March 20, 2020
The Chief and Council of the Netimizaagamig Nishnaabeg (formerly Pic Mobert First Nation), today passed a band council resolution closing the community to non-residents, effective immediately.
Chief Johanna Desmoulin said, “This was a necessary and timely decision to make in light of the global pandemic and the state of emergency in place in Ontario, and means that our Council is doing all it can in order to protect our citizens and prevent the spread of this dangerous virus.”
An Emergency Pandemic Team has been established and meets daily to monitor local, regional and provincial/national developments, and to propose and implement local measures.
As part of the Council decision, a 24-hour manned road block will be established at the entrance to the community. All persons wishing to enter the community will be subject to screening, and only persons who are currently residents of the community will be allowed to enter.
Non-residents are requested not to attempt to enter and visit the community until further notice.
The screening will include requiring evidence of residency, completing a screening questionnaire and being subjected to infrared scan to identify a potential fever.
Deliveries that are determined to be providing essential services to the community (e.g. heating oil, propane, septic pumping services, food and medical supplies) may be exempted from the entry ban, with the condition that drivers have no or minimal contact with residents, and only with precautionary conditions including an escort in and out of the community.
Also, access by patients of the OATC clinic be allowed for the time being on the condition that patients complete a screening process, and if they are eligible to enter, that they are limited to entering with an escort.
Persons who are denied access to the community will be asked to immediately leave, and any persons who attempt to enter the community after being refused entry, will be reported to the police and charged with trespassing.
The Council is also requesting that its resident members practice social distancing, including avoiding any non-essential visits, practicing frequent hand washing and keeping at least 2 metres (about 6’) away from others as much as possible.
Based on the experience of other countries globally, social distancing has been proven to be an effective means of slowing the spread of the virus and “flattening the curve”.
The Council will continue to monitor the circumstances closely and will provide notification of any changes to this decision and related procedures as they are approved.
For further information, updates and key contact information, please visit our web-site (www.picmobert.ca) or our Facebook page.
The First Nation offices are either closed or on limited operations for essential services until further notice.