COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: total cases in First Nations surpass 11,000


The number of active COVID-19 cases in First Nations communities continues to rise, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

As of Jan. 11, 4,225 active cases were reported in First Nations. In a Jan. 8 update, the federal department said there was a reduction in the number of newly reported cases the week of Dec. 27 to Jan. 2, versus three weeks previously.

But the data does not take into account new outbreaks that have since occurred. In Manitoba, First Nations now account for 40 per cent of new infections while making up about 10 per cent of the overall provincial population.

Five new cases were also reported in Tobique First Nation, marking the first COVID-19 cases in a First Nation community in New Brunswick.

There have been a total of 33 cases reported in the Nunavik region of Quebec and all but two have recovered.

New milestones reached

Two grim new milestones were also reached this week with total cases in First Nations surpassing 10,000 cases. There have been a total of 11,229 cases on-reserve since the pandemic started. Sixteen more people have died from the virus, bringing the toll to 103. 

The total number of hospitalizations rose to 494. The number of First Nations people who have recovered from the disease is now at 6,901.

Total cases on First Nations reserves per region reported as of Jan. 11:

  • British Columbia: 954
  • Alberta: 3,639
  • Saskatchewan: 2,906
  • Manitoba: 3,000
  • Ontario: 338
  • Quebec: 384
  • Atlantic: 8

Pandemic stories


What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • new or worsening cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • temperature equal to or over 38°C
  • feeling feverish
  • chills
  • fatigue or weakness
  • muscle or body aches
  • new loss of smell or taste
  • headache
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
  • feeling very unwell

If you think you may have COVID-19, please consult your local health department to book an appointment at a screening clinic. 


CBC Indigenous is looking to hear from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who have contracted COVID-19. If you would like to share your experience, please email us at [email protected].



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