The family watched uneasily as health-care workers in hazmat suits entered their home on their reserve in northern Saskatchewan.

“A lot of the kids didn’t know what was going on,” said patriarch Darin Poorman. “But they all got tested.”

It was April 15, two days after a Saskatchewan Health Authority nurse called to inform them they’d been in contact with someone infected with the novel coronavirus.

“It was like: What? Who? How?” said Poorman’s wife, Wanda Wolverine Poorman.

“Everything went through my mind, wondering. It was a shock.”

Poorman and Wolverine Poorman live in her home community of English River First Nation with two of their children and three of their grandchildren. Three of their other children and their other children’s families were staying with them.

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In total, there were 15 people in the home.

Knowing the risks associated with COVID-19, Poorman said they wore masks while grocery shopping. They washed their hands. He said they more or less stayed home, and when they didn’t, they kept their distance.

On April 11, a relative from La Loche — which has become the epicentre of the northern Saskatchewan COVID-19 outbreak,