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Dozens more soldiers heading to Manitoba’s Shamattawa First Nation

A patch is seen on a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. CAF personnel continue to assist the community of Pauingassi First Nation - which has reported seven probable cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Over 50 more Canadian Armed Forces members are heading to Shamattawa First Nation to assist in a COVID-19 crisis that’s gripped the remote community.

The CAF says it deployed a team of 17 medical professionals from the 1 Canadian Forces Health Services Group in Edmonton yesterday to operate an alternative isolation area (AIA).

Forty soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry at CFB Shilo are also heading up to the First Nation to help set up the space. They will be redeployed once that’s finished.

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The AIA is expected to help slow down the spread of the virus by providing a safe place for people so self-isolate.

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A housing crisis is one of the reasons officials noted a test positivity rate of 50 per cent earlier this month.

They join a team of six Canadian Rangers and 11 CFB Shilo personnel who travelled to Shamattawa last week to help local health officials perform testing, contact tracing and helped those who had to self-isolate do so in a safe manner.

The military says it will continue to support the community until the emergency has abated and the province, along with other federal and private sector resources are able to effectively support the community on their own.

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