by Jeremy Appel, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
(ANNews) – In the span of one month, COVID cases have increased by 420 per cent in First Nations communities, according to a letter from a senior federal health official.
Dr. Chris Sarin, senior medical officer of health for Indigenous Services Canada, notes a Delta variant-driven surge in COVID cases across Alberta has spread to 35 First Nations communities.
There have been 317 cases recorded on First Nations communities in Alberta during August, he wrote on Aug. 25 in a letter posted to Facebook by the Beaver Lake Cree Nation.
Some cases are connected with the Alberta Indigenous Games, which took place this year in Edmonton, Sarin added.
The provincial regime of widespread testing, contact tracing and isolation is scheduled to end Sept. 27. As a result, Indigenous Services Canada is working to co-ordinate with First Nations communities in Alberta so they can continue to test, manage cases and do contact tracing.
The letter identifies vaccination for those 12 and older as the most crucial COVID mitigation effort at this time.
Those looking for further information, particularly that concerning the upcoming K-12 school year, can visit Alberta OneHealth’s COVID-19 page for resources.