We are providing this update as follow-up to our call at 1:00 pm EST/ 12:00pm CST on Thursday March 26, 2020.
Information will be continuously updated at www.nancovid19.ca
A Communications memo was sent out yesterday to NAN Chiefs, Tribal Councils and Regional Health Authorities to streamline communications processes internally at NAN and with respect to communications with provincial and federal governments. On today’s Chiefs of Ontario Leadership call, there was commitments made by the provincial government to participate in this process, and Indigenous Services Canada had already expressed willingness to be part of this process.
How to Contact NAN & NAN COVID-19 Task Force
- Please send all inquiries regarding COVID-19 to firstname.lastname@example.org
- This e-mail will be constantly monitored. All inquiries will be directed to the appropriate resources who will respond as quickly as possible.
NAN COVID-19 Task Team
An update was provided by Dr. Natalie Bocking:
- We are in the prevention, preparedness and response phase all at the same time right now.
- Critical Care Working Group – met this morning. Confirming a list of supplies and equipment required for NAN territory nursing stations and health centers.
- Mental Health & Addictions Working Group – meeting later today.
- Teri Fiddler & Barney Batise have been added to the NAN COVID-19 Task Team as Elders.
- Prioritizing the need for transparency and clarity from FNIHB around nursing station staff levels and the delivery of PPE to the communities.
- Any nurses going to nursing stations FNHIB operated – nurses are screened prior to going into the community, self-screened twice daily while in the community for 14 days and at the first sign of symptoms present, they are to self-isolate and not to make contact with any community member.
Health Advisory Group
An update was provided by Georgina Lentz:
- The group meets Monday and Thursdays via teleconference call and the calls are including Community Wellness Sub-Group on these calls.
- Traditional Healers – need to determine ways to bring the supports to the communities during the travel bans.
- Pandemic planning is beginning to take place – IFNA and SLFNHA have developed a partnership in the West and MoCreebec and Moose Cree First Nation are working closely to develop their pandemic plan in the East.
- Mental Health Supports – the use of telehealth in the communities is taking place right now.
Provincial COVID-19 Funding
- The Government of Ontario has released an action plan in response to COVID-19 with investments of $3.3 billion of incremental investment in health care.
- Indigenous Affairs Ontario – $16.4 million total- $1.4 million (19/20), $15 million (20/21)
- Five Pillars of Funding:
- Distribution of People & Goods – ensure immediate needs are there to support various health care initiatives, medical supplies etc., needed to self-isolate – air transport for remote
- Indigenous Pandemic Planning – to help develop protocols, plans and meet general needs of communities.
- Self-Isolation – help communities with self-isolation protocols, private or public facilities, hotels, etc.
- Awareness & Prevention – based on programming that already exists, to ensure capacity is in place.
- Urban Indigenous Support – ensuring that service providers have enhanced funding.
- NAN will work with the province on guidelines and ways to access the funding. The province will look to existing agreements to flow funds for efficiency.
- The province will be communicating directly with communities and organizations to assist them.
- Holding back on the deployment of the Canadian Rangers into NAN communities unless absolutely necessary at this time. They are on standby and are reviewing their current mandate to be able to assist more.
- NAN will continue to follow up with the Canadian Rangers to determine how communities can be supported.
- NAPS officers should and will be assisting with the enforcement of community safety measures around COVID-19.
- Communities are to share information as to who they are asking to self-isolate with the NAPS officers at the community level.
- NAPS is unable to enforce the new provincial Emergency orders due to lack of access to provincial courts
- NAPS will be reviewing the Federal Quarantine Act to determine if/how it can used in enforcement in the NAN communities.
- NAN will reach out to Public Safety for advocacy and advice.
Next call: Friday March 27, 2020 (1:00 pm EST/ 12:00 pm CST)