Onerahtokha/April 1, 2021  


The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Department of Health (DOH) has been informed that Ontario Premier Doug Ford has ordered a 4-week province-wide “Emergency Brake”, the highest level of restrictions in the provincial COVID-19 framework.  The Emergency Brake order is effective as of this Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. The territory of Akwesasne falls under the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region, which means Akwesasne will follow suit. Despite Akwesasne’s reduction in COVID-19 numbers, the virus and Variants of Concern (VOCs) are rapidly spreading in the areas around us and we must all maintain tight restrictions to keep our community safe.

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s offices will extend its public closure to align with the provincial orders. All non-essential services will be closed to the public until at least May 3, 2021. Essential services and appointments will remain operational.

Under Ontario’s shutdown restrictions, tighter measures are in place including:

  • Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, and limiting the capacity for outdoor gatherings to a five-person maximum — except for gatherings with members of the same household or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone.
  • Church or religious services may not exceed 15 percent capacity; remote services, live feeds and recordings/videos are recommended alternatives.
  • Limits on in-person shopping, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and a 25 per cent limit for all other retail including big box stores.
  • No personal care services.
  • No indoor and outdoor dining. Take out, delivery and drive thru options are still allowed.
  • Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness with very limited exceptions
  • Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of people who can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.

For a full breakdown of Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework, visit their website:  

The DOH continues to stress the importance of following the public health guidelines put forth by the EOHU. Even if you’ve been vaccinated, continue wearing a mask when in public, wash and sanitize your hands frequently, maintain social distance of 6-feet when out in public, do not travel outside of the 100-mile radius, and do not gather with others who don’t live in your own household.

The Akwesasne community has done a great job in following these public health measures, as our numbers have declined tremendously. However, gatherings continue to post a risk of increasing numbers and the variants of concern are transmitted rapidly. Let’s continue to keep our guards up and keep our community safe.


“Workings Towards a COVID-19-Free Community.”