Attention Wabaseemoong Independent Nations Citizens:
This is the first time in history that a coronavirus has caused a global pandemic. The situation is changing very rapidly as are the responses of leaders around the world. Public health advice is to self-monitor and self-isolate if you have travelled.
Our community, like many Indigenous communities, has a population that includes a number of citizens with underlying health conditions. We have been proactive by taking steps recommended by Northwestern Health unit or Health Canada to keep our citizens safe. Hopefully this will prevent, or at least slow down, the transmission of this virus.
Those at the greatest risk of severe outcomes include those over 65 years of age, those with underlying medical conditions and those with compromised immune systems. Public health officials are also reminding everyone to frequently wash their hands, cough and sneeze into their sleeves and to stay home when sick.
Social distancing strategies in place across the country include:
- Minimizing prolonged (more than 10 minutes), close (less than two metres) contact between other individuals in public;
- Avoiding greetings that involve touching such as handshakes;
- Disinfecting frequently used surfaces;
- Following public health advice related to self-monitoring and self-isolation if you have travelled or have been exposed to someone ill with the virus; and
- Considering avoiding travel, crowded places and events, especially if you are at higher risk.
Public health officials are also advising schools and educational institutions to:
- Ensure ill staff and students stay home from school, and support those who are self-isolating at home to ensure they do not fall behind in their studies; School is closed until April 6, 2020
Employers should review their business continuity plans and take steps to ensure their employees can:
- Stay home when ill, without facing barriers such as the requirement for sick notes; and
- Work from home if possible.
Employers should also consider:
- Discontinuing non-essential work-related travel outside the community; and
- Encouraging virtual meetings and conference calls to reduce prolonged, close contact between individuals.
COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) Updates – (As of March 14-16, 2020)
There has been one case of COVID-19 identified in an adult resident of Fort Frances who recently returned from international travel. That individual is recovering at home and is in self-isolation. The limited number of people who have been in close contact with the person are in self-quarantine. To date there is no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in our area.
If you have travelled or had contact with a COVID-19 case but have no symptoms, please call the health unit if you do develop a fever and a severe cough. If you have a fever and severe cough but have not travelled outside Canada or had contact with a COVID-19 case, seek medical care if you normally would for the same symptoms. If you have a fever and severe cough and you have travelled outside Canada or had contact with a COVID-19 case in the last 2 weeks contact the northwestern health unit.
Some social media and other sources can be misleading. It is important to use information from trusted sources. Here are a few options:
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- World Health Organization
Public health is closely monitoring the global situation and working with our partners to coordinate activities at a local, provincial, and national level with the help of health care professionals and other agencies.
For information about COVID-19 contact (807) 407-8791.