May 15th, 2020
To: Community members and staff
From: The office of Chief and Council
Subject: Additional Response Measures – COVID-19
Dear community members and staff;
On March 19th, 2020, the Province of New Brunswick declared a state of emergency as an additional measure to reduce the threat and spread of COVID-19. As a result of these additional measures, the Chief, Council, and Senior staff members have agreed to put additional measures in place to protect the health and well being of our community members and staff.
On May 14th, 2020, the Province of New Brunswick has further extended the state of emergency for an additional (14) days that includes the loosening of restrictions and operating within the orange phase of their recovery and reopening plan. The revised state of emergency will continue to be assessed and extended as deemed necessary. The purpose of the extended measures is to reduce the risk of transmission and to establish a transformative process that ensures moving forward safely as the threat of COVID-19 isn’t gone and every step moving forward involves risks.
The Eel River Bar First Nation’s Chief, Council, and Senior Management have reviewed and consulted with one another to determine the best and safest recovery plan for the community and staff moving forward. Collectively, we are working to ensure that there is a comprehensive COVID-19 return to work policy, COVID-19 Operational Plan, adequate sanitation supplies for all Band Buildings, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for all staff.
As a result of our discussions, the following measures have been put in place and are effective May 18th, 2020.
- All band operations will remain closed with a return to work day of Monday, June 1st, 2020. This date will only be changed should the Province of New Brunswick move back a phase in their recovery and reopening plan and or the loosening of restrictions is revoked.
- Reduced operations Phase 1: In order to provide a transition period back to work that includes adapting to the “new normal”, all band departments will operate (3) days per week, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from June 1st to July 3rd. There will be no interruption in the delivery of essential services as those that who can work from home will continue to do so. The main phone line will be accessible to take calls Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and between 9:00 to 11:00 on Tuesdays and Fridays. Please call 684-6277 during these designated hours, should you have any questions.
- Access to Band buildings Phase 1: Staff will have access to their designated offices, designated meeting rooms, and washrooms only. All other guests who are required to enter the building will be by appointment only and will be directed to a designated meeting area where secure physical distancing measures are established.
- Health Department: The Health Department will issue a separate memo with current updates and decisions.
- Social Assistance: Social Assistance payments will be delivered on Wednesday, May 27th, June 10th, and June 24th @ the regularly scheduled time and place. (Please exercise social distancing during pick-up time and remain a distance of at least 6 feet away from other individuals.)
- Rents: Rent payments will be available for pick-up on June 1st, and July 2nd,2020 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. only, in the main entrance of the Band Office. (Please exercise social distancing during pick-up time and remain a distance of at least 6 feet away from other individuals.) Should anyone have any questions, please contact Susan LaBillois @685-0770.
- Child and Family Services: The Child and Family Services Department will issue a separate memo with current updates and decisions.
- Education: Staff within Administration, Leadership, Preschool, and Culture will return to work; however, no in-person classrooms or activities will occur during phase 1 and will be reassessed prior to the implementation of phase 2.
- Daycare: As a safety precaution and to allow adequate time for a COVID-19 Daycare Operational Plan to be established the ERBFN Daycare will remain closed during phase 1 and will be reassessed prior to the implementation of phase 2.
- Eel River Bar Gym: The Eel River Bar Gym will remain closed to the public until further notice.
- Chase the Ace: Chase the Ace will be cancelled until further notice. All ticket sales for the week of March 16th, 2020 will be held until the next draw. (Please remember to keep your tickets.)
- Osprey Truck Stop Gaming: The Osprey Truck Stop Gaming Facility will remain closed until further notice.
We wish to thank you for your continued support and patience during these uncertain times and assure you that all of our decisions are made with the best interest of your health and safety in mind.
Chief Sacha LaBillois
Eel River Bar First Nation