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Blood Tribe Will Maintain Emergency Public Safety Measures Despite
Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions
Standoff, Alberta February 9, 2022 – The Blood Tribe Department of Health (BTDH) and
the Blood Tribe Chief and Council will continue Emergency Safety Measures “until further
notice,” despite Premier Jason Kenney’s announcement to end the vaccine passport
program. On February 8, 2022, Alberta announced the plan to begin easing restrictions.
Alberta’s COVID-19 Restrictions program ceased to exist when the clock struck
midnight on February 9th, and almost all public health restrictions will be lifted March 1.
However, the Blood Tribe Chief and Council refuse to ease current restrictions due to
public safety concerns, “pursuant to its inherent authority and the Blood Tribe/Kainai
Emergency Protection By-Law.”
Upon review of the new provincial measures, the Blood Tribe determined that all current
COVID-19 enhanced safety measures will remain in effect on the Blood Indian
Reserve. “The health and well-being of our members is of the utmost importance;
therefore, we will continue to review the Blood Tribe’s enhanced safety measures on an
ongoing basis under the guidance of our health professionals. We wish to extend a thank
you to our members for doing everything possible to keep all community members safe,”
states the Blood Tribe Public Notice.
While active COVID-19 cases have surged in recent weeks, Blood Tribe numbers have
been declining in to the mid 60s. However, health officials vow to continue safety
measures. “We are living with this virus, therefore, we will remain vigilant in protecting
our people. As long as we have unvaccinated members in our communities, we are
going to have outbreaks. Look what happened last June when we got back to zero
active cases numbers…Kenney decided to lift restrictions and we had a severe
outbreak! We will continue to encourage members to get vaccinated and to practice
safety, including getting a third booster,” says BTDH CEO Derrick Fox.
The Premier said while the restrictions exemption program (REP) served its purpose of
increasing vaccination rates, it is no longer an effective tool for doing so and no longer
needed, especially with so many vaccinated people still contracting the highlytransmissible
Omicron variant. Phase 1 of the province’s plan will also see capacity
limits be removed for venues that can host 500 people or less. Phase 2 of the plan is
midnight on March 1 that will see capacity limits be lifted for all venues, masking will no
longer be required indoors and limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings be lifted. A
number of other restrictions would be eased or removed altogether as well. The Phase
3 date has yet to be determined and moving pandemic response into an endemic phase.
Evolving science informs us that the virus will continue to circulate around the globe
and we must begin moving toward an endemic approach of managing COVID-19, seeking
balance between the harms of COVID and the harms of the measures needed to prevent
an overwhelming surge of severe outcomes. “Act accordingly, practice public safety
measures and good healthy habits. Wash hands, wear masks, exercise, eat right and
please avoid large crowds and gatherings,” says Fox.
For more information, please contact the Blood Tribe Department of Health
at 403.737.3888 or visit