Officers in northern Quebec Cree communities say they’re assured two outbreaks linked to events over the brand new 12 months are actually below management.
Final Friday, a number of instances had been confirmed in Oujé-Bougoumou, all linked to events between Dec. 31 and Jan. 7.
Yesterday, well being officers confirmed one other 10 instances within the close by Cree group of Mistissini, additionally linked to gatherings over the vacations. It isn’t clear in the event that they had been the identical events.
“Sadly there have been two ‘super-spreader’ occasions associated to social gatherings in Oujé-Bougoumou, Chibougamau, [and] Mistissini space,” mentioned a press release by the Cree Nation authorities, launched Sunday.
In complete, the gatherings have led to 30 confirmed instances since Friday — 13 in Oujé-Bougoumou, 10 in Mistissini, with the remaining confirmed instances amongst Cree individuals who dwell in close by non-Cree communities, akin to Chibougamau. Two elders are a part of these contaminated, based on officers.
The vast majority of the contaminated individuals have been related to those occasions.– Virginia Wabano, CBHSSJB
“All through the vacations, there have been social gatherings that did happen,” mentioned Virginia Wabano, regional proximity director for inland communities for the Cree Board of Well being and Social Companies of James Bay.
“The vast majority of the contaminated individuals have been related to those occasions.”
Wabano mentioned that there was some inter-regional journey that occurred over the vacations, in addition to college students returning house for the vacations from southern communities.
“We do have shut knit households inside our numerous communities,” mentioned Wabano.
Nurse Mary Mapachee administers one of many first COVID-19 vaccines in Oujé Bougoumou to Cree elder Sydney Coonishish. The group, together with the close by Cree group of Mistissini, is coping with an outbreak of the virus linked to events held over the brand new 12 months. (CBHSSJB/Harry Bosum)
Up to now, 250 individuals have been recognized by way of a large-scale contact-tracing train that started Thursday by the Cree well being board. Greater than 140 individuals had been examined by Sunday.
“Many are testing unfavorable, which demonstrates the Cree well being board contact tracing groups are discovering the ends of the transmission chains,” mentioned the assertion from Cree management.
Leaders reminded individuals of how rapidly the virus can transfer into communities.
“Latest occasions present how one lapse in judgment can have an effect on so many,” mentioned the assertion.
It could unfold like wildfire.-Abel Bosum, Cree Grand Chief
Because the starting of the pandemic, Cree leaders have warned of the risks of COVID-19 moving into communities due to a weak inhabitants, many with underlying well being circumstances akin to diabetes. There’s additionally the problem of overcrowding in lots of properties, based on Grand Chief Abel Bosum.
“Ought to a member of 1 household catch, it that might unfold like wildfire,” mentioned Bosum in an interview final week.
“We’re so shut to one another.”
Pierre Larivière, head of present companies on the Cree well being board in Oujé-Bougoumou, and Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum sign their approval because the field with the COVID-19 vaccines arrives from Mistissini over the weekend. (CBHSSJB/Harry Bosum)
All of that is taking place because the Cree territory prepares to launch a region-wide vaccination marketing campaign as early as January 16, based on Virginia Wabano of the Cree well being board.
“We’ve our vaccination planning groups which might be all able to have these vaccination clinics underway,” mentioned Wabano.
Final week, 1,000 individuals had been vaccinated over 5 days in Mistissini in accordance the Cree well being board. Over the weekend, 2 hundred doses of the Moderna vaccine had been additionally airlifted to Oujé-Bougoumou from Mistissini, to begin vaccinating weak individuals there.