COVID-19 Daily News Digest – January 9th, 2020
Two new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Fort Nelson First Nations, curfew begins tomorrow
In a First Nation Facebook statement, the residents are currently isolating, and contact tracing is underway.
Starting on Friday, a curfew will be implemented at the community checkpoints. From 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. no one will be allowed to enter the First Nation unless arriving/leaving for work or is a first responder.
A light at the end of the tunnel’: COVID-19 vaccine arriving in Manitoba First Nations communities
“I’m quite ecstatic about it,” Monias said. “For the vaccine to be in my community, it’s ecstatic, and just happy for my elders.”
After the provincial government announced all 63 First Nations in Manitoba would receive a portion of the first 5,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine reserved for Indigenous people in the province, health workers in those communities began calling their eligible members to offer them their first doses.
Okanagan Indian Band responds as several cases of COVID-19 confirmed in community
“We can flatten the COVID-19 curve and make a meaningful impact on our community by following the protocols,” says Louis. As of Jan. 7, 2021 Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) reports 3,288 active cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves. In total, there have been 9,968 confirmed positive cases on First Nations reserves according to ISC data, 785 of those cases have been in B.C.
Almost 300 new COVID 19 cases on Manitoba First Nations this week, as vaccine rolls out
“Numbers of positive cases do seem to be rising again,” Dr. Marcia Anderson, a member of Manitoba’s First Nations pandemic response team, said during a Friday update from the team via Facebook Live.
“In addition to the province’s numbers going up, our numbers have gone up faster, so we are making up that higher proportion of new cases as well.”
As of Friday, First Nations people make up 46 per cent of all new cases in the province.
Dale Swampy: UNDRIP will slow, not hasten Indigenous development
COVID-19 is restricting the ability of chiefs to travel to Ottawa to speak directly with representatives of Parliament and share our thoughts and concerns regarding the bill. Our leaders are busy dealing with public health issues. We need the time to understand, before legislation is passed, how it will affect Indigenous peoples in practice, what it will mean to the process of consultation and consent for projects on our territories, and how the proposed action plan will be developed.
Health care workers join call for closure of work camps during pandemic
“As health professionals working on the frontlines, we see first hand the brunt of the devastation caused to communities by the dual public health emergencies of the climate crisis and COVID-19 pandemic — which both disproportionately impact Indigenous communities.”
A crude virus: How ‘man camps’ can cause a COVID surge
“The lack of adequate health care within reservations makes this an incredibly frightening disease for Indian country,” said Wesley Furlong, a staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, which represents the Fort Belknap Tribe and Rosebud River Sioux Tribe. “So the prospect of potentially thousands of out-of-state workers coming in to work on the pipeline, into these rural areas in Montana and South Dakota, is a particularly recent threat for the tribes.”
Tribal health officials seek to alleviate mistrust of COVID-19 vaccine, say first round going ‘smoothly’
Following news reports of a small number of severe allergic reactions and unfounded rumors about the dangers of the vaccine, tribal officials across the state are finding they must frequently issue public service announcements advocating for the safety of the vaccine.
“Be smart, read science,” Slagle wrote in a PSA on Dec. 29. “The only way out of this mess is to vaccinate and to keep up the public health measures until everyone is safe. The only way to get our lives back to some semblance of normal is to take the vaccines.”
Government of Canada COVID-19 Update for Indigenous Peoples and communities
There are a total of 33 confirmed positive cases in Nunavik, Quebec and all but two have recovered. As of January 6, the Government of Nunavut is reporting no active cases and a total of 266 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the begging of the pandemic. Of the 266 reported cases, 265 people have recovered from the virus.
While the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines is a necessary step in the fight against COVID-19, it only represents one of many tools we have in order to effectively eliminate the threat of the virus. As such, we urge everyone to follow the community and provincial public health measures that have proven to save lives. Everyone can help limit the spread by making wise decisions and following recommended public health measures.
Yukon reports new case of COVID-19
Yukon confirmed a new case of COVID-19 in the territory Friday.
The person is self-isolating and recovering at home, the Yukon government said in a Friday afternoon news release.
It said it had completed contact tracing and that no public exposure notification was required.
This is the 70th case of COVID-19 reported in Yukon since the start of the pandemic. Ten cases are currently active, 59 have recovered and there has been one death.
Ontario youth helping build virtual mental health hubs during COVID-19
Teens and young adults seeking help are finding one-on-one clinical counselling via video call less useful due to concerns about privacy in shared living spaces and the intensity of such interactions, according to Dr. Joanna Henderson, the executive director of Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario.
A two-hour drive north of Toronto, youth at one of the 10 hubs scattered across Ontario saw food insecurity as an issue among their peers and proposed and delivered on food distribution and a communal online cooking class.
“They were learning about cooking, they were experiencing belonging and that sense of connectedness, they were perhaps providing food for their family,” Henderson said of the youth involved at the North Simcoe site. “That’s not the same as doing therapy, but that sure is something that’s likely to have a positive mental health effect.”