COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: What you need to know

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COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: What you need to know's Profile


The number of COVID-19 vaccinations given in First Nations and Inuit communities is steadily increasing, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

To date, a total of 484,560 vaccine doses have been administered in 687 First Nations and Inuit communities. The number includes 167,818 second doses. Nunavut will begin vaccinating youth 12-17 starting June 15.

As of May 31, there were 705 active cases of the virus in First Nations. The majority of new infections have been in Manitoba. As of June 1, there were nine active cases in Nunavut, all in Iqaluit.

Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 29,806 cases in First Nations communities. Eight deaths were reported since last week, bringing the total number of First Nations people living on-reserve who have died from the virus to 341. The total number of hospitalizations rose to 1,355. The number of First Nations people who have recovered from the disease is now at 28,756. 

Total cases in First Nations communities per region reported as of May 31:

  • British Columbia: 3,098
  • Alberta: 8,440
  • Saskatchewan: 7,187
  • Manitoba: 8,136
  • Ontario: 2,176
  • Quebec: 739
  • Atlantic: 22

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 or lost a loved one to COVID-19. If you would like to share your story, please email us at indigenous@cbc.ca.



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