The MCFN Chief and Council and the COVID-19 Working Group are continuing to actively take precautions and actions to address the potential impacts of COVID-19 within our Nation. At this time, we have 3 active cases of COVID-19 in the community, 14 have been resolved.

In the surrounding communities, Six Nations has a total of 79 active cases and Haldimand-Norfolk has 32.

MCFN Organization Lockdown

Due to the high number of active cases in the surrounding area, Chief and Council have extended the organizational Lockdown. This lockdown for our organization will be in effect until March 15th, 2021. During this period, please note the following:
• MCFN Operations will continue to be restricted to operational services only;
• External contractors will not be permitted in MCFN buildings until after March 15th,
• Programs may proceed with on-reserve program pickups, pending staff adhere to enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols;
• Necessary SHS programming will continue, with enhanced COVID-19 precautions in place, including the Flu Shot Clinic, the Immunization Clinic and foot care for seniors;
• All in-person programming will be cancelled for the duration of the lockdown and virtual programming will take place whenever possible;
• Visitors or community members will not be permitted in MCFN administration buildings, the phone line will be manned by a receptionist from 8:30am-2:00pm, Monday through Friday, not including the 1 (one) hour lunch period of 12:00pm-1:00pm;
• LMR will be deemed essential for Community Wellness applications and on-reserve status cards;
• External businesses have been provided with a MCFN letter signed by the Chief Operating Officer regarding Public Health recommendations, in terms of indoor gatherings and COVID protocols.

We have asked external businesses to operate with COVID precautions in place. We are thankful to those businesses who continue to comply with the First Nation’s directions. If you are attending any businesses within the First Nation who have chosen to comply with the provincial standards related to COVID and not MCFN, please take every precaution as we do not know who visits these businesses.

COVID-19 Variants of Concern

As you are aware, COVID-19 Variants of Concern are circulating within Ontario.
In a statement from Indigenous Services Canada, they say at least one of these variants, the “UK variant,” is thought to be 30-50% more transmissible than those already established in Canada. There is some evidence that it can cause more severe illness.

Precautions

We are asking you to take extra steps to prevent the Variants of Concern from spreading in our community. This includes:
• Double masking, or wearing a single mask and a face shield. This it has been proven effective in preventing the transmission of this variant;
• Limiting travel to areas with looser restrictions. It is recommended that your trips are only those of an essential nature only, that being groceries, pharmacy and if necessary, to work;
• Practice physical distancing of 2-metres when out of your home to get essential supplies;
• Restrict contact to people who live in your own home. For those who live alone, it is recommended that you limit your contact to one close household. We are asking you to please refrain from any public gatherings, especially ones where social distancing is not possible. Virtual gatherings are highly recommended and can serve as a platform to connect with others in a safe manner.
• Lastly, continue to wash your hands, and practice good hygiene.

Payments

During the lockdown, members are encouraged to utilize electronic funds transfers or cheques as a means of paying any MCFN invoices. Once the buildings reopen for regular services, we will be again be able to accept in person payments, with enhanced COVID precautions in place.

March Break

March Break will remain status quo, we will not be following the Province in postponing the dates. It will continue to run from March 15th – 19th.

Testing

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we are encouraging you to get tested. The results can be delivered to you in as quick as 24 hours.
Please contact the following Public Health Offices and follow their instructions:
• Haldimand Norfolk Public Health – 519-426-6170, ext. 9999
• Six Nations COVID-19 Assessment Centre – 1-855-977-7737 or 226-446-9909
• Brant County Public Health – 519-751-5818 or at covid.assessment@bchsys.org

Please note, the MCFN Community Health Office is not a Public Health Office, although it does assist with contact tracing and wellness checks for those who reside on MCFN.

Vaccine

We are happy to report through Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit our Home and Community Care staff who wished to be vaccinated have received their first dose. This will help us greatly in returning to many in person services safely.
To our members, we appreciate your patience with this matter. At this time, the vaccine has not been made available to our community. However, we continue to advocate for such and do anticipate it will be soon.
Please keep an eye out for a vaccine survey that will be posted online, and mailed to you. This survey will help us identify the overall community interest, and help us ensure when our Vaccine Clinic is running we are able to vaccinate interested community members in a timely, and effective manner.

The Chief and Council and the COVID-19 Working Group will continue to work hard on our Vaccine Plan until the Vaccine is available to us.

Please note, if you require emergency assistance at this time relating to Social and Health Programs, you can contact their land line at 905-768-1181, and leave a voice mail at the applicable extension of the relevant party. If you require emergency Administrative support, please contact Kailey Thomson, Chief Operating Officer at 905-979-2957. You also have the option to reach out to any member of Council. If you require other information or supports, I encourage you to look to our website and social media for relevant contact numbers and resources.