Following a rapid increase of COVID-19 cases on reserve, Cumberland House Cree Nation is entering a 10-day lockdown.
The lockdown, beginning on Sept. 9 at noon, will mean travel into and outside the community will not be permitted. Exceptions include people who work in the community and medical emergencies.
Security will be posted at the main entrance point to enforce.
The lockdown will tentatively end on Sept. 19, should positive COVID-19 cases significantly decline. Chief and council will meet on Sept. 16 to discuss whether to lift restrictions at that time.
Visiting other households within the community is also discouraged.
As of Sept. 7, there are 31 positive cases on-reserve with many being children under the age of 12 who can’t be vaccinated.
“For this wave it’s the children who are being affected, who are infecting others. That is scary for our community,” said Marlene McKay, band CEO.
“If you need to go for a walk, go for a walk, but try not to talk to a lot of people… Wear a mask, sanitize your hands, do the social distancing.”
Charlebois Community School announced that they will be offering learning packages to any students residing in Cumberland House Cree Nation. Students of the school involved in extracurricular activities will not be penalized for not attending during the lockdown. Any concerns can be directly addressed to Aaron Fosseneuve at 306-888-2181.
On the reserve, Nisto Awasisak Memorial School will be closed with homework packages given to students’ families. Anyone with questions is asked to contact the school at 306-888-2034.
Funerals are permitted with perimetres to only six people in the hall.
Food hampers will be available to households by calling the band office at 306-888-2226.
Jessica Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal