October 23rd, 2020

Saskatchewan First Nation locks down after COVID cases spread from religious meetings

By The Canadian Press on October 8, 2020.

REGINA – A northern Saskatchewan First Nation is on lockdown over concerns of COVID-19 transmission following a series of religious services where participants were unmasked.

The Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation has closed its three communities of Southend, Sturgeon Landing and an urban reserve in the city of Prince Albert.

Chief Peter Beatty says all vehicles entering the community will be searched and no parties would be allowed.

The band has also closed its two schools until at least Oct. 19, because of possible staff exposure to the virus.

Band education co-ordinator Greg Seib says the schools and school buses are being cleaned and sanitized.

The announcements came after the Saskatchewan Health Authority said it was investigating a community transmitted COVID-19 outbreak that involves contact tracing more than 100 people linked to a series of Full Gospel Outreach events in Prince Albert from Sept. 14 to last Sunday.

Six people who attended the events have tested positive and Saskatchewan health authority spokesman Doug Dahl says more are expected.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020

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