Northern COVID-19 case announced Sept. 13 was actually a former northerner now living in Winnipeg

For the second time in the last few weeks, a confirmed case of COVID-19 originally identified as having occurred in the Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA) area has turned out to be from somewhere else. 

On Sept. 13, the Manitoba government said that one of 18 new positive tests for the novel coronavirus had occurred in the NRHA area, specifically in the Shamattawa/Tataskweyak Cree Nation/York Factory First Nation health district. However, on Monday, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said that that case was being reassigned from the NRHA to the Winnipeg health region and that it was originally attributed to the north because the person who tested positive hadn’t changed the address on their health card after moving to Winnipeg from one of the communities within that health district.

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“Our data is based on the address on your health card,” said Roussin.

York Factory First Nation Chief Leroy Constant said in a Sept. 13 Facebook post that he had been informed that the person who tested positive actually lived in Winnipeg but was from the north.

Tataskewyak Cree Nation Chief and council said on their Facebook page in the wake of the case being announced as having come from that district that it was restricting members living on reserve from travelling anywhere other than Thompson.

Manitoba has had three cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba First Nations so far, including two in Peguis First Nation and one in Fisher River Cree Nation, all of which were first announced by those First Nations on Sept. 11.

Recently, a COVID-19 case identified as coming from a resident of the Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry/Sherridon health district was reclassified as a Saskatchewan case because the person who tested positive, an employee of the Northern Lights personal care home in Flin Flon, lives in the Saskatchewan health district that includes Creighton, Denare Beach and the Saskatchewan portion of Flin Flon.

Roussin announced 21 new cases of COVID-19 Sept. 14 – 17 in Winnipeg, three in the southern health region and one in the Interlake-Eastman health region. There were 257 active cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Monday, with 12 people in hospital, including three in intensive care. To date there have been 1,449 cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba since the pandemic began, with 1,176 people having recovered and 16 people having died as a result of the virus. A total of 155,803 Manitobans have been tested for the novel coronavirus.

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