Board of Education officials have announced that an additional case of COVID-19 has been identified in Kikendaasogamig Elementary School. To protect community safety, the Board of Education, with the support of the Council, has closed Kikendaasogamig for the remainder of the school year. Nshiime Child and Family Centre will close for one week, June 28 to July 2, as we monitor the situation in the community. We apologize for the inconvenience to families as we respond to the evolving circumstances.
The Chief and Council stress that there is no cause for alarm. Grey Bruce Public Health, with the assistance of our Community Health Nurse, is conducting contact tracing for the identified cases. The needs of the affected individuals and families are being met by the Health Centre and volunteers. Neyaashiinigmiing remains safe and we have no plans to close the community.
Case counts are on the rise in Grey Bruce however, and more infectious mutations of the virus, known as “variants of concern”, are spreading. This includes the currently infamous Delta variant that has received recent media attention. The Community Emergency Response Group and the Council assess the state of the pandemic in Grey Bruce daily. If the situation changes dramatically, be assured that we are prepared to respond as necessary.
We need the community’s help in keeping us all safe. The virus spreads when we stop being vigilant, let our guard down, and stop taking the reasonable precautions that have worked to protect us. The situation still demands that we remain focused on safety fundamentals, even as the number of new cases falls provincially and Ontario proceeds with the 3-step reopening plan. Remember to:
- Wear a facemask outside your home, even when you are with friends and extended family.
- Keep your distance from people you don’t live with, even when you are with friends and extended family.
- Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
The Saugeen First Nation has locked down to halt the spread of a growing number of cases in their community. We are all alarmed and concerned for our sister community, and all of our close friends and relations there. To help their able leadership and very competent health staff deal with the outbreak, we advise CNUFN members to respect their lockdown and avoid all unnecessary travel in and out of SFN.
To protect our community, for the long term, and bring this pandemic to an end, we need to reach “herd immunity”. Herd immunity simply means that with enough immune people in the herd (that’s us), the virus has no new victims to infect and eventually dies out or poses no threat of widespread outbreak. The vaccinated herd immunity strategy has worked against diseases like polio, measles, mumps, rubella, small pox and more. These are diseases that used to be a constant threat, but we don’t need to fear any more because enough people have been vaccinated.
To reach herd immunity in the Neyaashiinigmiing, we need to vaccinate 75% of every man, woman and child who is normally in the community (including non-members, staff, etc). Children under 12 can’t yet be vaccinated, and some people with medical conditions can’t tolerate the vaccine. That means to reach herd immunity we need to vaccinate almost everybody 12 years and older, who can tolerate the vaccine. Your vaccination doesn’t just protect you from serious illness or death, it protects our children, our vulnerable, and our elders.
The most important thing you can do today, to help our families, our communities and our nation, is to make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccination. It is proven safe and very effective, including against variants of concern that have arisen so far. Our next vaccination clinic is scheduled for Saturday, July 17. To make an appointment, you can book online, or call the Health Centre at 519-534-0373 during normal business hours.