTN after having completed an internship with us in 2018 and a brief stop as a reporter in B.C. in 2019.