Fort William First Nation reports first case of COVID-19


Due to the positive case, more restrictions are expected in the community, although businesses are not expected to close

FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION – After avoiding any positive cases since the start of the pandemic, Fort William First Nation is reporting its first case of COVID-19, which will result in further community restrictions.

“We are not living a shell. We thought he was coming here, ”said Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins. “We’ve taken all the steps necessary to prevent this from happening, but when you have to go to work, that’s what it is and we’ll deal with it as we go.

Collins learned of the positive case late Thursday afternoon and it involves a community member who allegedly contracted COVID-19 while working outside the community.

“We have taken every step to make sure the family is safe and also aware of the environment around the rest of the members of our community,” Collins said. “Our emergency response team has been working since we were notified to ensure the family has adequate supplies and that members are fully informed of the situation.”

Earlier this week, the Fort William First Nation set up checkpoints on Mission Road to prevent people from entering the community for non-essential reasons.

Collins said there would be more lockdowns in place in light of the positive case, but the band council will need to determine what those restrictions look like this weekend.

Collins said on Friday it would most likely involve the closure of the hockey arena and bingo hall, while businesses are expected to remain open.

“It’s a discussion we’ll be leaving with the board,” Collins said. “Our emergency response team made recommendations, but companies are not yet part of that recommendation.”

Collins said they will continue to monitor the situation and take whatever steps are necessary to keep the community safe.

“These fears will always be there, no matter what community you come from,” he said. “We are all afraid of catching this virus and God forbid that it will develop in our community.”


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