The Kahnawake COVID-19 Task Force raised the pandemic status to red on October 1st on the territory. Since then, it has stayed at level “significant” daily, some businesses including gaming establishments closed on October 4th. The number of new cases has been increasing and the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake also voiced its concerns about scapegoating and bullying in the community.
According to Public health, about four new COVID-19 cases has been registered since September 21st for a total of 28 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
When the status was raised to red, which means “there is a significant increase or sustained level of community spread and maximum risk of transmission”, enhanced measures were implemented:
-Private gatherings are limited to six people (except for funerals religious/traditional ceremonies and support groups);
-People are strongly recommended to stay within their households;
-Residents advised to stay local as much as possible without unnecessary travel;
-No visitation at Kateri Memorial Hospital Center (KMHC), Elders Lodge, and Independent Living Center, except for natural care givers and of life visits;
-Closure of organized sports.
Businesses and schools
Other than gaming establishments, restaurants were asked to revert take-out and delivery only. No in-house dining is allowed. Cigar lounges reverted to retail sales only.
If required, schools will move to remote learning, advised the Kahnawake COVID-19 Task Force. They will, however, remain open for vulnerable students and those without access to appropriate WIFI technology, as well as children of essential service workers. Daycares operate as usual.
“It is clear that the current situation in Quebec is escalating and that we absolutely must take aggressive measures”, said Lloyd Philips, Head of the Task Force. “We have to make very difficult decisions that will, once again, cause a great deal of stress for our people”, he added.
Before raising the pandemic status to red, concerns were voiced by the MCK regarding certain reactions to the news of Kahnawake’s members of the community who have tested positive for COVID-19.
“As a community, we have an obligation to support each other, especially during this difficult time. It is not acceptable to shame, bully or scapegoat those who have been unfortunate enough to contract the virus”, reminded the Council in a press release.