Beardy’s Draws Up Pandemic Isolation Plan

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 15:13



A Saskatchewan First Nation has a plan should the World Health Organization raise the H1N1 flu pandemic alert level to its highest level.


The Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation has struck a Pandemic Committee, which met yesterday and now has a plan it says will protect its members.


Committee spokesman Howard Cameron says if off-reserve members want to be home during a potential pandemic, they need to come home now — because Cameron says the reserve will be quarantined in the event of a Level 6 alert, and no one will be allowed in or out.


Cameron says there are people to run the hospice, the morgue, food services, security, and a command centre, which will be at the band office.


Cameron says the community is just trying to be prepared and protect itself.


However, at least one off-reserve band member thinks the plan is an overreaction.


Darwin Gardypie lives in Saskatoon with his wife and seven-year-old and five-month-old daughters while he attends school.


He says the reserve’s decision to quarantine feels like a door slamming on off-reserve members.


Gardypie says it’s not that easy to just pack up his family and move home in advance — especially when that home is over-crowded and he is going to school.


He also thinks such a plan spreads a lot of unnecessary panic and fear.