Garden Hill First Nation in northern Manitoba has reached a major COVID-19 milestone.
More than 80 per cent of adults in the community have now had at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
“The information that’s being shared where there are now variants being experienced in our communities, I think that’s been a driver in the level of participation in Garden Hill,” Four Arrows Regional Health Authority executive director Alex McDougall told 680 CJOB.
“And everyone is doing an excellent job in supporting one another in that.”
In January, the Canadian Armed Forces were sent to the community to fight a COVID-19 outbreak.
Island Lake, which includes the communities of Garden Hill First Nation, Wasagamack First Nation, Red Sucker Lake First Nation and St. Theresa Point First Nation, had 349 active cases as of Wednesday. More than 1,300 people had recovered and there were seven deaths due to the virus.
McDougall says the remote access to the region and lack of critical infrastructure makes fighting the pandemic even more challenging.
“As Manitobans and Canadians, you have relative access to critical infrastructure — such as hospitals, airports, emergency response systems — that you would not normally see in a region like Island Lake,” McDougall said.
“All of the four communities, including Garden Hill, are isolated and only accessible by winter road. So the logistics and the planning of providing services are compounded by geographical challenges and they’re also compounded by the lack of infrastructure in the region to provide support to the communities and their members.”
Garden Hill First Nation is 610 km northeast of Winnipeg.