Community Lockdown Drill: Guidelines for Consideration

A community lockdown drill is the partial or full activation of restrictions within the communities `pandemic plan for a pre-determined period of time. A drill is meant to test the functionality of the restrictions within the pandemic plan, determine any gaps and accustom community members to their roles and responsibilities within a lockdown. It is suggested to start with a few partial drills focusing on one or two specific restrictions within the pandemic plan and build up to a full drill where all restrictions are activated at once.    

  • A Band Council Resolution should be made outlining the when the lockdown drill will take place, for how long and who holds the authorizing power within the community. This BCR should be sent out to appropriate parties such as the PEOC and NAN to inform them of the community lockdown drill.
  • A lockdown drill should last from 24 – 48 hours for full implementation of restrictions to be actualized. Considerations should be taken to ensure adequate supplies are in the community for this duration of time if no additional supplies will be allowed in during the lockdown drill.
  • If the community has road access consideration should be given to whom will staff the roadblock and how they will enforce restrictions as well as their personal safety.
  • Advanced notification should be given to the airport and air carriers, nursing station and police of restrictions being implemented within the drill and the date, time, and duration of this implementation.
  • Any new community restrictions implemented for the drill that would require enforcement, such as curfews, should be outlined in a BCR which should be reviewed and confirmed with the police officers ahead of time to ensure they are capable of providing this enforcement.
  • Depending on the duration of the lockdown drill consideration should be given to allowing travel exceptions for critical services personnel such as medical staff and police.
  • Ensure pre-written messages are ready to notify community members of the lockdown drill, its time and duration as well as what is expected of them.
  • Establish guidelines for the drill and debrief afterwards to determine what gaps exist, as well as what parts of the drill went well and what did not. This should be documented in a written after-action report the specifies changes needed and who is in charge of making these changes.

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Gathering Place

The Gathering Place (formerly known as Thunder Bay Christian Community Centre or TBCCC) is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1985. Serving the city of Thunder Bay and area for the past 35 years, The Gathering Place has and continues to offer support to individuals and families through a variety of programs and opportunities.  Through weekly Food Hamper distribution, weekly Men’s and Women’s bible studies, Drop in coffee/craft and prayer times, providing free used clothing and household items and cooking opportunities for seniors, The Gathering Place is a safe place to gather right in the heart of the Westfort community.        

The Gathering Place will be offering Food Hampers outdoors in our parking lot Tuesday July 28, August 11, August 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m..  To register, please call 211.

239 Amelia Street W


Gathering Place Website

Gathering Place Facebook Page

Grace Place

Effective July 20, Grace Place will be opening up its doors to Sunday Services

Grace Place is doing take out as long as they are able to but they are running out of containers
3rd Wednesday of the month they do food hampers:

For those that need a Food Hamper, please register with 211 to be put on ONE Food Bank list. The R.F.D.A. is in the midst of amalgamating food bands to increase safety for those needing food and for those volunteering. Social distancing will be exercised for everyones safety. Please note, one Food Hamper per person/family only.

Grace Place Website

Grace Place Facebook page

Kasper Transportation

Update July 20, 2020: Kasper Transportation is resuming bus services to all their travel destinations. Additional safety and security measures have implemented for everyone’s well being and comfort. More information will be made available their website and Facebook. The bus schedule is currently being updated and will be available for customers on their website. Bus services for travel will be up and running on July 20, 2020. Bookings can be made through their website as well as their front desk.

Bus services within northwestern Ontario will be suspended beginning on May 2, 2020.

947 Memorial Ave,
Toll-Free 1-855-566-2378

Kasper Transportation Website

Kasper Transportation Facebook Page

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

Update July 20, 2020: Canadian Mental Health Association Thunder Bay Branch offers Mental Health Court Diversion Program to individuals aged 12+ with mental health, cognitive or developmental issues who have been charged with class 1 offences such as (theft under, mischief under, possession under, fraud under, breaches, etc) and class 2 offences (simple assaults, uttering threats, etc.) on an individual basis. They are continuing to accept new intakes and referrals during the COVID-19 situation. If you have any matters before the courts and are wondering about eligibility, please contact the Manager of Justice and Case Management Programs at (807) 345-5564 ext. 420.

Update May 28, 2020: Do you know an isolated, low-income senior or person with disabilities who needs support getting the essentials they need to stay home during COVID-19? The Ontario Community Support Association Program is coordinating services to deliver meals, groceries, medicine and other essentials during COVID-19. Help keep our community safe and healthy.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is still available to provide information and support to members and intake for new members.

The New Foundation Day Program run by the CMHA is closed during this time. For anyone interested in the New Foundations Program and becoming a member please, contact Vanessa at 345-4817.    

CMHA Thunder Bay Facebook page

CMHA Thunder Bay Website

Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital – COVID-19 Assessment Centre

Please contact the Assessment Centre at  807 -727 -7035 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.                                       

 All other services: Lobby entrance is the only access point. The door will be locked between 10:00PM and 7:00AM at which point those who wish to enter may use the buzzer (regular practice).

Only essential visitors will be allowed in. Outpatient appointments have been reduced to those that are deemed urgent by a physician. All persons entering will be screened.                                                                               

The Red Lake COVID-19 Assessment Centre is now open.  This is a facility dedicated to individuals experiencing possible symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Access to this centre is by appointment only.  For safety reasons, “walk in” appointments are strictly prohibited.   

The Centre provides a safe space for possible or confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, and their close contacts, who have no other available means to self-isolate safely on their own.  To access the Centre, contact the Red Lake COVID-19 Assessment Centre at (807) 727-7035 for evaluation and testing, Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline 1 (866) 468-2240, or their Primary Care Provider, to be referred to the Isolation Centre. Individuals can also contact the Isolation Centre at (807) 728-3026.

As the Emergency Isolation Centre is now in use, many community members have had questions.

Call between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

The Hospital lobby entrance is the only access point and the door will be locked between 10:00PM and 7:00AM at which point those who wish to enter may use the buzzer (regular practice).

Only essential visitors will be allowed in. Outpatient appointments have been reduced to those that are deemed urgent by a physician. All persons entering will be screened.            

This is a facility dedicated to individuals experiencing possible symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Access to this centre is by appointment only.  For safety reasons, “walk in” appointments are strictly prohibited.        

Call 807.727.7035                 

Red Lake Hospital Website

Red Lake Hospital Facebook Page

Our Kids Count Thunder Bay

Starting Monday July 13th, Our Kid Counts will be offering a few summer programs with limited numbers of participants. Please call to register. Per COVID-19 precautions, participants will be asked to self screen prior to attending programs. There are markings on the ground to maintain a distance of 6ft while waiting to enter the buildings, and you will be screened at the door. Participants will be asked to wear a mask and wash their hands. Children will not need to wear masks.

Update June 25, 2020: Due to Covid-19 precautions, Our Kids Count has been working with reduced staff and their doors are currently closed to the public. Please note, these staff will be off and  theiroffice will be CLOSED the week of June 29 – July 3.         

Update May 7, 2020: Monthly Community Breakfast is cancelled for May 9, 2020.

Our Kids Count (OKC) is a community development organization which builds stronger families and inclusive communities by enhancing people’s lives through personal growth and development.  OKC’s core funding is aimed at fostering the health and development of children ages 6 and under. Through other funding sources and community partnerships, OKC provides support to individuals of all ages – men, women, youth (6-12), teens and families with children. OKC involves participants in all aspects of program planning, implementation, and evaluation.  

Our Kids Count and Catholic Family Development Centre Thunder Bay continue to work together to ensure those who need counselling can receive it. Counselling is available by phone or face to face video conferencing, however walk-ins are closed until further notice. Please call 807-345-7323 and a councillor will call you back and make an appointment. If you are in a crisis and need immediate support please call Crisis Response 807-346-8282 or 1-888-269-3100. Doors to the building will be closed.

Teleco is providing Computers For kids to families who need them for schooling. Please click on the link below to fill out their form. If you don’t have transportation to pick it up once its ready, indicate in the comments section that you need delivery through OKC and they will get it to you.

Contact: 807.623.0292

704 McKenzie St, P7C 3L4

Our Kids Count Website

Our Kids Count Facebook Page

City of Thunder Bay

The City of Thunder Bay has developed an A-Z Services Directory during COVID-19 for up-to-date information on City programs, services, facilities and amenities as they are operating, reduced, or unavailable. Visit:

North End Recreation Centre, County Park and Franklin Park Splash Pads . Open Wednesday to Sunday, 12 pm to 7 pm, from June to September (weather permitting).                 

As of July 8th, 2020, the splash pads at Marina Park, County Park, Franklin Street, and North End are now open for the season. Splash pads are a great way to cool off and get exercise in the summer months and are free to people of all ages.    

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- July 16, 2020

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) COVID-19 Update                                                                                                                                           

Thunder Bay District Health UnitConfirmed Positive (July 16): 92
Active Cases: 1
Resolved Cases: 90
Deceased: 1
Porcupine Health UnitNumber of cases (July 16): 69
Resolved Cases: 59
Active Cases: 2
Deceased: 8
Northwestern Health UnitPositive tests (July 16): 42
3 pf + cases have primary residences outside NWHU
Resolved Cases: 41
Active Cases: 1
  • We would like to acknowledge the new Chief in Poplar Hill, Howard Comber
    • The council will be selected today.
  • Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler will be taking some time off starting July 20th until August 4th.
    • Deputy Grand Chief Fox will be acting Grand Chief for the first week (July 20th-26th)
    • Deputy Grand Chief Smallboy will be the acting Grand Chief the following week (July 27th – August 4th).
  • Last week we announced funding for mental health supports during the pandemic
    • We are working with KO ehealth and SLFNHA on the launch of coordinated mental health supports to be rolled out in the second week of August.

Trilateral Table

  • Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox introduced an education plan and proposal for funding consideration
    • NAN education will provide a further update on the proposal during next weeks call (July 23rd)
  • NAN Youth Council presented their two-year proposal
  • NAPS presented on their victim response proposal
  • We will keep everyone appraised as to the government response to funding requests, and we will continue to push these issues.
  • We will follow up regarding Urban organization off-reserve funding proposals that were submitted.

NAN Legal Services 

  • Courts know that more work and more time is required to look at satellite courts, and the work that needs to be done in the community to ensure the health and safety of community members.
    • They have just had their first meetings in the last two weeks. They are looking at the interim procedures for having limited audio via phone or video.
    • One First Nation is starting a pilot project with an audio/video case and the major question is reopening.
  • Court administrators from the NW and NE will be contacting communities about technology and capacity of the community broadband to see how this satellite program can be utilized.
    • Working on connecting communities with IT professionals and the logistics involved

NAN COVID-19 Task Team


  • Porcupine Health Unit, which includes Timmins, announced that as of Thursday, July 23, 2020 all members of the public and employees within the PHU area, who enter an indoor public space, will be required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • Timmins joins other cities where mandatory masking requirements are in place, including Thunder Bay (next Friday), Toronto, Ottawa, and Guelph.
  • The Task Team believes that, based on a growing body of evidence that masks reduce the spread of droplets and that countries where masking is common have been better able to control the spread of COVID-19, communities should encourage their members to wear masks in indoor public spaces.
    • The Task Team believes that the focus should be on education around the importance of wearing masks and why some people may not be able to, as well as ensuring that all community members have the supplies they need to follow this guidance.
  • o   Specific recommendations on this will be released next week.

Other Task Team updates

  • The Task Team discussed the need for protocols that prepare communities for when health services can resume travelling to communities.
    • SLFNHA and Meno Ya Win are working on developing protocols for this in their area.
  • The Task Team has received updates from other regions in NAN territory regarding dental procedures during COVID-19.
    • WAHA dental office re-opened in June
    • The dentists are following COVID-19 guidelines from The Royal College of Dental Surgeons. All patients are screened upon arrival.
    • Dental visits to communities will resume in August
    • Road Access communities:
      • During the pandemic, community members can also contact nursing stations for dental emergencies.
      • Communities can support members needing dental care with medical transportation, if required.
  • The Task Team is beginning to discuss preparations for a second wave of COVID-19 and issues and action items that require work.
    • Communities should ensure they have pandemic plans in place, that their pandemic response teams continue to meet regularly, and that all community members understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is a long-term issue that may require a response over 1-2 years.
  • If communities are encountering issues or challenges with their preparations, please reach out to
  • The Task Team continues to review developments in COVID-19 tests and assess if any rapid tests would be suitable for use in communities

Emergency Measures Response

  • Michelle Gervais spoke about plans for evacuation if needed.
    • Thunder Bay has agreed to be a host for communities
    • Hearst, Timmins, Kapuskasing and Sudbury have also agreed to host communities that need to evacuate
  • We are working with Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to share updates as quickly as possible.

Nishnawbe Aski Police Services (NAPS) 

  • From last week NAPS had 16 major occurrences (2 in NE, 14 in NW and central regions)
  • Half of these occurrences were domestic violence cases. Still seeing large number of cases related to domestic violence.
  • A proposal re: victim services for domestic violence was presented at the trilateral table last week and we will be following up on this to advocate for funding.

Update re: BCR Prosecutions

  • We have finally received a response from Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey in response to our advocacy, in partnership with NAPS, on the enforcement and prosecution of offenses under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) and the Trespass to Property Act.
  • You will recall that early in the pandemic, in collaboration with legal counsel and NAPS, we advised the leadership to consider implementing BCRs related to the Provincial emergency measures, as well as BCRs related to First Nation border closures – and many of you did.
  • The Attorney General has confirmed that charges laid under the EMCPA and the Trespass to Property Act will be prosecuted pursuant to the Provincial Offences Act.
  • Important first step for the province to recognize the work that communities have been doing for community health and safety.
  • Any tickets that were written since the BCR will be prosecuted and they will be added to the fly-in court list.
  • This is a step in honouring First Nations inherent right to self govern instead of relying on the Indian Act which does not have adjudicative processes.


  • Members of the NAN Executive Council will continue to appear on Wawatay Radio on Tuesday at 12 pm EST and on Friday at 1:05 pm EST.
  • COVID-19 Tools and Resources are being translated into Oji-Cree, Ojibway, and Cree to assist the communities in spreading awareness and public health messaging on COVID-19. They are posted on the NAN website under COVID-19 Tools and Resources.

Urban Communities 

  • NAN has posted specific information on the NAN website for members living off-reserve in urban centres across northwestern and northeastern Ontario.
    • This includes how to find shelters, food banks, social and mental health services, as well as Indigenous organizations that can assist.
  • Please continue to access our website as we are updating it daily with the most up to date information:

NEXT CALL: Thursday, July 23, 2020 | 1p

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