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Positive cases of COVID-19 within Sioux Lookout

June 23, 2020 - Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) has been notified of several COVID-19 cases among the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) staff.  Testing was done as part of surveillance in light of the recent uptick in positive cases in our communities.  From 147 swabs, six are positive.  This is a relatively small number, but this cluster is concerning that there is more viral activity that we might have appreciated. 

This has obvious implications for individuals and communities as Sioux Lookout is the health hub for most communities within the SLFNHA catchment. SLFNHA is working directly with SLMHC and the NWHU and has responded immediately to put all proper measures in place to protect patients, health care givers and the public  

The immediate actions that are in place to respond to this increased COVID-19 activity include:

Hostel

The following increased public health measures are in place at the hostel:

1.      All staff to wear masks

2.      Audit of infection control measures

3.      Hand sanitizer at all entrances

4.      Strict no visitors

5.      Screening on entry

As part of the surveillance strategy, all hostel staff are offered testing. 

Northern Clinic

Increased public health measures are in place at the Northern Clinic and a surveillance strategy is activated including testing of northern clinic staff.

Patients returning home after medical travel

Measures are in place to prevent the virus from entering the community.  Public health measures for patients of SLMHC and clients of the JMK hostel include:

1.      All patients will be offered a test before returning home

2.      They do not have to wait for results in Sioux Lookout – they can return home and ensure they wear masks on the plane

3.      On arrival in community they will be screened at the airport and transported to where they will quarantine/self-isolate for 14 days in community. If they develop symptoms after returning home, they should be re-swabbed immediately.  

Visiting Health Service Providers

A temporary halt on nurses and doctors entering the communities is in place. Doctors and nurses will be tested where appropriate and required to self-monitor for a sufficient amount of time.  Communities will be involved in discussions around the return of their physicians.

For more information and future updates visit slfnha.com

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VIDEO - Update from Dr. John Guilfoyle - SLFNHA Public Health Physician

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Audio - Update from SLFNHA's Public Health Physician, Dr. John Guilfloyle

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Audio - Update from SLFNHA's Public Health Physician, Dr. John Guilfloyle

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Six Positive Cases Impacting Three First Nations Communities Served by SLFNHA

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June 18, 2020 --  Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) reports a new COVID-19 case on June 17, 2020. The individual tested positive on June 16.

This brings the total active cases in Sioux Lookout and the SLFNHA member communities to six.

Summary of Active Cases

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The three individuals who are in hospital are not critical and they are recovering satisfactorily.

SLFNHA RESPONSE

SLFNHA, who recently took responsibility for COVID-19 case management and contact tracing, is responding to the communities by assisting with contact tracing as well as providing additional support in obtaining additional resources. SLFNHA is working with the community pandemic teams and the leadership to ensure the safety of community members.

Community A

Community A has activated its pandemic plan and their COVID team and their leadership are mobilized. Contact Tracing occurred immediately resulting in the immediate identification of the two June 15 cases. SLFNHA’s Preventing Infectious Diseases team has been deployed to the community and is continuing to support contact tracing. Tests are being offered to anyone who has been exposed and this will continue until we can ensure we have identified other cases in the community if they exist.

Community B

Community B has activated their pandemic plan and is going through the proper steps to identify contacts and offer them testing. SLFNHA’s Preventing Infectious Diseases team has been deployed to the community and is continuing to support contact tracing. Tests are being offered to anyone who has been exposed and this will continue until we can ensure we have identified other cases in the community if they exist.

Community C

The individual resides in Sioux Lookout and is in isolation. No further information is available at this time. SLFNHA continues to support all the communities it serves and continues to examine all cases to look at the impact on the community regardless of where the individual resides.

SLFNHA Hostel

One of the positive cases has been associated with the hostel in Sioux Lookout. On investigation of the circumstances, the risk of transmission in this setting is very low and appropriate contact tracing has been initiated. Nonetheless, all staff are being offered testing. If any clients of the hostel have any concerns or symptoms, they should offer themselves for testing.

Consistent with the ongoing recommendations, all individuals returning to communities should self-isolate for 14 days upon return. Anyone with symptoms should present themselves for testing immediately.

Public Health Measures

Given the elevated risk within the region it is very important that the preventive measures continue to be maintained. This includes: self-isolating, physical distancing, handwashing and wearing masks where distancing cannot be maintained.

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SLFNHA responds to four new positive COVID-19 cases within two First Nation communities

June 16, 2020 - 

On June 15, 2020, Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) was notified of four new cases within two communities.  This is addition to the case that was identified on June 12, 2020. 

SLFNHA, who recently took responsibility for COVID-19 case management and contact tracing responded immediately to both communities. SLFNHA is working to assist both communities with case and contact tracing as well provide additional support regarding additional resources.

SLFNHA has been supporting both communities with their pandemic planning and in providing training and supports for contact tracing.  This allows the community to be better prepared to mobilise appropriately and to start the contact tracing process.  

This process is further helped by the rapid testing technology that is available at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) which allows for quick turnaround time.

Consistent with good public health practices, and respecting confidentiality and privacy, we do not identify the community or community members in respect to confirmed cases.

FIRST COMMUNITY

On June 12, 2020, a positive case was identified in the first community.  An additional two cases from this community were confirmed on June 15, 2020.  These positive cases are significant as the transmission occurred in the community.  

SLFNHA met with all relevant parties, including Chief and Council, community physicians, the community nursing station, Indigenous Services Canada, and the Preventing Infectious Disease (PID) team.

As part of their pandemic planning, the community had a Contact Tracing Team in place.  This enabled SLFNHA and the community to respond immediately and begin contact tracing within hours of the first case being identified.  A SLFNHA team was immediately deployed to the community and is working along side the leadership and the community Contact Tracing Team. 

The following measures are in place:

  • The local pandemic plan was activated with the central involvement of the local COVID response team
    • Individuals who have tested positive are in isolation
  • Following best practices, the community nursing station was wiped down and sterilized. All staff were informed of the positive case of COVID-19 and the nursing station was closed to the public except for emergencies.
  • The case and contact tracing team worked quickly to identify and contact those with known exposure to the individual with the positive case of COVID-19.
    • Further testing broadened to include recent gathering
  • The community’s assessment centre opened to help with contact tracing and testing
  • Arrangements were made to charter tests to SLMHC medical laboratory for expedited testing.
  • the community’s contact tracing and COVID-19 response team informed the community of the situation on the local radio station.
  • Key message was communicated for community members to come for testing if you have any symptoms, any increased risk of exposure or any anxieties regarding contact.
  • A delivery of 500 swabs and PPE were delivered to the community
  • Testing done on close contacts
  • Regular meetings are taking place with the local COVID team to review progress and to update the leadership.

SECOND COMMUNITY

On June 15, 2020, SLFNHA was notified that there are two positive COVID-19 cases within a different community SLFNHA serves. SLFNHA’s case management and contact tracing has responded. SLFNHA is working with the community leaders to ensure the safety of community members. No other details are available at this time.

PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICES

SLFNHA continues to remind community members to practice social distancing and the following best practices:

  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Sanitize multitouch surfaces
  • Stay home
  • Wear a mask if you cannot maintain two metres from others in public.

For future updates, visit slfnha.com

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