We are pleased to announce that the Council has accepted and approved the recommended Reopening Plan for Neyaashiinigmiing, most of which will come into effect on June 14, 2021. The CNUFN Council has been carefully monitoring the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, and conditions in Neyaashiinigmiing. Vaccination levels continue to improve across the province and case counts are dropping steadily. The provincial Stay at Home order ended on June 2, 2021, although the province-wide Emergency Brake and associate regulations will remain in effect until Ontario enters Step 1 of its Reopening plan. We can now gather outdoors, in groups of up to 5 people from different households.
While this does not mark the end of the pandemic or completely remove the risk of an outbreak, conditions have considerably improved. We can now begin taking safe, measured, responsible steps to reopening the community.
The Community Emergency Response Group struck an ad hoc Reopening Committee to create a plan for the safe and responsible reopening of Neyaashiinigmiing. The committee members were Cynthia Jamieson, Acting First Nations Administrator; Cynthia Porter, Health Manager; Amy Ingram, Supervisor of Social Services; Councilor Nick Saunders; Judy Nadjiwan, Board of Education Administrator; Patrick Nadjiwan, Legal Counsel; and Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health. The committee’s recommendations balanced our ongoing need to reduce the risk of a dangerous outbreak in the community, with the widespread desire to see life begin to return to normal.
Our plan is specific to the situation in Neyaashiinigmiing, although we will observe the province’s direction as Ontario moves into subsequent steps of the provincial reopening plan. We cannot exceed the speed of the provincial reopening, but we can go slower if we feel it would be better for the community. This is only a first step in what will be a multi-phase reopening process. We look forward to seeing more of our relations and friends (in small groups, for now) as the danger of the pandemic recedes.
We encourage everybody who is eligible for, and can tolerate a vaccine, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity. We are holding a clinic in the community on Saturday, June 19, for members and their immediate families as young as 12 years old. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, register online today, or call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373. Let’s continue working together to help bring this pandemic to an end. Your vaccination protects you, our youth, and those who can’t tolerate the vaccine for other medical reasons.
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.