Andrew Yesno was thawing a couple of geese he pulled from the freezer to pluck when the phone rang inside of his parents’ property.

He washed his palms, picked up the cellular phone and read the voice of Eabemetoong’s acting head nurse on the other stop telling him his outcomes have been back and he was favourable for COVID-19.

It was April 5, and Yesno was the community’s very first beneficial COVID-19 case — and the very first in a northern Ontario 1st Country. Yesno, a band councillor, had been in self-isolation since arriving again in the group on March 28 from a vacation to Thunder Bay. 

“Her simply call was, ‘It’s heading to be an first shock, but have you been wherever?'” reported Yesno.

“They explained to me to stay set, that they would be there.”

Yesno said the nurse requested him a selection of thoughts in excess of the telephone about his actions and sites he stayed prior to his arrival in the community.

Yesno reported an additional nurse then confirmed up outside the residence and donned full protective equipment — mask, facial area shield, gloves and gown.

“There were being folks going for walks by and they ended up wanting to know what the heck was going on,” explained Yesno.

“That is how term form of distribute since men and women understood I was the only a single in the dwelling at the time.” 

When the nurse entered the dwelling she took his temperature, which Yesno said was 36 C, and checked the oxygen amount in his blood, which was also fine.

“She reported, ‘I wished the news did not occur on a Sunday… We have to enable you know,'” he said. 

Referred to as family and buddies

Yesno mentioned he phoned his moms and dads, who were being in Thunder Bay for health-related reasons, and contacted the band council. Two councillors then went on the regional radio station that evening to announce the positive COVID-19 result. 

Yesno also phoned his youthful brother, who, alongside with his girlfriend, had picked him up at the airport when he arrived. 

“I instructed him to call and get tested mainly because I was in near proximity to you,” he claimed.

Yesno stated the nursing station explained to his brother that he and his girlfriend, who weren’t exhibiting any signs, were being at reduced risk of getting been contaminated but they ended up examined very last week and have been self-isolating.

He also contacted a close friend in Thunder Bay he experienced stayed with through his time away from the local community who has considering that examined destructive for COVID-19.

Yesno stated the only COVID-19 associated signs and symptoms he is expert to date are some tiredness and a again ache. His only companion about the past two weeks in self-isolation has been his parents’ pet dog, a Shih Tzu-combine named Zoey. 

Eabametoong Initial Nation Coun. Andrew Yesno has been posting his artwork in his windows. (Submitted by Andrew Yesno)

He’s also been rediscovering artwork, waking up early, brewing espresso and drawing pieces he then tapes to the windows.   

“It is really just to let individuals know I am performing Ok,” he stated.

“It really is not public that it is me, but most persons in the community by now know.”

Yesno mentioned he is also continuing his function as a band councillor.

Tested in the course of nursing station stop by

An unrelated ailment led to his getting examined for the virus.

In the early early morning hours of April 1, Yesno woke up with a swollen eye and a swollen lip. It was about 3 a.m. and, believing he was struggling from an allergic reaction, he went to the nursing station. 

There, a nurse gave him Benadryl, but while hunting above his chart observed he had a record of pneumonia. Yesno said she listened to his upper body with a stethoscope and prompt he get tested for COVID-19.

“When she very first observed me, she was not putting on a mask. [She said], ‘After listening to your upper body I ought to set on a mask … I imagine I am going to take into account getting a swab,'” reported Yesno.

The nurse arrived back with protective covering and took his exam.

“By sheer probability, if it was not for the allergic response, I would have never recognized,” he explained. 

Yesno mentioned the nurse was flown out on a charter almost instantly after his beneficial final result and was tested, but the consequence was destructive.

Most likely contracted virus in Thunder Bay

Yesno explained he probable picked up the virus even though he was in Thunder Bay for about two months. The Thunder Bay District Well being Unit has nevertheless not been able to decide where he might have contracted it, he explained.

Yesno reported he invested five days in healthcare facility to acquire remedy for a blood infection, four times in two lodges and 4 times in a personal home.

Yesno claimed he was initially supposed to stay in hospital for 25 days, but thinks he was discharged for the reason that the facility was freeing up beds in preparing to offer with a attainable influx of COVID-19 situations.

Eabametoong First Nation band Coun. Andrew Yesno has been generating artwork all through his time with COVID-19. (Submitted by Andrew Yesno)

The Thunder Bay Health Sciences Centre stated in an emailed assertion that no COVID-19 circumstances experienced yet been traced to the healthcare facility and referred even more issues to the district wellbeing unit.  

The Thunder Bay District Health Device stated in an emailed assertion it would not comment on details about unique circumstances. The district wellbeing unit mentioned that it partners with the Initially Nations and Inuit Wellness Department — which is section of Indigenous Services Canada — and the Sioux Lookout First Nation Well being Authority (SLFNHA) when working with COVID-19 scenarios that cross jurisdictional traces. 

The SLFNHA — which addresses Eabametoong — did not return a request for remark. 

Make contact with tracing delayed

Eabametoong Chief Harvey Yesno has claimed that get hold of tracing on Andrew Yesno’s scenario was delayed by at minimum 24 hrs. 

Andrew Yesno said he is familiar with firsthand that contact tracing was delayed. He said he individually obtained in contact with all the individuals he was in speak to with during the 14 days prior to his arrival in Eabametoong.

“They experienced never been contacted them selves,” he mentioned. 

He mentioned 1 of his contacts received in touch with the Thunder Bay District Overall health Unit prior to they got in contact with them. 

“We have been led to believe that the speak to tracing was staying completed from Thunder Bay or from the nursing station right here and what we identified out is that none of it had been done,” he said.

“It was still left to our personal unexpected emergency response workforce to perform it.”

Eabametoong First Country band Coun. Andrew Yesno’s artwork accomplished through his time with COVID-19. (Submitted by Andrew Yesno)

Indigenous Solutions Canada denies get in touch with tracing was delayed and has mentioned that it commenced quickly on April 5 and that a overall of 11 persons were being recognized as probable contacts — five from Thunder Bay, 3 from Eabametoong, two from Webequie and 1 from Neskantaga.

Andrew Yesno said Eabametoong is executing what it can with constrained supplies and aid from the govt to prepare for the probable unfold of COVID-19 now that it truly is arrived. 

Eight COVID-19 exams were flown out by charter Saturday and six additional tests ended up despatched out Wednesday. No good effects other than Andrew Yesno’s have yet been claimed in Eabametoong.

The band council recently handed a resolution empowering the Nishnawbe Aski Police Company to implement keep at house orders and 14-working day quarantine prerequisites for individuals who return to the community, he claimed.

He said any fear he felt immediately after finding out his COVID-19 consequence was confused by what he felt for his neighborhood. As a band councillor, he claimed he has been involved from the commencing about the infection arriving in his neighborhood.  

“There was a large amount of worry in the community, a lot of persons worried and terrified that it experienced arrived below,” he claimed.

“Becoming in an isolated group with overcrowded housing, it truly is a large problem, it would not get a great deal to spread like wildfire.”

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