Saik’uz First Nation Chief is calling on band members to take COVID-19 more seriously.
“My concerns are that members are not taking this seriously and still going to Vanderhoof for unnecessary reasons,” Chief Priscilla Mueller told the Omineca Express on March 25.
She said that members should go to Vanderhoof for groceries and urgent medical appointments, but “almost everything else can wait.”
On March 11, Saik’uz cancelled all community engagement sessions are all staff and council travel.
On March 16, the Band office was closed, followed by Daycare and Elders Centre to all non-staff and non-essential persons coming into the building.
On March 20, council made a decision that “it was best to close our offices completely with only a few essential staff to support necessary services. We felt that it was very important that as many staff as possible stay home, and those who are able, are working from there now,” Mueller said.
Chief and Council went door-to-door on March 17, to hand out important notices regarding closures, distribute important contact information, “and to stress how important it is for members to practice social distancing during the upcoming weeks,” Mueller added.
The First Nations community has also had to close their health centre, but doctors and nurses are still available by phone.
“If I can share anything with our members, it is to say that I cannot stress enough the importance of staying home, not visiting anyone in-person, and staying away from crowds of people for at least the next two weeks,” Mueller said.
She said the virus could be ‘devastating’ if it reaches Saik’uz. “Practice safe distancing, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and if you’re sick, stay home!”