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Siksika First Nation Just Announced An Investigation On 276 Possible COVID-19 Cases

An Alberta First Nations community is on high alert. On Sunday, July 5, Siksika First Nation announced that 276 people are under investigation for having potentially contracted COVID-19. As a result, the community is imposing a daily curfew to control the issue. 

According to a Facebook post made by Siksika Health Services, 276 people as of Sunday were under "under active investigation and daily follow up." 

Therefore, 276 people are suspected to potentially be infected with COVID-19.

Global News reported that "overcrowding" in some residences is a factor that's lead Siksika First Nation to investigate so many people.

Many of the tests are coming back negative, said Councillor Ruben Beaker, according to Global. 

The First Nation also announced that a total of 21 cases have been confirmed in the community as of July 5. 

As of now, 11 people have already recovered, leaving 10 active cases in the First Nation. 

The post also noted that 41 individuals or households have been given isolation support, such as food and supplies. 

Non-essential travel outside the Siksika First Nation is not being advised by the health service. Other health measures such as staying home when sick and washing hands frequently are being advised. 

The authorities have also identified seven case clusters linked to Siksika Nation, both on and off-reserve, said a post on July 3. 

Case clusters, as explained by Science News, refers to a number of COVID-19 cases that have been linked to a single location. 

In a video message posted on Facebook, Siksika Chief Ouray Crowfood explained the situation and how the leadership plans to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

"Based on the information, council has decided to institute a temporary curfew on the Nation," said the Chief. 

The curfew will be in place from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. daily until further notice. 

"Should you require to be out past this curfew for work or other specific reasons, we can address these exceptions on as-needed curfew," he said.  

Crowfoot also said in the video that his council had meetings on Friday with Alberta Health Services, Indigenous Affairs Minister Marc Miller and Minister Rick Wilson. 

"These meetings were primarily to address the shortcomings, the shortfalls in resources and funding regards to this pandemic," said Crowfoot. 

He went on to say that COVID-19 "has disrupted our normal way of life." 

The Chief concluded the video by asking for the community's continued support and cooperation as they seek to help combat the spread of the disease.