EGFN Community Update Memo for Week of April 13th, 2020

April 13th, 2020

Community Update Memo: Eel Ground First Nation

From Chief G. Ginnish and Council

To: Members and Residents

We are providing this update for the week of April 13th, 20209. In regard to measures we are following as well as taking locally in regard to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Municipal and First Nations Leaders had the opportunity to video Conference with the Chief Medical Officer of NB late last week to be updated and pose questions to Dr. Jennifer Russell. Dr. Russell shared that the goal in NB is to keep Covid-19 infections as low as possible. Covid-19 is not the flu, it is a new virus for which we have no immunity or vaccine. It is many times as deadly and much more contagious than any seasonal flu. Testing is an important aspect of managing the spread. Dr. Russell shared that there are adequate kits to test all presenting with symptoms. The criteria for testing have also been adjusted to include having at least two of the following 5 symptoms:

1. A new or worsening chronic cough, 2. A sore throat,

3. A fever above 38 degrees, 4. Runny Nose and/ or

5. Headache

Those exhibiting at least two of these symptoms are advised to immediately self-isolate and contact 811 or their Family Doctor. Having these symptoms does not mean you have Covid-19 but if you do, you will lessen the chance you will transmit to family, etc.

We must all commit  to continue to Stay at Home, except for non-frequent trips for absolute essentials and must keep a minimum 6ft distance at all times from all but those in your household. Masks can be worn in public to help prevent community spread if you are asymptomatic, but must be used with care.

There continues to be many who are not taking these Emergency Measures seriously and are not doing their part to model behaviours to halt transmission. This behavior is dangerous, selfish and illegal. Any large gatherings will aide transmission, spreading this deadly virus further.

In NB cases are still growing, but very slowly. In order for Emergency Measures to be relaxed in New Brunswick there must be a sustained reduction in the number of cases over an extended period of time. If we want restrictions to ease we need to continue to dedicate ourselves and realize that we need to do the work now or the venerable will pay. Those with heart disease, diabetes, COPD and asthma are at increased risk and less able to fight this virus. Many of our Members have these health challenges, more than the general public, so we as First Nations Members have a greater responsibility.

Our Council and Programs will continue to support our most vulnerable in the coming months and we hope all will recognize how all our actions will shape our future. Council has share a Resolution declaring a local state of emergency and to limit community access to resident members and essential services in support of the Emergency Measures and Local State of Emergency. We are also sharing a key message Memo from Emergency Measures with information from Public Health that outline on going priorities.

Wela’lin, Stay Safe!

Chief G. Ginnish for Council, EGFN

 

Key messages from Emergency Measures with information from Public Health that outline on going priorities: Saturday April 11th, 2020

COVID-19 in New Brunswick:

Topline

- We think everyone for what they are doing to help flatten the curve. The important thing is to stop non-essential travel.

- We want to take the time to thank all the essential workers - be they in the private sector or the public sector - who are working through the Easter weekend on behalf of their fellow New Brunswickers.

- As Easter approaches, residents are reminded that religious gatherings are banned under the Covid-19 State of Emergency.

- Mass gatherings have the potential for serious consequences to public health. Residents are reminded that restrictions in place as part of the State of Emergency in response to the risks from COVID-19 bars gatherings, including gatherings for religious celebrations.

- Clergy members can live-stream a religious service but there should be no parishioners or congregation members on site.

- Under the state of emergency, everyone is prohibited from knowingly approaching within 2 metres of every other person, except persons with whom they reside.

- Law enforcement officials have been actively enforcing the emergency order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Most of those efforts have been focused on educating people so they are aware of what they need to do. In most cases, people are complying with the directives. There are a small number of cases in which officers have had to issue tickets. Nine tickets were issued over the weekend to people failing to comply with the emergency order. Fines can range from $292.50 to $10,200.

- A pandemic task force has been established by the provincial government to help combat COVID-19, the Novel coronavirus. 

                  

- The task force will be vested with decision making authority about the pandemic response for all aspects of the healthcare system, including the regional health authorities Extra-Mural and Ambulance New Brunswick, primary care, and long-term care system.

- The province would like to remind New Brunswickers that in-person church gatherings are prohibited under the State of Emergency order. Mass gatherings can have the potential for serious public health consequences. They can increase the spread of infectious diseases and cause additional strain on the health-care system when held during outbreaks.

- Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, continues to urge people to stay home, maintain physical distance and wash their hands frequently.

- Everyone has a role to play in mitigating the impact of COVID-19. It takes more than government an action from the health sector to protect the health and safety of New Brunswickers.

- Physical distancing will help to flatten the curve to prevent over burdening the healthcare system with ill patients all at once.

- Since mass gatherings can increase the spread of infectious diseases and cause additional strain on the health-care system all mass gatherings should be cancelled.

- We must do all we can to prevent COVID-19’s spread in New Brunswick. Many are adhering to voluntary self isolation and physical distancing but we no more measures are necessary.

-  All travellers returning to the province must now self isolate for 14 days.