Government of Canada COVID-19 Update for Indigenous Peoples and communities
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is closely monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases reported in First Nations communities across the country. It is essential that everyone continue to follow public health measures including physical distancing, wearing masks, avoiding gatherings and non-essential travel, staying home when sick, and keeping up with frequent hand, cough and surface hygiene.
After showing signs of plateauing in December 2020, the number of active cases in First Nations communities has reached a new all-time high, with 4,384 active cases reported as of January 12, 2021. This included an increase of more than 800 active cases over the weekend for on reserve First Nations. Such a drastic increase has been linked to many small community gatherings during the holidays.
- 11,502 confirmed positive COVID-19
- 107 deaths
- 4,384 active cases
- 7,011 recovered cases
ISC is aware of 10 out of 60 long-term care and personal care homes affected by COVID-19 on-reserve in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec as of January 11, 2021. ISC is working to support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Environmental Public Health Services continue to work directly with facility operators and public health teams to support outbreak response, assessment of facility public health risks and mitigation measures, and training and education. ISC’s Chief Medical Officer maintains communications between Regional Medical Officers and Regional Executives regarding doubling down on public health preparedness and response measures in long-term care facilities, personal care homes and elder lodges. In addition, the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations has recommended that long-term care facilities be a priority for COVID-19 vaccine implementation.
Vaccines are rolling out in Canada, and as of January 7, 2021, 548,950 Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have been distributed across the country, including to various Indigenous communities in every province and territory. The primary focus of these vaccinations is starting with rural and remote Indigenous communities, as well as those communities and settings with outbreaks and high case numbers. Vaccines are expected to be available to all those who are recommended to receive them by the end of September.
Widespread immunization presents one of the best options to protect people from COVID-19. Canada has a strong vaccine safety monitoring system that involves healthcare professionals, vaccine manufacturers, the provinces and territories, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and Health Canada (HC). Significant coordination and planning around the vaccine rollout between partners, and provinces, territories and the federal government is underway and vaccine administration has begun in communities. To assist with the rollout in Indigenous communities, a COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Working Group was established by ISC. This working group supports linkages between provinces and territories, PHAC and First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners, and provides a space for exchange of information and advice to those responsible for vaccine planning and administration.
ISC continues to look for ways to support Indigenous communities impacted by COVID-19. As of December 18, over $4.2 billion has been announced in COVID-19 support to Indigenous and northern communities and organizations, including $926.7 million for the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities.
- Distributing Vaccines (vaccine rollout chart updated weekly)
- Prime Minister announces new supports for Indigenous peoples and communities
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Indigenous communities
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Prevention and risks
- COVID-19 guidance for schools Kindergarten to Grade 12
- Risk mitigation tool for gatherings and events operating during the COVID-19 pandemic
- The seasonal flu and the flu shot: protect yourself, protect your community
- COVID-19 update in Nunavut
- Government of Canada is providing immediate assistance to First Nations in Manitoba to address the COVID-19 pandemic
- Government of Canada Releases Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19: Fall Economic Statement 2020
- Government of Canada is providing immediate assistance to Indigenous communities and organizations in Alberta and Saskatchewan to address the COVID-19 pandemic
- Government of Canada is providing immediate assistance to Territorial government, communities and Inuit partners in Nunavut to address the COVID-19 pandemic
- Fighting COVID-19 - Fall Economic Statement 2020
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