News

COVID-19 Update from the AFN Health Director | March 31, 2020

March 31, 2020

Health Director Update #8

As of March 30, 2020, there are 127 cases of Covid-19 in NS. The cases are spread throughout NS and range in men and women from their late teens to mid seventies.

 

Update provided by Atlantic Policy Congress:

March 30, 2020 6:15 PM

Premier Stephen McNeil and chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang provided an update earlier today, March 30, on plans to support ongoing student learning as Nova Scotians deal with COVID-19. Following the recommendation of Dr. Strang, all public schools and licensed child care providers will remain closed until at least May 1.

A recording of the news conference is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syiW1isUqOM. A short audio recap from Dr. Strang will be available soon at https://anchor.fm/nsgov .

Highlights of the plans to support ongoing student learning announced today are outlined below:

  • No student will be penalized because of COVID-19. Students and families will have access to e-learning and at-home learning materials will be provided for students without internet access. Families who feel at-home learning may be a burden are asked to speak to their child's teacher.
  • Students who were on track to graduate will graduate and Grade 12 students who need a preliminary paper-based transcript for bursaries, scholarships or university entrance will receive one by contacting their Regional Centre for Education or Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP). Students who were on track to proceed to their next grade will move to their next grade on time. Students will receive end of year report cards.
  • During the ongoing closure of public schools:
    • all Grade primary to 9 students will receive at-home learning packages distributed bi-weekly by SaltWire Network
    • students in grades 10 to 12 who require at-home learning packages will work with their individual teachers to address their specific needs; additional information on distribution will be forwarded to schools
    • learning will be assignment and project focused
    • a dedicated learning website for families is available at
      https://curriculum.novascotia.ca/learning-home
    • all school trips planned for May and June are cancelled
    • Provincial Assessments, Nova Scotia Exams and final exams in all courses are cancelled
    • Diplôme d'Études en Langue Française (DELF) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams are cancelled
    • students in grades 9 to 12 will receive additional access to the Homework Hub, a free online resource and tutoring for math
    • teachers will connect directly with students and families to help support learning
  • Students and families will continue to have access to student support services. SchoolsPlus facilitators and community outreach workers continue to support students and families via phone, email and text. The facilitators are also available to accept new referrals to support students and families not currently using SchoolsPlus. Mental health clinicians continue to work with students and their families by phone, secure video conferencing or in person, where possible. For those who require additional supports, ask your teacher or principal and they will connect you to the support you need.
  • To better support students and adults with special needs, the province is modifying existing policies and agreements to allow teaching assistants and child and youth care support workers to provide paid respite care in the community.
  • Next year, teachers will help students prepare for their new grade and conduct additional review.

Additionally, the province has created an online tool to help businesses and non-profits clarify if they may remain open and how they can comply with public health orders and workplace safety requirements. This tool is available at https://covid19-employer-assessment.novascotia.ca/en

The full news release is available at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200330004 and in French at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200330005.

 

Marla Robinson-Pyne
Health Director Acadia First Nation
Phone: (902)742-0257

COVID-19 | Chief and Council Update | March 30, 2020

Chief and Council Update

March 30, 2020

Chief and Council are continuously monitoring the rapidly evolving Pandemic Covid-19. This morning Council met via conference call to review and address many issues facing Acadia First Nation.

As previously mentioned the Federal Government announced $305 million for a Indigenous Community support Fund across Canada. We have now received more details regarding this program from Indigenous Services Canada. The fund will be broken down as follows:

$215 million for First Nations: allocated to each First Nation based on population, remoteness and community well-being;

  • $45 million for Inuit, which will flow to each of the four land claims organizations through an allocation determined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and regional Inuit land claims organizations;
  • $30 million for Métis Nation communities, which will flow through each of the Governing Members;
  • $15 million for regional and urban Indigenous organizations supporting their members living away from their communities, and to regional organizations such as Friendship Centres and the Métis Settlements General Council of Alberta.

Acadia First Nation was advised on Saturday that we will be receiving sometime in April
$170,391.79 for fiscal year 2020-2021. These funds can be used for measures including, but not limited to: support for Elders,food Insecurity,educational and other support for children, financial assistance for those without work, mental health assistance and emergency response services.

To date Acadia First Nation has assisted over 200 band members. We have already disbursed $200 each to all Elders both on and off reserve residing in Nova Scotia, all AFN band members in receipt of a disability pension who reside in NS, all social assistant recipients on reserve and our sponsored students who maintain their own rental units.

With the announcement of this Indigenous Community Support Fund the Chief and Council have now approved $200 for all other AFN band members over the age of 18 residing in Nova Scotia. If you received the profit sharing in November 2019 this assistance will automatically be mailed out to you. You will not need to apply. Those band members who have recently become registered or since turned 18 must contact us. Please contact a Councillor or call the Yarmouth Band office at 902-742-0257 to reach our administrative assistant. If your mailing address has changed since November please contact us to update. Payments will be mailed out within the next couple of weeks. We thank you for your patience during this time.

We have also been working hard to stock up our community centres with supplies and frozen meals. These will be kept for emergency situations over the coming weeks.

We face many challenges in the days and weeks ahead. We thank all our staff both at our store fronts and those working from home for their continuous commitment. Please continue to monitor our Website and FB groups for the latest information regarding Covid-19. Stay home as much as possible and stay safe. Take care of one another.

 

Chief and Council
Acadia First Nation

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COVID-19 Update from the AFN Health Director | March 30, 2020

March 30, 2020

Health Director Update #7

As of March 29, 2020, there are 120 cases of Covid-19 in NS. The cases are spread throughout NS and range in men and women from their late teens to mid seventies. Most are connected to travel or a known case.

It is imperative that anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia self-isolate for 14 days and for everyone to adhere to the five-person social gathering limit. As always, any Nova Scotian who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better. If they are concerned about COVID-19 they can go to https://811.novascotia.ca/ and use the online assessment tool. Anyone referred to an assessment site by 811 will be tested.

 

Quick Facts:

  • Testing numbers are updated daily at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
  • Nova Scotia's Health Protection Act gives the chief medical officer of health the authority to give advice to protect public health and decrease risk to public health presented by communicable diseases such as COVID-19
  • A state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22 and remains in effect until noon, April 5
  • Under the state of emergency government can control or prohibit assembly as well as travel to and from areas. It can also coordinate commerce activity and emergency responders a new virus like COVID-19 can cause fear. Nova Scotians are encouraged to support each other and use technology to stay connected.
  • The following restrictions are in place under the Authority of the Health Protection Act:
    • Gatherings and social distancing
      • There are to be no social gatherings of more than 5 people.
      • Any workplace or business that is not deemed essential (or not already required to be closed) can remain open as long as a two-metre (6 foot) distance can be maintained.
    • Schools and child care
      • Public schools will be closed for the weeks of 23 March and 30 March.
      • All licensed childcare providers are required to close (through 3 April inclusive).
    • Restaurants, bars, and casinos
      • Restaurants are restricted to take-out and delivery orders only.
      • All drinking establishments, winery and distillery tasting rooms, and craft taprooms must close; private liquor stores can operate, and craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries can still sell their products from their storefronts.
      • Casinos in Halifax and Sydney are closed; bar owners can no longer operate VLTs.
    • Health professions
      • Regulated health professions can only stay open for emergency or urgent cases or to provide virtual care, excluding doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses and paramedics, as long as they can meet social distancing requirements in their waiting room or other non-clinical areas and follow the cleaning protocol.
      • Non-regulated health professions (such as naturopaths) must close. One exception is podiatrists who must follow the directive related to regulated health professions.
      • Dentists can no longer practice dentistry in their offices unless they deem it necessary to perform an emergency dental procedure in the best interest of the patient’s health.
    • Other businesses
      • Veterinarians, including veterinary surgeons and veterinary physicians, can only provide in-patient emergency or urgent care services, essential veterinary supply chain services (like prescription refills or prescription food) and virtual care services.
      • Personal services, like hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons, and body art establishments must close.
      • All fitness establishments, like gyms, must close.
    • Long-term care facilities
      • Long-term care facilities are closed to all visitors.
    • Other directives from government include:
      • Employers cannot require a doctor’s note if an employee must be off work.
      • No tenant can be evicted because their income has been impacted by COVID-19 (effective for next 3 months).
      • University students from Nova Scotia who are still living in residences need to go home, to provide space for social distancing for those students from outside the province who are not able to travel.
      • All day programs, supported employment and social enterprise service providers funded through the Department of Community Services’ Disability Support Program have been asked to close.

Our Mental Health services provided by NSHA are still being offered via telephone.

Kelly Breau, NSHA Adult Clinician (902)740-3083
Michael Ross, NSHA Adult Clinician (902)354-3677
Heidi Mitton, NSHA Child and Youth Clinician (902)247-3429
Brynn Davies, NSHA Child and Youth Clinician (902)670-4923

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Eskasoni FN has offer the services of the Eskasoni Crisis and referral line services. These services can be offered in Mikmaw and English.
Eskasoni CRISIS AND REFERRAL SERVICES
TOLL FREE 1-855-379-2099

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7, by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)

Acadia First Nation Health Centres are closed. Dr. Marais will still be operating his practice under his regular business hours to see his practice patients who ARE NOT experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 in the Yarmouth Health Centre.
Please do NOT enter the Health Centre if you are exhibiting symptoms. If you are unsure of what to do, call Pam and she will advise how to proceed (902)742-7598.

Not everyone who has concerns about COVID-19 needs to call 811. To find out if you need to call, use the COVID-19 online self-assessment.
As always, continue with Proper hygiene which will reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
    • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

 

Marla Robinson-Pyne
Health Director Acadia First Nation
Phone: (902)742-0257

COVID-19 Update from the AFN Health Director | March 26, 2020

March 26, 2020

Health Director Update #6

 

As of March 25, 2020, there are 68 cases of Covid-19 in NS. The cases are spread throughout NS and range in men and women from their late teens to mid seventies.

Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief public health officer, said although there has been no community spread in Nova Scotia, he expects it will happen soon.

Nova Scotia Cancer Care Program and the Nova Scotia Breast Screening Program update by Aaron Prosper;

COVID-19 Resource Webpage for Cancer Patients: http://www.nshealth.ca/cancer-and-coronavirus-covid-19

COLON SCREENING PROGRAM:
Temporarily suspending the Colon Cancer Prevention Program (no current timeline on when this will be restarted)

As we focus our healthcare efforts on managing the COVID 19 pandemic, we are suspending our Colon Cancer Prevention Program until further notice. This means:

  • Home screening kits will not be mailed out.
  • Home screening kits already at the lab and those that are already in the mail will be processed and the results will be mailed to participants.
  • Participants who test positive for trace amounts of blood in stool will not be screened / scheduled for a colonoscopy until the screening program has restarted, but screening nurses will contact them to answer questions/ease their concerns.
  • All screening colonoscopies, which are currently booked will be cancelled until further notice.
  • NSHA is contacting scheduled patients and clients directly to notify them of cancellations.
  • Nova Scotians who have received, but have not yet done the home screening test are being advised to wait until the screening program resumes operations.

PAP TESTING:

PAP tests are performed by primary care providers. It is recommended that all regular PAP testing be suspended, and only conducted on a case-by-case basis when needed. Official communication around this from the Cancer Care Program should be expected by this week or next.

BREAST CANCER SCREENING/MAMMOGRAPHY:

All breast screening exams in the province have been cancelled since March 18th, this includes the Breast Screening Mobile service. It is unknown at this time how long this service will be suspended, and it is anticipated that some scheduled community rotations of the mobile bus will be cancelled.
Diagnostic mammography is still continuing in a limited capacity for urgent requests so if someone is symptomatic they can still access care if it is required.

Our Mental Health services provided by NSHA are still being offered via telephone.

Kelly Breau, NSHA Adult Clinician (902)740-3083
Michael Ross, NSHA Adult Clinician (902)354-3677
Heidi Mitton, NSHA Child and Youth Clinician (902)247-3429
Brynn Davies, NSHA Child and Youth Clinician (902)670-4923

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Eskasoni FN has offer the services of the Eskasoni Crisis and referral line services. These services can be offered in Mikmaw and English.
Eskasoni CRISIS AND REFERRAL SERVICES
TOLL FREE 1-855-379-2099

Acadia First Nation Health Centres are closed. Dr. Marais will still be operating his practice under his regular business hours to see his practice patients who ARE NOT experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 in the Yarmouth Health Centre.

Please do NOT enter the Health Centre if you are exhibiting symptoms. If you are unsure of what to do, call Pam and she will advise how to proceed (902)742-7598.

Not everyone who has concerns about COVID-19 needs to call 811. To find out if you need to call, use the COVID-19 online self-assessment.

As always, continue with Proper hygiene which will reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
    • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

 

Marla Robinson-Pyne
Health Director Acadia First Nation
Phone: (902)742-0257

Chief Deborah Robinson AFN COVID-19 Public Address

Below is a Public Statement By Chief Deborah Robinson To Members of Acadia First Nation

A Letter from Emera and Nova Scotia Power

A Letter To Our Customers -March 23 2020

Emera-NSP Media Release March 23 2020