COVID-19 Information

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Squamish Nation Emergency Response to COVID-19 – Update #3 (March 23, 2020)
FNHA Information on Novel Coronavirus (March 18, 2020)
BC CDC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool (March 18, 2020)
FNHA COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

SQUAMISH NATION EMERGENCY RESPONSE TO COVID-19 – UPDATE #3

March 23, 2020

The following is an update on the Squamish Nation response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis and information for the Squamish Nation community. This is a lengthier update with more information than before. Please ensure you and other members understand the information contained in this update.

The Squamish Nation is constantly examining the available information and guidance on how to address the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. As each day passes, more information and new instructions are given.
Listen to the experts: We highly recommend our community pay attention to instructions from the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Federal Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam. Both are providing daily updates broadcast by the CBC.

Our Health Centre and Administration are receiving an extremely high volume of calls. We have included answers to your frequently asked questions in this update.

Help us assess your needs: An important Coronavirus (COVID-19) Needs Assessment Survey will be coming out soon, and also made available online. Our leadership and staff want to be proactive in identifying the needs of our community as this time to help better coordinate responses and resources.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

• Minimize Physical Contact
• Access to Squamish Nation Emergency Services
• Frequently Asked Questions
• Service Changes/Updates
• FNHA COVID-19 FAQs
• Access to Squamish Nation Residential Areas Limited to Squamish Nation Community Members Only

MINIMIZE PHYSICAL CONTACT

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a highly contagious virus that could overwhelm our healthcare system and result in significant loss of life if urgent measures aren’t taken by all.
The virus is spread mainly from person-to-person:
• Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
• Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
People who show no signs of infection can still carry and transmit the virus.
By minimizing physical contact between each other, we reduce the risk of the virus spreading. This is how we “flatten the curve” and fight the pandemic.
If you can, stay home and away from visitors. And wash your hands frequently.

ACCESS TO SQUAMISH NATION EMERGENCY SERVICES

The Squamish Nation has a dedicated emergency services team to handle situations where our members require immediate and one-time support due to emergency. This team has been overwhelmed with requests as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). An additional $200,000 has been allocated to this department to help assist members in need.
The Squamish Nation will prioritize resources to those most vulnerable to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and those with emergency needs as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19). All members (on-reserve and off-reserve) can access these services.

Members will be asked to access programs made available by the Federal and Provincial government in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Please call 604-505-3776 or 604-374-1126 if you require emergency assistance during this time because of Coronavirus (COVID-19). This may include elders over the age of 60, those with compromised immune systems, or members in precarious situations.

Emergency services means you have exhausted all other options for assistance. We ask that members help their own family members if possible, and that members access the EI benefits available to those unable to work as a result of COVID-19.

As of right now, the Emergency Services Team is helping with:
• Grocery delivery for Elders over 60
• Prescription pick up and drop for Elders over 60
• Providing support for food, hydro, gas, and rent to those impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What support is available for off-reserve members?
A: Wherever possible, we are extending all supports to include off-reserve members. Off-reserve members in need are invited to contact the most appropriate program area/service provider (e.g., Member Services, Ayás Mén̓men̓, etc.) to learn more about how we can be of assistance to you. Contact information is available in this document.

Q: What support is available for Elders?
A: Our Elders support staff and Member Services team are working closely to ensure our dear Elders can remain safe, healthy, well-fed, and comfortable through these challenging times. This includes grocery delivery, prescription pick-up and drop-off, and more. If additional assistance is required, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Elders workers or Member Services.

Q: Will the Nation be doing a special Distribution (DB)?
A: Right now, we are focusing our efforts on ensuring those in greatest need and the most vulnerable are looked after. We have increased available funding to provide members in need with food, as well as emergency funds distributed on an as-needed basis in cases where all other options have been exhausted or the need is extraordinary. We are keeping a close eye on what the federal and provincial governments are announcing in terms of financial support for Canadians and British Columbians, and are committed to filling in the gaps as required for those who need it most.

Q: I’ve been laid off. Will the Nation help me financially?
A: The Government of Canada has waived the one-week waiting period for Employment Insurance benefits to meet the needs of the many Canadians who have been laid off due to the Coronavirus. If you have been laid off, you are encouraged to contact EI as soon as possible. Our team is available to assist with filing your EI request. Requests for additional support are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Q: I’m worried about paying rent because of loss of income due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Will the Nation assist?
A: If you have been laid off, you are encouraged to contact EI as soon as possible. Member Services is also able to assist with rent for those in financial crisis.

Q: How will the Nation enforce the request for no visitors?
A: Enforcement is difficult with on-reserve jurisdiction with limited authority. However, this is a matter of social responsibility. At this time, we ask that our community watches out for one another, which includes spreading the word among neighbours that non-essential visitors are not permitted at this time.

Q: Is the Nation shut down?
A: No. We have outlined modifications to our services in this document, but remain committed to providing essential services to our community in these difficult times.

Q: What happens when there is a positive case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community?
A: If or when there are positive cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community, the Nation will take precautions to prevent the spread. As of right now, in the event of a positive case, social and physical distancing is still the best advice to reduce the risk of impacts. This includes washing hands as much as possible if venturing outside of your home for short trips with minimal contact with others.

Q: With gathering limited to 50 people practicing social distancing, what happens with funerals?
Funerals will happen but in much smaller sizes for immediate family only and strong physical distancing (6 feet or 2 meter) distances at events. Families may hold “Celebrations of Life” at a later date when gatherings are permitted again.

Q: I live with people who are at high-risk of being severely impacted by Coronavirus (Covid-19). What should I do?
A: You should follow all precautions outlined in this document, including frequent hand-washing and disinfecting of frequently-touched surfaces and maintaining a minimum of 6 feet of distance between the high-risk individual(s) and all others whenever possible. Please reach out to the Health Department if you require additional cleaning supplies, gloves, masks, etc.

Q: Have any kind of care packages been distributed?
Keeping with the Squamish culture and traditional values of generosity and sharing, on Thursday, March 19, we delivered 153 Elders packages to North Vancouver Elders and 25 to Squamish Valley Elders on-reserve and about 5 off reserve. Alternate arrangements are being made for the few that were not at home and for other off-reserve Elders.

Membership supplied the list of Elders and addresses. The package contained a variety of nutritious foods and a cleaning/disinfecting package.
95 food packages were also shared with families in need utilizing the previous lists of those who come monthly for food distribution and the members that had called in with requests for food, working through the list as there were more in need than there was food.

On Saturday, March 21 the youth workers delivered 52 bagged lunches out to youth that frequent the youth centre and families who requested food share. Mara in the Squamish Valley is doing similar.

Requests for food can be sent to amm_reception@squamish.net or 604-985-4111.

We are awaiting delivery of more food from Hopcott and Save-On this coming Thursday for another food share out to families on or off-reserve.
Those further away from North Vancouver requesting help can call either Membership Emergency Services or AMM.

We have secured budget and money to support this food sharing, but there are limitations to amounts of food grocery stores are allowing us to purchase or have delivered at one time.

SERVICE CHANGES/UPDATES:

Ayás Mén̓men Child & Family Services
• Modified office hours: To contact a staff member or intake service, call 604-985-4111 from 10 am-3 pm Monday to Friday (closed 12-1 for lunch). After hours contact MCFD at 604-660-4927.
• Supply packages – Thursday, March 26th, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm. We will be distributing supply packages to Elders and Families. Items in bags include veggies, snacks, juice, meat and cleaning supplies.
• Regular food distribution cancelled.
• If you and your family are in need, please call 604-985-4111 between 10 am – 3 pm and leave your name, phone number, address with Reception or email amm_reception@squamish.net
• Shewaynewas Family Program – regular programs not operating March 16-27

Chief Joe Mathias Centre
• The CJMC is closed until further notice.

Council
• Council will be doing meetings digitally for the time being.

Community Operations
• Community Operations will only conduct home visits for emergency matters (such as water, plumbing, electrical, and gas issues) to reduce risk of spreading Coronavirus. All other maintenance requests will be postponed until the situation is under control.
• If a staff member must enter a home he/she will be required to wear protective clothing (mask, gloves etc.) Contractors will be used when necessary.
• Please call office number during regular office hours 604-980-8655 and 604-690-0729 for emergencies after hours.

Education, Employment & Training
• INCOME ASSISTANCE CHEQUE ISSUE DAY — Wednesday, March 25, 10 AM TO 1 PM ONLY
o CHEQUE PICK UP ON THE RESERVE YOU LIVE ON: Eslha7an (Mission & Condos): Eslha7an building outside front door, Capilano Housing building outside front door, Seymour cheques hand delivered to your door between 10-11 am, Squamish Valley as normal at Totem Hall 10-1 pm, Home Delivery will remain the same for those qualified
o Clients with No Fixed Address or in the middle of a move contact Angie to update pick up location 604-657-3739
Elders Centre
• As of Friday, March 20, the Elders Centre in North Vancouver is closed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Finance
• Postponed personal tax clinics – until alternative plan put in place
• CRA extending personal tax filing deadline to June 1st
Member Services
• EMERGENCY & ELDER REQUESTS – Call 604-505-3776 or 604-374-1126
Planning & Capital Projects
• Office operating at reduced hours
• Staff continuing to work with outside contractors on site if construction is underway on Capital Projects and individual homes
• If you require assistance, please email housing_office@squamish.net or call 604-649-0418

Squamish Valley
• Totem Hall is closed to members and visitors until further notice, with the exception of Income Assistance clients.
• Reception staff are answering calls from 10:00 am-2:00 pm, Monday-Friday.
• Program House and Ayas Lam Family Program closed
• For urgent requests, please contact Michelle George, Squamish Valley Administrator, at 604-356-4418.
• Band Member Services – Patricia Brown 604-815-9099 & Josie Harry 604-815-1936 will work with North Vancouver to field calls
• Elders – contact Justine 604-848-5190 or Gwen Baker 604-815-3445 for any support required.
• Ayas Men Men – see information under “Ayas Men Men” heading
• Community Operations – Emergency Contact 604-815-7116 svcommopsworkorders@squamish.net
Youth Centre (North Vancouver)
• Youth Centre will be offering bagged lunches for the community and will deliver the bags. There is a limited quantity each day. Items in bag can include sandwiches, fruit, and snacks.
• Call 604-985-4111 between 10AM – 3PM and leave your name, phone number, address with reception or email amm_reception@squamish.net to sign up

Yúustway Health & Wellness
• New core hours by department:
o Primary Care Clinic 9am to 2pm Mon-Fri
o In-house admin/office staff 10am to 3pm Mon-Fri
o Home and Community staff 9am to 3pm Mon-Fri
o Community Health and Wellness 10am to 3pm Mon-Fri continuing with phone consultations
o Health Benefits and Advocacy 10am to 3pm Mon-Fri
o Recreation closed until further notice. All staff working from home.
o Public Health Nurse Hours: Laura Tayler-Hanson: Mon, Tues, Wed, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm laura.tayler-hanson@vch.ca
o Karen Jorgensen Thursdays & Fridays, 8:30 am to 4:45 pm karen.jorgensen@vch.ca
• The Health Centre is advising to call first before being seen by a health professional: 604-982-0332
• If you are experiencing personal crisis, we recommend that you call Kuu-Us Crisis Line:
o Adults/Elders: 250-723-4050
o Child/Youth: 250-723-2040
o Toll Free Line: 1-800-588-8717
• Community Health and Wellness will be taking calls for counselling
o Counselling (concurrent, mental health & addiction) and support work provided by Heather Andrew, Eileen Guss and Shayna Sander (Squamish Valley) will be offered on the phone, skype, FaceTime. Exceptions will be considered if there is crisis in the community.
• Recreation programs cancelled until March 29
• Youth basketball tournament cancelled
• Outward Bound – Phase 1 (one day hike in May) cancelled; June overnight camping trip to be decided.
• Snow program cancelled- Mountains are closing for the remainder of season.

FIRST NATIONS HEALTH AUTHORITY COVID-19 FAQS
About COVID-19 – What You Need to Know

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold. They may include coughing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing.

How is COVID-19 spread?
Coronavirus is transmitted via larger liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter via these droplets through the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

Who is most at risk?
Elders and people with chronic health or respiratory conditions are most at risk of becoming very ill if they contract COVID-19 and possibly dying.

Is there a vaccine?
No. It can take years to develop a vaccine for a new disease and to produce enough for populations.

PROTECTIVE MEASURES AGAINST COVID-19
What can I do to prevent infection?
The most important thing you can do to prevent infection is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using soap and water is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection. If a sink is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled. If hands are visibly soiled, use a wipe and then an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean them.

Can I still wash my hands if my community has a boil water advisory?
Yes, it’s safe to wash your hands with soap if you are living in a community with a Boil Water Advisory (BWA) or a Do Not Consume (DNC) advisory. However, if you are living with a Do Not Use (DNU) advisory you should wash with bottled water. For more information about water advisories, see: https://www.fnha.ca/what-we-do/environmental-health/drinking-water-advisories

What can I use to disinfect and kill germs?
Regular household cleaners are effective for removing germs. You may also use a solution of one part bleach mixed with nine parts water to disinfect areas that are touched often such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables. If you have COVID-19, it is important to use bleach to disinfect, especially if you are sharing any common areas (such as a bathroom) with others or if others will be entering the room where you are staying.

What should I do if I have to cough or sneeze?
Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. This is called good respiratory hygiene.

What is the best way to protect myself, my loved ones and my community during the COVID- 19 pandemic?
The FNHA recommends social distancing, forgoing usual greetings (such as handshakes, hugs, kisses etc.), avoiding social gatherings over 50 people, and staying home if you are experiencing any signs of illness, even if they are mild symptoms.
If you are coughing or sneezing, always cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue. Throw the tissue into a closed bin immediately after use. Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or with soap and warm water after you cough or sneeze. Do the same when you are caring for a loved one that is sick.

What is social distancing?
Social distancing means that we do not use usual greetings, such as handshakes, hugs, and kisses. (Safe greetings include a wave, a nod, a bow and anything else you can think of that does not include physical contact.) Social distancing also includes staying one to two metres away from other people.

Why is social distancing important?
When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease. Avoiding physical contact while greeting friends, family and community members helps to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to the people we care about.

TRAVEL AND EVENTS
Should I still attend events and/or travel within BC?
The FNHA is advising all communities to avoid unnecessary travel and attendance at public gatherings of more than 50 people due to the increased risk of spreading the COVID-19 at the gathering. (The 50-person limit was set by the Provincial Health Officer March 16, down from 250 the previous week).

Why should I avoid public gatherings?
Attending even small gatherings increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. This increases the chance of participants becoming infected and carrying the virus into their communities and passing it on to vulnerable friends and family, particularly Elders and people with existing health conditions.

We understand people will be disappointed at the postponement of events and travel plans but our common priority now is to slow the spread of the disease, contain the chain of transmission, and protect our most vulnerable family and community members.

Is it safe to participate in cultural gatherings (e.g., sweat lodges, potlatches, ceremonies and other gatherings)?

The FNHA acknowledges the significance of cultural gatherings in our communities and the lingering negative memories and trauma caused by past practices of banning cultural activities.

Currently, the Provincial Health Officer has banned all gatherings of 50 or more people to protect public health. Even gatherings of fewer than 50 people require an assessment of risk – especially to Elders and those with chronic disease and especially if the event will entail travel and people sharing accommodations. Communities are encouraged to consider alternatives, such as holding smaller events now with the larger event at a later date. If you are holding a smaller event, consider having bag lunches rather than shared meals, ensure there are opportunities to wash and/or sanitize hands, and practice social distancing.
In terms of sweat lodges, we can’t say what effect they might have on the virus because factors such as temperature and timing can’t be easily controlled.

If our leaders are travelling, how do we know that they aren’t bringing the virus back into community?
As much as possible, community members should seek to minimize interaction with other people, particularly with groups of more than 50 people. During travel this can be difficult to control. For this reason, we recommend that all travel be assessed to determine if it is essential at this time. Postponing events and travel whenever possible will support individual and community health and minimize the spread of the virus. When travelling, people need to be extra diligent with preventative practices such as hand washing often, using hand sanitizer if soap and water not available, and avoiding touching the face.

SELF-ISOLATION
What is self-isolation?
Self-isolation means staying at home and not going to work or school. It also means monitoring yourself for symptoms for 14 days.
I am infected and I live with other people. How do I self-isolate?
Stay and sleep in a room with good airflow that is away from others. Use a separate bathroom if you can. Wear a facemask (surgical/procedure mask) if you are in the same room with anyone and avoid face-to-face contact. Do not share towels or face cloths. Friends and family can drop off food outside your room or home. If you live with an Elder or someone with a chronic health condition, it would be best if those people could stay in the home of other family or friends in the community.
What happens if someone in my community is infected?
If someone in the community is infected, they must self-isolate. People who were in close contact with that person (i.e. people living in the same household) should also self-isolate for 14 days.
What happens if one person in my household is infected but no one else has symptoms?
The whole household must self-isolate to prevent the spread of the virus to anyone outside of your household.

TESTING
How do I get tested for COVID-19?
Testing is available for all who need it but not everyone needs a test. If you have no symptoms or mild symptoms you do not require a test. If symptoms appear, call your health care provider or 8-1-1 for guidance. The BC Centre for Disease Control has created an online self-assessment tool that is available on its website. It is also linked from www.fnha.ca/coronavirus
The Urgent Primary Care Unit is also providing tests. Phone: (604) 973-1600 or visit the website for more information: Website: www.vch.ca/UPCC
Are there COVID-19 test kits that First Nations can access?
COVID-19 is tested using a standard swab (long Q-tip that scrapes cells from the very back of the nose or throat). These swabs are then sent to a laboratory for testing. The tests are available where influenza testing is being done. Call your health care provider or 8-1-1 for guidance. Not all people with respiratory symptoms need to be tested for COVID-19. If people develop respiratory symptoms, they should self-isolate, regardless of the availability of testing.

What are the next steps if I am infected or think that I may be infected or if I’ve been around someone who is infected?
• Ensure that you self-isolate immediately and avoid contact with others. This means staying away from others as much as possible.
• Wash your hands or use alcohol-based sanitizer frequently.
• Use good hygiene practices such as coughing or sneezing into a disposable tissue or into your elbow.
• Clean high-touch areas such as toilets, bedside tables and door handles with diluted bleach (one-part bleach to nine parts water) or a household disinfectant.
• If you are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider or call 8-1-1 for guidance. If your symptoms are severe, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest Emergency Department

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION
Should I buy toilet paper?
You should stock your household with essential supplies in case you are asked to self-isolate for 14 days. However, it’s not necessary to stockpile large quantities of toilet paper or any other supplies. This only creates supply issues for everyone.

Will a mask help?
Masks should be used by sick people to prevent transmission to other people. A mask will help keep a person’s droplets in. It is less effective to wear a mask in the community when a person is not sick themselves. Masks may give a person a false sense of security and are likely to increase the number of times a person will touch their own face (e.g., to adjust the mask). Health-care workers will wear surgical masks, eye protection and gowns in order to protect themselves and their patients.

Can the virus live on clothes?
Yes, the virus can survive on porous surfaces such as skin and cloth as well as other materials and surfaces for hours to days, depending on the surface. Regular washing is recommended.

What is the risk for infants?
Recent evidence does not indicate a large risk for infants – very few children under five showed serious illness from COVID-19. There has been a positive case detected, however, so they are not immune.

What are the risks for pregnant women?
It is too early to determine the level of risk posed to pregnant women infected with COVID-19. A study of pregnant women with the coronavirus SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) found that the more severe the illness experienced by the mother, the higher the likelihood of risk to her pregnancy – including stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth.

Can my pets get COVID-19 or be a carrier?
There is currently no evidence that domestic animals like pets can become sick with COVID-19 or can spread the virus to people.
What supports are in place for remote communities that may be short-staffed or don’t have access to equipment (i.e., respirators)?
The FNHA is working with regional, provincial and federal partners in the health and health emergency management sectors to ensure that communities have access to appropriate care. If communities have specific concerns about access to care relating to COVID-19, they can connect with their FNHA Regional Team or covid19@fnha.ca

COVID-19 COMMUNITY SAFETY REQUEST: ACCESS TO SQUAMISH NATION RESIDENTIAL AREAS LIMITED TO SQUAMISH NATION COMMUNITY MEMBERS ONLY

March 20, 2020

Effective immediately, Squamish Nation Council is requesting that non-Squamish Nation community members refrain from visiting our residential areas on-reserve, both on the North Shore and in the Squamish Valley
Similarly, Squamish Nation members should not invite anyone from outside the community into our residential areas.

We are at a critical time in this outbreak, and significant measures must be taken to stop the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Restricting non-essential visitors to our community is an important step in ensuring that our Elders, language speakers, knowledge-keepers, and community members with compromised immune systems can remain protected from this dangerous virus.

This restriction does not apply to leased lands and business areas, such as Lynnwood and Mosquito Creek Marinas, Capilano RV Park, Park Royal, and the Gas Bars. Similarly, this restriction does not apply to licensed health care practitioners from outside of the community who are visiting Squamish Nation community members to provide essential services.

We strongly urge all Squamish Nation members to take every precaution to protect themselves and their families, including:
• practicing “social distancing,” which means keeping at least 2 metres (approximately 6 feet) from anyone outside your home, whether outdoors or indoors;
• washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water often;
• disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces (including mobile devices) regularly throughout the day;
• cancelling social gatherings with anyone from outside your home;
• staying home as much as possible to prevent exposure to the virus; and,
• self-isolating for 14 days if you have any symptoms of illness or if you have returned from out of the country.
If you order food or grocery delivery, it is extremely important that you wash your hands thoroughly before and after receiving your delivery, and keep as much distance as possible between yourself and the delivery person.
Please visit www.squamish.net/covid-19 for up-to-date information from the Squamish Nation.

COVID-19 Community Safety Request:
Access to Squamish Nation Residential Areas Limited to Squamish Nation Community Members Only

March 20, 2020

Effective immediately, Squamish Nation Council is requesting that non-Squamish Nation community members refrain from visiting our residential areas on-reserve, both on the North Shore and in the Squamish Valley.

Similarly, Squamish Nation members should not invite anyone from outside the community into our residential areas.

We are at a critical time in this outbreak, and significant measures must be taken to stop the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Restricting non-essential visitors to our community is an important step in ensuring that our Elders, language speakers, knowledge-keepers, and community members with compromised immune systems can remain protected from this dangerous virus.

This restriction does not apply to leased lands and business areas, such as Lynnwood and Mosquito Creek Marinas, Capilano RV Park, Park Royal, and the Gas Bars. Similarly, this restriction does not apply to licensed health care practitioners from outside of the community who are visiting Squamish Nation community members to provide essential services.

We strongly urge all Squamish Nation members to take every precaution to protect themselves and their families, including:
• practicing “social distancing,” which means keeping at least 2 metres (approximately 6 feet) from anyone outside your home, whether outdoors or indoors;
• washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water often;
• disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces (including mobile devices) regularly throughout the day;
• cancelling social gatherings with anyone from outside your home;
• staying home as much as possible to prevent exposure to the virus; and,
• self-isolating for 14 days if you have any symptoms of illness or if you have returned from out of the country.

If you order food or grocery delivery, it is extremely important that you wash your hands thoroughly before and after receiving your delivery, and keep as much distance as possible between yourself and the delivery person.

Please visit www.squamish.net/covid-19 for up-to-date information from the Squamish Nation.


Update: Ayás Mén̓men Child & Family Services
March 17, 2020

Ha7lh Skwáyel,

We would like to provide you with an update on the contact information for our Ayás Mén̓men Child & Family Services (AMM CFS) team:
• All AMM CFS staff are available regular hours through email or cell phone.
• Our physical office will remain open through the service window and over the phone; there will be minimal staff at the office and reduced hours of operation.
Office Hours: 10 am – 3 pm (reduced)
Lunch: 12 pm – 1 pm
• For emergencies outside of office hours, please call 604-660-4927

All new request for services/intakes: please call 604-985-4111 and your call will be directed to the appropriate staff.

Ayás Mén̓men staff are available to help out in any capacity to support community members and their needs. Please contact AMM Director Kelley McReynolds to coordinate supports at 604-785-7382.

Food distribution and cleaning packages will be ready for distribution on Thursday, our priority will be to provide items to Elders first. Arrangements and delivery schedule will be worked out in collaboration with Monica Jacobs, Membership Emergency Services team.

Contact Information:

Director, Ayás Mén̓men:
Kelley McReynolds
Cell: 604-785-7382
kelley_mcreynolds@squamish.net

Team Leader, Guardianship:
Hannah Rushton
Cell: 604-360-6184
hannah_rushton@squamish.net

Team Leader, Family Services:
Jared Van Somer
Cell: 778-928-8448
jared_vansomer@squamish.net

Team Leader, Resources & Wellness:
Sharon “Bunny” Le Blanc
Cell: 778-989-8215
bunny_leblanc@squamish.net

Manager, Shewaynewas Family Program:
Alice Baker
Cell: 778-233-3483
alice_baker@squamish.net

Manager, Prevention & Youth Services:
Jackie Gonzales
Cell:604-312-2432
jackie_gonzales@squamish.net

Team Leader, Admin:
Jordan Ann Joseph
Cell: 604-346-5863
jordan_ann_joseph@squamish.net

Team Leader, Prevention & Youth Services:
Lisa Andrew – Slisia
Cell: 604-849-1286
lisa_andrew@squamish.net

Manager, Daycare Services
Tanya Brown
Cell: 604-319-7286
tanya_brown@squamish.net

Team Leader, Youth Services:
Hailey Jacobs
Cell: 604-360-0501
hailey_jacobs@squamish.net

Youth Services Team:

Team members will be available by email or phone and will be working remotely to connect with youth via FaceTime or Facebook.

17 youth went to Camp Ayateway at Camp Furcom along with 5 AMM staff and the camp staff. Safety and precaution measures have been taken. To ensure that we are following social distancing measures, there will not be any additional people moving into the camp.

The Youth Centre will be open from 3 pm– 4 pm daily to provide food/meal and connection with youth, however there are no activities/outings scheduled. This will be reviewed daily based on the needs of the youth and we can open more hours as needed, while supporting social distancing.

• Staff will there to distribute bagged lunches to Youth
• Please call to register youth for bagged lunches (to ensure we are prepared)
• Outreach to youth will be done daily and supports provided
• Deep cleaning of centres are being done

For further information, please call the Youth Services Manager Jackie Gonzales, Team Leader Hailey Jacobs or Team Leader Lisa Andrews.

Guardianship Team:

All Team Members are available by email/cell phone and they will be working remotely.

Daily contact with their children and caregivers will be done via phone, FaceTime, and text to ensure safety, contact, and supports are provided.

If any additional supports are needed, please call Team Leader Hannah Rushton.

Family Support Services Team:

• All Team Members are available by email/cell phone and will be working remotely.
• There is a rotating calendar of social workers, they will be on call to respond to intake calls/needs.
• Members can call our regular phone line at 604-985-4111 to connect with social worker from 8:30 am -4:30 pm
• All protection concerns will be referred to MCFD.
• Workers will connect with their families by phone to offer supports.
• We will be using alternate ways of interacting with clients, such as FaceTime and Facebook messenger.
• Postponing groups through Family Preservation.
• Provincial Court is suspended, as such all court involved matters are postponed.
• If any additional supports are needed, please call Team Leader Jared Van Somer.

Resource and Wellness Team:

All Team Members are available by email/cell phone and will be working remotely.

If any additional supports are needed, please call Team Leader Bunny Le Blanc.

Shewaynewas Family Program:

All regular Family and Child Development Programs will not be operating from March 16– March 27, 2020.

Staff will remain connected to families they are working with and reach out to them to see how they are doing and providing supports within social distancing (through phone, FaceTime, text, and email).

Staff will be disinfecting all supplies and equipment.

If any additional supports are needed, please call Manager Alice Baker or Manager Tanya Brown.


Update: Wellness Services at Yúustway Health & Wellness
March 17, 2020

In line with Squamish Nation’s Emergency Response to COVID-19, all wellness services provided by Community Health & Wellness are on hold until further notice.
This includes:
• Biomat sessions
• Mahara Allbrett and Wayne Mah’s energy/healing sessions
• Acupuncture sessions

Counselling (concurrent, mental health & addiction) and support work provided by Heather Andrew, Shannon Eberts, Eileen Guss and Shayna Sander (Squamish Valley) will be offered on the phone, skype, and FaceTime. Exceptions will be considered if there is crisis in the community.
If you are experiencing personal crisis, we recommend that you call Kuu-Us Crisis Line. Kuu-Us provides a First Nations and Indigenous specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia.

KUU-US Crisis Line Society 1-800-588-8717
• 24 Hour Crisis Phone Service
• Risk Assessments
• Safety Monitoring

Sincerely, Charmaine Thomas
Manager, Community Health & Wellness

Managing Anxiety & Stress related to COVID-19
Information shared from CDC Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html

• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
• Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
• Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
• Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Reduce stress in yourself and others.

Sharing accurate facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.

For parents:

Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include:

• Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
• Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
• Excessive worry or sadness
• Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
• Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
• Difficulty with attention and concentration
• Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
• Unexplained headaches or body pain
• Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

There are many things you can do to support your child, these can include:

• Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
• Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
• Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
• Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
• Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well.
• Connect with your friends and family members.

Anxiety Phone Apps:

• Headspace
• Sleep Time
• Relax & Rest Guided Meditations
• Calm
• Stop, Breathe, and Think
• Colorfy
• Dare
• Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep
• Rootd
• Acupressure
• Stop Panic & Anxiety Self-Help


March 16, 2020 – Update #2

The following changes are being implemented based on Federal and Provincial instructions and extra precautions to prevent the spread and impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Service Changes:

  • The Squamish Nation is not closed. There will be service changes and resources redirected.
  • The Squamish Nation Health Centre is advising to call first before being seen by a health professional.
    Their number is 604-982-0332.
  • North Vancouver Elders Centre will remain open, but all elders’ gatherings and events are cancelled.
  • The NV Youth Centre will be open from 3-4pm daily to provide food/meal and connection with youth, however, there are no activities/outings scheduled. This will be reviewed daily based on needs of youth and we can open more hours as needed while supporting social distancing.
  • All regular Family and Child Development Programs with Ayás Mén̓men will not be operating from March 16 – 27, 2020.
  • Ayás Mén̓men Staff will remain connected to families they are working with and reach out to them to see how they are doing and providing supports within social distancing (through Phone, Facetime, Text, Email)
  • Squamish Nation offices will remain open, but many staff will be working from home.
  • Most staff will be asked to work from home for next two weeks and possibly longer.
  • Until further notice, all gatherings in Squamish Nation buildings cannot exceed 50 people and people must be two meters apart when gathering. This includes cultural gatherings and funerals.
  • All Programs currently running at the Trade Training Centre are still in session. No new programs will start at this time. Contact during the day is the building number 604 980 7946
  • Eslha7an Learning Centre – Closed. We will reopen based on SD 44 for ELC programs.
  • Stitsma Career Centre – Closed, for service or questions please call NV Frances Stegner 604 345 2126, for SV Devan Williams 778 327 8129
  • Income Assistance – Partial Closure. We will be giving out cheques on March 25 for reduced hours at Eslha7an building NV and SV at T Hall. Contact Angie August at 604 657 3739 if needed.
  • Xwémelch’stn Etsìmxwawtxw (Capilano Littles Ones) – Closed as per regular Spring Break March 16 – 27. Will reopen based on status of Covid – 19 status. We will reopen based on SD 44.
  • Post-Secondary Program – Office closed. Contact is Lisa Newman (nee Paull) at 604 338 4129 if needed.
  • K -12 Supports – Office Closed. Contact Cherie Baker for High School 778 939 9148, Vanessa Small Legs for Elementary 604 908 3265, Inclusive Education Catherine Wairimu 604 318 1569
  • General Education, Employment and Training inquiries – Paul Wick 604 848 8745
  • Community Operations will be open as usual.
    However, all requests from Membership will be scrutinized to determine if the issue needs immediate attention or can wait. All heating and plumbing issues with take priority and addressed by Field Repair staff. Comm Ops will do its best to avoid sending in contractors if at all possible.
  • Counselling (concurrent, mental health & addiction) and support work provided by Heather Andrew, Shannon Eberts, Eileen Guss and Shayna Sander (Squamish Valley) will be offered on the Phone, Skype, Facetime. Exceptions will be considered if there is crisis in the community.
    If you are experiencing personal crisis, we recommend that you call Kuu-Us Crisis Line. Kuu-Us provides a First Nations and Indigenous specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia.
  • KUU-US Crisis Line Society 1-800-588-8717
    • 24 Hour Crisis Phone Service
    • Risk Assessments
    • Safety Monitoring

New Services:

  • Ayas Menmen is preparing a food distribution with increased quantity than usual to support our families. Distribution will include cleaning supplies. More information to be announced.
  • If family members cannot assist, Members Services and Squamish Valley Operations will be offering with grocery delivery for elders during weekdays. Staff will be directed from other departments to assist. Please call (604)-505-3776 or (604) 374-1126 to arrange.
  • Member Services will prepare for a distribution of canned fish for Elders and next week frozen fish distribution for members. More information to be announced.

Important Information:

  • Please take official information from the Squamish Nation Facebook Page or Squamish Nation website. The spreading of false or unverified rumours are not helpful during this time.
  • The Nation is not being shut down. Staff will be working from home when possible or re-directed to other departments to assist.
  • The focus is on continuing to maintain core services and redirecting to special services to assist those most vulnerable during this time.
  • Community Funerals may require changes to community customs should they occur in terms of size and attendance.
  • We strongly urge all members request mail delivery for DB in April if you have not already requested this or have not set-up direct deposit. The deadline for registering for direct deposit has passed, unfortunately. Please request this by March 27th, 2020. Please call 604-982-8607 to arrange.
    DB distribution will happen on April 2nd & 3rd. We anticipate 1200-1500 people picking up. We ask members to come on Friday April 3rd if possible.
    A limited number of members will be allowed in the Elders Centre and Totem Hall for pick-up at a time. Staff will be routinely cleaning the building and washing hands.

MESSAGE FROM LEADERSHIP:

Dear Squamish People.

We wish to express that challenging times are upon us.

Covid-19 presents a serious risk to the health and wellbeing of our community, region, country, and world unless we take an aggressive stance. This means we must change our normal behaviours to weather this coming storm.

But we need to take extra precautions to lessen the potential impact.

Please try to remain calm, helpful, and kind to all during these times. Our message isn’t meant to scare but prepare. We want to be cautious, careful, and prepared.

All Squamish Nation citizens are encouraged to practice aggressive social distancing. Stay at least 2 meters away from others. Reduce gathering with people as much as possible. Isolate yourself for 14 days if you’ve returned from an international trip. If you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, contact 811 to arrange testing and isolate yourself.

Also consider order food instead of eating in a restaurant. Do not attend any gatherings, concerts, or events. But enjoy the outdoors if you can. But try to practice aggressive social distancing for next two weeks until further notice.

Aggressive social distancing is needed to “flatten the curve” of Covid-19 cases. Without aggressive social distancing, our elderly and those with health issues are at risk of death if the virus keeps spreading. In addition, without aggressive social distancing, our health care system and hospital could be overwhelmed.

We need all members to be diligent and work together to reduce cases happening in our community.

The Squamish Nation will make decisions to protect our most vulnerable and at risk and we will do what we can to focus resources on the most vulnerable.

We suggest all pay attention to official announcements from the Federal and Provincial governments.

We thank you for your patient, understanding, and support.

Co-chairs


March 16, 2020 – Update #1

As a response to Covid-19, Squamish Nation will be implementing the following measures:

  • A Task Force committee has been created to discuss COVID-19 practices made up of key staff in the Squamish Nation.
  • All gatherings over 250 will be postponed or cancelled.
  • Buildings will be receiving increased cleaning to disinfect and prevent transmission.
  • Signs are being circulated and posted for hanging at the entrance points and throughout the offices including: “Stop! If you are sick, do not enter the building; reminders to wash hands, keep hallway doors propped open, etc.”
  • Staff are monitoring Provincial and Federal support initiatives for workers, caregivers, and the most vulnerable.

Important Information:

  • We strongly recommend that Squamish Nation citizens do not attend large external events/conferences and international travel until further notice.
  • Do not come to a Squamish Nation building if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, cold, sore throat, etc. Please stay in contact with a health care professional.
  • There is an urgent and primary care site in North Vancouver that is set up to test for COVID-19. After testing, you must self-isolate for 3 days after to wait for the results of the testing. More information is available on their Website: www.vch.ca/UPCC
  • BC Hydro Customers who need help paying their utility bill can call BC Hydro’s customer service line at 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376) and speak to a customer service agent. Customers will not need to provide any documentation.
  • Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.

The following services are being changed and more changes will be coming:

  • Any elders’ gatherings or luncheons in North Vancouver and Squamish Valley will be cancelled to prevent transmission of Covid-19 which presents a high risk to our elders.
  • If family members are unable to assist, Member Services will offer grocery pick-up to support our elders from travelling outside their home to reduce the risk of transmission during the week. Elders is need of this service can call (604)-505-3776.
  • Spring Break Programs at Squamish Nation buildings are cancelled.
  • The Squamish Nation is looking at ways to reduce staffing at building and allowing as many staff to work from home as well.
  • Community Operations will implement protocols to reduce potential virus transmission during home visits by staff when necessary.

We are working diligently to make sure that all measures are covered for the safety and wellbeing of Squamish staff and our community. We are aligning our risk and crisis plan to coincide with the WHO and Canadian Government’s response to COVID-19. We also ask our families and community to lean on each other and allow Nation resources to be used for the most vulnerable.

Please pay attention to public health officials. We’ll do our best to communicate information through social, our website, emails, and notices.

We thank you for your cooperation during these challenging times.

Squamish Nation Co-Chairs


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