The seven COVID-19 cases reported Monday night are all at the Constance Lake First Nation, west of Hearst.  Chief Rick Allen confirms that they’re on top of two reported on the weekend.. and result from testing during contact tracing.

A stay at home order is in effect until Thursday at noon, and the current lockdown until February 10th. Allen says band members are only allowed to leave the community on Thursdays between noon and eight.

“It will be an opportunity for members to go and get their essential things that they need in Hearst or wherever you may get it,” he outlines, “such as your groceries, your prescriptions, your medical supplies, your baby supplies, whatever you may need.”

Only one person per vehicle can leave.  Exceptions are if you’re taking a taxi – you can be the driver’s only passenger; single parents with small kids; and anyone with a medical appointment.

Constance Lake First Nation Chief Rick Allen

A visibly shaken Chief Allen is urging band members to follow all the protocols in place.  He assures them external help is on the way, including extra Nishnawbe Aski police officers.

“It’s time to stand up and do what’s right and be Constance Lake strong,” he says. “We can do this and we will. Let’s remain positive, support each other, let’s not shame each other. It’s not our fault.”

The chief adds that the disease doesn’t pick who it wants, it just comes when it wants.