Community Bulletin- Covid-19 Disease NEWS and UPDATES
April 2, 2020
I hope everyone is keeping well during this time and keeping constant communication with our office staff. Don’t be afraid to reach out through emails, leaving voicemails on our office phones (we check on a regular basis) and through social media messaging. We are very up to date on the latest information regarding the COVID-19 virus spread and most effective ways to help keep safe. There are also opportunities for financial assistance through the Provincial and Federal governments which the YFN staff can help you apply for if needed.
The office remains closed and staff are communicating daily to ensure that service continues for our communities. There have been funding announcements for Indigenous communities from governments and several service providers to help people during this time. The funding is not for distribution. The funding is for providing services and supplies to our communities. Staff is assessing eligible community needs and planning for the long-term.
Some may have noticed the signage on the entrances to the communities, this was provided by the RCMP to confirm the importance of social distancing during this time. I feel that the signs are firm enough to get the message across to visitors, yet gentle enough for residents.
Last but certainly not least, I want to acknowledge our YFN staff for their exceptional dedication to our community during these times. I am so grateful and proud to be a member of YFN.
Chief Ken Hansen
Posted Thursday March 26, 2020
In order to protect members, staff, and the population at large, the Yale First Nation offices will remain closed at least another week, until April 6th. We will reassess the situation on a weekly basis. Please remember, STAYING HOME WILL SAVE LIVES.
Elsie Kipp, Administrator
Posted Thursday March 19, 2020
YALE FIRST NATION COVID-19 BULLETIN: REQUESTS FOR SUPPLIES AND FUNDING
Dear Yale First Nation Community Members,
I hope everyone is doing well. Although the news coming out about COVID-19 DISEASE (Coronavirus) is certainly scary, please do not panic. The best advice from experts right now is to self-isolate yourselves at home, visit public places only if necessary, wash your hands OFTEN and for AT LEAST 30 SECONDS with warm water and soap, use a disinfecting hand gel/spray that is at least 60% alcohol, and avoid touching your face. If you have any cold or flu symptoms, please keep yourself at home and ask healthy family, friends and neighbours if they can get groceries and supplies for you.
In an effort to lessen the spread of the virus, Yale First Nation Council and Staff are all working from home. All meetings, including the March 29th community gathering, have been canceled or postponed.
Some staff have opted to self-isolate as they have had cold or flu symptoms. Health facilities will not test individuals for COVID-19 unless they have traveled out of country in the past two weeks or suspect they have been in close contact with someone confirmed to have the virus. The testing kits are at a severe shortage worldwide. Also in short supply are medical-grade face masks but, in reality, those masks are meant to contain the virus with a sick person, and offer little to no protection for healthy people wearing them if someone is coughing or sneezing near them. This is why social-isolation is the best response right now.
Please remember, we are currently in a regular cold and flu season and it’s good practice anyway to stay isolated when symptoms present themselves.
Yale First Nation Staff have received inquiries about care packages of food, water, medicines and disinfectant wipes and hand gels. We have also been asked if we will be providing special funds during the pandemic. These are “Early Days” and right now the federal and provincial governments, emergency management groups and health authorities are not providing additional funding for COVID-19 response. Chief and Council, our Health Department and I are now in regular contact with these groups and will continue to advocate for increased funds and services. While there shouldn’t be an increase in your cost of living as you self-isolate, please be sure to email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have special concerns.
Please rest assured, if you are an Income Assistance recipient, Paul Keller (YFN’s Social Worker) continues to do business in a modified way. You have probably already heard from him or had a visit from him to do your Monthly Declaration. You will continue to receive your monthly assistance payments on time.
Service Canada has new, relaxed guidelines for Employment Insurance during this pandemic. If you are employed but unable to work (and not receiving sick pay or paid days off from your employer) please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html.
Regarding reports of a shortage of supplies such as wipes and hand gels, this is true. Currently (March 18th at 1:30 pm) there are no disinfecting wipes available at major stores or online shopping sites. Yale First Nation does not have a stock of these supplies and we are waiting to hear from Indigenous Services Canada and First Nations Health Authority about access to supplies. Again, we do not need to panic. Continue good hand hygiene, stay home as much as possible and avoid touching your face. If you are exhibiting symptoms of being ill, STAY HOME and cough and sneeze into tissues and throw them out immediately after one use.
I have one heartfelt request to all community members who are healthy at this time: Please check in (by phone, text, messenger, etc.) with your neighbours and family to make sure they are doing ok. If you are shopping and are able to, please pick up a few extras for them while you’re at the store. The most efficient way our communities can stay on top of this is by all of us helping out one another.
I will keep you updated as new events develop.
Elsie Kipp, Yale First Nation Administrator
Posted Sunday March 14, 2020
Dear Yale First Nation Community Members,
I hope you and your families are doing well during this trying time. This is not a time to panic but is a time to act responsibly.
After careful consideration, Council and I are opting to be overly cautious and are closing the Yale First Nation offices for at least two weeks, effective immediately.
Council and Staff will begin working from home on Monday, March 16. Email is the best way to contact us but we will also be checking office voicemails regularly.
Vital services, such as Income Assistance, Post Secondary Student Living Allowances, and any essential scheduled Medical Care will be continued but in a modified manner - I will be working with my team to ensure the impact on our community is kept to a minimum.
If you collect IA, your case worker will be reaching out to you by phone or email to make sure you still receive services.
Non-essential medical transportation by our staff will not be provided. Reimbursement for self-travel will still be honoured. Our Health Team urges you to rebook appointments if possible as a way to avoid locations where infected people may be present.
If you need urgent care, follow the usual protocol of calling 911 or getting yourself to Hospital Emergency Room.
Many of our community members have complicated medical conditions and compromised immune systems. While we may feel foolish for being overzealous, I would much rather that, than be mortified if a community tragedy were the result of us not taking extra precautions.
Please be patient with our Staff as they transition to working full time from their homes.
We will continue to post updates and important COVID-19 information on our Official Yale First Nation Facebook page and here at www.yalefirstnation.ca. Please be cautious and take good care of one another.
Elsie Kipp, YFN Administrator
Posted Sunday March 14, 2020
Lands and Housing Meeting Postponed
Due to concerns around the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Council has postponed the March 29th Lands & Housing meeting. A new date will be announced once the pandemic concerns have passed. Thank you for your understanding and please practice protective measures - avoid crowded areas, wash hands often with soap and water or use alcohol gel/spray, stay home if you have any cold or flu symptoms. Thank you.