Community Shutdown

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The PDF version of this notice is available here

  • Date: December 22, 2020
  • From: COVID-19 Task Team and HFN Council
  • Re: Community Shutdown

Aaniin Citizens, HFN Residents and OSM Residents,

As you are likely aware, the second wave of COVID-19 has seen an alarming increase in the number of daily reported cases and hospitalizations across Ontario. In the past six days, more than 2000 new cases have been reported daily in Ontario, as well as increases in hospitalization and strain on ICU capacity. Health Officials from across the province have raised their extreme concern regarding their capacity to provide care if cases continue to rise as projected.

In response to this, on December 21, the Ontario government announced a province wide shutdown period. This shutdown will begin 12:01AM December 26, lasting 28 days in what has been deemed “Southern” Ontario health units (including Peterborough and surrounding areas) and 14 days for “Northern” Ontario health units.

As always, we must consider the safety of our Citizens and Community first and foremost at this time. We need to address the very real danger that COVID-19 continues to present to us, and especially to our most vulnerable.

As such, to protect our Citizens and Community, Hiawatha First Nation will be closing all nonessential businesses as of 12:01AM December 26, through until 12:01AM on January 23. Other changes which will be effective at this time include:

  • ORRS Store and Gas Bar will be limiting their hours of operation to 7:00 – 11:00 a.m. daily for HFN Citizens, HFN Residents and OSM Residents within the HFN boundaries only. Deliveries from the store can be made available – contact ORRS for more information.
  • Anyone needing to make a payment to Hiawatha First Nation, at this time, all payments will be received by mail. 
  • Gatherings (indoors or outdoors) will not be permitted.
  • Administration and Health Offices will remain closed until January 25, 2021.
  • The Child Care Centre will remain closed until January 25, 2021.
  • The Youth Centre will remain closed until January 25, 2021.
  • No programing will occur during the month of January 2021.
  • Indoor home renovations/work should be put on hold during this time.
  • If you require emergency repairs in your home please ensure that masks are worn at all times, keep 6ft of physical distance and limit your contact with this person.

We continue to maintain a dedicated page on our website with updated information on how to self-monitor, self-isolate or care for family members in self-isolation, as well as best practices and safety measures:

Our COVID-19 Task Team will continue to monitor and assess the situation over our regular holiday closure period and will make any necessary changes to keep everyone as safe as we can this holiday season. To date, there continues to have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our Community. This is a great achievement and speaks volumes to the efforts you have all put in to keep each other safe, we cannot thank you enough for these actions.

We appreciate that during what is usually a time of the year that everyone comes together, it is even harder to continue to restrict contact and visiting. This season, the best way to come together is to remain apart. We ask everyone to limit contact, travel and visitors as much as is possible, and spend the holidays with your immediate household. For those living alone, it is recommended that you join the festivities with one other household, and that you are the only addition.

Holiday traditions can be transitioned to online gatherings, such as dress codes for tacky holiday wear, baking or keeping a cook company virtually, using various platforms to watch movies together in sync, or apps to play games or sing songs together.

Drive by events can also be considered, making routes of areas with Christmas lights or other holiday decorations, plan stationary caroling from your front door for drive by or walk by visitors.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Office at 705-295-4421. Responses may be slower than usual during regular operation periods, but we will return your call.

With the holiday season in full swing, we recognize this has been a difficult and challenging time for many. The greatest gift we can give this Holiday is to protect our family and loved ones by staying at home, following all the safety protocols and using other ways to celebrate the holiday season like the phone, the computer, etc. 

“Our Citizens and Community remain our first priority and we will work to mitigate risks for best possible outcomes moving forward through the COVID-19 pandemic.”