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Onion Lake Cree Nation re-enters lockdown in response to COVID-19 cases

The Onion Lake Cree Nation has announced they will re-enter lockdown as a cautionary measure against COVID-19 transmission.

The new border closing and lockdown will take effect on November 7th, and is expected to go until November 20th, 2020. During this time, there will be several directives in place from Onion Lake Chief and Council.

These include mandatory masks in all public spaces on the OLCN, the cancellation of all community events, including hockey games both at home or away, schools being closed and no visitors at the Elder’s Lodge.

All departments will be closed, and anyone picking up cheques will need to call the office ahead of time and it will be brought to their vehicle. The office will be open for essential services only.

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There will also be several rules for comings and goings to the Onion Lake Cree Nation. Checkpoints will be set up, and people coming and going recorded. Only those who live at the OLCN, provide essential services and approved workers or service providers will be allowed past the checkpoints.

There will be a mandatory curfew in effect between 10 PM and 6 AM, with the RCMP on hand to assist to ensure there isn’t unnecessary traffic on the roads during these times. Travel outside the OLCN is not restricted, but the vehicle’s passengers will be limited to people within a cohort, and people are urged to only leave for necessary reasons. Non-essential travel is prohibited for OLCN staff.

People are also told to continue following existing health guidelines like frequent handwashing, physical distancing, keeping cohort bubbles small, not going anywhere if sick and not returning to work until they are 48 hours symptom-free of any illness. They should also self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days if they’ve been to a large city centre or a COVID-19 “hotspot.”

Like the rest of Saskatchewan, OLCN has a ten-person limit on private gatherings, including meetings, social gatherings, weddings, funerals or outdoor gatherings. They also urge no loitering in public spaces.

Anyone who has close contact with COVID-19 positive people, have symptoms or have travelled internationally are told to self-isolate for fourteen days, and contact the Onion Lake Cree Nation COVID-19 line or HealthLine 811 for testing information or next steps.

According to information put out on November 6th, the OLCN has five active cases, 137 pending tests and 1,818 tests completed to date.

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