Wiikwemkoong resident isolating after COVID call

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WIIKWEMKOONG – On Wednesday, February 10, Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territories Ogimaa Duke Peltier made an announcement over Facebook Live of a confirmed asymptomatic COVID-19 case in Wiikwemkoong.

“Today we were notified by our community health nurses of a confirmed asymptomatic positive case within the community,” the ogimaa stated on Facebook. “The individual is currently self-isolating under the standard 14-day self-isolation protocol. The confirmed case took all precautionary measures and self-isolated immediately.” 

“Our community nurses have initiated contact tracing,” Ogimaa Peltier continued. “The contact tracing process for this individual occurred as soon as the positive result was made known and all those high-risk individuals (who) have been identified as a close contact to the individual have been notified and are instructed to self-isolate to await testing.” 

The ogimaa went on to say that if a call from one of the community health nurses has not been received, “you are not considered a close contact.”

Through the process of contact tracing, the community health nurses informed the community of low-risk exposure at the following locations: Wiikwemkoong High School, February 10; Wiikwemkoong Junior School, February 10; Wikwemikong Nursing Home, February 10; and Wikwemikong Community Living, February 10.

As a result of the COVID-19 case, the community has suspended in-person learning and in-person community programming until further notice. “This is a precautionary measure as we want to ensure that we are keeping Wiikwemkoong safe,” the ogimaa explained.

“All departments and programs have been working very hard and continue to follow all health guidelines to ensure the safety of our community,” he added.

“I am requesting that we all continue to follow the health guidelines,” Ogimaa Peltier continued. “Limit your travel to essential purposes only. Maintain your contact tracing and stay within your social circle/immediate household.”

Those community members who believe they may have been in contact with a positive case, or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to call: Naandwechige-Gamig Wikwemikong Health Centre 705-859-3164 ext. 221 or ext. 226 (between 8 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday) or the on-call nurse, 705-690-8941 (Monday to Friday, 4 to 9 pm and Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon to 9 pm). 

“Remember to continue to support and love one another. If you need someone to talk to, please contact the 24/7 Crisis Response Line at 705-348-1937,” Ogimaa Peltier added. “Chi-miigwech to everyone for their understanding, patience and cooperation during this time. Stay home, stay safe!”

Anyone who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or has concerns that they may have been in contact with a known case should contact the Manitoulin Health Centre COVID assessment centres by calling 705-368-2300 (Little Current site) or 705-377-5311 (Mindemoya site) and following the prompts. Testing is based on a clinical assessment of each person.