Emergency Funds Will Still be Available for Workers Who Become Sick and Miss Work

Written by on May 19, 2020

The Kahnawake Economic Measures Relief Fund (KERMF) will be made available for workers and businesses for a specified time even after businesses in Kahnawake reopen. The target date remains June 1. Mohawk Council of Kahnawake Business and Economic Development Officer Paul Rice says that employees who return to work at the businesses, which have been shuttered for the last two months, will not have to be concerned about the possibility of losing income if they should become sick. “If you have return to work and subsequently have the symptoms of the virus, you will be able to return for the period of isolation and be funded. We want to remove the financial pressure,” Rice said. There will also be a transitionary period where employees will continue to receive the benefit the first week back when business are allowed to reopen..

For the businesses in Kahnawake, the Business interruption assistance funding will continue for one month even after reopening.

“There will be economic support for the fit up to the physical business,” Rice said. “That means funds for the physical business such as the installation of plexiglass, hand sanitizer dispensers, signage and the arrows on the floor. Whatever we can do for the entirety of the economy in mind.”

Kateri Memorial Hospital Center Executive Director Lisa Westaway says they have extended the lease on the tents that are set up at the temporary testing site.

Westaway said it will be maintained even after the businesses reopen so that they can keep track of the potential spread of the virus.

Even with the reopening of businesses the Kahnawake Covid-19 Task Force says that the measures concerning social distancing will remain in place. “Physical distancing needs to be maintained,” Westaway said. She says it’s because there will be an increase of contact with others by about 30 percent.

The Results of the community health check will be released tomorrow or Thursday. The results will be used for comparison to see how they are containing the spread of the virus during the lockdown and afterwards as things reopen.

Outpatient services at the KMHC has been operating at about 70 percent from the same period last year. However, much of that has been conducted differently, such as through phone and Ipad consultations. Westaway said that clinics for Optometry, Ophthalmology and Dentistry, which have been shut down, are working on the measures to get those up and running again.

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