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For immediate release
August 22, 2020
Since the latest Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Coordinate Team Bulletin was released on Friday, August 21st there have been an additional two cases reported in First Nations people in Manitoba. These two cases are linked to the two cases reported in the August 21st Bulletin. One is a resident of PMH and one is a resident of NRHA. There continue to be no cases in First Nations communities. The Public Health Teams of both regions continue with the appropriate case and contact management, and we thank NRHA for their timely and transparent communication with relevant First Nation community and organizational partners. Although the public health officials have indicated that risk is low, the Fox Lake Chief and Council and the Fox Lake Coordinated Response Team have mobilized their pandemic response plan in collaboration with public health officials in response to the two off reserve cases.
This is a good opportunity to reinforce why it is important that we have the appropriate Information Sharing
Agreements and governance protocols to enable our First Nations-specific data for COVID-19. A high percentage of First Nations people live off Reserve, and our family and community ties often mean we are connected across communities, RHAs and jurisdictions. First Nations specific information provides our leadership with the information they need to enact the appropriate community level measures and to advocate for municipal, provincial and federal measures that protect and promote the health of all First Nations people on and off reserve. First Nations specific data supports the collaborative work and transparent communication between communities, PRCT, RHAs and FNIHB, leading to evidencebased public health approaches responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreements ensure that Manitoba First Nations, through the PRCT structures, are in control of when, how and what First Nations specific information is released. While we acknowledge that there is some risk of stigma, being in control of our own information allows us to analyze and respond to it in ways that support our collective well-being and to take informed, pro-active public health measures to mitigate the risks of COVID-19.
At this time PRCT encourages the following actions:
- Be cautious with and if possible, delay travel to/ from regions of the province designated as Orange (Restricted) or Red (Critical) risk levels. This includes PMH currently.
- If travel to an Orange zone is necessary, keep the number of people traveling as low as possible and be diligent with physical distancing and hand hygiene and follow all measures such as mandatory non-medical masks that may be in place.
- Practice physical distancing in all public places.
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
- Regularly clean commonly touched surfaces such as door handles and countertops.
- Stay home and self-isolate if you have any new symptoms that could be from COVID-19, no matter how mild the symptoms are.
- Present for testing if your symptoms last for more than 24 hours.
Please visit any of the following websites for more information and resources on COVID-19:
www.manitobachiefs.com www.scoinc.mb.ca www.mkonation.com www.fnhssm.com