By Victoria Gray
SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND-Six Nations is moving into Orange Alert level Status as of Friday, June 11.
Six Nations Elected Council voted to downgrade from Alert Level Red at the general council meeting held Tuesday, June 8 because no positive cases were reported for almost three weeks.
“In terms of the movement from one colour to the next, the two-week time frame, if we have two weeks of low numbers with a continued increase in vaccination rates, then there’s a recommendation to come out to move to the next lower level of alert, meaning restrictions are lessened. The time frame gives us time to see if numbers are rising and respond accordingly. We don’t want to move too quickly. We don’t want to make mistakes, so we are able to respond if we do have another spike in cases,” director of Six Nations Health Services Lori Davis-Hill said.
Six Nations Health Services and Ohsweken Public Health epidemiologist Sara Smith presented an updated alert status framework, to bring the framework in line with the provinces re-opening plan, but elected Chief Mark Hill and Councillor Wendy Johnson expressed concerns with the framework’s wording. There was also a concern with one of public health’s alert status movement indicators, which cites a weekly 3 per cent increased vaccination coverage in the community until 61 per cent coverage is reached. Once the 61 per cent vaccination coverage is reached the weekly three percent is no longer a factor, they explained.
Hill and Johnson said they wanted to respect community members’ decision not to get vaccinated in favour of traditional medicine. “I think we have to have some caution and maybe go back to some wording in terms of indications of what the decisions are based on. I agree a number of people practice traditional medicine. I think we have to respect that,” Johnson said.
The framework was deferred until next council meeting on June 22.
The current framework, which is in red level, allows daycares to open at reduced capacity. Elementary schools on the territory will remain closed until September.
Private gatherings are allowed 10 people outdoors and five indoors with masks and social distancing. Monitored gatherings can have 25 people indoors and 10 people outdoors with masks and social distancing.
There will be no restrictions on travel, but SNEC asks people not to travel into places in higher alert levels.
Retail locations will be permitted to open at reduced capacity. The capacity differs depending on the size of the location, but patrons must be able to maintain six feet or two metres distance within the location.
Indoor recreation facilities will remain closed, currently there are no classes permitted, but the new framework will allow for outdoor fitness class and team practices to run as long as people can maintain social distancing of three metres. Smith said the increased distance will help maintain safety due to the possibility of heavy breathing.
Indoor dining is still prohibited, but outdoor dining will be allowed at restaurants with a maximum of four people seated at a table.
“We want people to be able to engage in those activities that are good for their mental and physical wellbeing, so we’ve put an emphasis on outdoor recreation,” Smith said.
All patrons inside businesses should be screened and contact information taken for future contract tracing.
Personal care services requiring people to take their masks off are not permitted.
The bingo hall could open with no more than 10 people at a time.
Performing arts can resume with 10 viewers indoors and 25 outdoors.
The mandatory face mask rule will continue on the territory in all indoor and outdoor social situations, unless eating or drinking.