New active COVID-19 cases in both Kenora and Sioux-Lookout

Staff Writer
Natali Trivuncic

The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) announced five active COVID-19 cases, one in the Kenora region and four in the Sioux Lookout region over the past week. Two of the Sioux Lookout cases were announced Monday and were not linked to the previous cluster of three cases announced last week.
Dr. Kit Young-Hoon, medical officer of health at the NWHU said that as cases rise they remind residents to keep vigilant in practicing prevention measures. Young-Hoon adds that communities must do their part by continuing to limit social gathers, only being within two metres with members of your household and continuing to wash hands frequently.
“The most common method of transmission is through close contact with others, Young-Hoon said. “Not everyone who has COVID-19 is very ill and they are able to pass it on without knowing.”
Young-Hoon adds that in some cases people are infectious two days before they show symptoms which is why limiting the number of interactions is important to contain the spread.
Manitoba is moving to red critical level province-wide; it was previously just applied to Winnipeg. Young-Hoon said the NWHU is strongly recommending that people avoid non-essential to Manitoba and is also recommending that those who must travel to Winnipeg to minimize interactions with others in the 14 days after returning. This includes avoiding visiting individuals who are at higher risk for catching the virus, such as those in long-term care homes, those over the age of 60 and those who are immunocompromised.
Young-Hoon said that travel restrictions are not changing but they are monitoring the nature of COVID-19 cases.
The NWHU also suggests avoiding public transit situations where it’s difficult to physically distance or situations where people might be shouting or singing.
The two most recent cases in Sioux Lookout are being managed by the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority and they have indicated that the two cases are linked to travel outside of the region.
Young-Hoon said that with the nature of COVID-19, it’s not always clear where a person could’ve gotten the infection. However, most cases popping up across the region are known to be contacts of previous cases.
“It give us a good sense of where COVID-19 could be picked up from and for the most part many of these cases are with some travel from outside the region,” Young-Hoon said.
Since March there have been 80 positive COVID-19 cases and two probable in the NWHU region.