From the Office of the Chief
TO: Residents of Wabaseemoong Independent Nations
SUBJECT: Covid-19 Update – Partial Lockdown
DATE: Monday, April 20, 2020


On Friday April 17, 2020 The Northwestern Health Unit confirmed its first positive case in Kenora Ontario. Many of our neighboring First Nations implemented “lockdown” procedures to protect their community members and limit non-resident access into the community.

Chief and Council met on Saturday April 18, 2020 to discuss the next steps to our response to this pandemic. We have authorized the pandemic response committee and coordinators to start planning for a partial lockdown of the community.

The best methods of preventing spread to and within Wabaseemoong are to limit unnecessary travel outside of the community, limit social gatherings, promote social distancing, and hygiene methods such as washing hands regularly, coughing/sneezing into an arm, cleaning common surfaces frequently and wearing a mask if any respiratory symptoms are present. We can also reduce the risk of spreading the infection by avoiding direct contact with others, common surfaces and shared objects as the virus can live on surfaces for extended periods of time.

What does a partial lock-down mean in Wabaseemoong?

  • Restrictions on people coming in and out of the community at Discretion of Chief and Council. Band members not ordinary residents in the community, if you live in Kenora or Winnipeg, you may not enter at this time
  • The security check stop has moved to reserve line to control entry into the community
  • Limit entry to permanent residents only, restrict persons wishing to visit from out of town
  • Limit entry to only essential personnel (Community Nurses, EMS, Treaty 3 Police, OPP, Water Delivery, essential cargo or grocery delivery)
  • Restrict or ban movement of community members from Wabaseemoong for non-essential travel or only with prior approval from Chief and Council or with recommendation from Nursing station. People that have appointments or on-going treatments will be allowed to travel outside the community
  • One trip outside per week to get essential services like groceries and medication. Please take precautions when you travelling to Kenora to get food, wear gloves and masks. Please do not leave the community if you are feeling sick, please stay home and self-isolate if your feeling sick.

Our Pandemic Response Committee has been preparing for the past few weeks. Our elders, vulnerable populations and families without means to get by, will be provided with essential food during this time. Notices will be distributed.

Please do not panic, we have been on a partial lockdown for the past 4 weeks already since we put up the Security Check Stop. The only extra measure is the limiting trips to once a week. Please cooperate with the check-stop crew.