PURPOSE: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is working closely with First Nations partners, the Public Health Agency of Canada, other departments such as Heath Canada, Public Safety and provincial and territorial counterparts to protect the health and safety of First Nations and support First Nations communities in responding to public health threats, including COVID-19.
To support the safety and wellbeing of First Nations community members and visitors/members returning to First Nations communities, ISC has developed the following guidance. Using methods such as self-screening in First Nations communities is one way to prevent the introduction of the virus into communities and to decrease the burden of illness resulting from the pandemic.
Travel and entry restrictions may vary by province/territory and community. It is the responsibility of visitors and returning community members to review these requirements. Additional exceptions may be identified for individuals deemed as essential workers, which may include but not be limited to those employed in healthcare, emergency services, and food and beverage industries.
PROCEDURES: All community members and visitors returning to First Nations communities are encouraged to self-screen for exposure and symptoms of the COVID-19 virus prior to visiting or returning to a First Nations community, using the attached self-screening tool (Annex A).
It is suggested that if someone planning to visit or return to a First Nations community meets any of the exposure criteria or symptoms in Annex A, they should delay their travel to the community if possible. They should follow their provincial/territorial public health guidelines. If a community member returning to their First Nations community meets any of the criteria or symptoms listed, it is suggested that they follow public health guidance and self-isolate for 14 days following return to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Annex A: Self-screening Tool for First Nation community members and visitors returning to First Nations communities.
ANNEX A: Self-screening tool
Self-screening should start at least 12 hours before you plan to travel to the community, and should continue right up to time of departure;
To begin, complete the questions below in STEP 1 and STEP 2.
Once you have answered the questions in STEP 1 and STEP 2, follow the decision map below, and from there read the outcome based on responses to determine guidance on returning to a community.
For more information: www.canada.ca/coronavirus
PHAC case definition https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novelcoronavirus-infection/health-professionals/national-case-definition.html