London

COVID outbreak at Oneida of the Thames grows to 33 cases

An outbreak of COVID-19 has grown to 33 cases at Oneida Nation of the Thames, southwest of London, and the band council has imposed a nightly curfew to help curb the spread of the virus.

A nightly curfew has been imposed to help curb the spread

An outbreak of COVID-19 has grown to 22 cases at Oneida Nation of the Thames, southwest of London, and the band council has imposed a nightly curfew to help curb the spread of the virus. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

An outbreak of COVID-19 has grown to 33 cases at Oneida Nation of the Thames, southwest of London, with the band council imposing a nightly curfew to help curb the spread of the virus.

The Middlesex London Health Unit said Monday it was onsite at the long term care facility on the First Nation to vaccinate residents.  

An outbreak was declared at the Oneida Long Term Care Home last Tuesday, but at that point residents had not contracted the virus. Monday, Dr. Chris Mackie said two staff were infected. 

That same day, the community saw ten additional cases.

Contact tracing has indicated that the source of the now wider outbreak has been "due to our own community members who decided to gather and celebrate over the holidays," said Oneida Nation of the Thames Chief, Adrian Chrisjohn, in a statement.

"The blatant disregard of the recommendations of health experts" needs to stop, he said.

A community curfew within Oneida Nation of the Thames went into effect at 8 p.m. Sunday. No social gatherings will be permitted and only essential businesses will be allowed to open. Fines of up to $750 will be issued to anyone who hosts a social gathering, Chrisjohn said.

The curfew will be in place for two weeks and then re-evaluated by the Oneida Health team to determine if the number of cases is declining.

"We are all in this together. Each and every individual community member must do their part to take proper precautions for the health and safety of our community. Stay home, stay safe, use hand sanitizer and wear your mask if you must go out for essentials," said Chrisjohn.

Anyone in the community who develops symptoms of COVID-19 is encouraged to seek testing at one of the three assessment centres in the area:

  • Oneida Nation of the Thames Assessment Centre – Tel: 519-652-0500
  •  Chippewa of the Thames Frist Nation Assessment Centre – Tel: 519-289-5641
  • SOAHAC Chippewa site – Tel: 519-289-0352

Oneida is increasing its test site hours in response to the new cases, the statement said.

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