OHSWEKEN — The community is easing back on some of the pandemic restrictions put in place to protect Six Nations residents.
Starting September 1, the community will transition to Stage 2.5 reopening, a move the Emergency Control Group likened to a baby step toward matching Stage 3 reopening plans in effect in surrounding regions.
The new phase raises indoor gatherings to 25 people. Outdoor gatherings can see a max of 40 people and outdoor playgrounds, inflatables and other outdoor facilities can now resume.
Gyms and fitness centres can open but must submit a reopening plan to Ohsweken Public Health and the ECG for approval.
Post secondary and secondary schools can now reopen as can elementary schools – however elementary school instruction will continue to be remote learning through to November.
The Six Nations Sports and Cultural Memorial Centre grounds has been home to the community’s COVID testing centre. Now the reopening plan includes some of the facilities located there. SNGR says further information on those specific sites reopening — like the outdoor running track and Six Nations Community Hall — will be updated in the coming days.
The ECG says that restaurants must continue to offer patio and curbside pick up options only and Six Nations childcare facilities will remain closed as well.
The elected council also recommended local businesses continue with contactless payment options and advised workers not to handle status cards or debit cards but says businesses should establish contactless options for their staff.
“The Emergency Control Group decided to develop Stage 2.5 within the Health and Safety Guidelines. The safety of our community continues to be top of mind. Professionals within this group felt it was too soon to move to Stage 3, which is why Stage 2.5 was developed,” said the ECG.
“Recommendations of increased levels of caution to limit the spread continue to be stressed to the community,” said Director of Health Services Lori Davis Hill, “Please be reminded that we are still in a Pandemic and with schools resuming we must remain on guard with our good health practices, and continue to protect our people.”
The ECG continues to recommend infection control measures throughout community households including:
- Practicing good hygiene;
- Staying home and away from others if symptomatic/feeling ill,
- Maintaining physical distancing as much as possible when outside of the home;
- Cleaning and disinfecting high touch point surfaces regularly;
- Staying at home as much as possible if at high risk of severe illness (impacts of Covid-19);
- Wearing cloth face coverings when in public settings as recommended;
- Wearing a medical mask or cloth face covering, if experiencing symptoms of any communicable disease, and if will be in close contact with others or going out to access medical care;
- Reducing personal non-essential travel
Businesses can schedule a free health and environmental inspection by contacting the Six Nations COVID-19 Guidance Hotline for Businesses at 519-750-4908 during business hours Monday to Friday from 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m. Site visits can be requested even if your business has been operating for a while.
Full versions of the COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines are available online at www.sixnations.ca as well as on the Six Nations COVID-19 website or by visiting the Central Administration office in Ohsweken.