Volume 42 | February 5, 2021
FNHMA Health Bulletin: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Thanks for subscribing to our weekly health and wellness bulletin.

We've once again had a busy week preparing for our Town Hall and supporting our students who are now in the second week of our hybrid courses.

In this issue of our weekly health bulletin, we're sharing the names of speakers for our Town Hall on February 11, 2021 along with helpful resources, funding opportunities, relevant news stories and COVID data.

In this week's edition, we are sharing:

  • Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
  • Total Number of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 ISC is aware of as of February 3, 2021
  • Epidemiological Summary Of COVID-19 Cases In First Nations Communities (Data Current As Of January 29, 2021)
  • "COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: Active Cases In First Nations Continue To Decline"
  • "B.C. Public-Health Officials Apologize After COVID-19 Vaccines Withdrawn From Remote Indigenous Community"
  • "Indigenous People In B.C. Lack Access To Primary, Preventative Care: Report"
  • "COVID-19 Vaccinations Begin In Ontario Fly-In First Nations"
  • "First Nations In Quebec 'Ready And Waiting' For COVID-19 Vaccines"
  • "First Nations Are Exerting More Control Over Their Borders. Health Care Could Be Next"

Scroll down for these stories and more.

Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
The Next FNHMA Virtual Town Hall Is Scheduled For February 11, 2021!

We hope you'll continue to join us as we discuss and share important information on the pandemic, the vaccine and the issues and opportunities for front line health care workers.

Our guests this week are:

  • Jocelyn Formsma, Executive Director, National Association of Friendship Centres

  • Dr. Valerie Gideon, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, FNIHB, Indigenous Services Canada

If you have questions for our guests, send them in by email to:

FNHMA@ihtoday.ca and we may just answer them during the broadcast.

To watch, go to: www.ihtoday.ca/townhall

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 February 3, 2021
As of February 3, 2021, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) records indicate that there are 17,315 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, in 7 regions/provinces. There are 787 hospitalizations, 15,274 recovered cases, and 172 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 January 29, 2021)
Cumulative reported, recovered, active and newly reported cases in First Nations communities (Data is current as of January 29, 2021)

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.

"COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: Active Cases In First Nations Continue To Decline"
"The number of active COVID-19 cases in First Nations across the country continues to decline after reaching new highs in January, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

As of Feb. 1, there were 2,228 active cases reported compared to 3,847 active cases a week prior.

However, new cases continue to be reported, primarily in the Prairies. Most recently, an outbreak in Pauingassi First Nation sparked a lockdown in the Manitoba community after a quarter of its members tested positive for COVID-19.

Since the pandemic started, there have been a total of 17,097 cases on-reserve. Twenty-two people living on-reserve have died from the virus since last week, bringing the death toll to 144. The total number of hospitalizations rose to 780. The number of First Nations people who have recovered from the disease is now at 14,703."

For the full story, click here.
"B.C. Public-Health Officials Apologize After COVID-19 Vaccines Withdrawn From Remote Indigenous Community"
"B.C.’s top public-health officials are apologizing for mishandling the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in a remote Indigenous community, exacerbating tensions about systemic racism in the health care system.

Remote Indigenous communities such as the Nuxalk Nation at Bella Coola were promised prioritized access to the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the plan administered by Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead for the province’s immunization program. It is a policy that recognizes the higher health risks, and greater barriers to health care, facing Indigenous communities.

Kirsten Milton, health director for the Nuxalk Nation, said the initial plan was to vaccinate 110 elders in her community, but when the public-health team from Vancouver Coastal Health arrived in Bella Coola on Jan. 21, they announced they had secured additional supplies – a welcome surprise that she expected would be used to help the Nuxalk respond to active COVID-19 cases in their village.”

For the full story, click here.
"Indigenous People In B.C. Lack Access To Primary, Preventative Care: Report"
"An updated report into anti-Indigenous racism in British Columbia’s health-care system finds that Indigenous people have less access to primary care doctors than non-Indigenous British Columbians.

The data report released Thursday is part of a broader investigation into anti-Indigenous racism in the health-care system launched last year by independent investigator Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond.

The initial report found "hundreds of examples of prejudice and racism" in health facilities across the province when its findings were released in November."

Click here for the full story.
"COVID-19 Vaccinations Begin In Ontario Fly-In First Nations"
"Vaccine teams have begun immunizing people against COVID-19 in northern Ontario fly-in First Nations as part of an initiative called Operation Remote Immunity.

The program will see those who are age 18 and older get inoculated against COVID-19 in 31 Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) fly-in communities and Moosonee, Ont., over the next three months.

On Monday, Neskantaga First Nation Chief Chris Moonias got vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. He was the first to be inoculated in his community."

"First Nations In Quebec 'Ready And Waiting' For COVID-19 Vaccines"
"Health ministry’s goal is to vaccinate First Nations by March 31.

Several First Nations in Quebec will begin vaccinating its members against COVID-19 in February — if vaccine supplies are available.

Gesgapegiag, a Mi'kmaw community in the Gaspésie, is waiting to administer 400 doses over a three-day period. 

"We have it all planned, we just don't know when the vaccine is going to arrive," said Amanda Larocque, director of health and wellness at Gesgapegiag Health and Community Services.

"They're only going to notify us perhaps 48 hours or 24 hours in advance. We're waiting."

Quebec's vaccination campaign has been be slowed by shipment delays, but the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission said there's been ongoing discussions between communities, provincial health agencies, and Indigenous Services Canada to prepare vaccination sites."

"First Nations Are Exerting More Control Over Their Borders. Health Care Could Be Next"
"COVID-19 has turned a spotlight on the substandard state of health care in remote communities.

On the only road connecting Pimicikamak Cree Nation to the rest of Manitoba, there's a checkpoint designed to staunch the spread of COVID-19.

Anyone driving in and out of what's also known as Cross Lake must stop at the row of pylons and disclose contact-tracing information, including their name, phone number, point of origin and intended destination.

They're given temperature checks, asked if they've been tested for COVID-19 and if they have any symptoms. If they intend to stay in the community and interact with anyone, they may be required to spend days inside a school converted into a makeshift isolation centre.

For all intents and purposes, Pimicikamak has exerted control of its borders in a manner befitting a sovereign nation."

For the full story, click here.
COVID-19 #StopTheSpread
COVID-19 Communications Toolkit - Free Download - UPDATE 1

**The Communications Toolkit has been updated. Check below for the latest version.**

The pandemic has touched many Indigenous communities across the country and people need information to help them manage in this ever-changing environment. With the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, people have renewed hope but understandably also have questions on how a vaccine will impact them and their families.
To help you answer some of these questions, Indigenous Services Canada has prepared a toolkit that contains a variety of communication resources and information for you to share with your community. Each community is unique in the way it shares information with its members. This toolkit can serve as a guide to create messages tailored to your community.
This is the first version of the communications toolkit, please look for updated versions in the coming weeks as the situation continues to evolve. 

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.
FNHMA Pandemic Planning Tool Free Download
Did you know?

The FNHMA Pandemic Planning Tool provides the basics of developing a Community Pandemic Plan and can complement what you already have in place. It is based on the belief that:

“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

That is why this tool focuses on identifying risks and planning to avoid or mitigate them.

To learn more, download your copy today.

Canada's COVID-19 App
COVID-19 App Update Available!

The Canada COVID-19 app has an update available. If you don’t have auto-updates enabled on your device, remember to update your app manually!

Get the app today.

Community Resources
Health Career Opportunities
Are you looking for new opportunities? Indigenous Services Canada is looking for your experience and knowledge.

"Indigenous Services Canada - First Nations Inuit Health Branch - Various locations - Director"

Deadline: Feb 5/21 @ 23:59pm PST

Click below to find out more.

Or, download the posting(s) here: English and French
Mental Health And Wellness Resources
If you are looking for additional supports and resources for mental health, take a look at the list below and our partner websites for helpful information:

FNPI - An Indigenous Manufacturer of PPE
FN N95 Mask
First Nations Procurement Inc. (FNPI) an indigenous manufacturer of Personal Protection Equipment has donated half a million masks to Manitoba during their outbreak in the northern communities. 

They are located on the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation in Ontario, Canada. FNPI in partnership with Dent-X Canada has 3 Indigenous manufacturing facilities located on the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation and First Nation Training Centre in Vaughan, Ontario.  
FNPI /Dent-X Canada manufactures medical grade 3 ply, level II and level III disposable facemasks for adults and children. Recently, they completed the signature series N95, “First Nations, FN- N95 2020H” respirator. It is anticipated that this mask will be highly sought after as it offers a maximum protection for essential workers. 

Accessing Additional Funding
Public Health Agency of Canada - Call For Proposals
Funding Opportunity - Call for Proposals

"Immunization Partnership Fund: Increasing confidence, acceptance and uptake of Covid-19 vaccines"

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) invites eligible organizations to submit a letter of intent (LOI) for time-limited projects to increase Canadians' confidence, acceptance and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.

This Call for Proposals is a two-step process. The first step is the submission of a LOI, which provides an overview of the proposed project. Applicants whose LOIs meet all eligibility criteria and best fit the objectives of this funding opportunity will be invited to move on to the second step by submitting a full proposal.

LOIs must be submitted by March 5, 2021.

Applications must be submitted using PHAC's Immunization Partnership Fund LOI Template.

To obtain a copy of the LOI Template, please contact: phac.cgc.solicitations-csc.aspc@canada.ca with the subject line "LOI Immunization Partnership Fund".

To learn more and/or apply, click here:
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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