by Jake Cardinal
(ANNews) – The weather has gotten warmer, the days are getting longer, and with the quarantine in effect, it is becoming much more difficult to remain inside. This is especially true for Cold Lake First Nation. In an update released April 28 by the First Nation, Councilor Gina Russell provided the latest information regarding the virus.
“We now have two cases of COVID in the Cold Lake area. We are fortunate that none have come onto the Nation as of yet and we want to keep it that way. We have been following other areas and we want to try keep the virus off Cold Lake First Nation so we do not have an outbreak,” Gina Russell stated, “as is happening in some other nations and they’re experiencing a lot of grief and fear.”
The Navajo Nation in the United States has been hit with 30 deaths and 830 confirmed cases; the first confirmed COVID case in an Alberta First Nation happened in Sucker Creek on April 23; and the first confirmed case of COVID in St. Paul County appeared in the news on April 27.
The city of Cold Lake, located 18 kilometers North of the First Nation, have also cancelled all summer events including the Cold Lake Air Show, Full Throttle Festival, and even events like Canada day and Aqua days. There will also be no booking of sporting events within the city. In a press release dated April 27, 2020, Mayor Craig Copeland said, “The cancellation of summer events across the province will, of course, be devastating for the economy but to continue to plan for these events when their continuation is unlikely would only serve to put public dollars at risk.”
Cold Lake First Nation have outlined a list of rules for the community to follow during these uncertain times:
– The burning of grass is banned until further notice.
– Taxis bringing items to First Nation residents must know the house number and name of recipient or they will be turned away.
– Refrain from visiting people within the reservation if you do not live with them, do your best to stay home.
– Family members moving back to the First Nation from affected areas must isolate for 10 to 14 days.
– No inviting non-residents and/or non-band members onto the Nation.
“By not following the rules we have in place. You are jeopardizing you, your family, and all of the nation members.” Gina Russell continued.
Cold Lake First Nation also asks that you remain respectful and polite to those running the security.
Other updates include food distribution to First Nation members, which will be happening on Thursday April 30, 2020 between 10:30am and 2pm. The hampers are in limited stock and are made for those of the highest need.
Finally, Gina Russell ended the update by providing the numbers for the First Nation Emergency Call Centre, which are 780-594-7184 and 780-593-7185, as well as the Mental Health Line, which is 211. If you are experiencing feelings of stress or loneliness, please call.