By Tawnya Plain Eagle
Total cases of COVID-19 on the Piikani Nation remain at two as strict temporary shutdown procedures have taken place this month.
On Nov 6, the Piikani Nation headed into another shutdown as second wave of COVID-19 cases continue to sweep through the province.
Aakom-Kiyii Health Services has been working with the Piikani Nation leadership, to respond pro-actively rather than reactionary, in regard to COVID-19 protocols.
“Leadership has implemented mandatory mask wearing, calling for no visitors from outside the community, and establishing a curfew as specific ways to protect the Piikani Nation membership.” Said TC Wells, Covid-19 response team lead.
By taking these extreme measure as quickly as possible helps prevent a potential outbreak in the community.
To date, The COVID Response Team has completed 4,166 tests and have to several “low risk” situations that have impacted select departments.
“Individuals directly impacted by these events have been contacted by Aakom-Kiyii Health Services directly,” Wells said.
Who is considered close contact to a positive case?
The link to the virus all starts with a Positive case.
Once a positive case is confirmed, Aakom-Kiyii Health Services will reach out to the individual, to ask additional questions and give isolation orders.
“Aakom-Kiyii Health Services contact tracing team will then work with the individual to identify who they have been in close contact with and encourage those individuals to get tested.” Wells said.
To be considered close contact to a case you must have been within two meters of a positive case for more than 15 minutes, came into direct contact with infectious body fluids of a positive case, or provides care, lives with, or has close physical contact with a positive case without appropriate use of personal protective equipment.
According to Alberta Health Services protocols you are legally required to isolate if you are considered a close contact.
“There are no isolation orders given to Secondary or Tertiary contacts of a positive case.” He added.
According to Wells, not all individuals who are in close contact with a positive case, will acquire the virus and not all individuals who acquire the virus will become ill, or show symptoms of the virus.
“We must understand that each of us, are unique. Our immune systems vary greatly from one another.” He added.
As more research is done on this strain of the virus, he hopes experts will be soon be able to better understand COVID-19.