As of Sunday morning, there are 57 active cases of COVID-19 across the district, the bulk of those in Wabaseemoong Independent Nation.

Across the region, 40 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Saturday, the highest single-day case count in the region since the pandemic began.

The surge in cases has resulted in a number of organizations being activated, including the provincial emergency operations centre, to bring in emergency supports for the community and includes an isolation centre, rapid testing, vaccines for frontline workers, and help from the military.

The situation across the region is concerning for community leaders, including Greg Rickford (MPP for the Kenora-Rainy River district), as there still isn't a full understanding of the severity of the outbreaks across the region.

"We don't have a full appreciation yet of what numbers we have; not just from Wabaseemoong, but a couple of other outbreaks that have brought our numbers up in the past couple of days," said the minister in a conversation with KenoraOnline Sunday morning.

"We're hoping to contain the outbreaks and keep our numbers as low as possible given what we've experienced in the last day or two," the minister continued.

Minister Rickford praised the work of the leadership in Wabaseemoong, the Kenora Chiefs Advisory, the Northwestern Health Unit, the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, and the provincial government as the organizations worked together to identify, trace, provide support facilities and produce a plan to move people into isolation facilities to contain the virus.

"This is still very much a time to remain safe. Take precautions to wear masks, to social distance, we're still in a stay at home order and under the restrictions we've been under for the past 32 days," said MPP Rickford.

The stay at home order is set to expire on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. and, according to MPP Rickford, our catchment area will still move into the "Yellow-Protect" tier of Ontario's COVID-19 Response Framework, at that time.

"How a health unit winds up in a colour on the framework is a function of analyzing aggregate numbers over a couple of weeks," explains MPP Rickford. "The NWHU has been in and out of green and yellow because our numbers were right on the borderline until this spike, so these numbers will impact that. But over the course of a couple of weeks I think we're still in an overall pretty good position."