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Six Nations marks 2nd death related to COVID-19, links positive cases to midwinter ceremonies

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The Six Nations of the Grand River elected council is urging anyone who attended midwinter ceremonies to be tested for COVID-19 after several positive cases were linked to those events.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the council said community members who attended a ceremony between Jan. 15 and 26 — or anyone who has had contact with someone else who attended — should go for a COVID-19 test.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccinations begin in Ontario fly-in First Nations

“This COVID-19 pandemic is very mentally draining on everyone, said Lori Davis Hill, director of Health Services for Six Nations, in a statement.

“Testing is not about shaming members but more so about reducing further spread into the community and we are pleading with members to come forward to be tested.”

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That plea comes as Six Nations marks its second death from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg paramedics answer the call to help strained northern First Nations communities' Winnipeg paramedics answer the call to help strained northern First Nations communities
Winnipeg paramedics answer the call to help strained northern First Nations communities – Jan 11, 2021

Ohsweken Public Health confirmed the death of a community member over the weekend, although no information about their identity has been released.

“Heartfelt condolences, thoughts, and prayers are sent to the families at this time as they mourn the loss of their loved one,” said the council in a statement.

Read more: Six Nations of the Grand River says it is ‘in crisis’ with spiking COVID 19 numbers

The weekly case rate on the reserve has spiked to 116 per 100,000 people, with 10 cases reported in the past week.

The elected council is warning that COVID-19 transmission is currently at an “alarmingly high rate” and urging community members to stay home as much as possible to prevent asymptomatic spread for those who don’t realize they’re carrying the virus.

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There have been a total of 154 cases of COVID-19 on Six Nations, and of those, 143 have been resolved.

 

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