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NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- October 8, 2020

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- October 8, 2020

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) COVID-19 Update                                                                                                                                           

Thunder Bay District Health UnitTotal Number: 107
Active Cases: 0 (Last case reported on October 6)
Recovered: 106
Deceased: 1
Porcupine Health UnitNumber of cases: 85
Active Cases: 3 (last case reported on October 6)
Recovered: 73
Deceased: 9
Northwestern Health UnitTotal Number: 67 ( 66 positive test results, 1 probable case)
Active: 13 (last case reported on October 3)
Recovered: 54
Deaths: 0
Public Health Sudbury & DistrictsTotal Number: 109
Active: 1 (last case reported on October 6)
Recovered: 100
Deaths: 2
Timiskaming Health UnitTotal Number: 17*
Active: 0
Recovered: 17
Deaths: 0
*On October 5, THU announced that two of its most recent cases were being re-assigned to other Health Units, while another resolved case would be considered at THU case. These changes were due to ONtario’s Case Content Managing guidelines being updated so that home address was no longer the sole reason to attribute a case to a health unit.

NAN Grand Chief Update

  • NAN Executive acknowledges Muskrat Dam Chief Gordon Beardy on his election this week. NAN also congratulates Missanabie Cree First Nation on the historic claim settlement with the federal government as well as Chief Gauthier and Council and all the past leaders, elders, youth and ancestors who have helped reach this settlement.

COVID-19 Update from Grand Chief Fiddler

  • Flu season is approaching, and we encourage all community members to get a flu shot as soon as they are available. A flu shot prevents you from getting very sick and will not give you the flu.
  • Canada is working to provide a COVID-19 vaccine. NAN is working to ensure there will be capacity at the community level to deliver both of these vaccinations as soon as possible.
  • We recognize there is increased anxiety about in NAN territory and across the province.
  • When the pandemic began there was very little structure for public health, and we have been trying to strengthen this.
  • NAN continues to advocate for public health nurse capacity at the community level by working with the province on the request for an additional 50 public health nurses.
    • Letter to Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Tam has been written on this request.
  • We spoke with the Premier this week to ensure that all identified NAN priorities (Treaty relationship & respecting First Nations) are addressed as they move toward development in our territory.
  • NAN also spoke with Minister Yakabuski and Minister Rickford about the Far North Act this week. A report is being developed and will be presented at the upcoming Chiefs Assembly.

CAO Travis Boissoneau Update

NAN Office Logistics

  • The re-opening of the NAN office has been postponed until November 9, 2020. This comes after recommendations from our Task Team and the TBDHU. This decision was made with the health and safety of all employees and communities in mind.
    • Will continue to monitor and consider all public health recommendations and revisit the status on the office on a monthly basis.
  • NAN staff are under a continued travel restriction including travel to communities and urban areas. Vendor travel has also been suspended until further notice.
  • All staff will continue to work in a virtual environment to ensure that the priorities of NAN First Nations continue to be addressed.

NAN Chiefs Fall Assembly

NAN Website

  • The new NAN website (www.nan.ca) was launched this week.
  • It is designed to be more informative, easier to navigate, and has been organized to make it easier to find up-to-date information.
  • New features include mobile and tablet friendly, multimedia compatibility, events calendar and social media integration.
  • The NAN COVID-19 website (www.nancovid19.ca) is still live and will continue to be updated with public health information.
  • We encourage Chiefs and community members to visit the new NAN website. Please send any or suggestions or questions to NANComms@nan.ca.

NAN COVID-19 Task Team

  • New daily case counts in Ontario continue to be high, with over 500-600 new cases per day for the past 5 days and a record high today of 797 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
    • Ontario is moving away from the concept of social circles. Residents are urged to only have close contact with those in their immediate household.
  • Winnipeg has over 600 active cases.
  • New cases in the NWHU, including those identified at Valleyview Public School in Kenora on October 1, have been classified as an outbreak.
  • Both NWHU and TBHU have issued recommendations that residents are to avoid non-essential travel outside of northern Ontario.
  • TBRHSC and St. Joseph’s Care Group have reinstated travel restrictions. Anyone who does not require urgent care and/or has travelled outside northern Ontario within the past 7 days will not be allowed on-site.
  • The Task Team continues to meet on a weekly basis to advise on, and respond to, issues relating to the pandemic. They can be reached at emergency@nan.ca if you have any questions.

Importance of Seeking Medical Care – Dr. Anna Banerji

  • Although there are risks with travelling, this should not stop people from accessing medical care including necessary treatments, diagnostic tests, mental health care and surgeries.
  • Serious health complications can arise if people do not, or cannot, access necessary medical care.
    • People with cancer usually have better outcomes the sooner the cancer can be diagnosed and treated.
    • Untreated infections can lead to sepsis.
    • Having to wait for a pacemaker may increase the risk of adverse events such as  heart failure.
  • Healthcare providers can determine what care is urgent and what can safely be delayed.
  • .

Update on Rapid Testing

  • Last week, Health Canada approved the Abbott Laboratories (USA) ID Now test for COVID-19. The Government of Canada has signed an agreement to purchase up to 7.9 million of these tests.
    • The NML received its first ID NOW instruments and will be preforming tests.
    • NML is hoping to deploy these units to communities in late October.
  • This week, Health Canada approved the Abbott Laboratories (Germany) PanBio test.
    • Unlike the ID Now test, this is an antigen test instead of a molecular test.
    • Antigen tests are quick and easy to use.
    • These types of tests are less sensitives than molecular tests like the GeneXpert or the ID Now.
  • Both tests need to go through a validation process. The total number of tests that the federal government has agreed to purchase is not the number of tests that are currently available in Canada. The supply will become available in the coming months.
  • As rapid testing becomes available, we are advocating for NAN communities to be prioritized for safe, reliable and accurate point-of-care tests.

NAN Hope

  • NAN Hope offers:
    • 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.
  • Last week, the three most common presenting issues were substance use, suicidal ideation, and trauma.
    • Other reasons included family concerns, grief and loss, domestic violence, and sexual abuse/assault.
  • Please continue to share NAN Hope with anyone who might need help, from youth to Elders.
    • There are language speakers available through this program.
    • NAN Hope can be accessed through 1-844-NAN-HOPE (1-844-626-4673) and www.nanhope.ca

Nishnawbe Aski Police Services (NAPS)

  • Each region is operating under COVID-19 protocols.
  • Last week there were 8 major occurrences (assaults, domestic, weapons) across all regions.
    • During hunting season, people are out on the land, therefore a decline is seen in occurrences at this time.
  • NAPS is entering into the final six months of its current funding agreement and is waiting on a response from the federal government to start negotiations.
  • There is a vacancy in the Professional Standards Office. The position will be filled in the near future and NAPS will work with partners until then.
  • NAPS will transition from Wasaya Airlines to North Star Air Effective November 1.
  • Communities are asked to provide communities any updates on their protocols.

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.
  • Please send all new and updated community memos, statements, By-Laws, BCR’s and relevant community restriction information to emergency@nan.ca so that NAN and applicable partners can remain aware and respectful of your communities wishes.

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 provide assistance.
  • Please visit www.nancovid19.ca. It is updated daily with the most current information.

NEXT CALL: Thursday, October 15, 2020 | 1p.m. EST | 12p.m. CST

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