Sudbury

COVID numbers in Kashechewan coming down, but crisis not over yet

The COVID-19 outbreak in the isolated northern Ontario First Nation of Kashechewan is losing steam, but the James Bay community is not in the clear yet.

Over 300 people in the community have been infected with COVID-19 during this outbreak

Families in Kashechewan have been posting signs and posting photos of online of encouraging messages during this COVID-19 outbreak. (Facebook )

The COVID-19 outbreak in the isolated northern Ontario First Nation of Kashechewan is losing steam, but the James Bay community is not in the clear yet. 

Over 300 people in the community of 1,900 have been infected in recent weeks, but the active case count has dropped steadily in recent days down to 152.

Kashechewan Chief Leo Friday says there are still 200 close contacts in the overcrowded community that need to be tested.

"It doesn't seem to want to quit," he says. "We need all the help we can get. There's still a lot of work to do."

That work has been helped by the arrival of nurses, the Canadian Red Cross and members of the Canadian military.

Friday says they are setting up tents to help isolate the sick from the rest of their crowded households. 

Planning meetings on how to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Kashechewan have been held in the First Nation's empty arena. (Facebook )

"This one is very hard," he says.

"We have to try to stay on top of things. We try to keep the people served, so they don't come out. We try to give them everything they need."

Friday says there is a push to get more people in Kashechewan vaccinated, with a clinic held on Sunday and more planned for July 1 and 2. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erik White

journalist

Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to erik.white@cbc.ca

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