Public health orders in place for Hay River, KFN

Town of Hay River welcome sign. (Photo by MyTrueNorthNow.com staff.)
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A gatherings order was issued for the Town of Hay River that will go into effect at 11:59 tonight and be in place for 14 days until 11:59 p.m. November 2nd.

A separate containment order for K’atl’odeeche First Nation Reserve Lands was also issued that similarly goes into effect at 11:59 tonight and will be in place until 11:59 p.m. November 2nd.

The orders were given by the Chief Public Health Officer due to a sudden increase in COVID-19 transmission in the community that can’t be traced.

Currently there are 24 active cases in Hay River and K’atl’odeeche First Nation as well as active cases in four of the five Hay River/KFN schools.

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Dr. Kami Kandola says outdoor gatherings in Hay River will be limited to 25 people while indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people.

Kandola says this will not apply to essential businesses and facilities, provided they limit the number of in-person staff to those required to carry out operations.

“All previous exemptions for persons, businesses, organizations, restaurants or bars will no longer apply. Further exemptions during this 14 -day order will only be provided in exceptional circumstances to further limit the spread within Hay River,” she adds.

Household gatherings will be limited to household members only and schools will remain closed until the expiry of the order.

Daycares and day homes are exempt from this order if operating under currently approved plans that have been submitted to the CPHO.

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Kandola is hopeful that by implementing these additional restrictions for a 14-day period, it will act as a circuit breaker to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Hay River, allow for the safe reopening of schools, and a return to relaxed restrictions on gatherings.

It is recommended to avoid non-essential travel in and out of Hay River for the duration of this order.

The containment order on the KFN reserve will require the closure of non-essential businesses and transitioning to remote learning for the Chief Sunrise Education centre.

Essential businesses that can remain open under strict public health measures are:

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  • Gas stations and convenience store;
  • Facilities offering health, social support, and childcare services. Daycares may remain open for the children of essential workers only;
  • Workplaces for peace officers and others employed for the preservation and maintenance of public peace; and
  • Workplaces where persons are engaged in the construction of public and Indigenous infrastructure projects.

Restrictions will be placed on indoor or outdoor gatherings to include only household members.

Non-essential travel in and out of the reserve is not recommended at this time.

Kandola recommended that households designate one person to travel to Hay River to obtain essential supplies such as groceries or gas.

“This individual should not be symptomatic or a close contact of COVID or medically advised to isolate. They should be fully vaccinated or declared recovered from COVID 19 by a healthcare provider in the past 180 days,” she adds.

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