June 18 Community Update Regarding COVID-19 and Upcoming Lockdown

 

EABAMETOONG COMMUNITY UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19 SITUATION AND COMMUNITY RESPONSE

June 18, 2020

BACKGROUND

Since the three COVID-19 cases confirmed in the community on June 12 and June 16, Chief and Council have been advised by our medical team and our Emergency Response Team’s efforts to gather community input. We have been encouraging membership to get tested for COVID if they have any concerns about exposure, and to date there have been 127 tests with 103 negatives and 20 pending tests. Our team’s contact tracing efforts are underway and we thank you for your continued cooperation with the calls and getting tested as soon as possible. We have been informed by the Emergency Response Team about the extent of community discussion and general support for implementing tighter community measures and have been meeting intensively to present a course of action that will prioritize community health and safety, but also factor in the increased anxiety and mental health strain that recent tragedies have placed upon our community.

UPDATE TO COMMUNITY & ADDITIONAL MEASURES

Chief and Council enacted the current Community Protection and Emergency Response Order on March 31st. We followed that with a set of supplemental Border Closure and Community Measure Orders on April 10th to enable NAPS officers to assist with the enforcement of the March 31 measures. These restrictions were put in place to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and, above all, to protect community members. Somehow, the virus was able to infect 3 community members in the past week. This is an extremely serious situation, and we want to once again remind everyone that the best way to keep your families safe is to be diligent in practicing the public health measures in outlined in our community orders.

In order to respond to the elevated risk of outbreak in Eabametoong, Chief and Council have decided to implement the following additional measures:

  1. 1) Full Border Closure
    • Effective June 20-24 (Saturday 6am till Wed. at 6am), no air travel will be permitted into EFN
    • The situation will be re-assessed on June 23 based on test results and EFN logistical requirements
  2. 2) More Intensive Community Protection Measures
    • Effective June 19 until further notice, individuals from separate households will not be permitted to meet in groups of any size. Physical distancing MUST be a priority for all EFN members at this time to avoid further viral transmission
    • Curfew for anyone 16 and under will be moved to 8pm
  3. 3) Community Lockdown
    • Effective June 22 for 48 hours (Monday 6am till Wednesday 6am), we will enter a two-day lockdown period. Members will be expected to stay home within your property. This may be extended for up to 14 days total, depending on advice from health professionals and the status of pending tests.

We are providing this advance notice so that every household can prepare and gather supplies before the Monday lockdown takes effect. We are working with HSS and other EFN staff to prepare and plan for food security and other community needs during the lockdown period. ALL of these community health measures depend on you and your families to follow them for our collective health and safety. We know many people have relaxed in their practice of physical distancing, self-isolation following essential travel, supervising children, and even hygiene in recent weeks. We do not want to move to a lengthy total lockdown, but may have to if we are not collectively following these measures and the virus is able to spread to multiple families.