Indigenous

COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: What you need to know

As First Nations and Inuit across the country continue with vaccination efforts, the number of active cases in communities has remained relatively stable, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

394,801 vaccine doses administered in First Nations and Inuit communities

Bottles containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at a clinic for employees of Apotex pharmaceuticals, in Toronto, on April 13, 2021. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

As First Nations and Inuit across the country continue with vaccination efforts, the number of active cases in communities has remained relatively stable, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

There were 891 total active cases of the virus in First Nations as of May 17, an increase of 71 cases from a week prior. 

The majority of new infections were reported primarily on the Prairies, with 146 cases in Alberta, 144 cases in Saskatchewan, and 169 cases in Manitoba since last week.

Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 28,654 cases in First Nations communities. Six deaths were reported in the last week, bringing the total number of First Nations people living on-reserve who have died from the virus to 332. Hospitalizations rose to 1,282 and the number of First Nations people who have recovered from the disease is now at 27,431.

Total cases in First Nations communities per region reported as of May 17:

  • British Columbia: 3,028
  • Alberta: 8,249
  • Saskatchewan: 6,886
  • Manitoba: 7,687
  • Ontario: 2,053
  • Quebec: 731
  • Atlantic: 20

As of May 18, there were 64 active cases in Nunavut — 63 in Iqaluit and one in Kinngait.

Vaccinations

To date, 429,506 vaccine doses, including 137,598 second doses, have been administered in 690 First Nations and Inuit communities.

READ more about vaccination efforts in Manitoba:

WATCH: Manitoba's vaccine roll out continues to ramp up

First Nations see varying levels of success in getting vaccine in the arms of community members

1 year ago
Duration 2:39
As the provincial vaccine rollout continues to ramp up, the Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Co-ordination Team has reported that over 60,000 First Nation people have received at least one shot of a COVID vaccine.

Pandemic stories:


What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • New or worsening cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Temperature equal to or over 38 C.
  • Feeling feverish.
  • Chills.
  • Fatigue or weakness.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • New loss of smell or taste.
  • Headache.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting).
  • Feeling very unwell.

If you think you may have COVID-19, please consult your local health department to book an appointment at a screening clinic. 


CBC Indigenous is looking to hear from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who have contracted COVID-19 or lost a loved one to COVID-19. If you would like to share your story, please email us at indigenous@cbc.ca.

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