Mandatory Masks by Mid-August

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says Newfoundland and Labrador’s mask mandate could change by mid-August.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s top doctor says she may lift mandatory masking rules by mid-August, as long as at least half the population is fully vaccinated.

On Wednesday, Chief Medical of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said the mandate could be revised two weeks after 50 per cent of the eligible population receives a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The province expects to hit that goal next week, according to Fitzgerald.

Under the revised rules, Fitzgerald said, masks would not be mandatory in most public spaces, provided COVID-19 epidemiology across the province and country remains in its current place.

Non-medical masks have been mandatory in indoor public spaces since Aug. 24, 2020.

“This can only happen if we get our vaccination rates where we need to be. And this is where we need everyone to step up,” Fitzgerald said. “We all have to work together to make sure our loved ones are protected, our communities are protected, and to get back to normal.”

If the mask mandate is lifted, Fitzgerald said, it will be lifted for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. However, she said there would still be some places where masking is required like in long-term care homes. And masking will remain recommended, she said.

“If you’re in a situation where you don’t know everybody’s vaccination status, if you’re not fully vaccinated, if you’re around a lot of people you don’t know, then certainly we would recommend wearing a mask in those situations,” Fitzgerald said.

Story courtesy of CBC news.

Nain Microgrid Project (Audio to be added later)

The Nain Microgrid project right now remains in the engineering end of a development stage.

Nick Mercer is the Regional Energy Coordinator for the Nunatsiavut Government.

He says he is hopeful that they will have the environmental permits in place for the construction of the wind turbines this fall or early winter to proceed with construction for next summer.

Mercer adds that they are gonna have to extend the road to top of the hill where the wind turbines are going to be.

We will be speaking with Nick Mercer later in the AtjiKangitut program to find out more.

All Festivities Are Cancelled

Many people look forward to the summer days to celebrate different festivities on the North Coast, but this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, all the festivals are cancelled.

The regulations put in place by the chief medical examiner, says that there cannot be more than 50 people at a gathering with physical distancing maintained.

There have been some festival cancellations due to the pandemic along the North Coast.

The organizers for the festivals in their respected communities have been following the regulations and the precautions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

In Postville, it would have been the 21st annual Fun in the Sun Festival, but is cancelled.

The 36th annual Beach Festival in North West River is cancelled.

Residents in Rigolet will not be celebrating their 24th annual Salmon Festival this year.

The Makkovik residents will not be celebrating their annual festival this year as it would have been the 31st annual Makkovik Trout Festival.

And the Tusannituk Music Festival in Nain will not go ahead this year as it would have been the 3rd annual event.

High Efficiency Woodstove Replacement Program

The 2021 High Efficiency Woodstove Replacement Program is a one-time program, open to residents of Nain, Hopedale, Postville, Makkovik, and Rigolet, who are beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claim Agreement who meet the requirements of the program.

It is open to all households that meet the program requirements and make less than $100,000 a year will receive a high efficiency woodstove for free. All costs covered by the program.

Households that meet the program requirements and make more than $100,000 are still able to qualify for a woodstove but will need to pay 25% of the stove and installation costs.

For an application, please contact your local Community Liaison Officer:

In Nain – Rutie Dicker at 922-2942 ext. 222 or email her at rutie.dicker@nunatsiavut.com.

In Hopedale – Ethel Hunter at 933-3777 ext. 231 or email her at ethel.hunter@nunatsiavut.com.

In Makkovik – Carol Gear at 923-2365 ext. 201 or email her at carol.gear@nunatsiavut.com.

In Postville – Betty Vincent at 479-9880 ext. 221 or email her at betty.vincent@nuntsiavut.com.

In Rigolet – Paula McLean Sheppard at 479-3383 ext. 206, or you can email her at paula.mclean-sheppard@nunatsiavut.com.

Reminder that this month is the last month to submit your applications, can be sent to woodstoved@nunatsiavut.com.

Coastal Community Freezers

One of our OKâlaKatiget Radio staff contacted each of the coastal communities to see what they have to offer.

In the Nain community freezer, they have seal, char, chicken, and black bear meat.

In Hopedale, they have bison, chicken, scallops, and moose meat.

In Postville, they have char.

Makkovik community freezer has char.

In Rigolet, they have blade steak, boneless pork loin chops, pork chops with bones, and cod fillets. There is to be one item per household.

Hebron Family Archeology Project Update

The Hebron Selection Committee voted for the family of 3 to attend the Hebron Family Archaeology Project on Friday, July 16, 2021 and the vote went 1st and 2nd choice.

Lena Onalik, the Archeologist for the Nunatsiavut Government, is hosting this project for the first time this year.

She says Thomas Tuglavina of Hopedale has accepted the opportunity to travel to Hebron; he will be taking his two nieces, Rachel Saunders and Nancy Barfoot.

Rutie Lampe will be DHSD support and Maria Merkuratsuk will be bear monitor.

Onalik says it has been a learning process and feels very humbled to have been working with the committee for this project. She would also like to thank Michelle Davies for starting this project.

Due to Transport Canada regulations, they are not able to travel by boat this year, so in collaboration with Lands and Tourism division of NG, they were able to secure plane charter to Basecamp and helicopter to Hebron from August 7-14, 2021.

Long Liner Days (Audio to be added later)

Remembering char fishery summers into fall north of Nain is not forgotten for some who worked on long liners in the past.

Gordon Obed, an elder of Nain, is one who was a crew member on board the Nagvâk.

He says they used to travel back and forth from Nain and Saglek Bay.

Obed says both Nagvâk and Silver Star would go to where people who was char fishing up north to pick up their fish.

In the first years, the fishermen used wooden barrels and salted their catch.

He says later on, that changed for the people when the plant started buying head on, gutted whole char and salmon.

Stay tuned to PiusituKavut today to hear Obed talk about their travels on the long liner in the past.

COVID-19 Update

Today (Tuesday, July 20), Newfoundland and Labrador has no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the last public advisory.

There are no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 aboard the ships in the province. There is no risk to the community. On the ship off the coast of Bay Bulls, the total number of confirmed cases remains at four crewmembers and all crew are isolating. On the second ship anchored in Conception Bay that was first announced on July 13, the total number of confirmed cases remains at 31 crewmembers. Testing of all crew is completed and all crew are isolating. On the ship anchored in Conception Bay that was first announced on July 5, the total number of confirmed cases remains at 14. Testing of all crew is completed and all crew are isolating.

There has been one new recovery in the Eastern Health region and 1,377 people have recovered. There are two people in hospital due to COVID-19. One is a crewmember from the ship off the coast of Bay Bulls and one is a crewmember from the second ship anchored in Conception Bay.

There are currently no active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are four active cases of COVID-19 on the ship off the coast of Bay Bulls and 45 active cases of COVID-19 on the two ships anchored in Conception Bay. The regional breakdown of the active cases is as follows:

· Eastern Health
– 4 on ship in Bay Bulls
– 45 on ships in Conception Bay
· Central Health – 0
· Labrador-Grenfell Health – 0
· Western Health – 0

To date, 164,416 people have been tested.

OK Radio Producer Job Ad

The OKâlaKatiget Society has an employment opportunity for a full-time permanent Radio Producer.

Under the supervision of the Senior Radio Producer, the Radio Producer prepares news, current affairs for daily broadcast on the Society’s radio network.

The salary will be dependent on qualifications.

The closing date for this position is Monday, July 26, 2021.

You can send your applications by email to yvonne.lyall@oksociety.com or eva.obed@oksociety.com, or call our office at 922-2955, and our fax number is 709-922-2293.

Applications can also be forwarded to:

OKâlaKatiget Society
P.O. Box 160
Nain, NL A0P 1L0

CYN & MR. Tournament

The 12th Annual CYN and Mr. Volleyball Tournament will be held in Nain next month.

The registration start date will be on Friday, August 20, 2021.

Bradley Lampe is one of the organizers for this tournament.

He says there will be both male and female teams.

There will be a fee of $30 per player and this will be held at the Jeremias Sillitt Community Centre.

The start date for the CYN & Mr. tournament will be on the weekend of August 27 to 29, 2021.

If anyone wanted to register your teams can contact Bradley Lampe at 922-2690/691.