Grey Zone – Lockdown: What Does it Mean?

As of December 26th, 2020 Ontario, will enter a province-wide shutdown. The shutdown will be maintained in Grey Bruce for at least 28 days.

During the shutdown you should stay home to the fullest extent possible. Trips outside of the home should be limited and only for essential purposes (accessing health care and medication, grocery shopping, etc.)

Gathering

No indoor gatherings are allowed except with members of the same household.  Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people providing physical distancing (2 meters) can be maintained.

Restaurants

Take out, drive through and delivery permitted only.

Sports and recreational fitness facilities

Facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities are closed. Outdoor recreational amenities (e.g., ice rinks, snow trails) can remain open with restrictions.

Retail

Retail generally permitted to be open for curbside pick-up or delivery only. Supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, farmer’s markets, and pharmacies permitted to be open for in-person shopping with restrictions.

Cannabis

Permitted by curb-side pick-up and delivery

Schools

Elementary school students are planned to be able to return to in-person learning on January 11, 2021. Secondary school students will continue learning remotely until January 25, 2021, at which point they may resume in-person learning.

If you have any questions concerning activities during lockdown, please contact SpringDawn Cook-Akiwenzie or Cynthia Porter at the Nawash Health Center: 519-534-0373.

Membership Office Provides Service by Email Only During Lockdown

Due to the pandemic lockdown, the Chippewas of Nawash Membership Office will not hold any in-person meetings until January 28th. Status cards will not be issued by this department during this time.

Per the notice posted on the Indigenous Services website, expired status cards and/or Temporary Confirmations of Registration Documents (TCRDs) should be accepted by Service Providers during this time. Service Providers may ask for a second piece of I.D when expired status cards and TCRD’s are used.

TCRDs can be obtained directly from Indigenous Services by calling 1-800-567-9604 (Mon-Fri 10am-6pm). These will be mailed to you. Allow time for the department to process your request and for your card to arrive in the mail. Note: You must already be a registered band member to be able to obtain a status card or TCRD

If you wish to apply for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS), the application forms are available on the Indigenous Services website. Our Membership Office can also email the application forms for a SCIS to you. Email your request to larissa.johnston@nawash.ca. Applicants must then complete and send the forms directly to Indigenous Services Canada.

Thank you for your patience at this time. We look forward to providing a higher service level in the future.

Statement from Chief Greg Nadjiwon

COVID-19 is now in the community. Containing the virus depends on every community member working together, remaining calm, and following all health and safety rules. Chief Greg Nadjiwon has prepared a video statement explaining our preparations and precautions. Watch it on YouTube.

English subtitles are available on this video. Enable closed captions or subtitles on your device.

Food Bank Moves to Delivery-Only Service

In response to the pandemic lockdown, the Nawash Food Bank is now providing all food packages by delivery ONLY. 

Please call the Food Bank between 9:00 AM and 12:00 noon on Tuesday or Thursday to arrange delivery of a food package direct to your door. 

Food Bank Staff and Volunteers will be at the Community Centre on Tuesdays from 1:00 – 3:00 PM, and Thursdays from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Staff will only be preparing food packages for delivery. Packages will NOT be handed out in person. 

Deliveries will be made on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Please call before noon on Tuesday or Thursday to allow the Food Bank time to prepare your package for delivery ONLY. 

Nawash Food Bank: 519-534-3266 ext; 105

Community Pandemic Response

The Chief and Council are doing everything they can to keep the community safe during the pandemic. Leadership is working with Grey Bruce Public Health, the Nawash Health Centre, and the Community Emergency Response Group, in setting policies aimed at protecting the health of all Neyaashiinigmiing residents.

We have at least one positive case of COVID-19 in Neyaashiinigmiing. There is no cause for alarm, but now, more than ever, the Council asks for the full cooperation of all residents in resisting the spread of COVID-19. Only your commitment to rigorously follow all pandemic protocols will keep the virus contained.

Neyaashiinigmiing is now in lockdown, with the rest of the Province of Ontario. Please shelter in your primary residence, and avoid taking unnecessary trips outside your home. Out of respect for the health of the community, all non-residents, including members, are asked to refrain from visiting Neyaashiinigmiing at this time. Only residents and essential staff and services are authorized to enter the community.

We regret that non-essential Band programs will remain closed until January 28th, 2021. This schedule is being reassessed weekly. While the current plan is to remain closed until January 28th, if the situation improves programs may re-open sooner. Staff and clients are urged to check our website often for service updates.

Our community of Neyaashiinigmiing is particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus! Protect your relations, friends and neighbours:

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

Important Note: Neyaashiinigmiing small businesses must also stringently follow the safety guidelines. Staff and clients must wear facemasks at all times when indoors and maintain physical distance, if possible.

Even with safe and effective vaccines are on the horizon, this remains a very difficult time, but together we will get through this. We encourage residents and members to remain calm, and adhere to health and safety protocols. We are grateful for your continued incredible patience and strength.

Miigwetch!

Positive COVID-19 Case Identified in Neyaashiinigmiing

Grey Bruce Public Health has confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 in Neyaashiinigmiing. Public Health will be undertaking all contact tracing for this case, and will notify affected individuals. There is no need for additional testing if you are not identified as a potential contact.

The Chief and Council ask the community to remain calm and continue to observe all COVID-19 health and safety guidelines with renewed diligence. Please also respect the privacy of all community members. Refrain from discussing the personal details of any person’s health status, including any identifying information.

This is a serious development for our community, but there is no cause for alarm. By adhering to safety protocols we can and will contain any COVID-19 outbreak in the community.

Remember to:

  • Wear a mask outside your home
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Watch your distance and remain at least 2 meters from anybody who does not live with you

Grey Bruce Public Health, which is handling this case, has prepared the following press release for immediate distribution.

COVID-19 Zones

To help coordinate regional responses to COVID-19 Ontario has been divided into COVID-19 zones, each of which is separately assessed for the severity of the pandemic and the risk to the public. The zones are defined as:

  • Green-Prevent
  • Yellow-Protect
  • Orange-Restrict
  • Red-Control
  • Grey-Lockdown

Each level from Green to Grey has a distinct and increasing set of public health measures aimed at containing COVID-19 and preventing further spread. Currently, Grey Bruce is a Yellow Zone.

Neyaashiinigmiing will respond appropriately to any change in the Grey Bruce COVID-19 Zone designation. To see a summary of the COVID-19 Zone restrictions that may most likely impact our community, click here. You can also find out more about COVID-19 Zones, including the current designation for Grey Bruce at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions.

COVID Alert Mobile App

We have been successful as a community at keeping the COVID-19 virus at bay. Effective vaccines are on the horizon, but for now we are still dealing with the pandemic and a recent increase in provincial and local cases.

To assist us all in keeping Neyaashiinigmiing safe and healthy, the Community Emergency Response Group and the Council recommend that anyone with a smartphone install the COVID Alert mobile app on their device.

The COVID Alert app notifies you when you may have been exposed to someone with the COVID-19 virus. The app is simple, secure and does not store or reveal any confidential or identifying information.

Links to downloads from both Google Play and the Apple App Store, as well as much more information are available at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covidalert.

How It Works

The app works by creating random, unique codes on your phone. Your codes are exchanged automatically and anonymously with other users of the app in your vicinity. Your phone stores your random codes, and the codes of the people you come in contact with, for 14 days.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be given a unique key to enter your app. The app will then upload your own anonymous, random codes.

Every day, when you are connected to the internet, the app will check the list of uploaded codes of users who have tested positive, to see if you have stored any of them, indicating that you were near them at some time in the past 14 days.

The COVID Alert app will then alert you and provide advice on what to do next. Because the app does not store or transmit any identifying information, it is not possible to know when or where you were exposed.

Community Gym Will be Closed for the Holidays

Band offices and programs will be closed for the holiday break, as of December 19, 2020.

Consequently, the last day the gym will be available this year will be Friday, December 18. The gym will be closed from December 19, 2020 to January 3, 2021, inclusive. The gym will open again on January 4, 2021.

The Community Health Nurse reminds residents that COVID-19 safety measures and community restrictions remain in place until further notice.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Merry (Safe) Christmas!

The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Chief and Council, along with the Health Centre and Fire Department, offers Season’s Greetings to all of our members and their families!

We extend our sincere thanks to the community and membership for their ongoing vigilance, which has successfully kept COVID-19 out of Neyaashiinigmiing. Our community has remained strong and united through almost 8 months of this unprecedented pandemic and, to date, we have had zero confirmed cases of COVID-19.  We could not have achieved this without everybody doing their part to watch out for one another. We are incredibly grateful for everything members and residents have done to keep our home safe and healthy.

Even though vaccines are on the horizon, the need for caution is not yet over as COVID-19 cases are up in Ontario. We are very close to finally seeing the end of the pandemic, but we need to be patient until a vaccine is widely available. We don’t want to risk an infection in the community now, after we’ve come so far.

For that reason, we are asking that you avoid all non-essential travel this holiday season, particularly to and from High-Risk Zones (i.e. Orange, Red or Gray).  Please consider your loved ones and the community when deciding to enter or re-enter Neyaashiinigmiing from another zone.

The image above is current as at the time of this publication. For an up-to-date list of zones in Ontario, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions.

Chi-Meegwetch!