Kahnawake Lowers Alert Level to Orange

Written by on May 12, 2021

The Kahnawà:ke COVID-19 Task Force is lowering the alert level in the community from Red to Orange effective next Friday, May 21st.

“This is a big change. It’s positive,” Kateri Memorial Hospital Center (KMHC) Executive Director Lisa Westaway said on Kahnawake Live on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon. “Although we have had measures in the Orange alert level for a little bit of time we are really happy to announce that we will be making more changes, or easing of measures within this Orange alert level within the coming weeks.”

The Task Force decided to lower the level after carefully assessing vaccination rates in surrounding regions, and that most front line workers in Kahnawake will have received their second doses of a vaccine by the end of this week.

The new measures within the Orange Alert level will be phased in over the next several weeks. Some of the new directives will be announced tomorrow surrounding gatherings. Sports, such as Softball, and exercise activities will be permitted. Churches will be able to hold services with up to 50 people allowed indoors. Restaurants will be allowed to operate at up to 25 percent capacity for indoor dining. They will also be able to open outdoor terraces. They will be limited to Kahnawake residents and those who work in the community. 

“Positive developments. It’s a step in the right direction of returning back to normality,” Lloyd Phillips, the Commissioner of Public Safety, said. “I know some people may think it’s a small step but we believe it’s a safe step.

“Covid still exists. So, yes, we are in a safer place. We feel comfortable and confident that we all have the knowledge that this last year has provided us,” Westaway said.  

Gatherings will be allowed outdoors for up to 12 people up from the current directive of eight people. However, household visits indoors will remain at one other houseld for the time being.

“We still do have risk because COVID still exists,” Westaway said. “And in fact with the upcoming changes we expect that COVID cases will increase within the community. And we are preparing for that.”

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