Posted on March 18, 2020

Please note: Splatsin is operating in 'essential services mode' in response to the pandemic. For details about this change, including a statement from Kukpi7 Christian, read here.

Update

SHS leadership and Splatsin’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) are constantly evaluating the COVID-19 ‘state of emergency’ and acting in a focused, coordinated and measured manner. SHS and the EOC are making decisions based on data, best practices and communication with our health authorities including the Ministry of Health. The wellbeing of the community is Splatsin Health Service’s utmost priority.

Social distancing is changing the way SHS is offering its services. The community is asked to limit the number of people they come into close contact with and to maintain a distance of two meters or six feet from others and to avoid non-essential trips outside your home. SHS is taking these steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.

To ensure the safety of the community, most health services will be offered by distance communication (phone calls, text messages, video calls). Access to resources is changing on a daily.

Splatsin Health Services (SHS) is operating in ‘essential services mode’ until further notice. This means that programming is cancelled and walk-ins are no longer accepted. All visits to the Splatsin Health Centre must be approved by SHS staff in advance of your visit. Read about changes to the Medical Patient Travel (MPT) Program here.

SHS Clinical Team: Essential Services

As long as the SHS Community Health Nurse, Meghan Tetrault, RN and the Home and Community Care Nurse, Susan Lansdowne, RN nurses continue to be available and healthy, SHS will continue to provide the following essential services:

  • Respond quickly with scientifically sound means of controlling the spread of illness
  • Initiate action and encourage individuals, the community, and leadership to take action
  • Communicate details of risk to all community members, with enhanced communication to elders and vulnerable community members
  • Communicate with local, regional, and national health professionals
  • Make referrals and follow up for those who need treatment and link to necessary services
  • Provide pre-established home health services, treatments and procedures for those assessed in priority based on health condition and function
  • Provide urgent public health and communicable disease control measures as required. Any non-essential public surveillance screenings can be delayed until later (Routine Tuberculosis and Immunization programming will be delayed)
  • Provide health surveillance and infection control protocols
  • Promote and respect informed decision-making

** Please be advised that if you receive care by Meghan or Susan in your home, they may arrive wearing a mask, gloves, gown and face shield. Please do not be alarmed. We will not provide care if or when we become sick. We use Personal Protective Equipment to help prevent the spread of infection for everyone**

Mental Wellness Team: Essential Services

SHS mental wellness team is available by phone or text to support members through the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Counselling and/or emotional support and referrals
  • Addictions Counselling and referrals
  • Referral to Elder/Traditional Support (Jean Brown)
  • Resource Referral and Navigation:
  • Food bank/food security
  • Housing/shelters
  • Legal information/court and updates
  • Accessing financial services
  • Other resources and supports assessed on an as-needed basis

Denica Bleau, Holistic Wellness Practitioner: call or text Monday to Friday (250) 309-2936 (social work, emotional support, resource navigation/referrals, advocacy)

Jessica Kent, Holistic Wellness Practitioner: text or call Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays (250) 309-2331(social work, emotional support, resource navigation/referrals, advocacy)


Health Contacts/Tools

  • Splatsin Health Centre: (250) 838-6496
  • HealthLink BC: 8-1-1

There is also a new phone service dedicated to providing non-medical information about COVID-19. This line will provide information on travel recommendations and social distancing, as well as access to support and resources. It will be open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. by calling 1-888-COVID-19.

In addition to the phone service, the Government of B.C. has implemented a new online self-assessment tool to receive recommendations about symptoms and situations. Splatsin is using this and band members are encouraged to do so as well.

SHS does not provide primary care (ie: walk in clinic, or physician on site), or emergency services (ie: ambulance). Please call 911 if any emergencies occur.


About COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging the common cold to more severe diseasesCoronaviruses are a large family of viruses found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases

Coronaviruses are a large family of virus found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to severe respiratory diseases. The new coronavirus has been named COVID-19. It is new to the world; no one has immunity to this virus.Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases

In January 2020, an outbreak of COVID-19 was detected in Wuhan, China. As of March 11, the World Health Organization has declared the virus a pandemic. An outbreak is an unusual occurrence of an illness, whereas a pandemic is an outbreak of the same illness in several countries at the same time.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold which include cough, sneezing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing. The virus is spread by larger droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter through these droplets through the eyes, nose, or throat if you in close contact. The virus is not known to be airborne. If you come in contact with the virus it can remain inside of you for 14 days without developing symptoms, however, it is most common for individuals to see symptoms 5 days after exposure.

Current information suggests that elders (ages 65 and older) and people with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart and lung disease are at higher risk of developing more severe illness or complications from COVID-19.

Testing is available at some of our community partner sites. It is only offered to those with specific symptoms and exposure risk.

Testing is available for:

  • hospitalized individuals due to severe illness (or likely to be hospitalized);
  • health care workers;
  • residents of long term care facilities and/or;
  • contacts of a ‘case cluster’.

Testing is not available for:

  • people who have no symptoms;
  • people with mild symptoms or;
  • returning travellers.

Those who have travelled anywhere outside of the region are asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days to monitor their symptoms. Anyone who has symptoms of cold, or flu, should self-isolate until they are fully recovered (recovery times vary per person). There is not a vaccine to prevent the virus, nor is there a treatment to cure the virus.

Prevention

  • Stay home if possible to prevent getting sick or spreading sickness
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer often
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Dispose of tissues right away
  • Flush the toilet with the lid down
  • Practice social distancing: do not use contact greetings such as handshakes, hugs and kisses
  • Frequently sanitize surfaces that are touched at home
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces in your home

Symptoms

  • Contact the SHS and speak to a Registered Nurse. Although testing is not available at the Splatsin Health Centre, it is important for SHS to monitor the wellness of the community by phone. SHS is available to assess, support and refer according to your symptoms.
  • If you choose to visit a physician, it is critical that you phone them in advance so they can prepare for you. Not all physicians have testing available.
  • If you are not able to manage your symptoms at home, seek higher-level medical attention.

Resources

BC Centre for Disease Control

First Nations Health Authority

There will be a daily update on COVID-19 at 4:30 p.m. on the Splatsin website.