Members of the Canadian Armed Forces Rangers are headed to Lac Seul First Nation to assist with their ongoing COVID-19 lockdown and state of emergency, which will continue until May 14 at the earliest.
Federal Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister, Bill Blair, has confirmed Ottawa has approved the support request from the Ontario government for the Rangers to assist the community until May 18.
Lac Seul First Nation’s Chief and Council say the Rangers will help to deliver groceries to residents who order groceries online through the Red Pine Store in Kejick Bay or Golden Eagle store in Frenchman’s Head, owned by Fresh Market Foods in Sioux Lookout, who have arranged delivery services.
As of May 6, the Lac Seul community reports 17 active cases of COVID-19.
Chief and Council reported one positive case of COVID-19 in the Kejick Bay community on April 29. That grew to 8 cases between Kejick Bay, Whitefish Bay and Frenchman’s Head by the following day.
That evening, with support from the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority, Lac Seul First Nation leadership declared the COVID-19 outbreak in the community. They later declared a state of emergency with 16 cases by May 1, which has grown to 17 cases.
All residents are asked to only leave their homes for essential reasons like groceries, medical appointments, or to receive your COVID-19 vaccination. Mail service has been suspended.
Education will continue virtually, and all employees inside Lac Seul are being asked to work from home. There is limited access to all vehicles at the community’s checkpoint, with exceptions for food delivery and emergency services.
The Lac Seul Events Centre is operating as a COVID-19 vaccination clinic during this time.
Contact tracing within Lac Seul First Nation is continuing to identify additional cases of the virus. All members are asked to arrange for a COVID-19 test on weekdays by calling:
- Kejick Bay Clinic – 807-582-9812
- Frenchman’s Head Clinic – 807-582-3512
- Whitefish Bay Clinic – 807-582-3293
- Or the Meno Ya Win Emergency Department on weekends
The Lac Seul First Nation community, which encompasses Frenchman’s Head, Kejick Bay and Whitefish Bay, has a reported population of about 860 on-reserve members. They’re located about 40 kilometres away from Sioux Lookout.