Local area First Nations are not escaping the current spike in COVID-19 cases across Saskatchewan.
Several area reserves have reported cases in the last number of days, resulting in stepped-up security measures and local stay-at-home orders.
One of the harder hit areas in recent days has been Moosomin First Nation, located north of the Battlefords.
Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre issued a news release on Nov. 17 confirming four active cases of COVID-19 on the reserve. The four individuals are self isolating.
Contact tracing has been initiated and those exposed are being notified and monitored by community health nurses.
The situation is similar on Saulteaux First Nation which on Nov. 18 announced two more new cases, bringing their active cases up to four. Those individuals have been self isolating.
The band also announced Nov. 15 that Saulteaux School has been closed for one week for deep cleaning. During this time the school will proceed with online learning.
Also, effective Nov. 18, security has been stepped up on the reserve and will be monitoring the community. People are being urged to limit their visiting and to stay home.
South of the Battlefords, Mosquito Grizzly Bear’s Head Lean Man First Nation was reporting it has implemented a stay-at-home lockdown as of Nov. 16 at 3 p.m. lasting for 14 days or longer.
That is in response to the First Nation being notified of four new active cases of COVID-19 identified on the reserve. No one is being permitted into the reserve and security is being doubled, with patrolling throughout the First Nation.
Other area reserves have also had to respond to issues with COVID-19. On Nov. 13, Poundmaker Cree Nation reported one new case of COVID-19. That reserve also saw mass drive-through COVID-19 testing on Monday and Tuesday of this week at the Veterans Hall. Reserves including Red Pheasant and Little Pine have also seen cases in the past few weeks.
The growing COVID-19 situation is not limited to First Nations. The entire region and province is seeing a spike of new COVID-19 cases, prompting new province wide mask mandates this week and new restrictions to visitation at long term care homes.
As of Thursday morning the entire North West region was listed as having 166 active cases of COVID-19. That includes 67 cases in the North West 4 subregion which includes the Battlefords.