Regional chief calls for COVID-19 spread curbs

Glen Hare

TORONTO – Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare is calling for urgent action to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“Confirmed cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in First Nations communities in Ontario are continuing to climb due to overcrowding and unsustainable housing and lack of testing,” said Regional Chief Hare in a release January 7, “leaving behind a significant strain on the healthcare system and reduced capacity of essential workers and health care providers.”

“I am urging all First Nations people to reduce their contacts as much as possible by staying home to keep infection rates down and for those who have not received a vaccine to do so, and for others to get a booster to slow the spread of the Omicron variant in their communities,” stressed Regional Chief Hare. “As well, those with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are presumed to be positive. I encourage anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, to stay home and follow isolation and self-monitoring guidelines.”

“Additionally, I would like to commend Chief Lefty Kamenawatamin of Bearskin Lake First Nation for his leadership in keeping his community safe while they respond to a COVID-19 outbreak. I also acknowledge the leadership and efforts of the many individuals and communities who have mobilized to provide Bearskin Lake with support, resources and donations of critical supplies.”

The Chiefs of Ontario and Regional Chief Hare will continue to monitor this changing situation closely and support communities throughout this crisis, as requested.

“I know how difficult this pandemic continues to be, but I am urging all to not let your guard down and continue to practice preventative measures, such as mask-wearing and physical distancing, to keep our elders, families and communities safe. We are all in this together and we will weather this storm.”