Members of Team Rubicon are working to support Lac Seul First Nation community members until May 29, as they continue to deal with their ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and state of emergency.

Team Rubicon members deployed alongside the Canadian Armed Forces Rangers earlier this month. The Rangers’ support with grocery deliveries ended on May 18, but Rubicon members will be supporting the community throughout the majority of the month.

Team Rubicon’s disaster responders are working to provide incident management and logistical support to the community, which includes organizing the aid distribution centre and working with Lac Seul leadership. It’s their fourth deployment in 2021 to support Northern Ontario communities.

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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.

The community’s outbreak was first reported with one positive case of COVID-19 on April 29, which grew to 8 cases by the following day. The community later declared a state of emergency due to the situation by May 1.

On May 14, Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority announced an additional 5 cases of COVID-19 in Lac Seul First Nation, bringing their total case count to 41. The community says that number included 30 active cases in the community, 1 hospitalization, 3 off-reserve cases and 7 resolved cases.

Currently, SLFNHA says there are 37 individuals isolating in the Lac Seul community, while an additional 3 are isolating in Sioux Lookout and 1 individual is in isolation in Winnipeg.

On May 17, Chief and Council issued a Shelter in Place Order for the Kejick Bay community. It asks all members to remain indoors or find indoor shelter, until the COVID-19 outbreak is resolved. This is in addition to a checkpoint in Kejick Bay that only allows one household member through for essential reasons each day.

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

Team Rubicon is a disaster response charity that mobilizes veterans, first responders, and emergency management volunteers to help communities prepare, respond and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises.

Team Rubicon was started in the U.S. in January 2010, after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. Team Rubicon Canada started May 1, 2016, after a wildfire swept through Fort McMurray destroying 2,400 homes and displacing 80,000 residents.

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