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COVID-19: September 15 update

Audio file
September 15 update from Vice-Chair Christine Petawabano on JBCCS
September 17, 2021

The Cree Nation now has a full vaccination rate of 85% among people who are older than 18.  

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The Cree Health Board extends deep condolences to the family of a Mistissini Elder who passed away last week. She passed away on September 8 from complications due to Covid-19. We share the sadness of losing a cherished member of the Cree Nation. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and community. 

4th wave update 

Cases of COVID-19 are increasing across Canada, and here in Quebec. Most of these new cases are caused by the Delta variant of the corona virus. This variant is more contagious, and spreads more quickly between people. In Quebec, the Delta variant is now reported in all regions.  

In the Cree Nation, we still have 2 active cases related to the 4th wave of the pandemic that started in mid-August. The last positive case was reported 10 days ago. Most of the people identified during contact tracing will finish their isolation this week. Public Health considers these clusters of cases to be contained.  

The Cree Health Board acknowledges and thanks every person who was asked to isolate and get tested during these events. These individual and collective efforts to follow precautionary measures were key to contain further spread of infection. 

We know that precautionary measures in place on charter flights to and from the south work well to protect people who have to travel for medical care.  

The Cree Health Board encourages all patients and escorts to honour their medical appointments this fall. We want people to follow through with their medical care. Your appointments are safe, and the Cree Health Board will support you during your travels for medical care. 

The Cree Nation has had more than 25 cases of COVID-19 reported in our region since the start of the 4th wave. Public Health believes most of the new cases since mid-August are related to the Delta variant, which spreads more easily and quickly.  

  • Most of these cases have affected people under the age of 40.  
  • Most of these cases have infected people who are not vaccinated, or who are partially vaccinated.  
  • Some of the cases involve people who are fully vaccinated.  

When there is a threat of Covid infection, we know that contact tracing, isolation, and testing will reduce risks to our communities.  

With cases rising again in Montreal and in Quebec, we want to remind everyone about basic precautionary measures when travelling outside of Eeyou Istchee.  

Wear a mask properly (to cover nose and mouth) when needed 

  • Physical distancing from people who don’t live with you. 
  • Limit contact with people you don’t know.  

We’ve learned through the pandemic that precautionary measures are layers of protection. They work best if people follow all measures.  

COVID-19 Vaccination 

The Cree Nation now has a full vaccination rate of 85 % among people who are older than 18.  

This means that more than 8 out of 10 people older than 18 have received two doses of the vaccine.  

If you have been fully vaccinated, we thank you. Vaccination is an important layer of protection against severe disease caused by the coronavirus. 

The Cree Health Board would more youth and young adults to get vaccinated this fall.  

The Cree Nation’s vaccination rate for ages 18-40 is at about 70%. This is 7 out of 10 people. We want to increase this rate in the fall season.  

If you are an Eeyoutch/Eenoutch aged 12-40, it’s your turn to get the vaccine.  

If you’re not sure about what to do, here are some aspects to consider: 

The 4th wave of COVID-19 is moving through children in schools across Quebec. 

  • Our young children can’t be vaccinated against Covid-19.  
  • As youth 12 + and adults, we can provide some protection to our children by getting vaccinated.  
  • If you are fully vaccinated, you are better protected from getting very sick from the coronavirus. 
  • Full vaccination (with two doses) offers you protection against severe forms of the disease, and reduces the chance of hospitalization. 
  • If you’re still unsure about your choice, please reach out to your CHR to talk about your options. 
  • It’s not too late to get vaccinated. Call your CMC to make an appointment. 

Vaccination Passport Update 

The vaccination passport with QR code is now in effect in Quebec. This passport is in effect in Quebec, outside of Eeyou Istchee, to access non-essential services.  

The QR passport is in effect in Chibougamau, Valdor, Montreal, Quebec City, and other regions where Cree travel. 

The vaccination passport is not currently required in Eeyou Istchee. Cree leadership is reviewing this, and it will be discussed in coming weeks. 

We have seen the reports about mandatory vaccination for health care workers in Quebec. The Cree Public Health is part of these discussions. The Cree Health Board will provide more information about this course of action, when it’s available in coming days.  

Changes to Areas of Risk 

Region 12 – Chaudiere-Appalaches has been added to the Map of Areas of Risk. The following regions are still considered areas of risk:  

  • Region 7 Outaouais 
  • Region 5 – Estrie 
  • Region 4 - Mauricie et Centre-du-Québec 
  • Region 6 – Montréal 
  • Region 13 – Laval 
  • Region 14 – Lanaudière 
  • Region 15 – Laurentides 
  • Region 16 – Montérégie 

Ottawa, Hastings, and Eastern Ontario are also considered areas of risk. 

People who are travelling from these regions will be required to self-isolate when they return to their community, whether or not they are vaccinated. 


Thumbnail of CNG Areas of Risk map


View the interactive map on

Reminder: Check with your PSO before traveling outside of Eeyou Istchee.

The Cree Nation Government and the Cree Board of Health are closely monitoring our neighbouring areas to assess the risks associated with travel. We are looking for any increase in the number of cases, changes in the regions' ability to manage epidemics, and their ability to conduct contact tracing.

Here are the isolation requirements for people returning from areas of risk: 

  • If you are fully vaccinated with 2 doses, you need to self-isolate for 7 days + a test on Day 5. 
  • If you are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, with 1 dose, you need self-isolate for 10 days + a test between Day 5-7. 

Screening Tests 

If you have recently travelled, but aren’t isolating, the Health Board encourages you to get a Covid test. This is especially recommended for people who are not vaccinated. Contact your CMC for a test.  

Ongoing Staff Shortage at CMCs in Eeyou Istchee 

The Cree Health Board continues to experience a shortage of staff at CMCs in Eeyou Istchee.  

We are grateful for the dedication of our front-line workers. We ask everyone to treat our CMC staff with care and respect during these challenging times.  

The Wiichihiiwaauwin Helpline is open 24/7 to anyone who wants to call and talk to someone. It is a safe and confidential space to share.  

Wiichihiiwaauwin (Mental Health) Helpline

Service available 24/7. Cree speakers and Elders are available upon request

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Contact tracing is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helps protect you, your family, and your community.

The Delta variant is more contagious and can cause more severe disease.  A person with the Delta variant will infect more people than if they had other variants. The Delta variant may lead to more hospitalizations and complications.


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