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Onion Lake Cree Nation advises of COVID-19 exposure at funerals

The Onion Lake Cree Nation Health Clinic is advising people that attended some funerals in the area that they have been exposed to COVID-19.

Indigenous Services Canada public health officials say the funerals were at the Onion Lake Hall from January 6th-8th and January 9th to 11th. Public health says that anyone who attended needs to self-isolate for 14 days starting from the date they attended.

They should be watching for symptoms of COVID-19, and they can arrange to test for COVID-19 whether these develop or not.

Dr Ibrahim Khan, Chief Medical Health Officer for Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch in Saskatchewan, said in his letter that while funerals, like all other gatherings, should be postponed but that he understands that this is not always possible.

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In that vein, he says there are ways to prevent the spread at the funerals, and people should follow strict guidelines. Khan suggests that people stay in their immediate family cohort, and when possible have different times whether other family cohorts can come to pay their respects.

It’s also recommended that people limit the number of attendees, keep the contact information of everyone attending for tracing purposes if needed and if someone is at risk of serious COVID complications, they should stay home.

Visitors should also mask up, wash their hands, avoid physical contact and stay outside whenever possible. Food and drink should continue to not be served as well.

Khan adds that by setting a good example following guidelines, it can encourage others in the community, especially young people, to continue keeping up with the rules as well.

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