By Lethbridge Herald on December 10, 2020.
Blood Tribe Chief and Council, the director of Emergency Management and Blood Tribe Health officials have made necessary decisions and issued additional precautions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic on the Blood Reserve.
“There is an alarming increase of our tribal members who are testing positive and being infected by this dangerous virus,” said Chief Roy Fox in a letter to Blood Tribe members. “We, therefore, have made several decisions towards protecting our tribal membership and we want to ensure that everyone is made aware of these additional preventative measures.
Council and senior management has been advised by health representatives on the necessity of immediate testing and isolation for the Chief and Council. Everyone has been tested and will remain in isolation until the results are finalized. No person-to-person meetings will take place until it is safe to do so.
With an alarming increase in the number of members who are testing positive with COVID-19 again, Fox stressed the need to control the spread of the pandemic.
“We call upon the membership to increase your vigilance and follow those important precautions that our health professionals and front-line workers have been sharing with us continuously,” said Fox.
When Alberta issued a lockdown in March, the Blood Tribe provided food hampers along with cleaning supplies to reserve residents and many off-reserve residents. The Blood Tribe will continue to provide essentials to those isolating and, or, in quarantine.
“We have stemmed the increased infection of this virus before and we can certainly combat this surge again through due care and with the mindset of protecting each other as true Nitsitapi,” said Fox.
Members are urged to heed the following directions:
¥ Drive-thru COVID-19 testing is available again for those who do not have symptoms. Testing is at the Mobile Medical Unit at the Standoff Health Centre parking lot. If you are feeling sick or have any symptoms call (403) 737-8411 immediately.
¥ Anyone who has attended a social gathering or funeral/wake in the past 10 days or are commuting on and off reserve for work or training is urged to be tested.
¥ Follow the current travel restrictions to essential reasons only — food, fuel, and medical purposes.
¥ The curfew will be changed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
¥ All scheduled community functions and gatherings (including BTA departments and entities) are cancelled until further notice. Only essential services are allowed — drive-thru testing and food hamper distribution.
¥ Blood Tribe Department of Health will no longer approve nor support any gatherings at home (eg. temperature checks).
¥ Chief and Council will not attend any public functions.
¥ No wakes will be permitted at private residences; therefore, it is strongly advised that families follow all Alberta Health Services safety measures at funeral homes — especially gathering limits.
¥ No Blood Tribe administration departments or entities staff will attend funerals/wakes unless they are immediate family.
¥ No visiting other households and no gatherings in any household.
¥ All entryways to BTA departments/entities will require temperature checks, contact information from all public members accessing services.
¥ All individuals ordered to be in quarantine by contact tracers must stay home or face fines.
Blood Tribe Police Service will be notified by Blood Tribe Department of Health on the individuals under these orders.