Thunder Bay

Gull Bay First Nation confirms 6 positive COVID-19 cases

The Chief of Gull Bay First Nation confirms there are six positive cases of COVID-19 in his community.

Nearly half of people tested in community have had a positive test result

A headshot of a man with dark hair and a blue dress shirt and dark tie.
Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation) Chief Wilfred King says six people have tested positive for COVID-19 in his community of 300. (Nokiiwin Tribal Council)

The Chief of Gull Bay First Nation confirms there are six positive cases of COVID-19 in his community.

King said with six positive tests, that gives the community a higher per capita case rate higher than the national average.

"We have more positive cases on a per capita basis than the country of Italy. Of all the cases in the Thunder Bay District, we have ten per cent of the cases."

"We have two percent of our population that has basically tested positive here."

King said 11 people were tested in the community for COVID-19, with nearly half of the cases coming back positive.

King said two of the cases are children, and two cases are in the hospital. One other person is in the intensive care unit at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, while another remains in the community. 

"Health Canada did some close contact testing initially, to make sure that we get those individuals who had close contact with the individuals that tested positive on the 11th of April."

King said he was unsure at this point where the original case stemmed from, but he believes it may have come from the Lac des Iles mine, as the community has a number of people who work at the nearby operation, or Thunder Bay.

King said the community wants to have more testing complete, but part of the issue is proposals need to get written first, before action will take place. 

"We asked for the mobile testing facility," he said, noting the community wants to keep anybody who may be affected by COVID-19 out of the local health centre.

King said he was told it could take a week to get the required equipment to Gull Bay from Winnipeg.

"I think there's a lot of fear in the community, a lot of apprehension. We have to keep in mind that there's a lot of fear that widespread contamination may have happened already."


Jeff Walters

Former CBC reporter

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff worked in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario.