K’atlodeeche First Nation has declared a state of emergency after a person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended a small gathering in the community last weekend.
The South Slave community issued a notice on its Facebook page on Aug. 24 asking members to stay home and isolate, especially if they have not been vaccinated and/or came into contacted with the sick visitor.
“There was an event and small gathering on KFN territory and someone who not a member of the nation came into KFN who had tested positive with COVID,” KFN chief April Martel said.
“We are not sure if it is the Delta variant and all people who were at the gathering are isolating.”
She explained that the individual carrying the virus had been present at a larger event previous to the weekend.
“That person attended a big gathering out of our territory and he/she came in not using a mask and came to the party knowing there were kids and she exposed them,” Martel said.
“Now they are in isolation until the test results comes back.”
Martel said she was notified about the situation on Monday evening, Aug. 23 at about 5 p.m. and has reached out to the Town of Hay River to notify the mayor and officials about the situation.
KFN leadership had a team of health officers in the community as of the morning of Aug. 24 coming to do rapid testing of members who had been in close contact with the COVID case.
Martel said she is particularly worried about some members who have not been vaccinated, particularly children and Elders.
For those who have received the vaccine, she asking those people to take extra precautions.
“We are sort of in a waiting game right now,” she said, noting the time it will take for rapid testing days results to be reported.
“Right now we have said everyone please self-isolate. Even if members are fully vaccinated, we are asking people to mask up and glove up and social distance right now.”
The community is also banning visits to KFN homes, is asking people to stay people stay home if they are not feeling well and to call 911 if members feel any symptoms.
All social contact should be strictly avoided.
Martel said that to help accommodate people who have to stay home under the circumstances, KFN leadership are organizing a team of people to help drop off food, cleaning supplies, masks and other necessary items.
This story will be updated.