Delaware Nation at Moraviantown is closing off community to battle COVID-19
Roads into the community will be blocked off with concrete barriers, except for 2 access points
Delaware Nation at Moraviantown is closing off its community in an effort to protect itself from the spread of COVID-19.
Council decided on Tuesday that only residents and emergency services will be allowed to enter the community, with residents only allowed to leave for essential reasons. About 550 people live in Moraviantown, located in Chatham-Kent, Ont.
"We are currently dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic by exercising our governing authority to maintain the health and the wellness of our community," said Delaware Nation Chief Denise Stonefish.
She explained that the community will be setting up two access points, and the remaining roads leading into the community will be blocked off with concrete barriers.
"Our community members are like anybody else. We still have to go out and get groceries for our families. We still also have a significant elderly population who require their medications," Stonefish said.
Community volunteers and the Moravian First Nation Police Service will be monitoring the access points.
Furthermore, as of end-of-day Tuesday, all community businesses that had remained operational up until this point, like gas and confectionery stores, were also asked to close.
Community has been 'waiting for this'
"The community, as far as I understand and have been hearing, they have been waiting for this," Stonefish said.
"They probably wish that we would have acted sooner upon this, but we did not want to put the fear factor and the scare factor in there, because we know that the COVID-19 virus is very detrimental and it now knows no age group. So I'm sure that the community is quite satisfied that the council has made that decision."
Up until this point, the First Nation had already closed its administration building, while most employees were sent home, with some essential staff continuing to work as needed. Community members are also practising self-isolation and physical distancing.
"Right now we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community and we would like that to remain that way," Stonefish said.
"We know that we're not exempt from any exposure, but we just want to be sure that we are doing things that are going to maintain the health and safety of our community members."
While the community itself has no cases of the virus, the municipality of Chatham-Kent has six confirmed cases as of Tuesday morning.