COVID-19 Daily News Digest – January 4th, 2021
Inuit medical boarding home adapts through pandemic
When people from western Nunavut and the N.W.T. have to travel from their communities for everything from emergency medevacs, eye appointments delivering babies to follow up ultrasounds in Yellowknife, Larga Kitkmeot becomes home.
“Most of the communities we serve in the Kitikeot region only have two or three nurses and a doctor that visits only every few months, she said.
Prior to the pandemic, Adlem said Larga was use to accommodating growing client numbers.
Another shift since the Nunavut travel bubble broke, guests cannot leave to shop for supplies while in the city and patients in for medical appointments may need special permission to have their medical escort attend appointments with them.
“I think it’s shown that people rely so heavily on the medical care they get outside of their communities. Boarding homes are here to take care of the people from the communities. There are shared rooms and that will not happen again, after COVID-19,” Adlem said.
B.C. health care workers add their names to list calling on closure of work camps during pandemic
On Nov. 30, Wet’suwet’en Ts’ako ze’ (female chiefs) and Skiyze’ (children and upcoming chiefs) wrote to Henry, about their concerns around the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
“We are writing to you with grave concern over the continuation of local Coastal GasLink (CGL) work and man camps in our territories, in the communities of Burns Lake (C’ilhts’ëkhyu Clan territory), Huckleberry Camp near Houston (on Gidimt’en Clan territory) and camp 9A (on Unist’ot’en territory),” the open letter says.
According to a press release on the Unist’ot’en website, at the time, there were “43 confirmed cases of COVID-19 tied to an LNG Canada facility in Kitimat, while Wet’suwet’en have been informed of two confirmed cases, with six individuals in self isolation, at Coastal GasLink’s Camp 9A on Unist’ot’en yintah (territory).”
Day before Klahoose First Nation went into pandemic lockdown, family brings home an elk
Eating off of the land has always been a part of her life, and it’s a connection she has passed on to her own children.
It’s a connection that has become increasingly important to her during this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of her family’s traditions and teachings, she says.
When Robinson was growing up, she heard stories from her dad, who was raised by his grandmother and great grandmother, about when they were told they weren’t allowed to fish or hunt, “without a license,” she says.
“My grandmothers said, ‘Why should we have to pay for a license for a place that the Creator gave to us? We’ve been living here since time immemorial, since before we can remember, for thousands of years, and all of a sudden somebody comes and says you’re not allowed to fish, and you have to pay us a licensing fee to be able to feed your people.’”
B.C. First Nation on lockdown after cluster of COVID-19 cases discovered
The nation has issued a shelter-in-place order, which is scheduled to be effective until Jan. 15 at 9 p.m.
Until that time, all residents of the nation are required to stay home and only permitted to leave to meet essential needs, according to Wyse. Such needs include shopping for groceries, accessing health care, and going to work.
“Due to the rapid spread of the virus in our community and the high number of people identified as at risk, we are focused to significantly reduce the rate of transmission,” Wyse said in his written message. “You can help protect our community by abiding by the order to stay at home.”
Alberta COVID-19 test positivity rate hits two-month low; ‘estimated’ 400 new cases
Phase one of the vaccination program is expected to last until April and involves immunizing front-line health-care workers, long-term care residents and staff, those over 75 years of age and First Nations seniors.
Some Alberta First Nations celebrated their first vaccinations over the holiday long weekend.
The Blood Tribe began administrating the first of two vaccine doses to residents and staff at the Kainai Continuing Care Centre, vaccinating residents Jan. 1.
Meanwhile, the oldest resident at the Siksika Elders Lodge — 94-year-old Virginia Medicine Traveller — became the first member of Siksika Nation to be vaccinated against COVID-19 the same day.
Moderna vaccine brings relief to remote First Nation that battled COVID-19 cluster
The Klahoose community on Cortes Island, B.C., has gone a month, or two back-to-back quarantine periods, without any new COVID-19 cases, said Chief Kevin Peacey.
“We’re considered free and clear of COVID-19 at this time, with no known new active cases in December,” Peacey said.
“Our family household celebrated this on Dec. 27, which was also my wife Georgina’s birthday, who said being COVID-free was the best gift.”
Plus, Island Health and the First Nations Health Authority informed Klahoose First Nation, which has 90 members, that it would likely receive Moderna vaccines by the first week of January.
“Our community has been given priority because of how remote we are, along with seven other remote First Nation communities in the Island Health region,” Peacey said.
25-year-old COVID-19 victim being remembered as ‘bright light’ in her community
“If you have her as a friend, you have a friend for life,” he said.
Noon was an avid and talented photographer, capturing landscapes and portraits of those around her as she was finding her way in the world and diving deep into her Cree culture.
“Always asking questions, hey, always asking questions,” he said. “She was a photographer and obviously a great listener and, of course, she had her opinions — which you had to respect — because they were always really well researched.”
He said the Savannah had an enthusiasm for knowledge and information, always maintaining high grades and having a sense of curiosity that he admired.