Friday, June 5, 2020

Further restrictions implemented on Walpole Island

Further restrictions are being put in place on Walpole Island First Nation, due to COVID-19.

The Walpole Island Emergency Control Group decided today, April 6, 2020 that Walpole Island First Nation will no longer be allowing non-members to cross the Walpole Island Bridge after 7 p.m. tonight, until further notice.

Exceptions to this will include essential service workers, emergency personnel, non-member residents, utility repair staff with proper identification and delivery drivers with proper identification, Walpole Island officials say.

Leading up to 7 p.m. tonight, non-members will be allowed through the check-point for gas only.

“This decision was not made lightly,” stated Chief Daniel Miskokomon in a press release.

“The reality for us is that our population has a much higher prevalence of underlying health conditions that make many of our members more vulnerable to COVID-19, so we must take extra precautions as a community to protect these individuals”

James Jenkins, director of operations for Walpole Island First Nation and lead for the Emergency Operations Control Group, said the further restrictions were necessary.

“We tried to create a checkpoint while still allowing non-members to continue to access our businesses,” Jenkins stated.

“Unfortunately, we have seen a great deal of abuse over the last few days with people coming onto the island for non-essential purposes. Although we fully support our local business community, it has become impossible to adequately protect our members without more aggressive restrictions. We ask our neighbours to please respect our decision to limit access so that we can protect our most vulnerable.”

Walpole Island First Nation declared a state of emergency back on Monday, March 23, 2020. Details, here.

Restrictions were first implemented on April 1, 2020. Details, here.

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