Frontline and essential workers caring for Wabaseemoong Independent Nation residents now have additional COVID-19 vaccines to keep them safe.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford explains the Ontario government purchased and supplied 300 additional vaccines for healthcare staff working in Wabaseemoong, to help curb their ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

“In an effort to support what was going on in Wabaseemoong, we thought it would be best to bring vaccines in and make sure all of our frontline workers, particularly our hospital staff, medical transport staff and those in the community providing services, were vaccinated,” said Rickford.

Wabaseemoong went under a strict lockdown as of February 10, after Chief Waylon Scott said a number of community members tested positive for COVID-19. Safety measures include a checkpoint and curfew for the community of about 2,000.

Roughly 24 Wabaseemoong members have been self-isolating in hotels in Kenora, for those who must be in the city for medical purposes or for those who don’t have space to self-isolate at home.

“I think it’s gone a long way to reduce the spread, particularly any community-spread outside of Wabaseemoong. Things are under control. Our numbers aren’t coming from Wabaseemoong anymore,” noted the Minister.

As of March 1, the Northwestern Health Unit is reporting 39 active cases in the Kenora region, which includes the Wabaseemoong community. In their latest COVID-19 weekly summary, released one week ago on February 23, the Kenora region had 83 active cases of COVID-19 listed by the NWHU.

Rickford, who also serves as the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Energy and Indigenous Affairs, also offered praise for Wabaseemoong Chief Scott, for his work to protect his community.

Other staff helping the Wabaseemoong community include those from the NWHU, the Kenora Chiefs Advisory, Lake of the Woods Dsitrict Hospital, Team Rubicon, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, among other community and healthcare partners.

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