In Quebec, most new cases of COVID-19 are caused by variants. These new cases are affecting younger people, who are getting sicker and are often being hospitalized.
The Cree Nation has not reported any cases of the variant in Eeyou Istchee. Our people have the freedom and benefits of travelling between communities to gather and visit family. For this to continue, we must keep up with precautionary measures even as we head out to the land for Goose Break this spring.
Around the world, countries and regions are fighting the 3rd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and virus variants.
The Cree Health Board is working to develop new protocols to ease some restrictions later this spring. This could include gradually reducing the isolation period for people who travel.
In Region 2 Saguenay Lac St-Jean are unable to stabilize and cases are climbing. Northern Ontario still have active cases. Region 8 Abitibi seem to be stabilizing, and trending slowly downward. If Region 8 can continue to maintain its travel restrictions, gathering restrictions and other precautionary measures, it is foreseeable the Cree Nation can consider changing the risk status of the Abitibi Region.
This depends on many factors, including testing and vaccination. We have seen other jurisdictions around the world move in this direction. The Health Board and Cree leadership will have more information about the situation in Eeyou Istchee in coming weeks.
The Cree Health Board is proud of everyone s efforts to get the Moderna vaccine.
So far in Eeyou Istchee:
10, 633 people have received the 1st dose (about 85% of eligible people)
7, 245 people have received the 2nd dose (more than 61% of eligible people)
Vaccination protects each person who decides to do it, and it protects people around you. Our young people 17 and under and children can t get vaccinated yet. When adults get vaccinated, we help protect our children and youth.
The Moderna vaccine is still available in each community by appointment. The Cree Health Board encourages everyone to get the first and second dose of the Moderna vaccine.
If possible, people should do this before going on Goose Break. If people can t get their 2nd dose before Goose Break, they will be able to receive it when they return to their community later this spring.
Cree beneficiaries outside of Eeyou Ischee who want to get vaccinated can still make arrangements. For details on how this works, visit the Cree Health Board website or Facebook page.
Please note that this process will now take longer because mass vaccination campaigns are taking place in the south. People are encouraged to consider waiting until they return to Eeyou Istchee this spring to receive the vaccine.
Wiichihiituwin clients and escorts in Montreal are being vaccinated. Wiichihiituwin is contacting people about how this is being done.
Cree Health Board employees in the south should talk to their supervisor or human resources for details about how they can get vaccinated.
Intercommunity travel in Eeyou Istchee is allowed to visit family, and for essential reasons. People are required to share information when they pass through community gates.
This information is useful in case there s an outbreak, and we have to do contact tracing. We appreciate people s cooperation with this measure.
People are reminded to be extra cautious when preparing and beginning Goose Break at their camps. For those who are isolating at camp, we ask that you be cautious and vigilant about receiving guests, or visiting other camps. We recommend that people use signs when isolating at camp. It is also recommended that people register with their PSO, so that people are aware of your situation.
Travel Outside Eeyou Istchee
People can travel to the following regions without having to isolate when they come home:
Region 10 (Chibougamau, Chapais, Lebel sur Quevillon, Matagami, Radisson)
Region 17 (Nunavik)
There may be other measures in place in your community. Check with your PSO to be informed.
All other regions in Quebec, and Ontario are considered Areas of Risk. People who travel from these regions will have to self-isolate for 14 days when they return to Eeyou Istchee.
Ontario is in a 6-week lockdown with restrictions on travel to and from the province.
People who are currently in Ontario can return home to Quebec. But travel back and forth is limited to essential services.
There are curfews in several regions. If people plan to travel outside Eeyou Istchee they should check rules at their destination. For information about Areas of Risk and travel advisories, please visit the Cree Nation Government s website.