Covid-19 Daily News Digest – March 31, 2020
Coronavirus: Canada’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses 100
“Of greatest concern at the moment relates to the introduction and spread of the virus in enclosed settings where vulnerable people reside,” said Tam.
“We currently have a number of ongoing outbreaks in long-term care homes, cases in First Nations and Inuit communities, and in corrections facilities.”
Quebec’s Indigenous leaders welcome checkpoints designed to limit COVID-19 spread
He said the measure won’t remove the threat to Indigenous communities, but it will help support the work already happening at the community level. Picard added that communities would also like to see in-community testing put in place.
Manitoba First Nations want military help with coronavirus preparations
“The military medical infrastructure can make a big difference in addressing our service gaps on health service such as testing, quarantining, and housing or medivacing First Nation people who are affected by COVID-19.”
COVID-19 causes major disruption in Northern Ontario business sector
In Canada the most vulnerable businesses are small medium enterprises (SMEs) who risk being the hardest hit if they are not prepared. The ABPA reports that due to the existing barriers for First Nations businesses and the acute impact of COVID-19 it puts Northern Ontario First Nation companies in a much more challenging environment than their non-indigenous counterparts.
First Nations community calling on Ottawa for field hospital
Monias said the community has limited its social gatherings and are reminding residents to be vigilant with safety practices recommended by the province, including physical distancing and hand washing.
Put mining on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, say Yukon First Nation
Na-Cho Nyak Dun Chief Simon Mervyn wrote an open letter to Premier Sandy Silver last week, saying that having mines open during the pandemic puts the nearby community of Mayo in danger, particularly the elders who live there.
“We cannot protect our citizens alone; we need your help.”
Mervyn’s letter goes on to say that mines be put into care and maintenance mode until the crisis has ended. He also asks for a temporary halt on staking.
Last week, Victoria Gold company president John McConnell insisted the Eagle Gold Mine would keep operating, and he offered assurance that there are protective measures in place at the mine.
Manitoba First Nations call on RCMP, Armed Forces to monitor COVID-19 checkstops
The advocacy group for 26 First Nations communities in Manitoba’s north is calling on the RCMP and Canadian Armed Forces to monitor checkstops set up to prevent visitors from possibly bringing COVID-19 into their communities.
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. also wants the province to help monitor check stops on highways 6 and 10 as well as Provincial Road 483.
Overcrowding, vulnerable population make COVID-19 big worry for First Nations
With overcrowding caused by housing shortages, and a population with more medical vulnerabilities, the prospect of a coronavirus outbreak in First Nations communities worries leaders.
“It can take a great strain on us here in our communities because we have two or three families living in a house, so it’s hard to isolate people,” said Elsipogtog council member Ruth Levi. “We’re close-knit families.”