Six Nations schools closed until Valentine’s Day

By Victoria Gray

Writer

SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND-Six Nations schools will not open with Ontario schools.

Director of federal schools Travis Anderson told Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) at their Tuesday Jan., 11th meeting federal schools will remain closed, for now, until February 14.

Anderson met with public health officials and the emergency control group on January 10 and said their recommendation at this time is to keep the schools closed and to continue virtual learning for now.

SNEC invited Dr. Isaac Bogoch an infectious disease specialist from University of Toronto and Toronto General Hospital to answer community questions and said the worst of the Omicron COVID-19 wave could happen in the next few weeks.

“After hearing form the doctor he says it’s going to be a rough next couple of weeks and that’s when the province is going to reopen schools. Holding off on reopening school for another few weeks is what came out of our meeting today,” Anderson said. “The letter that was sent out to the community says February 14, I did add a disclaimer that said, if possible we would open sooner. At this time it’s been advised to not.”

The schools do not currently have any more rapid antigen tests to give families after the five each mandated by the province before the Christmas break.

“There is a world-wide shortage on testing now. We have put in more orders at the school. We don’t have any more. We’re hoping, but it’s day by day when things are coming in. We’re hoping in the next short bit, so there’s more testing at the school.”

He said they are also trying to get N95 masks for teachers and students.

SNEC said it is working to get rapid antigen tests into the hands of every Six Nations resident and are putting pressure on the government to provide the community with 3,000 tests as soon as possible.

Councillor Nathan Wright, who chaired the meeting in elected chief Mark Hill’s absence, said tests are trickling in, but not enough.

Councillor Wendy Johnson said SNEC also needs to save some of the tests coming in to hold for Iroquois Lodge to test employees and those coming in and out.

“It’s important to share how allocations happen. We have to have a certain amount of test counts daily for all staff, anybody going in or out for residents for the lodge there have to be a number of tests, for ambulance, test all essential workers and first responders have tests. We have to hold back a number of kits as well and of course we have to get as many out to community as possible in a fair process,” she said.

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