OHSWEKEN — Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Chief Mark Hill announced two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community.
According to a statement from Six Nations of the Grand River, the positive test results were reported on March 27.
Hill made the announcement during a daily update on local radio station CKRZ-FM. Hill did not confirm the ages or gender of those infected but said both persons began self-isolating as soon as they developed symptoms and continued to self-isolate until test results were available.
Six Nations Public Health is reaching out to those who were in contact with the persons in the last while to track possible transmission pathways.
“The COVID-19 virus is here in Six Nations of the Grand River. The global death rate due to COVID-19 is 5%. This means, if we do not reduce exposure to one another, the strong potential exists that 5 out of 100 people in Six Nations will die,” said Lori Davis Hill, Six Nations Health Director.
Hill called on all community smoke shops to close up immediately and for gas stations to suspend all tobacco sales in the community.
Since Friday’s announcement that the community would shut it’s borders to non-band members, throngs of shoppers lined up at local gas stations and tobacco outlets before they were shut out from accessing them. Bringing with them an increased potential for more local transmission of the coronavirus pandemic on Six Nations.
Six Nations Director of Public Works Micheal Montour was also alongside Chief Hill during the public announcement and shared that there will be 8 access points to the community. Montour said a map will be circulating soon of those locations.
SNGR says at the checkpoints, travellers will be assessed for symptoms and given information on local emergency measures, and health and safety information.
“The death rate has been as high as 10 percent of confirmed cases in some of the hardest-hit parts of the world – and we know our population is vulnerable,” says Lori Davis Hill. “Elders, smokers, and people with pre-existing illnesses are at a much higher risk, so we really need to take this news seriously and work together to reduce the spread of the virus and literally save lives.”