A First Nation in southern Alberta was on lockdown Saturday while Prince Edward Island reported new COVID-19 cases for the first time in more than two months, announcing three new cases on Saturday ― including one person who worked at Charlottetown seniors’ home.
Dr. Heather Morrison, the province’s chief public health officer, told a news conference that all three cases were Islanders who’d travelled within Canada ― the first cases in P.E.I. since April 28.
“This is disappointing news, but we have said consistently that we need to be prepared for more cases and we are,″ Morrison said, noting none of the cases are related to seasonal residents or the opening of the Atlantic bubble this week.
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One, a man in his 50s, was an essential services worker who’d travelled outside the province and was self-isolating.
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Two other cases are believed to be linked ― a man in his 20s who’d gone to Nova Scotia and had interacted with someone who’d been in the U.S. and was asymptomatic, returning to the island on Monday.
The other case was a close contact of the male, a symptomatic woman in her 20s who worked at Whisperwood Villa, a seniors’ residence in Charlottetown where management was advised Friday evening and residents were being tested starting on Saturday as a precaution.
Morrison considered the risk of transmission low, given the woman wore PPE.
None of the residents have exhibited new symptoms of COVID-19, but the province planned to test all residents and staff as well as visitors from Tuesday.
200 people under monitoring in Siksika Nation
Meanwhile, a First Nation in southern Alberta has implemented a curfew as its health workers monitor more than 200 people for signs they may have developed COVID-19.
Siksika Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot said in video messages posted on Facebook that as of Thursday there were 21 known COVID-19 positive cases with links to the community west of Calgary, and that five separate and unrelated case clusters had been uncovered in the previous 12 days.
Crowfoot said that as of Wednesday, 258 Siksika Nation members were under “active investigation and daily followup” by the community’s health services team ― a number he said had quadrupled in only three days.
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On Friday, councillors approved a temporary curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, with exceptions that Crowfoot said can be made on an as-needed basis for work or other reasons.
Crowfoot encouraged Siksika Nation members to co-operate with health officials if they call, and to avoid non-essential travel to nearby cities.
He said the risk of community transmission is high and that each new case cluster makes it even harder to contact trace and isolate people fast enough.
“We realize you have freedom of choice but we don’t have freedom of consequence. If we choose not to follow these guidelines, the consequence may be that we contract the virus and spread the virus further through our community,” Crowfoot warned in a video message posted Thursday.
Combines Canadian Press reports published July 4, 2020.