October 30th, 2020

Alberta Hutterites working to prevent spread of COVID-19 in their colonies


By Yoos, Cam on April 7, 2020.

Mary Mandel, along with her cousins Austin and Thimna Mandel, serve customers shopping from a table of vegetables from Armada Colony Farms during last year's Downtown Farmers' Market. Hutterites across the province are doing what they can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their colonies. Herald photo file by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald

gbobinec@lethbridgeherald.com

The 204 Hutterite colonies across the province are working collectively to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their communities, as the potential for a rapid spread is high.

The Hutterite Safety Council (HSC) is an organization that is helping guide colonies through the COVID-19 pandemic with procedures and tips to colonies on how they should operate. HSC represents Lehrerleut, Dariusleut and Schmiedeleut Hutterite communities. In a statement released, HSC said health authorities are guiding them to assume it has already entered communities and to practise social distancing and isolation as much as possible.

“The risk of the coronavirus reaching our communities is very real,” Hutterite Safety Council stated. “Health authorities are advising us to assume it is already present in our communities, and to act accordingly.”

HSC is advising colonies to reduce communal gatherings and practise clean hygiene through washing hands, covering your mouth and nose, along with avoiding sharing household and personal-care items. HSC is focused on ensuring colonies take the proper steps to protect their elderly and vulnerable community members.

“Once a community member is infected with COVID-19, it can spread quickly because of our close-knit lifestyle,” Hutterite Safety Council stated. “It is our collective responsibility to do everything possible to slow its spread and protect our most vulnerable members. Community leaders must take the initiative to ensure steps are taken to protect communities.”

Through their community efforts, Hutterite colonies are working to protect themselves and the surrounding communities. During their time, HSC is encouraging colonies to also step up and help out communities in need of necessities.

“Arrange for connections to available resources that Hutterite communities can provide to our neighbours within local communities,” stated HSC. “Examples include supporting local blood donor drives and, if local food supply becomes a concern, food donations. As time passes, more opportunities may arise in other areas, such as making medical facemasks.”

As colonies work at social distancing and isolating, along with sterilizing communities and practising proper hygiene techniques to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their colonies and surrounding communities, HSC is guiding them along the way and encouraging colonies to help when it’s needed.

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*an earlier version of this story included an incorrect number of Hutterite colonies – the Herald apologizes for the error

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[…] Alberta news story last week from the Lethbridge Herald discussed the establishment of the Hutterite Safety Council. […]