Volume 35 | December 4, 2020
FNHMA Health Bulletin: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Welcome to your weekly dose of the FNHMA Health and Wellness Bulletin. Each issue, we do our best to provide relevant information, resources and supports to help you and your team navigate through COVID-19.

In this week's edition, we are sharing:

  • FNHMA Virtual Town Hall returns December 10, 2020
  • Total Number of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 ISC is aware of as of December 3, 2020
  • Epidemiological Summary Of COVID-19 Cases In First Nations Communities (Data Current As Of November 27, 2020)
  • “First Nations Need To Be Prioritized For The Coronavirus Vaccine: FSIN”
  • “Indigenous Services Minister Says Trudeau Government Won’t End Boil-Water Advisories By March 2021”
  • "Sask. Indigenous Communities Have Reached 'Intense' Phase Of COVID Fight, Doctor Says"
  • "Shamattawa First Nation Seeking Military Aid For COVID-19 Outbreak"
  • "Two Cases Of COVID-19 Reported In Sipekne'katik First Nation"
  • "Five New Cases Of COVID-19 In Nunavut"
  • "Six Nations Adapts Its Own COVID-19 Colour-Coded System, Places Itself In Level 2"
  • "Government Of Canada Announces $1.5 Billion In New Investments For Clean Drinking Water In First Nations Communities"

Scroll down for these stories and more.
Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
The FNHMA Virtual Town Hall returns December 10, 2020

For the December 10th edition of our Town Hall, we will be hearing from:

  • James Brooks MD, FRCPC, PHAC-ASPC, Public Health Agency of Canada

  • Linda Pillsworth, Manager, Environmental Public Health Division, FNIHB, Indigenous Services Canada

  • Alika Lafontaine, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, University of Alberta

Check our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages for the live stream information or click the buttons below.
Have a question for our Town Hall Speakers?

We'd love to hear from you.

Get your questions in early by emailing us with "Town Hall Q+A" in the subject line to

We may just answer your question live on the air!
National and First Nation COVID-19 News
Total Number Of Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 ISC Is Aware Of As Of December 3, 2020
As of December 3, 2020, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) records indicate that there are 4160 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, in six provinces. There are 187 hospitalizations, 2598 recovered cases, and 38 deaths.

For more information on these numbers and for more information on how to keep your family safe, please click here.

Click Here to see the full ISC Coronavirus (COVID-19) an Indigenous communities page.
Epidemiological Summary Of COVID-19 Cases In First Nations Communities (Data Current As Of November 27, 2020)
Cumulative reported, recovered, active and newly reported cases in First Nations communities (up to November 22-28, 2020)

The charts with epidemic curves over time (epi curves) below show:

  • the cumulative totals of reported and recovered COVID-19 cases
  • active cases
  • Reported cases by First Nations communities by age group and sex

Epidemic curves of COVID-19 cases in First Nations communities on-reserve are available online, and updated weekly. While a recent rise in the number of cumulative, new and active COVID-19 cases suggests an increased transmission, the flattened epi curves observed over the summer months indicates many First Nations communities had been successful in their efforts to stop the spread of infections.

First Nations Need To Be Prioritized For The Coronavirus Vaccine: FSIN
"The Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations (FSIN) is calling on all levels of government to make First Nations a priority for receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said First Nations have an inherent right under treaty rights to the vaccines and to being placed on the priority list."

Click here for the full article.
“Indigenous Services Minister Says Trudeau Government Won’t End Boil-Water Advisories By March 2021
"Miller said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to delays in upgrading or completing water systems and also created supply chain problems. He said some First Nations reserves have restricted who is allowed into the communities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“While there have been many reasons for the delay, I want to state as clearly as possible that ultimately I bear the responsibility for this and I have the responsibility and duty to get this done,” Miller told reporters Wednesday."

Click here to read the full article.
"Sask. Indigenous Communities Have Reached 'Intense' Phase Of COVID Fight, Doctor Says"
"People from First Nations at highest risk of being hospitalized or dying from virus, research indicates

Indigenous communities continue to grapple with COVID-19 outbreaks across Saskatchewan, and a doctor leading the pandemic response says they have reached an "intense phase" in the fight.

Research indicates that Indigenous people in Saskatchewan are at the highest risk of being hospitalized or dying because of complications from the virus.

As of Monday evening, there had been almost 1,160 cases of COVID-19 reported across Saskatchewan's First Nations communities, including 17 active outbreaks and 531 known active cases.

For the full story, click here.
"Shamattawa First Nation Seeking Military Aid For COVID-19 Outbreak"
"Pandemic A COVID-19 rapid response team is on the ground in a northern Manitoba First Nation, but the community is looking for further support after 30 new cases were linked to the community Sunday.

There are 60 known active COVID-19 cases in Shamattawa First Nation right now, including 30 to 35 isolating off-reserve, according to chief Eric Redhead.

"Those numbers are really, really scary for us," said Redhead. "We're kind of lost. We've deployed all the resources that we have to our disposal, and we're really getting nowhere."

Click here to read the full article.
"Two Cases Of COVID-19 Reported In Sipekne'katik First Nation"
"The first cases of Covid-19 have been identified in a Nova Scotia first nation.

On Wednesday afternoon Sipekne’katik First Nation was informed by Public Health that two of its community members had tested possible for the virus.

Community leadership was not informed who the infected are because that is private health information.

“I express to people to not go looking for names (of those who tested positive) – we don’t need to make those people feel alienated,” Chief Michael Sack said in a news release. 
“It was just a matter of time until someone got it. We will stick together as a community and make sure we beat it.”

To read the full story, click here:
"Five New Cases Of COVID-19 In Nunavut"
"December 3, 2020

“While Rankin Inlet has successfully flattened the COVID-19 curve, I ask residents there to remain strict in their commitment to continue on this path and follow the current public health restrictions,” said Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer. “COVID-19 is not over in Nunavut. Everyone needs to ensure they do their part to bring us to zero active cases in the territory and remain committed and prepared for a potential resurgence of the virus.”

To read the full Press Release, click here:
"Six Nations Adapts Its Own COVID-19 Colour-Coded System, Places Itself In Level 2"
"Six Nations of the Grand River's emergency control group has made its own version of Ontario's COVID-19 colour-coded framework that determines the risk of regions in the province — except the Six Nations iteration has stricter measures.

The elected council approved the system for immediate use as one part of the community's overall recovery plan.

The change was made to "meet the unique needs of the Six Nations territory," the First Nation said in a media release."

"Government Of Canada Announces $1.5 Billion In New Investments For Clean Drinking Water In First Nations Communities"
"...Additionally, $309.8 million will be allocated to support and accelerate on-going work to lift all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves by helping to respond to project delays including those due to COVID-19.

The Government of Canada will also work to support First Nations-led initiatives to create water and wastewater service delivery centres that can provide technical expertise on system maintenance and operations to multiple First Nations communities.

The Government of Canada will continue to work in partnership with First Nations on long-term and sustainable solutions so that communities will continue to have access to safe drinking water for generations to come. With this new funding, we continue to make progress on closing the infrastructure gaps on reserve, supporting prosperous and healthy First Nation communities."

Flu And COVID-19 #StopTheSpread
Going out: Personal and social activities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Think about the risks
As provinces and territories lift or adjust public health measures, we have to think about the risks associated with different settings and activities. 

Minimize your risk by avoiding the 3 Cs:

  • closed spaces with poor ventilation
  • crowded places with many people nearby
  • close faces, such as close-range conversations

Learn more about protecting yourself, your family and community here.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Prevention and risks

How COVID-19 spreads

COVID-19 spreads from an infected person to others through respiratory droplets and aerosols created when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, shouts, or talks. The droplets vary in size from large droplets that fall to the ground rapidly (within seconds or minutes) near the infected person, to smaller droplets, sometimes called aerosols, which linger in the air under some circumstances.

The relative infectiousness of droplets of different sizes is not clear. Infectious droplets or aerosols may come into direct contact with the mucous membranes of another person's nose, mouth or eyes, or they may be inhaled into their nose, mouth, airways and lungs. The virus may also spread when a person touches another person (i.e., a handshake) or a surface or an object (also referred to as a fomite) that has the virus on it, and then touches their mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands.

For additional resources, please refer to:

To learn more visit Canada.ca/flu and Canada.ca/coronavirus
FNHMA Pandemic Planning Tool Free Download
Did you know that the FNHMA has developed a Pandemic Planning Tool for First Nations Communities?

What can I expect with the FNHMA Pandemic Planning Tool?

  • This tool is available to all First Nations communities, free of charge.
  • FNHMA hopes that this new tool will help First Nations communities plan their pandemic responses.
  • Includes the basics of developing a Community Pandemic Plan and can complement what you already have in place.
  • A Community Pandemic Plan is usually part of an overall Community Emergency Plan, and as such, supports a more coordinated approach.
  • This tool will serve health directors, program managers and community health representatives alike; not only to enhance their knowledge, but to hone their skills and abilities, as well as to help them continue to drive change and build healthier communities.

COVID Alert App
Download COVID Alert today

Together, let's limit the spread of COVID-19. COVID Alert is an additional tool to protect yourself and your loved ones.

COVID Alert helps us break the cycle of infection. The app can let other app users know of possible exposures before any symptoms appear.
That way, we can take care of ourselves and protect our communities.

Accessing Additional Funding
Indigenous Support For Student Learning Program - Funding Opportunity
The "Indigenous Support for Student Learning Program (SSLP)"

This program is a time-limited project for Indigenous students who have limited financial resources, including those students living with disabilities.

Click here to learn more about the SSLP.
Indigenous Services Canada - New Financial Support
Indigenous Services Canada has a list of financial supports for:

  • Indigenous individuals
  • Indigenous students
  • Indigenous organizations and communities
  • Indigenous businesses

Praxis SCI Accelerate Program
Praxis, Canada’s premier Spinal Cord Research Institute is offering $50K grants and over 200 hours of commercialization mentorship for post-prototype companies developing care/cure solutions that impact people with spinal cord injuries (SCI).

Through the Accelerate Program, which is a six-month commercialization program geared towards healthcare companies with a product ready to launch into market that will transform the lives of people living with SCI.

Deadline to apply: December 10, 2020

First Nations Webinars
A number of Partner and National Indigenous Organizations are and have been producing webinars in order to continue supporting First Nations in a changing landscape.

To view more please follow the links below and be directed to that organization's webinar page.

Supports & Regularly Updated Resources
The following organizations have resources to combat COVID-19. These resources are regularly updated and are available to view at any time.

Please click below to be directed to more information.
Indigenous Health Today houses many different resources and provides recent news updates via email.

Please subscribe to their health brief as a valued FNHMA Partner.

Click the link to subscribe today!

Please note that service hours for InfoPoint have been updated.

InfoPoint will now be available from 9am until 5pm EDT, Monday to Friday.

Previous Health Bulletins
If you missed or would like to see any of our weekly health bulletins, we have included a link to all of our previous volumes.

Click Here to see all previous Health and Wellness Bulletins.

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