With many community members set to return to Fort Good Hope after being out on the land during the pandemic, Chief Daniel Masuzumi is reminding residents that Covid-19 still needs to be taken seriously.
“We’re still in this Covid-19 situation. Things haven’t changed. You’re going to have to distance yourselves from one another and follow the rules,” said Masuzumi.
On May 15, the territorial government ushered in the first phase of its recovery plan for the NWT, relaxing some restrictions imposed in recent months. While physical distancing measures are still in place, residents can have more people over at their homes, and outdoor gatherings can now include up to 25 people.
About 40 Fort Good Hope residents are still out on the land, said Masuzumi. He expects them to return once the ice-jammed Mackenzie River clears up.
To ensure residents don’t let their guard down in the fight against Covid-19, Masuzumi said education and enforcement is key.
An enforcement officer has been fielding non-compliance complaints in the community in recent weeks, he said.
“He’s informing them of social distancing requirements; doing an excellent job of informing people about the rules and regulations behind it,” said Masuzumi.
“I feel like people are getting the message.”
That message is still being transmitted on local airwaves, too.
As NNSL Media previously reported, Masuzumi, a community radio host and a Fort Good Hope’s nurse-in-charge field Covid-19-related call-in questions from residents three times a week.
“We get updates from the government as different rules fall into place, then we update the community,” said Masuzumi.