Kahnawake moves to Red Alert status, as active COVID-19 cases double in 2 days

The number of active cases in Kahnawake has doubled in two days, forcing health officials in the community south of Montreal to move to Red Alert status, and issue stricter public health recommendations.

Vaccination rates in Kahnawake are lower than in surrounding communities, local health officials say

Public health officials with the Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre and Kahnawake's public safety commission issued a new set of recommendations in hopes of limiting the spread of COVID-19. (Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre)

With the spread of COVID-19 growing at an unprecedented pace in Kahnawake, local health officials have decided to move the community to Red Alert status.

According to health officials, the number of active cases in the Mohawk community located south of Montreal has gone up to at least 31 — more than doubling in two days. 

There have now been 71 confirmed cases in Kahnawake during the pandemic's fourth wave. That is nearly half the total of reported cases during the first three waves combined. 

The community adopted a new colour system late last month.

At the Red Alert level — which is the system's highest level — it is strongly recommended to: 

  • Limit private gatherings to small groups.
  • Avoid public indoor and outdoor gatherings.
  • Wear a mask indoors and outdoors whenever you are with people who do not live with you.
  • Maintaining a two-metre distance between yourself and people who do not live with you.

"We can confirm that these outbreaks are related to the delta strain which is greatly impacting the level of risk in the community," read a joint release from Kahnawake's public safety commission and the public health team at the Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre. 

 "Now is the time for each individual to make safe decisions to protect all community members."

According to health officials, the vaccination rates are lower in Kahnawake than in surrounding communities.

As of Aug. 27, 78 per cent of the local population who are able to get vaccinated had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 70 per cent of residents have received two doses.

The overall numbers for the province of Quebec show that 86 per cent of people who are eligible have received at least one dose, while 79 per cent have gotten both.