Retail stores in Fort William First Nation reopen to general public

Retail stores in Fort William First Nation (FWFN) reopened to the general public on May 5, but they are under new operating requirements, the band council announced Friday.

Stores are only open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., customer numbers are limited, social distancing must be practiced, and there are additional cleaning procedures in place, FWFN council stated in a written release.

As well, all safety requirements of the Canada Labour Code and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit will be followed and kept up to date, officials said.

However, despite the reopening of the stores, the main residential area of the community remains accessible only to people living in the First Nation.

“Our priority is to ensure our community and our members are safe during this unprecedented health crisis. We continue to encourage members of the public to comply with all recommendations from public health experts to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” officials stated.

The community has procedures in place to deal with situations of occupational exposure to communicable diseases and is reviewing those policies regularly in order to respond to any specific challenges, such as the coronavirus.

“We can confirm no local members have tested positive for COVID-19 and we hope that trend continues,” the release stated.

“We strongly advise our members to continue following the advice of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit with respect to self-screening, social distancing, frequent hand-washing with soap, and practicing self-isolation, as advised by public health authorities.”

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