Indigenous Services Canada COVID-19 update – Week of February 17, 2022
February 17, 2022 — Ottawa, Traditional unceded Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) commends the tireless work of community leadership and frontline healthcare workers for their immense and ongoing contributions to their communities’ pandemic response. Their efforts and quick action continue to save lives.
Below are some of the latest updates from ISC for the week of February 17, 2022.
As of February 15, 2022, over 86% of individuals aged 12 and older in First Nations, Inuit and territorial communities have received a second dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, and 23% have received a third/booster shot. Over 45% of individuals aged 5 to 11 have received at least one dose.
Vaccine information is updated and published on Thursdays and can be found at canada.ca/covid-vaccines-indigenous.
As of February 16, 2022, the following case counts have been reported from First Nations communities:
- 81 586 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, of which 10 695 are the
- Omicron variant
- 3 762 active cases
- 2 902 hospitalizations
- 77 184 recovered cases
- 640 deaths
For the week of February 10 to February 16, 2022, the average daily reported active case counts dropped by 9.5% compared to the daily average the week before.
This compares to a
- 13.2% decrease in average daily cases reported the week of February 3 to 9 from the week prior
- 3.8% decrease in average daily cases reported the week of January 27 to February 2 from the week prior
Case count information is updated and published daily Monday through Friday and can be found at Canada.ca/indigenous-covid-cases.
Requests for Federal Assistance (RFA) approvals and extensions
- Operation REMOTE IMMUNITY 3.0 RFA was approved on November 10, 2021. Canadian Rangers will continue supporting provincial vaccination programs in remote Indigenous communities in Ontario until February 20, 2022.
- Kashechewan First Nation (ON) RFA was approved on February 2, 2022. Canadian Rangers are providing COVID-19 mitigation support in the community. A two week extension was approved for continued support until March 2, 2022.
- Mishkeegogamang First Nation (ON) RFA was approved on February 9, 2022. Canadian Rangers will provide COVID-19 mitigation support in the community from February 11 until at least February 24, 2022.
- Weenusk (Peawanuck) First Nation (ON) RFA was approved on January 30, 2022. Canadian Rangers are providing COVID-19 mitigation support in the community. A two week extension was approved for continued support until February 27, 2022.
- Eabametoong First Nation (ON) RFA was approved on February 10, 2022. Canadian Rangers are providing COVID-19 mitigation support in the community until at least February 23, 2022.
- Attawapiskat First Nation (ON) RFA was approved on February 16, 2022. Canadian Rangers are providing general COVID-19 support in the community until at least March 2, 2022.
Community responses to COVID-19 and Government of Canada support
Below are just a few examples of the Government of Canada’s and Indigenous communities’ efforts to support COVID-19 emergency preparedness and recovery.
Partnering with Alberta’s nursing students
Since April 2021, in collaboration with ISC, over 70 nursing students from the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing and Red Deer College have supported the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine in multiple First Nations communities in central Alberta. Student nurses have been fully integrated into all aspects of immunization health, including: teaching, post-care monitoring, and vaccine administration and management. These students gained both clinical experience and first-hand insight into community healthcare, culture and resiliency in First Nations.
In addition to student nurses, ISC Alberta’s surge teams are composed of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, paramedics, environmental public health officers, dental hygienists, dental therapists and staff from the Canadian Red Cross. Many thanks to these individuals for their efforts in assisting Alberta First Nations during the pandemic.
Temporary isolation and clinical facilities in Atlantic Canada
Annapolis Valley First Nation, located in Nova Scotia, has been working with ISC to procure and install a mobile unit to provide three isolation spaces. At the request of the community, the isolation spaces were provided to support community members who test positive for COVID-19 and who require a place to safely isolate outside their home and protect other members of their household.
Elsipogtog First Nation, located in New Brunswick, has also been working with ISC to procure and install two mobile structures to provide clinical space for COVID-19 screening and PCR testing and to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. The additional space will ensure these critical services can be delivered without impeding the service delivery of the Elsipogtog Health and Wellness Centre.
Since the start of the pandemic, 24 First Nations in Atlantic Canada have received support from ISC to procure mobile structures or to retool existing facilities as isolation, screening and vaccination centers.
Supports currently available to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities
Across the country, ISC Regional Offices and Regional Medical Officers of Health remain available to assist First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and organizations should they require immediate assistance with an outbreak or supports such as temporary infrastructure, rapid testing or PPE.
Indigenous communities and organizations can also continue to request needs-based funding from the Indigenous Community Support Fund. This fund provides Indigenous leadership and organizations with the flexibility needed to design and implement community-based solutions to prevent, prepare for and respond to the spread of COVID-19 within their communities.
These funds can be used for measures including, but not limited to
- support for Elders and vulnerable community members
- measures to address food insecurity, such as support for the purchase, transportation and distribution of food; and traditional foods such as hunting and fishing
- educational and other support for children
- mental health assistance and emergency response services
- preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19
ISC continues to work with Indigenous communities to collaborate, share information and co-develop Indigenous-led, distinctions-based communications and health response approaches with Indigenous partners, listening to their advice and guidance.