Community Notice on Border Closure Extension, Ongoing Measures and Freight Searches

EXTENSION OF EFN BORDER CLOSURE, COMMUNITY PROTECTION MEASURES, AND UPDATED FREIGHT SEARCH POLICY

UPDATES FROM CHIEF AND COUNCIL – June 25

First, we would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to the vast majority of community members who have been following the more intensive community protection measures, including the 48 hour lockdown. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Emergency Response Team and all EFN staff who have been supporting our community efforts to minimize the spread of this virus within Eabametoong.

Given the two active cases and continuing risk of additional COVID-19 infection, EFN Chief and Council are providing this written notification to the community in follow up to the June 18th notice. There are currently 51+ pending COVID-19 tests, and Chief and Council want to inform the community that we have re-assessed the situation and we have decided upon the following key points that all community members must be aware of:

  • 1) Extending the Full Border Closure indefinitely until further notice

This will continue to restrict passenger service into the community to minimize the likelihood of any further introduction of COVID-19 while our teams continue with additional contact tracing and testing

    • Only emergency and essential services will be permitted to arrive (e.g. food/fuel deliveries, medical staff, emergency travel, etc.)
    • This came into effect on Saturday, June 20th and will be assessed on an ongoing basis, with Chief and Council drawing on the advice of public health professionals, our Emergency Response Team, and planning team members.
    • Planning is also underway for the process and approach to reopen passenger air service when that is appropriate.
    • Arrangements will be made directly with airlines in the coming days to organize and coordinate specific dates when personal freight may be permitted

2) Continuing the Intensive Community Protection Measures

    • As outlined on June 18th, EFN is not permitting individuals from separate households to gather in groups of any size with the elevated risk of COVID-19. Physical distancing must be a priority for ALL EFN members
    • Curfew for anyone 16 and under is still 8pm 
  • 3) Instituting a new Freight Search Policy
    • Chief and Council have decided to amend the previous travel baggage search B.C.R. to now include spot checks and random searches of personal freight arriving in EFN
    • This is being implemented to reduce the importing of prohibited drugs and alcohol in the community, especially in the current State of Emergency
    • We are working with the Emergency Response Team to establish a new centralized freight distribution approach, so members will be able to pick up freight in an organized manner at another location in the community rather than the crowded airport 

These Chief and Council decisions have been made to preserve lives and our collective interests. Your cooperation and ongoing commitment to caring for each other are very much appreciated!