Garden River First Nation (Christian D'Avino/CTV Northern Ontario)

Checkpoints are up at all roads leading into Garden River First Nation in response to rising COVID-19 cases in Sault Ste Marie, as well as one confirmed case within Garden River itself.

“We have our checkpoint here at Syrette Lake Road onto Highway17A – that’s the main entry into our community,” said Chief Andy Rickard. “We are also going to be having two security firms along with other services to… not block, but just limit traffic coming into our community.”

Rickard said the traffic restrictions rolled out Thursday will remain for at least 14 days, at which time the band council will revisit the issue and decide whether to extend the restrictions.

Sault Area Hospital is opting to limit visitors rather than close its doors altogether, and said visits will be permitted in certain circumstances.

“Mothers in labour, our paediatric patients, patients who will underdo urgent surgery, and any patients that require end-of-life care or visits for compassionate reasons,” said Sue Roger, vice-president of clinical operations at the hospital.

Rogers said at this time officials, are not concerned about COVID-19 cases overtaxing hospital resources.