Update: Outdoor Activity Rules Relaxed as of May 22

From Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health:

“The Stay-at-Home order is in place until June 2, 2021, as the province continues to deal with the impacts of COVID-19.

Effective May 22, 2021, certain outdoor recreational amenities will reopen with restrictions in place, such as the need to maintain physical distancing. These amenities include but are not limited to golf courses and driving ranges, soccer and other sports fields, tennis and basketball courts, and skate parks. No outdoor sports or recreational classes are permitted.

Outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events will be expanded to five people, which will allow these amenities to be used for up to five people, including with members of different households. All other public health and workplace safety measures under the province wide emergency brake will remain in effect.

Stay-At-Home means you are only allowed to gather indoors with anyone you live with, and limit close contact to only members of your household (the people you live with). If you live alone, you can have close contact with only one other household. Outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events is limited to five people.

Stay-At-Home means do not travel outside your region unless absolutely necessary. You should only go out for necessities, such as:

  • the grocery store or pharmacy
  • health care services (including getting vaccinated)
  • outdoor exercise or walking pets in your community
  • work that cannot be done remotely
  • child care

Stay-At-Home permits outdoor recreational amenities to open as of May 22, including outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields. However, no outdoor sports or recreational classes are permitted:

  • golf courses
  • baseball diamonds
  • soccer fields
  • tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts
  • basketball courts
  • BMX parks
  • skate parks
  • portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment
  • picnic sites and picnic tables

Stay-At-Home means parks and recreational areas, including benches, playgrounds, play structures, play equipment, and off-leash dog parks are open as long as two metres physical distancing can be maintained.

Stay-At-Home means seasonal campgrounds and campsites can only be made available for trailers and recreational vehicles that are used by individuals who are in need of housing or permitted to be there by the terms of a full season contract.

Stay-At Home means marinas and boat launches are closed, except for:

  • repairing or servicing boats
  • placing boats in the water to be secured to dock
  • enables access to residence or other property, to support government operations or services, or for the transportation of items by commercial barges
  • operating a restaurant for takeout or delivery

Stay-At-Home means outdoor garden centres, plant nurseries and indoor greenhouses may open for in-person shopping, with limited hours, at a maximum capacity of 25%

Stay-At-Home means restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments are only open for take-out, drive-through and delivery. All indoor and outdoor dining is closed.

Stay-At-Home means garage sales and yard sales are not permitted.

Read Appended Regulations for details.

For More Information:
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
To arrange to speak with Dr. Arra, please contact Drew Ferguson at:
519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 ext. 1269 or d.ferguson@publichealthgreybruce.on.ca”

Provincial Stay-at-Home Order Remains in Effect Until June 2

New COVID-19 cases in Ontario have been steadily trending downward from the peak we saw in April. This is encouraging, but case levels are still high and the risk of a dangerous spike in cases that could overwhelm our medical system remains a possibility. In response, the Province has extended the declaration of emergency and the province-wide Stay-at-Home order until June 2, 2021.

With the arrival of the May long weekend and fine weather, we know that residents, friends and family want to travel and relax. We want to remind all members that, in the interest of public safety, access to Neyaashiinigmiing is restricted to residents and essential services only. While we are looking forward to the end of the pandemic, and lifting of restrictions, we cannot welcome guests at this time. Please stay home, in accordance with Provincial health directives.

Please observe all temporary restrictions and public health and workplace safety measures. If you are eligible for and can tolerate a COVID-19 vaccine, please get vaccinated. Encourage people in your social group to receive their vaccinations too. Working together, we will overcome the pandemic and open our doors to all our relations and friends once more.

Chi-miigwech. We are grateful for your understanding and patience during this difficult time.

Vaccinating Adolescents Against COVID-19

Health Canada recently expanded the approved ages for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include 12-15 old adolescents. The Nawash Health Centre has since received a number of requests for COVID-19 vaccinations for youth family members.

Our vaccination clinics are operated in cooperation with the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit, which distributes the available vaccines. We have been advised by Dr. Ian Arra, the Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health, that Ontario provincial health authorities have not yet provided direction to health units in the province about administering the vaccine to youth.

While we will make the vaccine available to all members and their families who are eligible to receive it, as soon as we are able, we cannot give the vaccine to the 12-15 year old age group yet. Dr. Arra suggests that eligible youth may begin vaccinations in June or July, with the goal of having them fully vaccinated by the start of the new school year in September.

We will update the community and members as we receive new information regarding COVID-19 vaccine availability.

Whether vaccinated or not, all community members are asked to continue to observe pandemic protocols to help keep the community safe.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and stay 2 meters away from people you don’t live with.

Upcoming First-Dose COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

The Nawash Health Centre is holding a first-dose COVID-19 vaccination clinic Saturday, May 15, from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM at the Kikendaasogamig Elementary School, by appointment ONLY. This clinic is open to all members of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, Saugeen First Nation or other First Nations persons in the Grey Bruce area, 16 years or older. Call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373 to make your vaccination appointment, or register online.

Priority Group: All members of Chippewas of Nawash, Saugeen First Nation or other First Nations persons in the Grey Bruce area, 16 years or older
Dose: This is a first dose clinic, but we will have a limited number of second doses for persons who have not yet received their second shots.
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Kikendaasogamig Elementary School, Neyaashiinigmiing
Register: Please call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373, or register online

The COVID-19 pandemic is emotionally challenging for everybody. It’s been a difficult year, separated from our extended families and friends, the activities that bring us joy and relaxation, and even unable to meet with co-workers. Happily, approved and safe COVID-19 vaccines are finally offering a way out of this worldwide crisis. Widespread vaccination is our eventual path back to normalcy and control over our own lives. A vaccine isn’t just a shot in the arm – it’s a little dose of hope.

The decision to get vaccinated is a personal choice, one with potential implications for the health and safety of people around you as well. We will continue to share vaccine information and make vaccinations available to members who want them. We encourage everybody who is eligible for, and can tolerate the vaccine, to be vaccinated at the earliest opportunity.

If you have not been vaccinated yet, we look forward to seeing you at a vaccination clinic soon! Whether vaccinated or not, all community members are asked to continue to observe pandemic protocols to help keep the community safe.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and stay 2 meters away from people you don’t live with.

Upcoming Second-Dose COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

The Nawash Health Centre team has scheduled two COVID-19 vaccination clinics in May, to provide the second required dose to those who have already received a first. The schedule below indicates where you should get your second shot.

If you received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound on March 25, 2021, you will receive your second at:
Location: Julie McArthur Centre, 700 10th Street East, Owen Sound
Date: May 13, 2021
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM

If you received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Davidson Centre, Kincardine, on March 27, 2021, you will receive your second at:
Location: Davidson Centre, 601 Durham St., Kincardine
Date: May 7, 2021
Time: 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Please call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373 to confirm your appointment for your second dose.

We do not have a first dose clinic scheduled at this time, but if you haven’t been vaccinated yet you can still get your shot by calling the Nawash Health Centre. We encourage all members and residents who are eligible for the vaccine to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Help us protect our community and bring the end of the pandemic closer. In the meantime, whether you have been vaccinated or not, keep the people around you safe and continue to follow pandemic safety protocols.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and remain at least 2 meters from people you don’t live with.

Visitor Rules for Neyaashiinigmiing

To reduce the alarming spread of COVID-19, the Province of Ontario issued a declaration of emergency and a province-wide Stay-At-Home order. The provincial Stay-at-Home order is in place until at least May 19, 2021. The Council has similarly moved to extend the State of Emergency in Neyaashiinigmiing until May 31, 2021 and declared that we will move to the Grey Zone COVID-19 safety limitations in Neyaashiinigmiing during this period. While Band Offices and Programs remain open, residents are asked to please call ahead when visiting any Program or Administration office, and diligently follow all pandemic protocols.

At this time, access to the community remains restricted to members and their immediate families, and necessary services. Non-member extended family members (in-laws, cousins, etc.) should not visit at this time. We ask that non-resident members limit visits to Neyaashiinigmiing to essential trips only. To avoid disappointment when trying to enter the community, all members are asked to please review the Visitor Rules before planning any non-residents visits to Neyaashiinigmiing.

The monitoring station on the Coveneys Road entrance to Neyaashiinigmiing is an important part of our system of COVID-19 protections. The monitors have the challenging task of ensuring that our safety restrictions are respected by all those attempting to enter the community. The monitors follow the directions of the Council, which are guided by the advice of our Community Emergency Response Group. The monitors do not have discretion regarding who is authorized to enter the community. We ask that every person crossing the boundary be respectful of our monitors and their important role in keeping the community safe.

Neyaashiinigmiing Emergency Shut Down for 48 Hours

The Grey Bruce Health Unit has declared that the county has reached a critical threshold of COVID-19 cases, with more than 70 new cases in the past 36 hours. The GBHU is greatly concerned that if drastic measures are not taken by all Grey Bruce residents, the pandemic may spiral out of control locally. The main causes of new infections are people failing to follow lockdown protocols, social gatherings, and youth “bush parties”. Some individuals are also not being honest with the GBHU with respect to contact tracing and case management inquiries.

The GBHU is reallocating staff to complete the huge number of contact traces now required and hopes to have it completed in 2-3 days. In the meantime, the GBHU asks that everyone consider themselves a carrier for the next 48 hours and remain at home except for essential travel. Follow any directions given by public health, as well as the Provincial Stay-At-Home order.

In light of this growing crisis, the Council has made the difficult decision to close all Band Programs, including Kikendaasogamig Elementary and Nshiime Daycare, for Thursday April 15th, 2021 & Friday April 16th, 2021. The Food Bank will remain open. The vaccination clinic scheduled for Saturday, April 17, will continue as planned, for now. We will advise the membership if Public Health decides to cancel the vaccination clinic.

Our success so far in avoiding an outbreak in the community is the direct result of our diligence,  strength, and cooperation. This closure is a difficult step for all us but we are confident that we will get through this together. Please stay home, unless absolutely necessary and strictly observe pandemic protocols:

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and remain at least 2 meters from people you don’t live with.

The Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit

The Ontario  Child Benefit provides financial support to families with young learners to help with additional costs during the  pandemic.

Starting on April 26, the provincial government will begin issuing payments of:

  • $400 for each child or youth up to Grade 12
  • $500 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs

If you received a payment through the Support for Learners program, you do not need to apply for this additional payment.

If you missed applying for the Support for Learners program, you will have the opportunity to apply. Applications will open from May 3, 2021 to May 17, 2021.

This new round of payment through the Ontario  Child Benefit is in addition to payments provided by Support for Families and the Support for Learners programs.

Learn more about the COVID-19 Child Benefit here.

Stay-at-home Order Announced for the Entire Province

As has been expected for days, the Ontario government announced on April 7, 2021 that the province would enter a period of lockdown beginning April 8, in response to an alarming spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. The move by the province comes on the heels of what officials had called an “emergency brake”, also aimed at stopping the rise in cases.

The new stay-at-home order is a more concerted attempt to prevent the virus from running out of control before widespread vaccinations have a chance to dampen the spread. The shutdown is expected to last a minimum of 4 weeks.

In Neyaashiinigmiing, the CNUFN Council had already imposed a lockdown in concert with the emergency brake, following the guidelines for a Grey Zone in the province’s Emergency Response Framework. As that is the highest level of prevention and preparedness, additional measures will not be imposed in the community of Neyaashiinigmiing at this time.

Band Offices and Programs are expected to remain open until further notice. In-person staff levels may be impacted, depending on the office, as well the number of in-person services available to the public during the lockdown. Before visiting an office, please call ahead to confirm that the office is open and the specific service you’re seeking is available.

We want to assure all residents and members that our community remains safe and healthy. We know that another lockdown is frustrating and unwelcome, but each day and every vaccination brings us a step closer to the end of the pandemic and recovery from the profound impact this health crisis has had on our community.

If you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 yet, please call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373 to schedule your potentially life-saving shot. Whether you have been vaccinated or not, keep the people around you safe and continue to follow pandemic safety protocols.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and remain at least 2 meters from people you don’t live with.

We are immensely grateful for the patience, strength and support of all our community members. Stay healthy, stay strong! Miigwech!

Province of Ontario to Impose an Emergency Brake Period

In response to an alarming rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 in the province, the Ontario government is imposing an emergency brake, as of April 3, 2021. This shutdown, while not called a “lockdown”, will still follow the Grey Zone lockdown guidelines set out in the provincial colour-coded COVID-19 response framework.

To stay in sync with the Provincial direction, the Council of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation has decided to move Neyaashiinigmiing into lockdown as of April 3, 2021, as well. Band programs and offices will remain open with strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols. While in lockdown, the use of public indoor fitness facilities is prohibited. During the emergency brake period, provincial regulations with respect to pandemic restrictions are in effect, and enforceable on the reserve. You can review a summary of how the lockdown may impact businesses and individuals in Neyaashiinigmiing here.

The pandemic is not over, but Neyaashiinigmiing has been and remains a safe and healthy community, thanks to the patience, wisdom, and strength of our residents. We know that yet another lockdown is difficult for all of us, but we will survive this one, and as many more as necessary until the pandemic is behind us.

Our best course of action now is to be strong, support each other, and get vaccinated as soon as we can. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and our only path out of the pandemic. A majority of adults 16+ in Neyaashiinigmiing have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with each shot making us a little safer, and bringing us one step closer to normalcy. If you haven’t received your COVID-19 vaccination, make an appointment today.

Remember: always keep the people around you safe. Continue to follow pandemic safety protocols.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and remain at least 2 meters from people you don’t live with.