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Coronavirus: Siksika Nation declares local state of emergency due to COVID-19

Alberta has 74 confirmed coronavirus cases
WATCH (March 16): As of Monday, March 16, 2020, Alberta has 74 confirmed coronavirus cases. And, for the first time, there are cases in every Alberta Health zone. Julia Wong has more from the news conference, where chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw was unable to be in person.

The COVID-19 outbreak has prompted another local state of emergency in Alberta.

On Monday, Siksika Nation made the order after 18 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the province.

READ MORE: Calgary declares local state of emergency due to COVID-19, prompting libraries, rec centres to close

A news release was issued to the public notifying residents of the order at 5 p.m.

“By issuing a SOLE we are able to ensure that we are taking proactive action in protecting the health and safety of Siksikawa,” the release said.

The release stated that with the news of community transmission and rise in cases, Siksika Nation members now have a medium risk of infection.

Effective Monday, officials said all children and youth should avoid public gatherings. The release also states that social gatherings of more than five people should be limited.

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“Siksika people have always been survivors. We survived residential schools, we survived a massive flood in 2013 and we are resilient people,” the release said.

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“We too, will survive and overcome this most recent adversity.”

The news release outlined the number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta is expected to rise.

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While no cases have been confirmed on any First Nations yet, the release said the virus could be expected to enter Siksika soon.

READ MORE: Blood Tribe declares State of Emergency amidst COVID-19 outbreak

Red Deer, Leduc and the Blood Tribe also announced local states of emergency Monday, following Calgary’s announcement on Sunday.

On Tuesday, the Town of Banff joined the list of municipalities across Alberta to declare the order.