35 COVID-19 cases on First Nations: Indigenous Services Canada

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Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) says it’s aware of 35 positive tests of COVID-19 in First Nations communities as of April 6.

Broken down, there are four on-reserve cases in Saskatchewan, 11 in Ontario and 20 in Quebec. There were 15 cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities as of April 1.

ISC said it monitors and tracks information while protecting patient privacy and confidentiality. Additionally, provinces do not require Indigenous people to self-identify when being tested for COVID-19. For this reason, ISC cannot disclose the First Nations community with confirmed cases.

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Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s top public health officer, said the greatest worry continues to be the numerous outbreaks in high-risk settings where there is a rapid spread of the novel coronavirus as well as severe outcomes in vulnerable people.

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She added these settings include long-term care, hospitals and correctional facilities, but also an increasing number of First Nations and at least one Inuit community.

“A single case in any First Nations, Inuit or Métis community is high cause for concern. These communities are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 due to distances,

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