By Lynda Powless
Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) will be “re-evaluating” the status of the community’s COVID-19 Alert level after cases of COVID-19 and the Delta variant continue to rise.
Elected Chief Mark Hill said he was providing an “urgent” message Friday, Sept 3, 2021 after the community recorded 41 new cases of COVID-19 with 19 active cases.
He said there are likely more active cases than have been reported.
He also said SNEC will be discussing the Ontario Vaccine Passport and what it means for Six Nations and a third dose of the vaccine being made available.
He stressed the seriousness of the community’s COVID-19 levels heading into a long Labour Day holiday weekend
“I want to stress the seriousness to our community. This is not the same as last year. Nine of the active cases are the Delta Variant. It is significantly more dangerous than the orignal strain especially to the unvaccinated people.”
He said the Delta Variant is easier to catch, spread and causes more serious affects.
He said the best way for the community to combat the virus is to “get as many people vaccinated as soon as possible.”
He said only 30 per cent of the community is vaccinated.
“If we don’t get people vaccinated we will be in as serious a situation as we were 18 months ago.”
He said the situation becomes more serious with the community’s children heading back to school next week.
He said Six Nations is a more vulnerable community with a large elderly population and those with underlaying health conditions.
“I am asking you, if you are eligible please consider getting vaccinated.”
He said the Pfizer vaccine is available to children 12 and over.
Elected Chief Hill said the community needs to come together.
“We need the entire community to come together.”
He urged the community to continue practicing COVID-19 guidelines, washing hands, wearing a mask avoid “ crowds and large gatherings and coming into contact with people not fully vaccinated.”
He urged community members to take all symptoms seriously and if you think you came into contact with a case to get tested.
“An innocent gathering of family or friends can lead to an out- break among social groups.
He said you do not always know who may have come into contact with the virus.
“It is possible to show no symptoms, ” he warned.
He said spreading the virus could be potentially fatal to those that are not vaccinated. The severity of the illness is lower among those that are vaccinated.”
He said everyone must follow the guidelines to slow the spread.
“We will be re-evaluating he alert level status after the long weekend.
Six Nations is currently at the Green level. .
He said SNEC will also be looking at making a third dose of the vaccine available and information will be coming on the Ontario Vaccine Passport and what it means for Six Nations.
“I know everyone is tired and we have been in it for 18 months and it seems endless but we are in a better situation to protect one another now than we were a year ago.We have been given the necessary tools we just need to all use them.”
He asked those not vaccinated to get vaccinated “do it to protect our elders, our children and our most vulnerable, the core of our community.”
He said that “is what makes us Indigenous people. How we protect one another.”
By Lynda Powless