The Northwestern Health Unit has joined with the Kenora Chiefs Advisory and the Kenora District Services Board, as they address concerns in the community, during the outbreak.

While health unit records show 101 active cases in the catchment area, the medical officer of health Dr. Kit Young Hoon says there's no evidence of spread within the municipality of Kenora. The concerns come from the possibility of transmission from Whitedog First Nation members, who have been sent to the city for self-isolation, due to the lack of space in the First Nation. 

Leadership at the First Nation has been working with the federal government to add new self-isolation spaces at Whitedog. The First Nation is the focus of the outbreak in the Kenora area. 

"We understand that seeing a large number of new COVID-19 cases in the Kenora area is unsettling and may cause concern for some people," it said in a media release issued earlier this afternoon by the health unit, in partnership with the chiefs' advisory and services board.

"Be assured that health care providers and other sectors are working together to ensure public safety. An outbreak situation like what is currently being seen is serious, but we must remain calm and logical. At this time, there is no evidence of spread within the municipality of Kenora," the release continued.

The agencies noted there have been similar outbreaks in many communities across the country. Cases have also been reported at Northwest Angle.

Yesterday, Kenora detachment commander Insp. Jeff Duggan of the OPP said they were getting calls from the public, who were assuming First Nation members had COVID and they were breaking self-isolation. He called these 'dangerous assumptions,' and he encouraged city residents to be supportive of their neighbours in a difficult time.

Earlier today, Queen's Park decided to leave the district in the yellow-protect category for the province's COVID-19 framework. Yellow is the second-lowest category on the scale, above green. 

The message is being supported and distributed by:

  • City of Kenora
  • Kenora Chiefs Advisory
  • Kenora District Services Board
  • Lake of the Woods District Hospital
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ontario Provincial Police
  • Treaty 3 Police
  • Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig (WNHAC)

For more information:

Media release from Northwestern Health Unit, Kenora Chiefs Advisory, Kenora District Services Board

Health unit to remain in "Yellow-Protect" despite rise in COVID cases