HAIDA GWAII: COMMUNITY BULLETIN – July 17, 2020

July 17, 2020

HAIDA GWAII: COMMUNITY BULLETIN

Today there has been increased concern about COVID-19 possibly reaching our Islands’ communities. This bulletin is to remind our good people that we must stay calm and take care. We understand the concern and anxiety caused by possible COVID-19 cases or exposure. This is a time to remember we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Respect physical distancing of a minimum 6-feet
  • Wash your hands before and after touching your face
  • Wear a mask when in public
  • Keep your social circles small
  • Do not travel off-Island unless absolutely necessary
  • If you feel sick, stay home

SELF-MONITOR FOR SYMPTOMS: fever, chills, cough or worsening of chronic cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, muscle aches (see BC Centre for Disease Control website: bccdc.ca)

If you are an Elder or live with Elders, have diabetes or chronic illness, you may be at a greater risk of complications if you are in contact with COVID-19 so please exercise extra caution.

WE WANT OUR PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT:

Circles of Care are set-up in each community for an individual and / or their families if they test positive. These are health care professionals, nurses, doctors and home support workers who can support you and your family.

Circles of Support are also set-up and available in Old Massett and Skidegate to help maintain safety. These supports will help isolating individuals shop, pick-up prescriptions and run essential errands.

Testing and results are confidential. If there is a confirmed case on Haida Gwaii, Northern Health Public Health will notify anyone who has been in contact with that person(s).

Doctors, nurses, and home care workers, are not allowed to share who has COVID-19 in the community. There are two reasons for this:

  • Health care professionals are not permitted to discuss the health information with people who are not directly involved in providing medical care. This is to protect the rights of the person who is sick.
  • Knowing who is sick will not help you prevent illness in the community. It may cause that person emotional harm and it is not possible to identify everyone with the virus because some people have only mild symptoms or possibly no symptoms at all.

If you have any symptoms, you should phone the Northern COVID-19 online clinic who will refer you for testing if appropriate.

Call 811 or Northern Health’s Online Clinic*: 1.844.645.7811

* Online clinic hours: Monday – Friday: 12pm – 8pm; weekends & stats 8am – 4pm

Test results can take an average of three days and will be shared only with you. Remember to self-isolate while you await results.

Stay safe and follow your local health centres and the CHN for updated information. 

References:

Haida Gwaii State of Emergency: http://www.haidanation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/FINAL-20200602-HGSOE-Poster-11×17-web-version.pdf

Public health processes and the role of communities during COVID-19: https://www.fnha.ca/Documents/FNHA-Considerations-for-Implementing-COVID-19-Specimen-Collection-in-First-Nations-Communities.pdf

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