Coronavirus: State of emergency declared for Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte have declared a state of emergency for Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in light of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

This comes hours after the Ontario government announced a province-wide state of emergency, advising gatherings of 50 people or more be cancelled, and closing services like private schools, recreation centres and movie theatres.

Chief Donald Maracle sent out a news release Tuesday afternoon, saying the decision to call the local state of emergency was based off of advice from the medical officer of health for Prince Edward and Hastings counties, Dr. Piotr Oglaza.

On Monday, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health identified 35 probable cases of the virus in their region. Tuesday, Kingston announced its first three cases.

“The Tyendinaga Mohawk Counil has determined that our community could be at greater risk of COVID-19 spreading to the community due to comorbidities (i.e. diabetes, health disease etc.),” Maracle wrote.

Maracle said it has also been determined that the territory may not have adequate supplies to fight the spread of the disease, nor do they have the ability to care for those person who may need hospitalization if they come down with a serious case of the virus.

In response to those concerns, Maracle and the band council are asking all members of Tyenindaga Mohawk Territory to self-isolate when possible, and not to travel outside the territory unless necessary.

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