The Montreal Lake Cree Nation, located about 100 kilometres north of Prince Albert, has locked itself down after a person there tested positive for COVID-19.
Chief Frank Roberts and the community’s nurse manager Amanda Nelson took to Facebook on Friday night to confirm the test results and share the community’s message.
“We’ll be going into a total lockdown of our community, that’s our orders,” Roberts said.
“That will become effective Friday evening, July 10 at 8 p.m., to July 24 at 8 p.m.”
Roberts said the community’s leadership has also moved to close off public access to all Cree Nation buildings. Essential services will continue; band members are asked to phone ahead.
The band’s store will be enforcing physical distancing measures inside and outside that facility. Roberts said masks must be worn by patrons and staff alike.
Contacts to self-isolate
People who have come into contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 are also required to self-isolate immediately. Everyone in the community was asked to stay inside or around their homes to prevent the virus from spreading any further.
Numerous programs and services were suspended by the band as of Friday night and public gatherings were prohibited. Wakes and funerals are still permitted, but no more than 10 people can attend at a time.
Prior to the lockdown on Friday, members who were not mandated to self-isolate were allowed to leave the community to purchase essential items. No one was to be allowed into the community once the 8 p.m. deadline passed.
“People are free to go to their traplines if they want to self-isolate there,” Roberts said.
Roberts said all the orders are effective immediately.
Nelson encouraged people to use personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer any time they were outside of their homes. She also asked anyone who is sick to stay home.
“Do not come to the clinic. Do not come to the store,” Nelson said. “You might not think it’s COVID-related if you are sick, however please call 811 anyway.”