The Blood Tribe reporting its first COVID-19 related death.

In a statement released Friday afternoon (June 12), the Blood Tribe Emergency Management Team says an elder of that community died earlier this week due to complications from the illness.

The Blood Tribe is part of Cardston County, which Alberta Health Services (AHS) is reporting has a total of 32 cases of the virus as of Friday (June 12), 12 of which are active.

Director of Emergency Management, Rick Soup, saying in a video update that a total of 1490 tests have been completed on the reserve to date, and screening will continue to be provided to all residents.

Officials urge all Blood Tribe members to continue following all health guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19, including proper hand hygiene, physical distancing and only travelling for essential purposes. Soup notes that a shelter is available to those living in overcrowded homes.

Chief of the Blood Tribe Police Service, Kyle Melting Tallow, also stresses that police will be stepping up enforcement of public health orders. He says about 500 warnings have been given to residents since local health bylaws were put in place in early April.