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Letter from Dariusleut Elder

July 18, 2020

Dear People,

As the number of cases of COVID-19 continued to grow in Saskatchewan and Alberta, HSC facilitated meetings to grapple with the uncontrolled spread of the virus within our communities and the subsequent challenges our people were presenting to the Public Health Authorities.

On July 16, 2020 Dariusleut Elder Joseph S. Wurz and Lehrerleut Elder Micheal J. Hofer held separate conference calls with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and Saskatchewan Ministry of Health and again on July 17, 2020 with Alberta Health Services and Alberta Ministry of Health.

Both Elders expressed their support of the Health Authorities and assured that directives would be issued to their respective conferences asking their members to cooperate with the Health Authorities.

Therefore, we as conference leaders, together with HSC, are issuing the following statements:

  1. Everyone must cooperate with Public Health and its orders. Irresponsible actions by community leaders are not acceptable. Leaders should encourage members to get tested if they feel ill with COVID-like symptoms.

  2. Before visiting hospitals or interacting with health care workers, always contact 811 Health Link and tell them if you have any symptoms. Otherwise, the health care workers are forced to self-isolate for two weeks, should you happen to be infected. Aside from being highly unethical, this places additional stress on our already strained medical system and personnel.

  3. Our people are encouraged to cooperate with contact tracing efforts. Be honest and forthright and resist the temptation to mislead the inspectors by hiding cases or possible contacts as doing so may cause serious harm to others.

  4. Individuals and families who become sick must be isolated. As the situation develops, we may have to return to earlier safety protocols.

  5. Under the present circumstances, the HSC encourages extreme caution regarding non-essential travel. If your community has positive cases, please stay at home and don’t accept visitors.

  6. When we are dishonest in our dealings with members of the medical community, we are not only dishonoring ourselves, we are potentially harming our neighbor. As a Christian people, we are called to look out for the wellbeing of each other: “Achte einer den andern höher als sich selbst, und ein jeder sehe nicht auf das Seine, sondern auch auf das, was dem andern dient” Philipper 2:4.

The Hutterian Safety Council’s COVID-19 Taskforce team is in close communication with Saskatchewan and Alberta Health Authorities to ensure that their response is culturally sensitive and appropriate. Elder Joseph S. Wurz

Hillsvale Gemeinde, SK             Assistant Elder Peter Hofer                        PIne Hill Gemeinde, AB

HSC Chair David Tschetter Shady Lane Gemeinde, AB

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