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COVID-19 in Eeyou Istchee

ᔦᐦᔦᐙᔅᐱᓀᐎᓐ ᐁ ᐋᔔᒦᑐᓈᓅᒡ
yehyewaaspinewin e aashuumiitunaanuuch
Audio file
ᐄᔨᔨᐅᔨᒧᐎᓐ | IIYIYIUYIMUWIN - Make it a habit to follow COVID-19 precautions

COVID-19 in Eeyou Istchee


  • The COVID-19 regional case count is no longer updated on this page as of May 2023.
  • The COVID-19 virus is still circulating and can make people very sick.
  • Make it a habit to follow precautions and stay informed about the disease.
  • Together, we can keep the circle of protection strong around our communities.


What is COVID-19?


  • COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2.
  • It can spread between people. 
  • Symptoms of an infection can be mild, moderate or severe. Some people may become very sick and require hospitalization. 
  • Older people and people with underlying medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease or cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

How does COVID-19 spread?


  • The virus can spread from an infected person's mouth or nose through large or small droplets when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe.
  • COVID-19 can also spread by touching something that has the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands.
  • People can catch the COVID-19 virus, carry it, and spread it to others even if they don't have any symptoms. 




Symptoms can vary from one person to the next depending on factors like age, medical conditions, and the virus variants. 

Some people may have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all (asymptomatic). 

Other people may become very sick and need to be hospitalized. 

On average, it takes 5 - 6 days from when someone is infected for symptoms to show. It can also take up to 14 days for symptoms to develop.

Some of the more common symptoms reported include:

  • Sore throat 
  • Runny nose 
  • Sneezing 
  • New or worsening cough 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Feeling feverish or chills 
  • Temperature equal to or more than 38°C 
  • Fatigue or weakness 
  • Muscle or body aches 
  • New loss of smell or taste 
  • Headache 
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting 
  • Feeling very unwell


COVID-19 Precautions and Prevention

Image of a COVID-19 swab test in a tube filled with liquid

1- Make it a habit to get tested 


  • If you have any symptoms
  • Before medical appointments in the South


Image of a mitchuap with a two-storey house next to it.

2 - Stay home if you feel sick or test positive


  • We recommend that you isolate for 7 -10 full days, depending on your situation, even if you don’t have symptoms. Monitor yourself for symptoms during that time.
  • If you start to feel sick while isolating assume you are positive. 
  • Let your contacts know you tested positive so that they can take steps to protect themselves and people around them.
  • If you think you’re a close contact of a positive case: Assume you are positive. We recommend that you take needed precautions.
Image of a pill bottle and pill blister pack

3- Antiviral treatment is available in Eeyou Istchee


  • Antivirals don't cure COVID-19, but they can reduce how long and how sick you are. 
  • Antiviral treatment can help reduce the risks of severe illness and hospitalization caused by a COVID-19 infection.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are any of the following: 

  • An organ transplant recipient   
  • Taking an immunosuppressant medication (see questionnaire for list)  
  • Receiving active treatment for cancer  
  • Pregnant  
  • 18 years and older with a chronic medical condition (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, or chronic heart, lung, liver or kidney disease)
  • You have had 2 or fewer doses of a COVID-19 vaccine AND you are: 60 years and older  
Image of a person wearing a medical mask

4- Wear a mask when recommended


  • Masking in certain situations protects you and people around you from airborne viruses such as COVID-19, the flu, and common cold.
  • We recommend you wear a mask:
    • When you feel sick
    • When you travel by plane (including the medical charter)
    • When you visit with people who have vulnerable health (Elderly, immunocompromised, dialysis, transplant recipients)
    • When you are in a large indoor gathering
Image of a vaccine vial with a green plus + sign

5- Update your COVID-19 vaccination


  • COVID-19 vaccines provide the best protection against severe illness and hospitalization.
  • People with updated COVID-19 vaccination have lower chances of getting very sick or ending up in hospital with complications.
  • COVID-19 vaccination protection fades with time.
  • Booster shots maintain vaccine protection.
  • A booster is recommended if your last COVID-19 dose was 5 months ago or longer. 



The Cree Board of Health recommends you wear a mask in certain situations to protect yourself and people around you.


The Wîchihîwâuwin Helpline provides a safe space for people who need to talk on the phone about any difficult situation concerning their well-being

ᒥᓯᐙ ᓈᑭᑎᐙᔨᒦᓲᒄ

It is important to look after yourself. Self-care is part of staying balanced and healthy, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically.

COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many customs and practices in Cree culture, including grieving & mourning loved ones who have passed.

Our Partners

Grand Council of the Crees logo
Santé et des Services sociaux logo
Health Canada logo