Monday , 10 May 2021

Letter to the Editor: AHS commends Saddle Lake for pandemic response

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for all of us in Alberta, but it has also been a time where care, compassion and community partnerships have emerged. Saddle Lake Cree Nation, like many Indigenous communities, recognized the seriousness of this pandemic and has taken strong measures since March to reduce the spread of this novel virus.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is working closely with Saddle Lake Cree Nation to reduce the impact of COVID-19. We acknowledge the teams and leadership of First Nations, including Saddle Lake Cree Nation, who have done a remarkable job in protecting their communities and preventing spread.

In March, Saddle Lake Cree Nation declared a state of emergency for their community and have been implementing heightened safety measures ever since. This includes operating a Saddle Lake COVID Security Support Team, a robust screening and contract tracing system, offering increased home care supports and mental health supports, providing regular community updates, and more.

The preventative measures and safety precautions that Saddle Lake Cree Nation has in place during these difficult times are featured on saddlelakecreenation.ca and their Facebook page facebook.com/saddlelakecreenation.

These are stressful times for all Albertans. It is more important now than ever that we be kind and supportive of one another. It is understandable that people have concerns and fear as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we should not allow those fears to harm others in any way.

Nobody is to blame. Rather, we must all work together and support each other every day until this worldwide health issue is no longer a threat.

AHS will continue to work in partnership with Saddle Lake Cree Nation to stop the spread of the virus. We are all interconnected and COVID-19 can impact anyone, at any time. These are difficult times for everyone – in our province and around the world.

We continue to remind everyone to maintain physical distance, wash and sanitize hands regularly and wear a mask when physical distancing is difficult to maintain. Visit ahs.ca/covid to learn more about what you can do to help prevent the spread of COVID19.

We are all in this together.

Greg Cummings, Chief Zone Officer for the AHS North Zone

Dr. Albert Harmse, Acting North Zone Medical Director

Dr. Kathryn Koliaska, Medical Officer of Health, North Zone Lead

Dr. Kristin Klein, Medical Officer of Health, North Zone – East

Donna Matier, Director, Population and Public Health North Zone West

Shannon Dunfield, Manager – Indigenous Health & Diversity, Population Public Health, North Zone

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