Community Notice Warns COVID-19 Variant of Concern “Omicron” Found in Fort Chip
Fort Chipewyan, Alberta (December 21, 2021)
Deputy Medical Officer of Health Dr. Parminder Thiara released a community notice on Sunday that the Omicron COVID-19 Variant of Concern has been found in Fort Chip.
In the community notice, Dr. Thiara advises close contacts of recognized cases to isolate for 14 days from the date of exposure. Close contacts of recognized cases are being offered testing, and all members of the community are recommended to “continue to wear a mask in public, practice good hand hygiene and two-metre physical distancing, limit non-essential travel, monitor for symptoms, and limit contacts.”
The Deputy Medical Officer of Health also writes:
“At this time, it remains critically important to continue to follow public health guidance in order to protect the most vulnerable community members as well as the overall health and safety of our communities [. ..] While social events […] are permitted, I respectfully ask that everyone remain cautious and prioritize health and safety this season.”
Current public health measures include the following:
- Indoor private social gathering limits: maximum ten people 18 years and older, with no restrictions on children under 18 years of age. (This restriction is not applied to mutual support groups or workers who need to access homes to provide caregiving support or home repairs/maintenance)
- Outdoor private social gathering limits: 20 people, with two-metre physical distancing between households at all times
- Places of worship limit: 1/3 of fire code occupancy. Masks are mandatory, and two-metre physical distancing between households is required (or two close contacts for those living alone).
The community notice reiterates the fact that immunization is “one of the most important measures that can be taken to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Fort Chip.” While early evidence shows two doses of vaccine is effective against severe Omicron-related outcomes, a third dose increases protection against infection.
Fort Chip Métis Local 125 (“Fort Chip Métis”) President Kendrick Cardinal also responded to the community notice:
“Community leaders continue to encourage everyone in the community to work together to keep our families and friends safe. Follow the COVID-19 guidelines, get vaccinated, and as Dr. Hinshaw advised, ‘Covid-19 doesn’t play by the rules we want to, and we can’t change how it behaves. What we can change is how we respond to the new information and do everything we can to stop’ the spread in our community. Be safe! Be aware! Be kind! Merry Christmas.”
Please visit the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 Public Health Actions Website (https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx ) for the most up-to-date information on public health measures. If you or someone you know require COVID-19 testing, please contact the Nunee Health Centre at 780 690-3650 between 8:30AM and 5:00PM (Mon-Fri), or call 811 from 5:00PM to 9:00PM any day.
About Fort Chip Metis
Fort Chip Métis Local #125 (“Fort Chip Métis”) is located in the oldest consecutively inhabited settlement in Alberta. It was established to preserve and promote Métis Culture, and provides services for the Métis people of Fort Chipewyan.
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