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NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- June 25, 2020

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- June 25, 2020

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) COVID-19 Update                                                                                                                                           

Thunder Bay District Health UnitConfirmed Positive (June 22): 90
Active Cases: 5
Resolved Cases: 84
Deceased: 1
Porcupine Health UnitNumber of cases (June 22): 67
Resolved Cases: 57
Active Cases: 2
Deceased: 8
Northwestern Health UnitPositive tests (June 22): 36
Resolved Cases: 27
Active Cases: 9
  • The NAN Executive Council on behalf of everyone at NAN sends condolences and prayers to the community of North Caribou Lake First Nation as they have experienced the tragic loss of two community members to suicide.
    • We understand that Muskrat Dam is sending a team into the community to assist and we are thankful to them.
    • Our crisis team is working to support the community as best as we can during this extremely difficult time.
  • NAN has been working on a telemental health proposal to ensure that there are mental health supports for children and youth. This will be presented on the Trilateral call on Tuesday.
  • NAN would like to thank Dr. Natalie Bocking for her leadership as chair of the NAN COVID- 19 Task Team. Her work has been invaluable since the beginning of the pandemic in keeping NAN communities safe. NAN wishes her and her family well as they welcome a new member to their family.
  • We thank Mae Katt for accepting the role to chair the Task Team moving forward, and we are finalizing details to add a new team member who has expertise in infectious diseases to ensure that the team is supported in its work.
  • NAN wrote a letter to Meno Ya Win Health Centre on June 24, 2020, to express concerns regarding lack of communication and to discuss the potential for information sharing protocols with hospitals, health authorities and communities.
  • It is a good time to check on PPE stock, and identify gaps in surge infrastructure/capacity should an outbreak occur.
  • If you need help with pandemic planning, or need resources, please reach out to us at emergency@nan.ca

NAN Education & Education                                                                                                                                           

  • The NAN Youth Council has been engaging with NAN youth given the increased levels of anxiety and depression during COVID-19.
  • The NAN Youth Council will present a plan that outlines asks, budgets and, activities to leadership on this call next week.
  • A Global Youth Day will be planned for July 19th or 20th for youth to do some activities and showcase their music, or artwork etc.
  • NAN Education held a two-day summit on education, two hours per day.
    • There were technology issues and, there were not enough Chiefs to pass Resolutions.
    • We are working through identified issues so that they can be addressed prior to another virtual meeting.
  • NAN supports the direction of community leadership regarding their decisions on whether students should go back to school in September.
  • NAN Education continues to work on a guide to support students transitioning back to school.

NAN COVID-19 Task Team 

Positive Cases at Meno Ya Win Health Centre

  • Meno Ya Win Health Centre had one symptomatic staff member who tested positive and then three newly admitted patients who also tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
  • Due to increased COVID-19 activity, Meno Ya Win started surveillance testing for COVID- 19 last week.
  • At end of day, June 22, 2020, 241 staff and physicians had been tested: 6 tested positive for COVID-19, 149 negative, and 86 still had pending test results at that time.
  • Due to these findings, Meno Ya Win will be testing all staff, all in-patients, and all hostel staff.
  • Anyone returning to their community from Meno Ya Win Health Centre will be offered testing before they fly back.
    • Testing is offered to all in-patients and staff working at the two hostels supported by SLFNHA and, to any community member who may be in Sioux Lookout before they return to their home community.
    • Everyone returning to a community should continue to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return, even if they test negative for COVID-19.

Updates from Dr. Guilfoyle, SLFNHA Public Health Physician

  • Dr. John Guilfoyle provided another video update on June 25.
  • SLFNHA       posts       these       video      updates      to       their       Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SLFNHA/
  • Dr. Guilfoyle provides a summary of the new cases at Meno Ya Win, the testing process, and some of the measures that Meno Ya Win has put in place.
  • It was important for communities to continue to keep their “firewall” up.
  • Communities should continue the strong public health measures, such as limiting non-essential travel into the community and having self-isolation periods in place, that have kept the virus out of many communities in NAN.

Dexamethasone

There was a question raised last week regarding Dexamethasone which is a steroid that is commonly used to treat inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. It is relatively inexpensive and easy to access however, further information and study is required before its utility is confirmed.

  • Initial results from a study at the University of Oxford showed that dexamethasone reduced the risk of death among COVID-19 patients on ventilators by a third.
    • The risk of death for patients on oxygen, but not on ventilators, was only reduced by a fifth.
    • Dexamethasone made no difference among COVID-19 patients who were not seriously ill.
  • This sounds promising, but it is important to be cautious.
  • Further study is needed to determine how dexamethasone may help COVID-19 patients.
  • While dexamethasone will hopefully be shown as something that can help seriously ill COVID-19 patients, it does not prevent people from getting COVID-19 and, it is not a cure.

Nishnawbe Aski Police Services (NAPS) 

  • There have been 8 sudden death in NAPS communities.
    • Those who passed ranged from various ages, with 5 of the 8 deaths being due to suicide.
  • There have been 8 drug warrants executed during COVID with 4 in the North East, and 4 in central region.
    • Fort Albany officers conducted two warrants which resulted in 3 people charged in the community.
    • A media release will be sent out regarding the details of this as it was a substantial seizure.
  • NAPS received good news regarding reimbursement for expenses for COVID-19 as these are now confirmed to be covered. NAPS will continue to work with funders for subsequent fiscal quarters.
  • NAPS received $300,000 for an additional special position to work in Thunder Bay to combat drugs and gangs.
  • NAPS lost 4 officers on leave unexpectedly for various reasons, ranging from short term, long term or workplace injury. This may impact coverage and create gaps in schedules.
  • There has been an increase in domestic violence calls and NAPS stresses the importance of services to help victims and the accused.
  • 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: www.nancovid19.ca

NEXT CALL: Thursday, July 2, 2020 | 1p.m. EST | 12p.m. CST

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