COVID-19 Regional Update
By Don Norman
Despite a spate of business lockdowns earlier this week, and some ensuing social media panic, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in Pine Falls since April.
Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority CEO, Ron Van Denakker said that there has been no evidence to suggest there was any community transmission in Pine Falls. “I can tell you that our public health folks have been very diligent with contact tracing,” said Van Denakker. He added that any businesses that closed did so on their own volition, not because of any provincial orders as a result of possible transmission.
This fact is also reflected in the latest COVID-19 report from the province, which now include case data on a community level. The data (see graph) shows no active cases in Pine Falls.
In fact, while there was a recent outbreak in the Interlake-Eastern Health Region last month, there have been only two new cases identified in the past two weeks in the entire region.
The names of the regions don’t actually pertain to the municpalities. For instance, Powerview-Pine Falls includes the actual municipality, but also Sagkeeng, Manigotagan, Bissett, Hollow Water and Black River. Lac du Bonnet/Pinawa, includes the municipalities of Lac du Bonnet (town and RM), Pinawa, and Alexander. There is one active case listed in the Pinawa/Lac du Bonnet region.
As a result of the province-wide spike in cases, Sagkeeng has opted to re-establish the check points for drivers entering the community. There will be three check points, two on Highway 11 (Catfish Creek and Pine Falls) and one on the North Shore Road.
The notice, posted on the First Nation’s Facebook page on Wednesday, warns drivers to cooperate with check point staff. “If you are not a resident and passig thourgh to Pine Falls or Beaches areas for shopping or employment purposes, you must disclose this. If you are not a resident of Sagkeeng and uncoopertavie with staff at the check points you will be turned away.”
The check stops went into effect today (August 14) and will be in place until August 28. There will also be a midnight to 6:00 a.m. curfew beginning tonight.