Shared commitment key to success in Northern Manitoba COVID-19 fight

It has been over a month since the last case of COVID-19 was reported within Northern Manitoba.

Northern Regional Health Authority chief executive officer Helga Bryant said there have been a total of three cases within Northern Manitoba.

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“Our last case was classified as recovered on April 6. We have managed to accomplish such low numbers by being vigilant and working together,” she said May 20.

“We thank all Northerners for obeying recommendations and following directions. You should all be proud of what we have accomplished together,” she added.

Bryant said the shared commitment by all of their partners has been a key to this success.

“We could not have achieved this great result without the combined efforts of our staff, our local communities as well as all of our partners provincially and federally. This is their shared victory to date and they are all to be commended,” she said.

Flin Flon Mayor Cal Huntley said the adherence to the rules has been overwhelmingly successful in Northern Manitoba.

“The citizens of Flin Flon have been fantastic in regards to adhering to the rules. I just want to thank all the people in my community, region and for the matter, Northern Manitoba for doing what they needed to do to minimize the pandemic,” he said.

Huntley added he believes it is going to be more challenging as groups get larger and travel restrictions are lifted.

“As long as we are cognizant of the fundamentals, I think we will get through this. I am reasonably confident that we are travelling down the right path,” he said.

“Saying that, if we decide to take a different route it could come tumbling back on us rather quickly, so we need to adhere to what we are doing and continue to do that.”

Thompson Mayor Colleen Smook is concerned that Northern Manitoba might continue to have COVID-19 cases in the future.

“I am cautiously optimistic but at the same time, I am apprehensive because there are still people who are not social distancing and some who are still travelling in the north,” she said.

“We have been very lucky in this bleak circumstance. I would hope that the number of cases would stay where it is and that we can slowly open up businesses in the future.”

Nicole Wong covers northern and Indigenous issues for the Winnipeg Sun under the Local Journalism Initiative, a federally funded program that supports the creation of original civic journalism.

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