April 3, 2020
Dear community member,
I want to thank each and every one of you for joining us in the fight against this terrible COVID-19 virus. As the numbers climb daily, I join our Grand Chief Norman Sylliboy, the Assembly of Nova Chiefs, Premier Stephen McNeil and others in urging you to stay at home, limit outside travel, avoid large gatherings, maintain a six-foot distance from others, wash your hands frequently and sanitize your surroundings. It is critical, especially to the health of our elders and other vulnerable community members. We are following the lead of health experts around the world. I want to share some of the important work being done on your behalf.
Chief Paul (PJ) Prosper
April 3, 2020
The health centre is currently closed to the public. All messages are checked regularly throughout the day. If immediate assistance is needed, please contact Juliana Julian at 902-338-0678. You can use the health center if you need a phone to make an appointment or to have your doctor appointment over the phone. To book a room, please message the Paqtnkek health center on its Facebook page or contact Juliana Julian at 902-338-0678.
We have arranged for a driver who will be available to pick up prescriptions and drop them off at your door. We are currently exploring other options to help you get to and from appointments. Health Canada has provided guidelines for transporting patients to and from appointments during this pandemic.
ORAL HEALTH KITS
The health centre is ordering supplies to create oral health packages for each household.
Health Canada has allowed pharmacists to fill open prescriptions such as Tylenol and Advil for adults or children. Please can contact the drug store directly with your request and our medical driver can pick up the prescription and deliver it to you.
HEALTH PROMOTION & PREVENTION
Our community health promotion and prevention worker Kathleen Denny will be working hard to develop some fun and family orientated activities for community members. She will also be starting a separate Facebook page which will offer incentives for participants.
MENTAL HEALTH & CRISIS SUPPORT
We have coverage for all community members and staff to seek out mental health clinical support. Contact any of the following clinicians and let them know that you’re a Paqtnkek community member or staff member and they can set up an appointment by phone, text or video chat with you. (adults) Tiana Fusco 902-754-4632 or Tammy Kontuk 902-759-4410, (youth) Doreen Shadbolt email@example.com. (parent support/youth) Wendy Digout 902-863-3002 or WDPsych@gmail.com.
24/7 telephone crisis intervention is available for Paqtnkek children, youth and adults. Call (902) 429-8167 or toll-free 1-888-429-8167. Our two community clinicians Michelle Lebrun and Emily Larson-Ure are continuing to see clients by phone and online video conferencing. For addiction support, call Mike Taylor at 902-870-4922 or message him on Facebook.
HOME CARE SERVICES
At this time, we are providing very limited home care services to our clients who either live alone or have very limited access to family members who can help them. Health Canada has provided guidelines for our workers to follow while delivering home care services. Home care clients must help keep our staff safe by practicing social isolation and discontinue unnecessary trips into Antigonish.
EMERGENCY FOOD BANK
We are making bulk purchases of non-perishable foods and basic supplies in case we need to deliver emergency supplies to families.
PLANNING FOR ST. MARTHAS HOSPITAL OVERFLOW
We have ordered 50 sets of bedding and other supplies in the event that we need to use the gym or other location as a comfort centre if St. Martha’s Hospital reaches full capacity.
CLOSING OF TOBACCO & CANNABIS VENDORS
Chief and council issued a directive for all independent sellers to close, effective March 29th. This is to reduce the flow of outside traffic into our community. Signs will be put up with this notice.
NEW GAS BAR HOURS OF OPERATION
Gas Bar is an essential service. Hours of Operation effective April 2, 2020 will be from 8 am to 8 pm. Although it is full-service during this pandemic, customers must still go inside to pay for their gas.
STAFF LAYOFFS IN BAND OPERATIONS
Due to the significant loss of revenue in our Band businesses, layoff notices have been issued to some staff in the entertainment centre, tobacco store, daycare, health centre and band administration.
FISHERIES OPERATIONS DELAYED
We have met with fisheries staff to discuss delayed openings for the oyster harvesting and lobster fishery. Discussions are ongoing with DFO and impacted communities on the overall fishery industry and more updates to come.
CHEQUE DISTRIBUTION IN GYM
All cheques, including rations, are delivered from the gym. We limit the number of clients inside at any one time and follow all health protocols, including physical distancing. E-transfers are being looked at for those clients who request it. They will need to supply proper banking information and sign waivers to give their approval.
BAYSIDE TRAVEL CENTRE
If conditions permit later this month, we might be able to offer diesel card lock services to truckers and limited convenience store operations. Current safety protocols mean we will need to postpone an official public opening ceremony. A business continuity plan, hiring and training plan and cash flow forecasts are also taking place.
HOUSEHOLD ‘STOP’ SIGNS
To limit personal contact with visitors, we have distributed signs in Mi’kmaq/English to be displayed at homes of some of our more vulnerable members. Please read and respect their requests. To order a sign please contact the health center and leave a message or call Juliana Julian 902-338-0678 or Emily Peter-Paul 902-867-7003.
PROVINCIAL COURT PROCEEDINGS
All provincial court proceedings are done over the phone. If you need a phone to take part in a proceeding, please contact the health centre and leave a message by phone or inbox message or contact a member of council and we can arrange for you to get a phone.
The due date for filing individual income tax returns has been extended to June 1, 2020. Most taxation services are asking clients to mail in their forms, and they will contact you once they are completed.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Health Canada has provided our frontline health workers with gloves, gowns and masks to use while delivering services to community members.
Our local suppliers are working on getting individual hand sanitizers for each household.
HOUSE REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE
All repairs/renovations that require workers inside homes are put on hold until after Covid-19.
We are meeting daily with Paqtnkek emergency committees, other Chiefs and other levels of government to stay on top of developments. We are closely monitoring the extra expenditures made to help us manage this crisis and will seek appropriate compensation from other levels of government.
FACEBOOK LIVE AND REZ-FM RADIO UPDATES
Along with Health Director Juliana Julian, we are using video and community radio to provide regular updates on our pandemic planning. If you have a question you would like addressed during our live broadcasts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send to me or any councilor.
*I encourage you to visit our website at www.paqtnkek.ca for a list of current announcements, resources and important notices. Also, please follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts for up-to-the-minute announcements.