Programs on Walpole Island First Nation are closing immediately, due to concerns with COVID-19.
James Jenkins, director of operations, issued a statement on social media late Sunday evening, November 15, 2020.
“In a meeting with Chief and Council and health staff this evening, we have determined that it is necessary to achieve a baseline of infection status in the WIFN workplace,” Jenkins said.
“As a result, all programs are to close immediately with the expectation that all staff obtain a COVID-19 test. The priority of testing will be coordinated by the WIFN Health Centre over the next two weeks.”
Jenkins added: “Please expect to stay home from work and to work from home on priority tasks. If it is necessary to come into the office within the next two weeks, please make the request and do not come into the office without written approval.”
Jenkins added some further advice to Walpole Island residents as well.
“Please remember that as COVID-19 cases are rising throughout Ontario, it is necessary to restrict contact to household members as much as possible, and to wear a mask and wash hands frequently when in public,” he said.
“Do not hesitate should you have any questions.”
On Friday, November 13, 2020 Walpole Island officials said there are two active cases of COVID-19 on Walpole Island.
The total number of cases on the First Nation reserve has reached 18.
A total of 236 community members have been tested to date, with 214 negative results.
15 cases have been resolved, seven test results are pending and there has been one death.
School officials on Walpole Island say this halt in programming will results in their elementary school, Bkejwanong Kinomaagewgamig, being closed for two weeks from November 16 to November 30, 2020.
“WIFN chief and council have directed that all WIFN programs are to close for two weeks,” school officials said on social media.
“This includes BK and AK. More information to come.”
Also, Walpole Island First Nation Recreation said the Walpole Island Hockey Camp and Parent/Tot Skates will be postponed until further notice.
“We will inform everyone when these programs will take place again,” recreation officials said on social media.
Walpole Island officials said if residents are experiencing symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and call the Walpole Island Health Centre at 519-627-0765 or after hours, call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000.
We’ll provide more information as it becomes available.