Johnny Dundra of Fort Liard says his phone has made the lockdown manageable.
He has been forced to change his way of socializing with friends and family as his community is in the midst of a two-week lockdown due to a community cluster of COVID-19 cases.
There are now six positive cases of COVID-19 in the hamlet of around 530 residents.
Dundra says he was tested for COVID-19 along with dozens other residents — his test results came back negative.
Jacqueline Spies, manager of Community Services for Acho Dene Koe First Nation (ADKFN), says there was a lot of uncertainty when the lockdown was first announced, but things have since calmed.
“They are remaining strong and resilient,” she says, “so I can see how they’re coming together to support one another at this time.”
Spies says she has also been in touch with people in Fort Liard who have COVID.“I do wellness check-ins to make sure that they are okay,” she explains.
Spies says there were some early issues with communication between the ADKFN and the Government of the Northwest Territories, but things have improved.
“At the beginning, we had some concerns with getting that information down the pipeline to us, because we really have no say in what’s happening within the community,” she explains. “But we have straightened that out.”
Spies urges anyone who needs help to reach out to her.
Despite the community cluster, the Government of the Northwest Territories decided to go ahead with its vaccination plans for the community.
A mobile team began administering vaccines on Thursday, Dundra was one of those to receive it.
“Everybody’s getting needles this morning, I got mine just in case,” he says.
In an effort to encourage more residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Fort Liard is hosting a draw for prizes.
Hillary Deneron, mayor of Fort Liard, posted on Facebook that the hamlet is encouraging community members to get vaccinated.
She says anyone who gets their shot will have the chance to win one of six $100 General Store Gift Cards, one of six $100 Northern Store Gift Cards or one of six $100 Gas Station Gift Cards.
The draw will be streamed on Facebook live on Saturday.
Fort Liard residents can still receive their COVID-19 vaccine on Friday and Saturday.