Federal Support for Indigenous Communities
Indigenous Public Health Support
Indigenous Services Canada has dedicated $285 million to assisting Indigenous communities in accessing additional public health support during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding can be accessed by First Nations communities and organizations that deliver community-based services in response to COVID-19 public health needs. In case of outbreaks, this funding can be accessed for surge capacity and additional support for similar services in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. This funding is part of the $650 million announced in May 2020 that was to support Indigenous communities with current COVID-19 needs and to prepare for a potential second wave.
More information on the public health support fund is available here: https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1584819394157/1584819418553
Indigenous Community Support Fund
On August 12, 2020, Indigenous Services Canada announced $305 million will be distributed through a combination of allocations made directly to First Nations, Inuit and Métis leadership across Canada, as well as through an application process. This funding is a part of the Indigenous Community Support Fund, which was first announced on March 18, 2020. The total amount allocated to this fund is now $685 million.
This fund can be used for a variety of response measures, such as supporting Elders and vulnerable community members, addressing food insecurity, educational and other supports for children, mental health assistance and emergency response services, preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and more. More information about this fund is available here: https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1585189335380/1585189357198
Federal Safe Restart Funding (SFR) for First Nations with Child Care & Child and Family Programming
The federal government has announced $625 million to assist COVIID-19 related demands and adaptations within the First Nations childcare sector. Ontario region will be allocating $234.6 million of this funding to cover costs such as, face coverings, personal protective equipment (gloves and gowns), enhanced cleaning, additional staff minor capital. Funds are expected to:
• Be spent by March 31st, 2021
• Be provided to EarlyON/ First Nations childcare and family programs through Consolidated Municipal Services Managers & District Social Services Administration Boards
• Be provided to childcare centre operators in First Nations communities without a purchase of service agreements through an application to the province.
More information on this fund is contained in the attachment called “Memo – Federal Safe Restart Funding.”
Confirmed Cases & Transmission
First Nations in Ontario
There are no new cases of COVID-19 among First Nations people in Ontario reported over the past week. Further information is contained in the attachment called “First Nation Cases – COVID Testing Report 18.”
Over the past week, Ontario averaged just over 96 new cases daily. On August 19th, 2020, Ontario reported 125 new cases of COVID-19. The majority of new cases are located in the Toronto Region, which reported 33 new cases on August 18th, 2020. Meanwhile, Ottawa and Peel Regions each reported 18 more cases, and Huron Perth Region reported 17 new cases. Thirty of the province’s 34 public health units are reporting five or fewer cases. Seventeen public health regions are reporting no new cases.
The reproductive rate for the province from the week of August 11 to 17 is reported as 1.1. This is slightly above the goal of less than one, which is required for the disease to die out.
Provincial reports indicate that a total of 37,215 Ontarians have recovered from COVID-19, representing 90% of the 40,870 cumulative cases confirmed in the province. The death toll in Ontario has now reached 2,792.
To monitor updated case numbers and demographic breakdowns of COVID-19 in the province go to: https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-ontario-is-responding-covid-19
Access the Ontario Public Health data tool for more detailed demographic trends here: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/data-and-analysis/infectious-disease/covid-19-data-surveillance/covid-19-data-tool
Confirmed Cases and Transmissions across Canada
Canada has 123,154 cumulative cases of COVID-19, with 4,752 currently active, 109,357 recovered, and 9,045 having resulted in death. The majority of cases (82.9%) and deaths (94.2%) have been reported by Ontario and Quebec. More specific demographic information and regularly updated numbers for Canada are available here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
As of August 15th, 2020, have been 425 cumulative reported COVID-19 cases confirmed amongst First Nations people living on-reserves across Canada with three additional cases reported this past week and 399 of the total cases now recovered. The flattening curve suggested in national data suggests that many First Nations communities are successful in their efforts to stop the spread of infections. More specific demographic information on First Nation cases across Canada is available here: https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1589895506010/1589895527965
All of Ontario has been in stage 3 of re-opening since August 12, 2020, meaning the vast majority of businesses and events have re-opened in Ontario while following public health measures of physical distancing, sanitization, and hand hygiene.
Social gatherings are still limited to a maximum of 50 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people for outdoors. Physical distancing requirements must remain in place during all gatherings for those who are not part of the established same social bubble.
Ontario continues to strongly recommend wearing masks in all indoor spaces, public transit, or where physical distancing is a challenge. Masking bylaws are implemented in many regions of the province to make these recommendations mandatory. It is recommended to look the up the masking requirements in your local area. More information on proper mask use is available here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/face-coverings-and-face-masks
COVID-19 Tracking App
Access the national voluntary COVID-19 notification app download and more information on its uses here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html
Child Care & Schools
As of September 1st, 2020, EarlyON, Child and Family Centres are allowed to reopen with in-person programming and before and after school programs.
On September 8th, 2020, federally funded schools are allowed to open for in-person instruction and are responsible for developing plans that adhere to stage 3 public health restrictions.
Questions related to First Nation/federally operated schools can be directed to: IEO@ontario.ca
All provincially funded schools will return full-time five days a week in-class on September 8th, 2020. Masks will be required for all students in grades 4 and up and all staff. There will be 500 public health nurses that will be spread out throughout the schools. Secondary schools with high student populations will open under an adapted model with cohorts of approximately 15 students alternating in-person and online learning. A List of school boards that will fall under the adapted model for the 2020-21 School Year is available here:https://www.ontario.ca/page/guide-reopening-ontarios-schools#list
Red Cross Support
The Canadian Red Cross has developed a virtual help desk to assist Indigenous communities in their COVID-19 responses. This help desk is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CST), 7 days a week at: 1-833-937-1597.
Information & Resources
A single point of contact for credible and reliable info on COVID-19. Health managers can call or email to ask specific questions. Toll free: 1-855-446-2719 or Email: Infopoint@fnhma.ca
Ontario COVID-19 website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus
Canada COVID-19 website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
Chiefs of Ontario COVID-19 webpage: https://chiefsofontario.wordpress.com/