By Lynda Powless
Six Nations has a total of five active cases, an increase of three new cases on Boxing Day.
The Six Nations COVID-19 page says the three new cases were posted Sunday Dec., 27, 2020.
The new cases bring Six Nations total cases to 106 with 100 resolved and one death.
The Six Nations COVID-19 Centre was closed for the holidays. Emergency services paramedics took on the additonal load of testing during the closure.
The community moved into its Red Alert Stage as of Dec., 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.
Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) announced Wednesday, Dec., 23, 2020 the community was moving into the Red alert level of their pandemic response framework despite cases remaining under control in the community.
It cited increasing case numbers in surrounding communities that are now under forced lockdowns for the move in status.
The SNEC said it accepted a recommendation to move to a Red alert level from the Emergency Control Group (ECG) in the closed portion of its meeting Tuesday Dec., 22 2020.
“From the beginning of this pandemic, Six Nations of the Grand River has led a response guided by the case numbers and other economic and social realities faced by our community,” said Elected Chief Mark Hill in a press release Wednesday, Dec., 23, 2020 released just as the band administration began closing for the holidays.
Six Nations had two active cases as of Dec, 23rd. The Six Nations risk chart had not been undated as of press time Tuesday Dec., 29.
The ECG said the increasing strains on local healthcare capacity and other pressures were taken into consideration in making the recommendation.
The move to Red Alert means:
-Restricting any private inside or outside gatherings to your own households
-Reducing monitored indoor gatherings to five people
Reducing monitored outdoor gatherings to 10 people and
Discouraging travel outside of the territory.
The SNEC statement said a monitored gathering is a gathering that has put public health measures in place and are enforced by staff or volunteers.
Six Nations adopted its own independent framework Dec., 1, 2020. It uses a code system similar to Ontario’s.
“I want to be clear that these measures are only in effect within Six Nations and based on the expectation that members will only leave the territory for essential reasons, and that our neighbours will follow their own lockdown orders and refrain from leaving their houses to travel here,” said Elected Chief Mark Hill. “We will be closely monitoring the situation and will not hesitate to introduce tougher measures if that expectation is not met.”
Public health officials continued to encourage Six Nations people to follow basic health and safety recommendations through the holiday season including only interacting with those in your immediate household.
SNEC is also discouraging door to door NO:IA activities this year.
SNEC is asking the community to be COVID-19 safe through the holidays including NO:IA the community’s annual New Year’s day celebration.
SNEC is reminding Six Nations people the world is still in the midst of a global pandemic.
. “Typically the community would be seen travelling from family members and friends houses on New Year’s Day happily exchanging No:ia fruits, cookies and donuts – however this year we must not become lax with the COVID safety measures or the potential for another holiday outbreak in the community could take place,” a SNEC release said.
“It is unrealistic to ask the community to not gather, however not gathering and having parties is the only way to guarantee slowing the spread of COVID into Six Nations,” said Elected Chief Mark Hill. “However if you are planning to leave the safety of your home, please make sure to bring your mask, hand sanitizer and physical distance as much as possible from others.”
No:ia COVID-19 safe alternatives to consider bringing in the New Year are:
• Host a No:ia virtual zoom party with family and friends (for those with internet access),
• Host a No:ia conference call party with family and friends (for those with phone access),
• Drop-off pre-packaged No:ia treats for family and friends to pick-up contactless,
• Plan a No:ia drive-by parade with your friends and family,
• But remember the mask
“Regardless of your No:ia plans, please ensure you are wearing your mask/face covering when around others not from your immediate household to Protect Our People.”
Community members are reminded to also not drink and drive this holiday season.
Band operations are closed two weeks from Wednesday Dec., 23 to Monday January 4, 2020. ton and Cayuga Areas)
Ohsweken Public Health will remain open over the holiday season on non-statutory holidays. Please call 519-445-2672 as needed.
Remember to stay home as much as possible
-Continue to wash hands or use hand sanitizer, wear face coverings around those that do not live in your immediate household and reporting symptoms (even the mildest ones), as well as constant cleaning of commonly touched surfaces are all excellent measures to keep ourselves and others safe this holiday season.
By Lynda Powless