Two week lockdown starts tonight at Montreal Lake Cree Nation

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In response to band members not complying with COVID-19 restrictions, and a continual rise in positive cases, a two week lockdown begins Thursday night at Montreal Lake Cree Nation (MLCN).

According to a statement this week from the band’s pandemic response team (PRT), non-compliance is a serious problem closely linked with high amounts of alcohol consumption in the community.

“House parties often breach COVID-19 orders. Fines of $7,500 will be imposed on all those in breach of any or all of Sask. COVID-19 orders,” the statement said.

As of Monday, 706 swabs had been conducted in the community, and there had been 60 positive cases, with seven considered active. From those total number of cases there have been three deaths.

The lockdown takes effect Thursday at 8 p.m. and has been tentatively scheduled to end on Jan. 14. Non-resident MLCN members are still being granted access to the beach road entrance for fishing purposes.

“To limit the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus, we notify all band members exercising their fishing rights to refrain from entering the community from on lake access,” the statement said.

The Bittern Lake access will be closed for the foreseeable future.

“Please be aware that MLCN maintains Saskatchewan Health Authority orders, however at their discretion may invoke additional orders within a federal jurisdiction position. As a result the PRT must place the greater safety of the nation as a priority,” the statement said.