The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) is informing the community that the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) has updated its self-isolation requirements in response to the threat of new COVID-19 strains/variants. MCA follows the guidelines of the EOHU.

Effective immediately, household members of individuals identified as a “high-risk contact” (which means they came in proximity of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19), as well as those who are experiencing symptoms, must adhere to new isolation requirements.

ALL household members of a high-risk contact are requested to stay home for the duration of the high-risk contact’s quarantine, except for essential reasons. Essential reasons include errands for food, medication and essential medical appointments. High-risk contacts must isolate for 14 days from the last exposure, even if their test result comes back negative. If you are a high-risk contact, you should not be leaving your household, unless to receive medical attention.

If an individual is experiencing symptoms and a test is required to rule out COVID-19, ALL household members must stay at home until the individual receives a negative test result, or if your health care provider confirms the symptoms are not related to COVID-19.

If a COVID-19 test is recommended and the symptomatic individual is not tested, the person must isolate for 10 days from the symptoms onset. ALL household members must then quarantine for 14 days from their last contact with the symptomatic individual. If the symptomatic individual cannot isolate from rest of household, ALL household members must quarantine for 14 days following the symptomatic individual’s isolation period.

If your household is required to quarantine for the 14-day period, stay within your household until the Public Health Program has provided you clearance. Utilize a delivery service, or ask friends or family to deliver essential needs and groceries. You MUST abide by quarantine protocols to help stop.

COVID-19 remains a threat and social distancing is still necessary to reduce and prevent the spread of the disease in our community. Continue practicing prevention measures with diligence, including mask-wearing, maintaining 6-feet/2-metres of distance from others, and washing hands regularly.

Let’s continue to keep our community safe.

For more information on the phases of re-opening, and for more specific information on social gatherings, please visit the Eastern Ontario Health Unit website: www.eohu.ca.