COVID-19 Daily News Digest – December 2nd, 2020
Manitoba premier raises concerns over vaccine rollout for Indigenous residents
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says Ottawa needs to clarify who will administer a COVID-19 vaccine to the province’s Indigenous residents, who live both on and off reserves.
More details revealed on Manitoba’s youngest COVID-19 death
The youngest COVID-19 death in the province so far, a boy under the age of ten from Winnipeg, was Indigenous.
“This past weekend was, I think, the most difficult yet in respect to the death of a Manitoba boy under the age (of) 10,” said Pallister. “This is truly heartbreaking and our thoughts and prayers go out to this boy’s loved ones and everyone who has lost a relative or friend during this unprecedented time.”
COVID-19 reaches Regina-area First Nations
Three communities in the Treaty 4 area near Regina have recently recorded viral infections: The Piapot First Nation, north of Regina, declared an outbreak on Friday, while the adjacent Muscowpetung Salteaux Nation recorded its first case the same day; Pasqua First Nation is dealing with three active cases on-reserve and one case off-reserve.
In Saskatchewan overall, there are 1,106 recorded coronavirus infections in First Nations, as of Monday. From late June until early October weekly new infections were in the single-digits or at zero, based on Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) data.
Sask. Indigenous communities have reached ‘intense’ phase of COVID fight, doctor says
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.
“Now we see quite intense transmission in the southern First Nations communities. So certainly, that is concerning.”
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information
Multiple B.C. First Nations continue to demand the provincial government release the location of COVID-19 cases near their communities.
The Heiltsuk Nation, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and Tsilhqot’in National Government said despite being engaged in government-to-government negotiations, there has been no result.
Public health emergencies, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, “do not impact all populations in the same way” noted a recent report by Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, which discovered widespread systemic racism against Indigenous peoples in B.C’s health-care system.
Brazil to prioritize elderly, indigenous and health workers for COVID-19 vaccine
The final stage, before making a vaccine available to the wider population, would include teachers, security personnel and first responders, along with prison staff and inmates, the Health Ministry said. The four stages would cover 109.5 million people out Brazil’s total population of 212 million.
Rapid response by health officials to COVID cases in First Nations community near Zeballos
“The swift and thorough response by the community leadership and partners involved has resulted in containment of transmission and we are incredibly encouraged by this,” Island Health said Monday in a statement.
Nurses from Island Health and the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council are monitoring confirmed cases and close contacts, Island Health said. “Any symptomatic close contacts will be tested.”
Dr. Charmaine Enns, medical health officer for the North Island, Georjeana Paterson of the First Nation Health Authority, and Nuu-Chah-Nulth nurse navigator Lesley Cerney arrived in Ehatis on Monday. The team is working with the community to ensure there are plans in place to support self-isolation and followup care, said Island Health.