For Immediate Release
March 12, 2020
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT TEAM STATEMENT: COVID-19
Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation, Treaty 6 – The following statement was released from the Emergency Management Team (EMT) in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic:
“The World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic.
The Emergency Management Team – Councillor Kevin Seesequasis, Councillor Jeremy Seeseequasis, Emergency Response Manager, Brenda Seesequasis, Director of Health, Kim Jonathan, Emergency Management Assistants Carmel Cameron and Loressa D’Jonaire, Community Health Nurses Mary Salisbury and Carrie Hadland, the Chief Executive Officer, Jaye Cameron, and the Chief Financial Officer, Daryle Gardipy – met this afternoon and well into the evening to discuss the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic and continue planning a responsible path forward.
The Emergency Management Team is taking this issue very, very seriously.
Many questions have been posed to members of Council, and to members of the Emergency Management Team.
We would like to update you on our response to-date, what steps we’re taking moving forward, and answer some urgent questions.
To date, we have:
- Conducted a community information session with Dr. Khan, the Regional Medical Health Officer with Indigenous Services Canada during Emergency Preparedness Week last week;
- Sent multiple text blasts with relevant, reliable information to educate community members about COVID-19;
- Distributed door-to-door, detailed information regarding COVID-19;
- Allocated funding to purchase additional disinfecting and cleaning supplies for public buildings; and
- Reviewed the BOCN Pandemic Plan to ensure our community is prepared to responsibly deal with this situation.
Due to the rapidly evolving local, regional, national, and global situation, we are taking the following precautionary measures:
- Individuals arriving back home from anywhere out-of-province will be required to self-monitor for a period of not less than 14 days;
- All individuals entering public buildings shall be required to sanitize/wash their hands prior to conducting their business;
- All public gatherings have been cancelled including:
- Community and sporting events;
- Out-of-community forums, workshops, professional development and training events, and conferences;
- Gym/Youth Centre activities; and
- Health Centre groups and events (essential services will still be delivered).
*NOTE: the cancellation of public gatherings does not include cultural ceremonies – these activities are encouraged to continue – please pray for our community.
- All non-essential travel amongst Band staff has been cancelled;
- In consultation with, and on the advice of Dr. Khan, the Regional Medical Health Officer, the decision has been taken NOT to close the schools AT THIS TIME;
- Mandatory hand-washing at all public institutions and CRCEC/CBMES/Daycare shall be instituted daily at 11am and 1pm OVER AND ABOVE regular hand-washing practices;
- Special provisions for Social Assistance day will be made – detailed instructions and information will be provided at a later date;
- Each household will also receive a jug of soap to support the primary method of prevention. Additional details will be provided at a later date;
- All custodial staff will receive information on how to effectively disinfect surfaces using appropriate products; and
- The Emergency Management Team will meet daily to assess the situation and adjust plans accordingly.
We wish to reinforce a few things to community members:
- The most important step you can do to protect your family and prevent an outbreak in our community is to simply – AND THOROUGHLY – wash your hands! When done in conjunction with proper cough etiquette, social distancing (2 metres or 6 feet), avoiding unnecessary travel, not shaking hands, and frequent disinfecting, we can all do our part to prevent an outbreak from occurring in our community.
- Do not panic. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Regional Medical Health Officer maintain that the risk to residents of Saskatchewan is generally low. All our decisions are being guided by up-to-date medical advice, experience, and common sense.
- Do not share inaccurate information or jokes about COVID-19. Inaccurate information on social media has a common tendency to be taken seriously. Let’s all work to ensure our community has the most accurate, up-to-date information possible and that we’re all working collectively to prevent an outbreak.
These steps are initial, temporary measures put in place to reduce the risk of an outbreak today. As the situation evolves, additional measures may be taken to prevent and/or combat an outbreak in our community.
We will continue to provide detailed information about our on-going efforts to prevent an outbreak using 4 primary methods: Door-to-door delivery, our Nation’s website: http://bocn9697.com; the Chief & Council Facebook page; and our text blasting software.
In conclusion, our Emergency Management Team is working diligently to prevent an outbreak in our community. All BOCN members are strongly encouraged to join the BOCNs Text Blasting service to receive up-to-date information. To subscribe, simply text “BOCN” to the number 393939.”
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For medical information, please contact:
Willow Cree Health Services: 306-467-4402;
or visit: Saskatchewan.ca/covid19
For general information, please contact:
Chief & Council Communications: 306-467-4523 | firstname.lastname@example.org