Tansi! Good afternoon everyone. Effective today, I will be providing updates regularly on the current coronavirus pandemic ( COVID-19) for as long as necessary. We will also be instituting a special section on our NCN Website for coronavirus updates and links to other relevant information.
COVID-19 in Manitoba
There are now 15 cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba (8 are confirmed and 7 are presumptive). Testing can take place at the Nursing Station and in Thompson but there must be a referral from Health Links. People are finding it very difficult to get through on the Health Links phone number so if you can not get through please call a member of our Wellness Team at (204) 679-0179 or (204) 679-0279.
Non-essential Travel Prohibited
Prime Minister Trudeau and President Donald Trump announced yesterday that all non-essential travel such as for recreation and tourism will be prohibited for the first time in relation to the Canada-US border. Citizens in both countries have been told NOT to visit with neighbours unless they absolutely have to.
Chief and Council have considered these decisions (made on the basis of advice from public health agencies in both countries) and have decided to implement similar measures for NCN Lands. Therefore, effective March 19, 2019 all non-essential travel into AND out of our community will be halted. This means that anyone who is not a resident of NCN (Nelson House) will not be allowed into or if they leave will not be allowed back into the community unless they are required to provide essential services in the community.
Checkstop Pre-Screening In NCN
All persons who live outside the community but who are required to provide essential services in the community will be screened at the checkstop and required to answer additional questions.
We are taking steps to ensure that vital supply chains will continue to exist so that our stores will be kept stocked. We are also examining options to ensure there is food security within our community through the Country Foods program and our stores.
Hotels, Restaurants Shut Down Until Further Notice
We have shut down our hotel and restaurant in Thompson and our schools in Nelson House. In accordance with the recommendations from health officials we have limited the number of people who can enter our bar in Thompson and the VLTs in Nelson House. We may shut down both operations as we note that all Manitoba casinos are shut down and in many parts of the country bars and restaurants have been closed.
Additional Funding For Citizens
Child tax benefits will be paid this week. The federal government announced today that these benefits are to be increased in the coming months to allow people to be able to purchase additional supplies and shelter in place in our homes.
Essential Food and Supplies Recommended
We strongly urge you to stock up on food, water, household cleaning products and supplies. We urge you not to spend any funds on cannabis (unless medically required) or alcohol during this time. At this time, you should try to have sufficient food and other supplies in your house for at least 2 weeks. We will update the recommendations as they become available.
It is critical that we all follow the recommendations to do frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and that door handles and other surfaces be washed with soap and water frequently.
Practice Social Distancing
We must all practice “social distancing”. This means no visitors to our homes. No hugs or handshakes. It means staying 2 meters or 6 feet away from each other when out in public. But, public health officials say that being outside is good for all of us so we are encouraged to spend time outside, walk, hunt, fish, but maintain social distancing while doing so.
The Prime Minister also announced that EI rules will be relaxed so that those of you who are impacted by COVID-19 and required to stay home will be able to access benefits. A new Indigenous community support fund is being established to assist Indigenous community meet immediate needs. More details will be forthcoming about these announcements and what they mean for NCN.
My Council is examining all options and will continue to make decisions in the best interests of our community. Stay positive. We will get through this together by each one of us doing our part in the major pandemic fight of our lifetime.
If you have any questions, please contact
(204) 679-0179 or (204) 679-0279.
Chief Marcel Moody