To: Members of the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation
From: Emergency Management Team (EMT)
Date: March 17, 2020
Re: UPDATE: COVID-19
The Emergency Management Team (EMT) continues to meet daily to address the many concerns that are being raised by community members.
Here is an update on some of our activities to date:
- Supplies have been purchased to provide a basic care package to assist with disinfecting your home for community members. Due to commercial demand these supplies are limited. Delivery will be door-to-door over the next couple days. Distribution will begin today, Tuesday, March 17th.
- Social development clients are asked to contact the Band Office via phone and leave your name and number so that Social Development staff may contact you. Social assistance will be disbursed on Tuesday, March 31st. Distribution will be conducted like a drive-thru so that clients/staff interaction is limited. Distribution will be conducted at the Arena parking lot. Additional specific instructions will be provided soon.
- The Public Works department has advised that only EMERGENCY situations will be handled until the situation improves. Emergencies include: a) Furnaces – no heat; b) no water; c) sewer problems; d) no power.
- A separate Willow Cree Health Services Memo will be distributed shortly.
- At this time, we are requesting our hunters and gatherers to contact the Band Office and leave your name and number.
- Information on the upcoming Nominations and Elections will be provided on Wednesday, March 18th. We expect that significant precautionary measures will be in place to ensure the safety of our community members, while maintaining the integrity of the election.
- Elders and sickly in our community are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19. We are encouraging families to check on our Elders and sickly in ways that limit actual, physical contact. Make sure they are receiving medications and their prescriptions are being filled. If shopping is needed, please offer these supports; and anything else that may be needed. We strongly recommend that one (1) CHAMPION from each family is chosen to support our Elders and help keep them informed. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of LIMITING physical contact with our Elders. Please do not place them in a situation of unnecessary risk.
- The Canada Child Tax Benefit will be distributed by the Government of Canada on Friday, March 20th as normal. We are encouraging community members to avoid taking families on outings as this could potentially increase the risk of exposure to your families to COVID-19, and subsequently cause an outbreak in our community.
- We are working with Education department officials to address some of the concerns community members have raised while our schools are closed. More information will be forthcoming by the end of the week.
If you suspect you may have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, or you have traveled abroad within the last 2 weeks, you can use this SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL to see if you should be tested for COVID-19.
The most important thing at this point in time is our collective effort to ‘flatten the curve‘.
You can do your part by:
- Practicing ‘social distancing’: 2 metres or 6 feet apart, avoiding unnecessary travel, avoiding shaking hands, hugging, kissing, etc.
- Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly;
- Staying home; and
- Practicing proper cough etiquette (into your sleeve or shoulder).
In closing, we understand that these are challenging and worrisome times in our community, but in order to protect the health and well-being of our community members, we all have to do our part. Our team will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our plans as the situation evolves. Our primary methods of communication will continue to be our text blasting service (to subscribe text “BOCN” to 393939), and our nation’s website (http://bocn9697.com), and social media (Facebook/Instagram).
If you have any questions, suggestions, concerns, or thoughts, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team at the Band Office: 306-467-4523; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Emergency Management Team