Health Services to Continue Public Health Advisories
AKWESASNE — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe announced that its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been formally deactivated through Tribal Council Resolution 2022-28, effective Ohiarí:ha /June 29, 2022. The decision comes more than two-years after a State of Emergency was declared for the Akwesasne community on March 16, 2020. Under TCR 2020-17; the EOC was activated and remained operational until such time that the COVID-19 Pandemic no longer posed a significant threat to the health and safety of Akwesasne.
“The past two years has been a difficult time for many community members however, through the leadership and guidance of the Tribe’s Emergency Operations Center tribal resources and personnel were utilized to effectively respond and help minimize the pandemic’s hardship on the community,” shared the Tribal Council.
Similar to the flooding event that the Akwesasne experienced in 2018, the Tribe’s EOC utilized a Unified Command System that consisted of several tribal programs working together to effectively respond to the Pandemic. Led by co-Incident Commanders Derek Comins, SRMT Director of Emergency Management and Safety, and Tsiorasa Barreiro, SRMT Executive Director; the incident response team enlisted the efforts of Health Services, Communications, Compliance, Facilities, Office of the Family Advocate, Tribal Police, and other tribal programs.
Working in a coordinated manner, the EOC closely monitored the spread of COVID-19 and provided situational updates to community members for the development of appropriate safety measures. It entailed assembling and conducting regular testing and vaccination clinics, publicizing preventive steps and protective measures, hosting food distributions, and other safety measures and information that has contributed to an overall vaccination rate of 72.4%.
In response to the exhaustive efforts that were undertaken during the past two years, the Tribal Council further added, “Under the Tribe’s EOC, our community’s response to the pandemic was comprehensive in scope and carefully coordinated in its implementation. It consistently enlisted the efforts of numerous tribal programs and staff that each had an invaluable role to serve. We offer our heartfelt appreciation for their tireless efforts and dedication to help keep our overall community healthy and safe.”
With the EOC’s deactivation, the Tribe’s Health Services will continue monitoring developments and sharing information with the Akwesasne community through public health advisories. These will include updates on reported cases and information on the vaccination and testing clinics that will continue to be held, as well as the ongoing distribution of home test kits.
In the event of any significant developments, including the emergence of a new highly transmissible strain of COVID-19, the Tribe’s EOC may be reactivated, along with any protective measures that may be deemed necessary in its response.