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Six Nations increases security after 'large house party' defies physical distancing

Six Nations of the Grand River is beefing up security and further limiting access to its territory after a "large house party" that defied physical distancing and raised concerns about COVID-19 exposure.

Media release mentions reports of at least 25 vehicles at a single home

Six Nations of the Grand River installed barricades back in March to keep out non-members and stop the spread of COVID-19. Officials plan to increase security following reports of a house party. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Six Nations of the Grand River is beefing up security and further limiting access to its territory after a "large house party" that defied physical distancing and raised concerns about COVID-19 exposure.

A media release shared Monday says Six Nations officials received reports of at least 25 vehicles at a single home late Saturday and into Sunday morning.

There were nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the reserve as of Monday morning. One person has died of the virus.

"Any large gathering further endangers the lives of our residents and community and creates unnecessary risk for our frontline workers," the Six Nations Elected Council stated in a media release about the party issued Sunday night.

"These gatherings demonstrate a complete disregard for the procedures and directives put in place by the Emergency Control Group (ECG) to keep our community safe and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19," it added.

Six Nations police are also aware of the party and will be looking into what happened.

In the meantime, the ECG, which was created to respond to the novel coronavirus, is calling for increased security at points where barriers have been set up to control who enters and leaves Six Nations territory.

Those barricades and checkpoints were set up in March to keep out non-members and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

That decision to increase security followed an "outpouring of calls from concerned community members" about the party, according to the Monday release, which noted the nine cases that have been confirmed are not an "accurate reflection" of COVID-19's presence on Six Nations as they only account for those on the territory who have been tested.

"We cannot become complacent simply because our numbers are lower than surrounding communities," it reads.

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