Lynn Lake goes from zero COVID-19 cases to more than 100 in less than 10 days

About a quarter of the residents of Lynn Lake had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Jan. 13 and outside help is arriving in the town today to help them cope with the outbreak.

The Town of Lynn Lake said in a COVID-19 bulletin on Wednesday that there have been 127 confirmed cases of the virus in the community, which had a population of just under 500 according to the 2016 census.

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One person has died from the virus and 121 of the cases are still considered active. The bulletin said that the town had requested help from the province and that a group called Can Task Force 4 would be arriving in the community at the end of Highway 391 in northwestern Manitoba on Thursday to assist with patrolling, wellness checks, food deliveries and other tasks. There are 35 residences whose occupants are in isolation and 100 contacts of the confirmed cases have been identified. 

Earlier on Wednesday, the provincial government reported that 37 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been identified in the community, which had its first six cases of the virus reported on Jan. 5.

Former mayor and Lynn Lake resident Audie Dulewich told CBC that the rapid spread of the virus was unsettling.

“We’ve gotten away really well up to this point,” he said. "We’ve gone through this entire time, since last March, without a case in town. They always kind of said that if it got to town, it would probably spread like wildfire and that's exactly what happened." 

Northern Manitoba had the most new cases of COVID-19 of any region in the province on Jan. 13, with 70 new infections.

“When you’re in a remote or isolated community transmission can take place rather quickly,” said chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin at a COVID-19 press conference Jan. 11. “Once we see, get concern of an outbreak then we bring up resources and do much more testing in that area so we end up finding a lot of cases quite quickly which is what we want to do because when you isolate those people you can do contact tracing.”

COVID-19 testing is available at the Lynn Lake Hospital.

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