Insp. Jeff Duggan says the OPP are getting erroneous calls from the public, which say a person from Whitedog is in Kenora, they've got COVID-19 and they aren't isolating.

"That's definitely dangerous for people to just assume somebody has COVID," said the Kenora detachment commander, during a phone interview earlier this evening.

The detachment commander emphasizes they've only issued one ticket during the pandemic, and it wasn't during the recent outbreak. In most cases, he said talking with the people involved is enough to get compliance with public health measures.

Earlier this week, the Northwestern Health Unit issued a special order, which allowed for the forcible confinement of individuals breaking a public health order. However, Duggan said no tickets or confinement orders have since been issued.

The OPP is working with a number of community partners, including the Makwa Patrol -- formerly the Bear Clan Patrol -- as well as WNHAC (Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig Health Access Centre), the Kenora Chiefs Advisory or Ogimaawabiitong and the health unit. The police service is also offering members of their liaison team, in order to build stronger relationships. 

"I think it's just really important that we support -- not only Wabaseemoong -- but the other communities that do have people staying in Kenora," the inspector continued.

"Kenora's always been a community that reaches out and extends a hand to help people. That's certainly what we're doing in this case, as well. If one community or two communities have outbreaks, then Kenora's going to be there to support them," he said.

The Northwestern Health Unit reported another five cases of the coronavirus in their catchment area today, including two in the Dryden / Red Lake region and three in the Kenora area. The region currently has 88 active cases of COVID-19, including 82 in the Kenora region. 

For more information:

Ottawa helping to create isolation spaces for Whitedog outbreak

Kenora mayor offers support to Whitedog's chief, during outbreak

Rickford offers update on coronavirus cases, vaccinations