Monday, March 8, 2021

Three active COVID-19 cases on Walpole Island, strict lockdown protocols being enforced

Walpole Island First Nation Chief and Council are mandating and enforcing “strict lockdown protocols” to keep the community safe.

“Today, we have three active cases of COVID-19 in the community,” Walpole Island First Nation officials said in a media release on Monday, January 18, 2021.

“Our total number of positive cases of COVID-19 is still at 29, with 25 of these cases being resolved, and one death. Our Health Centre has now tested 537 community members, with 502 negative results and six results pending.”

Walpole Island officials say their territory is in lockdown with restrictions that mirror those of the province and these restrictions are posted on the Walpole Island First Nation website.

“Although lockdown restrictions are not structured as Walpole Island First Nation By-Laws, they are still enforceable laws based on public health restrictions,” Walpole Island officials stated.

“Other First Nations are respecting and abiding by these existing public safety laws. Walpole Island First Nation will do the same and the appropriate laws will be enforced.”

Walpole Island officials say they are doing this to protect the people on the First Nation reserve.

“Hospitals are reaching the point where doctors will soon have to decide who gets treated,” Walpole Island officials say.

“Access to testing is limited due to the capacity of the labs to test the samples. The UK variant of the virus has been detected in London-Middlesex. These are all harsh realities. No one wants restrictions but right now our lives depend on our ability to make wise choices.”

Stay-at-home orders are now being enforced on Walpole Island to remind people of their responsibility to keep the community safe, Walpole Island officials say.

“Recently, non-members found to be defying the stay-at-home orders have been charged by Walpole Island Police Department,” Walpole Island officials added.

“Band members can continue activities such as hunting, fishing, gathering wood, etc. with people from their own household. Mixing of households is restricted. If someone lives alone, they can mix with one other household. Wearing a mask is not just for your safety. You are protecting those around you. If you are indoors at an office, a business or an organization, you should be wearing a mask at all times, especially in common areas. Masks should be worn outdoors if interacting with someone from outside your household.”

Walpole Island officials added: “We are experiencing a public health nightmare. Let’s do our part to ease the burden and keep our people safe. Please be aware that public health orders to isolate are enforceable by law. These orders are not just requests but are in place to save lives. Asymptomatic cases unknowingly transmit the virus and none of us want to risk infecting our loved ones and others in the community.”

If someone has been identified by the provincial public health unit or the Walpole Island Health Centre as a contact, they are being asked to isolate.

“You may be feeling fine but could end the life of someone else,” Walpole Island officials say.

“Please do not take the risk.”

More details are available at: https://www.walpoleislandfirstnation.ca/covid19

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