Volume 37 | December 18, 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:

  • Happy Holidays And Office Closure
  • FNHMA Virtual Town Halls to return January 14, 2021
  • Total Number of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 ISC is aware of as of December 16, 2020
  • Epidemiological Summary Of COVID-19 Cases In First Nations Communities (Data Current As Of December 5, 2020)
  • "Ottawa Eyes COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout To Indigenous Communities"
  • "As 1st Manitobans Get COVID-19 Vaccine, Questions Linger About Distribution, Access On First Nations"
  • "Manitoba First Nations Grapple With COVID-19 Outbreaks"
  • “Auduzhe Mino Nesewinong: An Indigenous Covid-19 Testing Centre Opens In Toronto"
  • "Data Gap Persists For COVID-19's Impact On Indigenous People"
  • "CCAB E-Newsletter"
  • "Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine ‘Dry Run’ Underway, Key To Reaching Indigenous Communities"
  • "The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Presents: Recommendations Of The National Advisory Committee On Immunization (NACI) On The Use Of The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine""

Scroll down for these stories and more.
Happy Holidays And Office Closure
Happy Holidays!

Season's greetings and happy holidays to you and yours from all of us at the FNHMA!

Our offices will be closed December 21, 2020 and will re-open on January 4, 2021.

Keep safe, rest and enjoy time with your family and friends.

See you in January!
Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
FNHMA Virtual Town Halls To Return January 14, 2021

We are taking a break for the holidays and will return full steam ahead on January 14, 2021.

If you missed a Town Hall, you can watch them all. Simply click the button below to view our archived list.
National and First Nation COVID-19 News
Total Number Of Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 ISC Is Aware Of As Of December 16, 2020
As of December 16, 2020, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) records indicate that there are 6569 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, in six provinces. There are 295 hospitalizations, 4020 recovered cases, and 59 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 December 5, 2020)
Cumulative reported, recovered, active and newly reported cases in First Nations communities (Data current between December 6 to 12, 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.

"Ottawa Eyes COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout To Indigenous Communities"
"Indigenous Services Canada says it is working closely with the provinces, territories and Indigenous leaders on the eventual rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine to communities identified as a priority for Canada’s immunization campaign.

But Tom Wong, the department’s Chief Medical Officer of Public Health, warns that the plan will not work without partnership.

The help of provinces and territories will be required to support the vaccination of First Nations, Métis and Inuit regardless of where they reside, Dr. Wong said Wednesday at a briefing in Ottawa, noting that a federal-provincial-Indigenous working group has been created at the national level."

For the full story, click here.
"As 1st Manitobans Get COVID-19 Vaccine, Questions Linger About Distribution, Access On First Nations"
"Indigenous people are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, but they were not first in line to get vaccinated when Manitobans started rolling up their sleeves on Wednesday.

"Our elders, we want them to be given priority, and anyone who is immune-compromised, is what we are hoping for," said Jerry Daniels, grand chief of the Southern Chiefs' Organization, which represents 34 First Nations and 80,000 people in southern Manitoba — nearly half of whom live off reserve.

"The future will tell us what's going on here with the way that the province has allocated" the vaccine, he said, and "how it's going to actually roll out."

For the full story, click here.
"Manitoba First Nations Grapple With COVID-19 Outbreaks"
“Samuel Knott is facing an overwhelming responsibility: the weight of leading his community in northern Manitoba during a potentially catastrophic COVID-19 outbreak while he battles the coronavirus himself.

Mr. Knott, Chief of the Red Sucker First Nation, said since he tested positive five days ago, he has been isolating at home and taking traditional medicine to cope with mild symptoms, including a cough and chills.

The future for his remote, fly-in community, hit by the H1N1 crisis in 2009, remains uncertain. It is unclear how many members of Red Sucker have the coronavirus now or exactly how the illness made its away into the community, the Chief said.

Click here for the full story.
"Auduzhe Mino Nesewinong: An Indigenous Covid-19 Testing Centre Opens In Toronto"
"Press Release

This fall, a revolutionary new Indigenous-led COVID-19 Assessment and Testing Centre opened in Toronto, ON. The project features an entirely Indigenous space and philosophy, and was informed through consultation and insight from the urban Indigenous community.

Auduzhe Mino Nesewinong (“Place of Healthy Breathing”), is the first community-led site of its kind. The facility delivers culturally sensitive supports and services to the community, while bridging the gap in access to healthcare often experienced by Indigenous peoples.

The site offers Indigenous clients a suite of services including integrated COVID-19 testing, case management, contact tracing, outreach supports, and referrals..."

Click here to read the Press Release.
"Data Gap Persists For COVID-19's Impact On Indigenous People"
"Saskatchewan Indigenous leaders are sounding the alarm about rising COVID-19 caseloads in their communities.

However, other officials — including the federal minister responsible — say there is not enough disaggregated data on how the pandemic is affecting Indigenous peoples who live outside reserves.

“It’s something that we have raised right from the beginning of the pandemic,” said Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Vice-Chief David Pratt.

Pratt said socioeconomic challenges like poverty, crowded housing and underlying health issues leave Indigenous people more vulnerable to the virus.

Data from Indigenous Services Canada says fewer than 100 cases of COVID-19 were reported on Saskatchewan First Nations between March and the end of August.”

To read the full story, click here:
"CCAB E-Newsletter"
"Learn more about the great work of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) in their latest e-newsletter.

Take it a step further and subscribe!"

Read the most recent bi-weekly edition here.
"Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine ‘Dry Run’ Underway, Key To Reaching Indigenous Communities"
"Canada is preparing a “dry run” for the delivery of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine officials say will be key for reaching remote Indigenous communities.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Major General Dany Fortin said the dry run, or rollout practice, was similar to the one performed last week by the Canadian government for the Pfizer and BioNtech vaccine, which involved confirming vaccine orders, and testing shipping, tracking, delivery and storage.

Fortin added this will make it easier to deliver Moderna’s vaccines to locations identified by the provinces and territories so they can be rolled out quickly, pending approval from Health Canada."

"The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Presents: Recommendations Of The National Advisory Committee On Immunization (NACI) On The Use Of The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine"
An online open access webinar for health care providers, hosted by the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID).
The following webinars are to inform health care providers on the NACI recommendations on the use of this COVID-19 vaccine.

There will be a live Q&A with the presenters following the presentations.
*Please note - the same presentation will be delivered in French and English on two separate days and recorded. The recordings will be made available on the NCCID website immediately following the event.
English Session

Date:    Friday December 18, 2020
Time:    12:30pm to 1:30pm Eastern Time

Flu And COVID-19 #StopTheSpread
What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine for Canada

Working to bring Canadians a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread and reduce the impact of infectious diseases, whether it's seasonal flu or childhood infections. A safe and effective vaccine(s) for COVID-19 will protect us against the novel coronavirus and will be an important step to safely resume normal life in Canada and around the world. The Government of Canada is working on all possible fronts to secure access to safe and effective vaccines and related supplies for Canadians. Here is what Canadians need to know about a future COVID-19 vaccine.

Download the full PDF about what you need to know about the vaccine here.
Three ways you can protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask or face covering when out in public.
  • Wash your hands several times a day for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol.
  • Spread the word. Talk to friends and family about the benefits of vaccines. Vaccines save lives by preventing serious illness and disability.

To learn more about the vaccine and Indigenous people, click 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

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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