Staff with the Northwestern Health Unit say four residents in their catchment area are currently battling COVID-19 while hospitalized.

Communications Officer Jon Begg with the health unit says they cannot confirm if the four are being treated in regular hospital beds or the intensive care unit, but ask all residents to assume you have COVID-19 if you have any symptoms, even mild ones.

If so, self-isolate immediately, get tested, and remain in isolation until your test results are known. Getting tested as soon as symptoms develop is important, as it allows close contacts to be isolated before they become infectious, which reduces the chance of spreading the illness.

Information on ICU admissions has been requested. As of publishing, local hospitals haven't yet responded to our request for information.

As of the time of writing, there are currently 44 active cases of COVID-19 in the region. That includes 27 active cases in the Rainy River District, 15 in the Kenora region and 2 in the Dryden / Red Lake region.