Volume 44 | February 19, 2021
FNHMA Health Bulletin: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Thanks for subscribing to our weekly health and wellness bulletin.

While it was a short work week - we still got a lot accomplished - and we have a lot to share with you this week.

In this issue we're sharing helpful resources, funding opportunities, relevant news stories, COVID data and a new campaign we're working on. And we're hiring!

In this week's edition, learn more about:

  • Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
  • Total Number of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 ISC is aware of as of February 18, 2021
  • Epidemiological Summary Of COVID-19 Cases In First Nations Communities (Data Current As Of February 12, 2021)
  • "COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: Active Cases In First Nations Continue Downward Trend"
  • "Toronto Top Doctor, Indigenous Services Minister Sound Alarm Over COVID-19 Variants"
  • "Indigenous People Should Be Prioritized In Provincial COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: Miller"
  • "Vaccination Rate Is 6 Times Higher In Indigenous Communities Than In General Population"
  • "COVID-19: 16,000 People In 90 First Nations Receive First Dose Of Moderna Vaccine"
  • "Officials Explain High Vaccination Rate On Sask. First Nations"

Scroll down for these stories and more.

Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
The Next FNHMA Virtual Town Hall Is Scheduled For February 25, 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.

We will share the names of our guests soon!

Town Hall Topic: "COVID-19 Variants"

This week, we are exploring "COVID-19 variants" with our guests. If you have questions for our guests around this topic or anything else COVID-19 related, 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 18, 2021
As of February 18, 2021, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) records indicate that there are 19,455 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, in 7 regions/provinces. There are 901 hospitalizations, 17,975 recovered cases, and 215 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) and Indigenous communities page.
Epidemiological Summary Of COVID-19 Cases In First Nations Communities (Data Current As Of February 12, 2021)
Cumulative reported, recovered, active and newly reported cases in First Nations communities (Data is current as of February 12, 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 Downward Trend"
"Active cases of COVID-19 in First Nations communities are continuing on a downward trend, though new infections persist. 

Indigenous Services data shows, as of Feb. 15, more than 400 new infections compared to the week before. The highest number of those new cases, 149, were reported out of British Columbia. 

There are currently 1,484 active cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves across Canada, according to the latest federal data. 

Amid ongoing concern about the spread of new, more contagious coronavirus variants, two remote First Nations in Manitoba have been waiting on the National Microbiology Lab this week to find out if the B117 variant is spreading in their communities."

Click here for the full update.
"Toronto Top Doctor, Indigenous Services Minister Sound Alarm Over COVID-19 Variants"
"Officials expressed growing concern Wednesday over highly transmissible new COVID-19 variants taking hold in Canada's biggest cities and in First Nation reserves across the country.

Toronto's mayor, top doctor and emergency management boss announced they want the metropolis to remain under Ontario's toughest restrictions until at least March 9, two weeks longer than planned.

"I have never been as worried about the future as I am today," said medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa...

In Ottawa, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said he fears the prospect of variants taking hold in First Nation communities, where residents often live in overcrowded homes and have worse health outcomes due to several socio-economic factors.
"I don't think I can be any more concerned," Miller said."

For the full story, click here.
"Indigenous People Should Be Prioritized In Provincial COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: Miller"
"Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says new guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations reaffirms the standard set for provinces to prioritize Indigenous people in their vaccination programs.

Miller says his department is working with Indigenous leaders and the provincial and territorial health authorities to prepare mass immunization programs in First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities.

He says vaccination has started in 400 Indigenous communities, with more than 83,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered as of yesterday."

For the full story, click here.
"Vaccination Rate Is 6 Times Higher In Indigenous Communities Than In General Population"
"Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the nationwide push to prioritize First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities for the COVID-19 vaccine is starting to bear fruit, and that vaccination rates in those communities are now significantly higher than those reported elsewhere.

According to the latest data, more than 83,000 doses have been administered so far in more than 400 Indigenous communities.

Twenty-five per cent of adults in these communities have received at least one shot — a rate six times higher than the one for the general population.
Miller said he expects most Indigenous adults to be vaccinated before the rest of the population — a goal, he added, that is rooted in science.

"It's what we want," Miller said, adding the territories and B.C. are on track to vaccinate 75 per cent of Indigenous adults by the end of March. The rest of the country isn't expected to reach that milestone until sometime this summer."

"COVID-19: 16,000 People In 90 First Nations Receive First Dose Of Moderna Vaccine"
"More than 16,000 people in about 90 First Nations communities have received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine and vaccinations are underway in about a dozen additional communities, the First Nations Health Authority said Tuesday.

However, the vaccine shortage has forced the health authority to wait for additional doses from the province in order to meet its goal of getting adults in First Nations communities their first dose by the end of March.

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” the acting chief medical officer, Dr. Shannon McDonald, said Tuesday morning during an update on the vaccine rollout for Indigenous communities. “We have used every single dose that we have been given to vaccinate as many people as possible starting with our most remote communities and moving inwards.”

She said the health authority is working with the Ministry of Health to ensure that once B.C. receives more shipments of the vaccine, more doses will be delivered to Indigenous communities. Approximately 42,000 doses are needed to provide the first jab to everyone over 18 living on B.C.’s 203 First Nations reserves."

"Officials Explain High Vaccination Rate On Sask. First Nations"
"Officials are giving context to the essential nature of the COVID-19 vaccines in First Nations communities, after reports that vaccination rates are higher among Indigenous populations.

In a press conference on Wednesday, federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said the vaccination rate on First Nations is significantly higher than those reported in other communities.

“We know that we have to deploy extraordinary measures into communities as measures that may seem benign can affect Indigenous communities in a disproportionate fashion,” Miller said."

For the full story, click here.
COVID-19 #StopTheSpread
Tool Kit For Health Care Providers

**COVID-19 Vaccination Information Resources**

It's normal that Canadians may have questions about COVID-19 vaccines. Health care providers are uniquely positioned to answer questions and provide information.

Available for Download Now!

In EN and FR: 👉 http://ow.ly/Jbc550DBNdM
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
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
We're Hiring! Marketing And Communications Coordinator
Communication for any organization is important - and during a pandemic - the importance is amplified. We are looking for a passionate and committed communications specialist to join the FNHMA family!

Is it you? Are you looking for an amazing team and place to work? Or, do you know someone?

We're currently hiring for a "Marketing and Communications Coordinator"

Deadline to submit your application is: March 3/21 @ 4pm EST

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes - Share Your Pictures!

Not all superheroes wear capes. It's more clear than ever during these extraordinary times.

And we want to acknowledge our superhero health care workers who are on the frontline battling COVID-19 to keep our communities safe.

Here's how:

1) Tag us/share a photo of yourself or a teammate in action or getting vaccinated.

That's it!

We'll share the photos on our social channels!
Safe Space - A Community Of Facts For A World Of Trust
1 in 10 health care encounters involve patient harm. Despite this high number, few patients or providers ever report these events to the health system (a study from the Netherlands, estimates that only 3.6% of these events actually get reported).

The risks that go along with reporting are real.

Patients know that retaliation, being labelled “difficult” and increased hostility when receiving health services can all occur as a result of raising concerns. Providers who report can be at risk of losing their employment, negatively impacting their relationships with colleagues and disciplinary action.

Safe Space originated in the health crises of Canadian Indigenous communities where patients and providers face this reality everyday.

Safe Space is not about shame and blame. We’re about patterns and solutions. Safe Space's mission is to support patients and providers to share safely, be heard and be supported navigating and impacting healthcare systems.

To learn more about Safe Space, check their website here: https://safespace.healthcare/
Public Service Announcements About COVID-19 Vaccines
Radio public service announcements about COVID-19 are available in various Indigenous languages.

There are a total of 17 languages available with 2 scripts to choose from.

Learn more and explore the languages here!
COVID-19 Vaccines And Indigenous Peoples
The Government of Canada is working to secure safe and effective vaccines to prevent COVID-19. This is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and resuming normal life.

This page has resources COVID-19 vaccines from various sources around the country.

To learn more and access the page, click here.
Public Health Agency of Canada Is Looking For Designated Screening Officers, Health Assessment Officers-Paramedics/LPNs/RPNs And Registered Nurses
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and is urgently looking for additional support to help drive the response. 

PHAC is looking for Designated Screening Officers, Health Assessment Officers-Paramedics/LPNs/RPNs and Registered Nurses across the country.

To learn more, click the links below:

Webinar: "Sken:nen, Mino-Bimaadziwin: Understanding Wellness In Indigenous Wisdom Traditions For Caregivers"
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, in partnership with Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), Chiefs of Ontario (COO), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Shkaabe Makwa and the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (CINA) is pleased to be hosting a webinar for health care providers, including nurses who have been working to support people and communities during the COVID pandemic. 
The webinar entitled 
"Sken:nen, Mino-Bimaadziwin: Understanding Wellness In Indigenous Wisdom Traditions For Caregivers” will be held on March 2, 2021 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. (EDT)

To learn more, download the webinar PDF here.
Video: "Behind the Mask"
"A young Indigenous man, struggling to understand the mandate to wear a mask during Covid, begins to see the face of compassion behind it."

Video produced by the Indigenous Story Studio.

2021 Census Of Population Preparation
Census of Population:
Statistics Canada is preparing for the 2021 Census of Population. In this particular Census cycle there are some changes due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. Some of the changes are that communities will be asked to complete the Census questionnaire online, rather than having someone go door to door. The Census will begin in May 2021.
Statistics Canada prioritizes recruiting locally in each community to assist with community collection efforts. It is essential to have local hires as there is no travel to communities due to the Pandemic. Starting in January 2021 an online tool will be made available for candidates to apply online or if they do not have access to internet or a computer, they will be able to call the call center and a recruitment agent will complete the application online for them.

Employment for Census collection is now open. To learn more and find out about the jobs and rates of pay, click here.
Maad’ookiing Mshkiki – #SharingMedicine - Virtual Hub
Maad’ookiing Mshkiki – #SharingMedicine is a virtual hub that provides culturally relevant and trauma-informed information about #COVID19 vaccinations for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

Access the resources today: http://bit.ly/Sharing-Medicine

Rationale and Background:

Public Health authorities have begun a national roll-out of two COVID-19 vaccinations (Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19; Moderna COVID-19) to prioritized populations, including segments of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. Despite the prioritization of Indigenous people, there may be barriers to the uptake of COVID -19 vaccinations across our communities for numerous complex and context-specific reasons. One of the barriers identified by our communities and by service providers, decision-makers, Elders and Knowledge Keepers is a lack of culturally safe and relevant educational materials about vaccination. It is critical to address this need urgently due to the rising rates of covid within some of our communities as well as the ongoing barriers related to a lack of cultural safety in the healthcare system.

To learn more, click here!
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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