Pinehouse, Sask. brings in curfew to help stop spread of COVID-19

·2 min read

The northern village of Pinehouse, Sask., has implemented a mandatory curfew to stop the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday the village's mayor and council, along with the pandemic response team, posted on Facebook that people were not allowed out of their homes between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. CST.

Anyone caught outside as a repeat offender will receive a fine of $250 to $500.

The curfew is meant to slow down a COVID-19 outbreak spreading through the community. From Dec. 23 to Jan. 6, active cases in the community rose to 104 from two.

Mayor Mike Natomagan said many people have been following the rules and the curfew is an added step to help.

"We're asking our community members to just stay home," said Natomagan.

"We're known as a very social community, which we visit our families. Now, you know, we asked community members just to stay for over two weeks in their homes, and let's get back to zero here."

The village has declared in a state of emergency and the curfew will be in place until the order is lifted.

Natomagan said the community was shocked as COVID-19 cases spiked in the community over the past two weeks. While the village had COVID-19 plans in place, it was quickly overwhelmed.

"It doesn't matter how much you prepare for it, because all our neighbouring communities and the whole province, with the high numbers, we kind of knew [it was coming]," he said.

"But we discovered it way too late and it spread within our community before we were able to catch it."

Right now, 110 homes with about 450 combined people are in self-isolation in the community. Two people are in hospital.

While 4,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine have been allocated to northern Saskatchewan, Pinehouse does not appear to be one of the first communities to receive it. Natomagan said he's confident things will work out.

"We've got to trust the process of what's happening," he said.

"I know everybody wants to be front of the line. But again, you know, if we follow the health guidelines and recommendations, we should be fine."

The mayor said he's been very impressed with the community's response to COVID and the pandemic response team.

"It is scary," he said.

"But then again, like I say, in a lot of ways it's a blessing that we have the team that we have. And we were very prepared for this. And we put it to the test."

Pinehouse is located 375 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

CBC News Graphics
CBC News Graphics

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