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Sunday , 27 September 2020

Saddle Lake re-enters lockdown due to positive COVID-19 case

Saddle Lake Cree Nation has re-entered a 14-day lockdown state after a member of the Nation tested positive for COVID-19.

The case was reported to band officials September 5th, two days after the infected individual was tested for the virus.

Travel will be limited to and from Saddle Lake, though essential services will remain open.

The nation’s stores will also remain open with regular hours in order to remove the need for members to travel off-reservation for supplies, though face masks will the mandated in each location.

“We encourage our members to follow common practices to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Chief Eric Shirt in a video broadcast on the Nation’s Facebook page. 

“Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and try to only send one person out of the house for essentials like groceries.”

So far authorities in Saddle Lake only know of one case within its borders, while the identity, including the gender of the infected individual, remains confidential.

Chief Shirt stressed the need for anyone with concerns or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 to be forthcoming to health officials.

“We want to eliminate the stigma this virus has created,” he said. “If you are sick, feeling sick, or worried you have been in contact with someone that’s been sick, make it known to the proper authorities.

“We have the best healthcare workers I’ve ever seen in our health centre, and they will take care of you.”

Services that are currently unavailable are the Nation’s town halls and funeral services, while it’s child welfare, public works, and the health centre services will remain open with limited limited entrances and exits, sanitization stations at high-touch areas, and mandatory face masks mandates.

Band administration and offices will be closed to the public and will require scheduling an appointment.

The Nation will work with its health centre and checkpoints set up across the community to provide information to residence on the developing situation.

Beyond the positive case in Saddle Lake, there is one active case in the County of St. Paul area, and one active case in the Bonnyville, Cold Lake, Smoky Lake, and Vermilion areas.

Premier Jason Kenney made comments during a news conference on Wednesday that don’t suggest increased health rules will be put in place again like British Columbia did yesterday,

“Alberta’s belief is we’re not going to micromanage our way out of this,” Kenney said. “We’re only going to get through this if people exercise personal responsibility, and that’s what we call on Albertans to do.”

About Chris Lapointe

Chris is a two-time Vancouver Film School graduate, where he originally studied screenwriting and video games. Returning home to the lakeland post-graduation, he was determined to put what he learned to use. He brings with him a laid-back attitude and a love for pop culture that he hopes can be injected into Lakeland Connect's publications.