By Greg Bobinec on January 19, 2021.
The Blood Reserve is under new public health measures, following an announcement from Chief Roy Fox and Director of Emergency Management Rick Soup on Friday, in response to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
As of Jan. 4 there were only three active cases, with the most recent reported numbers as of Monday now showing 88 active cases on the Blood Reserve.
“It is important for us to fully realize that we all have to do our part in controlling the spread of this dangerous virus,” says Fox. “We appreciate the fact that most of you have followed those, however, there are still some for us who have failed to follow these important rules that caused the sudden increase in the infection among our membership.”
In response to the rise in cases, Soup announced 11 new measures will be in effect immediately and last for at least 30 days, which will be strictly enforced through the Blood Tribe Department of Health, Director of Emergency Management and team, and the Blood Tribe Police.
All members are ordered to be in quarantine by the Blood Tribe Department of Health or Alberta Health services and must stay in strict quarantine as directed, or applicable penalties will be applied. There is a strict curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., as well as travel on the Blood Reserve is restricted to essential reasons only including authorized work, medical purposes, or to purchase food or fuel.
There are no social gatherings for any purpose, including at private residences, as well as all scheduled community functions and gatherings are cancelled until further notice. Any essential in-person meetings are limited to 10 people, with masking, physical distancing and sanitizing being required.
No wakes will be permitted at private residences. All families are advised to follow AHS measures at funeral homes. No Blood Tribe or entity staff can attend funerals or wakes unless they are immediate family.
All Blood Tribe departments and entity services are limited to essential operations. Non-essential departments will only be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Staff will work at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Essential services will remain open. All entryways to Blood Tribe departments and entities will require temperature checks, and all persons accessing public services shall provide contact information.
All Blood Tribe members shall remain within their own family cohorts, while mandatory masking requirements will continue community wide, and physical distancing is required unless with family cohort.
The Kainai Board of Education (KBE) was notified by Alberta Health Services and the Blood Tribe Department of Health that employees who worked at the central office tested positive for COVID-19, leaving the central office closed until Jan. 25 for extensive cleaning. Students in all school in the KBE will continue with online learning until further notice.
To assist residents with the new restrictions, Fox announced that all Blood Tribe member households, both on and off reserve, will receive an additional $200. Card system arrangements are in place at the Kainai Market Place for on-reserve members and at Safeway and Sobeys for off-reserve members.
Chief Fox assures his members that he is working closely with provincial and federal ministers to ensure the Blood Tribe is curving the spread of COVID-19, as well as get a priority share of the vaccine rollout.
Follow @GBobinecHerald on Twitter
Follow @GBobinecHerald on Twitter