A First Nation in northern Saskatchewan is under lockdown to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN) posted a public advisory notice, alerting PBCN communities and members in a Facebook post Wednesday.
According to the post, the lockdown starts Thursday and will remain in effect until further notice.
Under the lockdown, all vehicles entering PBCN communities will be searched and no parties will be allowed.
All roadblocks will continue. Non-PBCN band members and non-residents will not be allowed to enter the communities. Only essential services and personnel will be granted access.
Due to a limited supply of food and essential items in the community, the post says residents will be allowed to leave for grocery shopping, medical appointments and medical emergencies on designated days.
“PBCN Chief and Council are actively engaged to ensure our members are protected and request that local residents do their part,” the post said.
On Oct. 7, the Saskatchewan Health Authority declared a multi-jurisdictional community transmitted outbreak.
According to another community public notice issued on Facebook by PBCN Health Services, the outbreak is traced back to a series of Full Gospel Outreach events in Prince Albert from Sept.14 to Oct. 4.
“It is being declared an outbreak as it involves numerous individuals with close contacts from multiple areas across the province,” the public notice said.
In a separate public notice, the PBCN Health Services said there were confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southend and Deschambault Lake.
In a press release, Deschambault Lake RCMP, Southend RCMP and Pelican Narrows RCMP said access to the detachments is being restricted in support of the recent community lockdown guidelines.
Starting Thursday, the front counter services at the detachments will be open for emergency services only. The restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.
Operational Communication Centres remain open 24/7 for all emergency calls.
“Residents in the communities we serve should know that the Saskatchewan RCMP is well prepared. While there may be new RCMP officers in your community and front-counter services have been restricted, Saskatchewan RCMP is still on the job, responding to calls and working around the clock to keep you safe,” the release said.
Global News reached out to PBCN Health Services, but has not yet heard back.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
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