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Deconfinement in Eeyou Istchee

Audio file
Explanation of deconfinement plan in Cree and English

What does “deconfinement” mean?

  • Deconfinement means gradually loosening some restrictions put in place to reduce COVID-19 transmission, and allowing a return to some activities. As such, deconfinement marks an important shift in our mindset about COVID-19. 
  • Deconfinement does not mean the pandemic is over. It means the situation is stable enough for us to start thinking about how we can reduce the long-term effects of confinement on our communities, culture and traditions, while continuing to protect our population against the virus. 
  • Deconfinement is a balancing act with its own risks. Loosening current public health measures could lead to an increase in cases in our region. 
  • Deconfinement is NOT a sudden removal of all restrictions. It is a gradual process of easing some (not all) of the precautionary public health measures in a planned and organized fashion, over several weeks and months. What measures to lift first, and in what order will be decided in consultation with the Cree Nation Government, based on our region’s specific needs.

5 phases of the deconfinement process

Phase 1 

• Resume outdoor activities 

• Allow small outdoor gatherings (2 households maximum) 

• Resume some health care services 

Phase 2 

• Reopen local businesses 

• Allow small indoor private gatherings 

• Gradually resume all health care services 

Phase 3 

• Reopen personal services and restaurants 

• Reopen daycares and schools 

• Allow medium- scale private and public gatherings 

Phase 4 

• Reopen all other businesses including recreational & entertainment activities 

• Allow larger public gatherings 

Phase 5 

• Remove all remaining measures including community checkpoints 

Each phase of deconfinement depends on the success of the previous phase. The steps and measures of each phase may be adjusted as we move ahead. 

We will watch the situation carefully for 14 days (equivalent to one incubation period of the virus), to make sure there are no negative effects, before moving to the next phase. 

Staying safe during all phases of deconfinement

In order to continue protecting each other, our Elders and vulnerable people, we must continue to follow basic public health and hygiene measures until the end of the deconfinement process: 

  • Wash your hands carefully 
  • Observe respiratory etiquette (Cough/sneeze in your sleeve. Throw used tissue in a closed garbage can). 
  • Avoid touching your face (especially your mouth, nose, or eyes) 
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect public spaces 
  • Maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) when in public places, particularly among vulnerable people, including Elders and those with underlying health conditions 
  • Stay home if you are sick, or if you have been exposed to the virus 
  • Limit non-essential travel. Mandatory 14-day self-isolation after traveling to a high-risk region will continue.
  • Regions considered “high risk” will change as the situation evolves. 

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