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NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- August 20, 2020

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- August 20, 2020

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) COVID-19 Update                                                                                                                                           

Thunder Bay District Health UnitConfirmed Positive (August 6): 100
Active Cases: 0 (last reported on August 11)
Resolved Cases: 99
Deceased: 1
Porcupine Health UnitNumber of cases: 72
Active Cases: 0 (last reported case on August 5)
Recovered: 64
Deceased: 8
Northwestern Health UnitTotal Number: 45
Active: 1 (last case was reported on August 18 in the Kenora area)
Recovered: 44
Deaths: 0
Public Health Sudbury & DistrictsTotal Number: 93
Active: 3 (last case confirmed on August 19)
Recovered: 88
Deaths: 2
Timiskaming Health UnitTotal Number: 19
Active: 0 (last case reported on July 28)
Recovered: 19
Deaths: 0
  • Thank you to Bishop Lydia Mamakwa for joining us on today’s call and leading us in prayer.
  • SAVE THE DATE: NAN Chiefs Virtual Fall Assembly – October 20/21.
  • We need to ensure that messaging and recommendations around public health measures and physical distancing are still being followed in our communities. Each community must be as vigilant as ever and we still cannot afford to relax the measures that are in place.
  • We have made a decision to gradually re-open the NAN offices in some capacity on Monday October 5th. We are working hard to ensure that we do this in a way that is respectful of all the needs and concerns of our staff, while keeping in mind the important work that we are doing for NAN communities.
  • PLEASE SEND ANY NEW COMMUNITY GUIDELINES/ RESTRICTIONS THAT YOUR COMMUNITY HAS IN PLACE TO emergency@nan.ca.

Tele-mental Health Initiative

  • On August 10, the Mental Health and Addictions Pandemic Response Program went live at 1-844-NAN-HOPE (1-844-626-4673) and www.nanhope.ca.
  • This program is available to all NAN First Nations community members, whether they are living on or off reserve.
  • NAN HOPE can be accessed through phone, text, or live chat.
  • The program offers 3 services:
    • 24/7 toll-free rapid access to confidential crisis services.
    • Rapid access to clinical and mental health counselling.
    • Navigators who provide connection to existing mental health and addictions support services in home communities and the region.
  • NAN HOPE is currently receiving 5 to 10 calls/texts a day; the Task Team expects usership to increase as program partners SLFNHA, KO eHealth, and Dalton Associates continue to promote it.

NAN COVID-19 Task Team                                                                                                                                           

  • The Task Team continues to meet once a week to discuss issues related to COVID-19 in NAN territory, including community access to rapid testing; mental health supports for community members in urban areas; and the province’s Guide to Reopening Ontario Schools.
    • The Task Team is working with NAN’s Education Department to support communities as they determine how to safely reopen their schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Task Team Members are working with Meno Ya Win and local health units to develop a communications protocol for use during the COVID-19 pandemic and in other serious incidents, such as community evacuations.
  • Two members of the NAN Youth Council, Linden Waboose and Theya Quachegan, have joined the Mental Health and Substance Use Working Group.
  • NAN community members should continue to practice the measures that have limited the spread of COVID-19 in our communities so far, including physical distancing, good hand hygiene, covering your cough, and maintaining a 14-day self-isolation period when returning from travel outside of the community.
    • The Task Team also recommends that older children and adults should wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces or outdoor areas where physical distancing measures cannot be maintained.
    • This recommendation does not apply to children under the age of 2, anyone who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, or those requiring other accommodations.
    • Anyone who is concerned that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should seek testing.

NAN Critical Preparedness, Readiness and Response Action Document

  • The Task Team has reviewed and revised the NAN Critical Preparedness, Readiness and Response Actions document that we sent out a few months ago.
    • This updated document provides suggested actions communities can take to plan for and respond to different scenarios of COVID-19 spread in a community, from no cases to sustained community transmission.
    • This document was originally shared with communities on April 15, 2020.
  • The changes in the revised version include highlighting the importance of planning and preparation when there are no cases, information on non-medical mask use, and the importance of other public health measures as well as testing.

The revised Readiness and Response Actions is posted to www.nancovid19.ca and attached with this bulletin.

Ontario First Nations Limited Partnership (OFNLP)

  • Thank you for Brian Davey for coming on the call today to present the information to leadership.
  • On July 15, the Ontario government allowed the casinos to reopen with up to 50 people capacity per Ontario’s stage 3 reopening plan. Not many casinos took up this option, and as a result there is a major impact on casino revenues. We are estimating a 50% drop in First Nations revenue next year due to COVID-19 closures, and this should be considered when planning for future activities.
  • Virtual AGM will be held on September 17, 2020, and we encourage you to participate.

Canadian Rangers

  • Thank you to LCol Shane McArthur for joining us on today’s call.
  • Communities are asked to submit their request for assistance for the Canadian Rangers to PEOC. It is recommended that communities inform the patrol sergeant that a request has been submitted. Currently we are seeing that there is a communication gap between the two and we want to ensure that is mitigated.
  • On August 30, Class D patrols will end and return to normal operations.
  • The Canadian Ranger Instructors are ready to return to the communities when communities request them to come in for training. They will be strictly adhering to public health measures and any measures put in place by the communities.
  • September 21 – October 2 – Training for 30-40 Rangers. Strict public health measures will be followed at camp. Chief and council must give consent for members to participate.
  • Exercise Ranger Tracker – October 21-31.

NAN Education                                                                                                                                           

  • NAN submitted a proposal for education support to address health and safety concerns as related to the pandemic
    • NAN is yet to receive a response from Federal and Provincial governments on this plan.
  • The province has allocated $850 million to provincial schools, but so far, we have not seen anything committed for First Nation schools.
  • NAN understands that communities will have a varied response to schools reopening and encourages communities to contact our education team if assistance or supports are required.

Nishnawbe Aski Police Services (NAPS)                                                                                                                                           

  • NAPS officers responded to 18 major occurrences over the last two weeks.
  • Sexual assaults and domestic violence incidents continue to be regular occurrences.
  • NAPS is anxiously waiting to hear from the federal and provincial governments with respect to the proposal submitted to assist victims and survivors of violence. NAN continues to strongly advocate for this proposal to be funded through the trilateral table.
  • NAPS signed an MOU with the officer’s union to extend the 14-day schedule under the collective agreements, the extension is now in place until December 31, 2020.
  • Specialized officer positions have now been filled.
  • NAPS is in the process of developing priorities for funding agreement negotiations.

Communications                                                                                                                                           

  • 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.

You are aware that for the summer months we moved to our calls to once every two weeks to allow for some rest. In September, we will be reevaluating the timing of these calls and we may return to a weekly schedule. We will keep leadership updated on our plans.

NEXT CALL: Thursday, September 3, 2020 | 1p.m. EST | 12p.m. CST

Download PDF

Framework for Easing Restrictions

Memo- Masking Recommendations

NAN- Host Site Guidance Document

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