COVID-19 Daily News Digest – December 24th, 2020
Government of Canada COVID-19 Update for Indigenous Peoples and communities
NEWS PROVIDED BY
Dec 23, 2020, 16:06 ET
OTTAWA, TRADITIONAL UNCEDED ALGONQUIN TERRITORY, ON, Dec. 23, 2020 /CNW/ – The week of December 13-19 continued to see an alarming increase in the number of newly reported cases of COVID-19 in First Nations communities, related to the second wave of the pandemic, with 881 new cases reported accordingly as of December 22.
On First Nations reserves, as of December 22, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is aware of:
- 7615 confirmed positive COVID-19
- 3005 active cases
- 4541 recovered cases
- 69 deaths
There are a total of 31 confirmed positive cases in Nunavik, Quebec and all have recovered. As of December 22, the Government of Nunavut is reporting nine active cases and a total of 262 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are 252 people that have recovered from the virus and of the four impacted communities, only Arviat still has active cases.
ISC is working closely with Indigenous, provincial and territorial partners to ensure an integrated, coordinated and co-developed approach supporting access to a COVID-19 vaccine by Indigenous Peoples and communities. Today, Health Canada authorized the second COVID-19 vaccine in Canada, manufactured by Moderna.
Facedrive’s TraceSCAN COVID-19 Contact Tracing Solution to Be Implemented by Manitoba First Nation
Wed, December 23, 2020, 8:30 AM CST
Facedrive Inc. (“Facedrive”) (TSXV: FD), (OTC:FD) a Canadian “people-and-planet first” technology ecosystem, is pleased to announce that TraceSCAN, the COVID-19 contact tracing solution developed by Facedrive Health, will be implemented as a pilot project (the “Implementation”) by the Waywayseecappo First Nation (“Waywayseecappo”) located in Western Manitoba. Waywayseecappo is an Ojibway First Nation and member of the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council. First Nations have been hit by the pandemic outbreak especially hard, and Waywayseecappo is taking a hands-on approach in implementing a cutting-edge technological solution to combat the advance of COVID-19 virus in their community. Upon completion of the pilot, the Company’s intention is for the Implementation to serve as a blueprint for other First Nation
Technologies such as Facedrive’s TraceSCAN contact-tracing solution can play a particularly crucial role among communities afflicted by a lack of resources or healthcare facilities. Moreover, many First Nations communities have data connectivity issues, rendering app-based solutions considerably less effective. However, TraceSCAN’s cutting-edge Bluetooth wearable technology enables it to perform the contact tracing function without use of a mobile device.
Navajo Nation President Pleads with Navajo Citizens to Stay Home Over Christmas Season
BY NATIVE NEWS ONLINE STAFF DECEMBER 23, 2020
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The president of the Navajo Nation is asking Navajo citizens on the nation’s largest Indian reservation to stay home over the Christmas holiday to stop the further spread of Covid-19.
Navajo Nation Covid-19 positive cases by Service Unit:
- Chinle Service Unit: 4,083
- Crownpoint Service Unit: 2,251
- Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 2,255
- Gallup Service Unit: 3,542
- Kayenta Service Unit: 2,065
- Shiprock Service Unit: 3,614
- Tuba City Service Unit: 2,305
- Winslow Service Unit: 1,376
* 22 residences with Covid-19 positive cases are not specific enough to place them accurately in a Service Unit.
“We now have the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that are being administered to our frontline health care workers here on the Navajo Nation. This does not mean that we let up and become complacent. Instead, we have to do even better and keep fighting this potentially deadly virus together,” Nez said.
Vaccines reach COVID-ravaged Indigenous communities
- By MORGAN LEE and CARLA K. JOHNSON Associated Press
- Dec 23, 2020
SANTA FE, N.M. — The first doses of the coronavirus vaccine are being administered in Native American communities from the desert highlands of New Mexico to a coastal fishing tribe outside Seattle as the federal government and states rush to protect one of the most vulnerable U.S. populations.
The two-pronged effort includes a massive logistical operation by the federal government’s Indian Health Service focusing on vaccinating health care workers at sovereign Indigenous nation clinics across the country and urban clinics serving off-reservation Native Americans.
The agency’s initial allotment of about 22,000 vaccine doses from Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech arrived last week at distribution centers on vast portions of the Navajo Nation in Arizona and New Mexico and in urban places like Phoenix, where hundreds of healthcare workers who care for Native Americans got vaccinated on Thursday.
But many tribes selected a separate route to receive vaccine deliveries through state health agencies that in some cases have more enduring and trusting relationships with tribal communities. That system is spiriting vaccinations to small tribes like the Acoma Pueblo, known for its mesa-top “sky city” in the New Mexico desert.
A decentralised point-of-care testing model to address inequities in the COVID-19 response
Belinda Hengel, Louise Causer, Susan Matthews, Kirsty Smith, Kelly Andrewartha, Steven Badman, Brooke Spaeth, Annie Tangey, Phillip Cunningham, Emily Phillips, James Ward, Caroline Watts, Jonathan King, Tanya Applegate, Mark Shephard, Rebecca Guy
The COVID-19 pandemic is growing rapidly, with over 37 million cases and more than 1 million deaths reported by mid-October, 2020, with true numbers likely to be much higher in the many countries with low testing rates. Many communities are highly vulnerable to the devastating effects of COVID-19 because of overcrowding in domestic settings, high burden of comorbidities, and scarce access to health care. Access to testing is crucial to globally recommended control strategies, but many communities do not have adequate access to timely laboratory services. Geographic dispersion of small populations across islands and other rural and remote settings presents a key barrier to testing access. In this Personal View, we describe a model for the implementation of decentralised COVID-19 point-of-care testing in remote locations by use of the GeneXpert platform, which has been successfully scaled up in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia. Implementation of the decentralised point-of-care testing model should be considered for communities in need, especially those that are undertested and socially vulnerable. The decentralised testing model should be part of the core global response towards suppressing COVID-19.