As our Chiefs and health leaders work diligently to prepare our communities for COVID-19, we ask everyone to take precautions whenever possible to help reduce the spread of this coronavirus. The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is exercising an abundance of caution by declaring a State of Emergency on March 17, 2020 and by postponing planned SCO gatherings at this time.
Those at the greatest risk of severe outcomes include those over 65 years of age, those with underlying medical conditions, and those with compromised autoimmune systems. Public health officials are reminding all of us to frequently wash our hands, cough and sneeze into our sleeves, and to stay home when sick.
Social distancing strategies are now being recommended to limit the spread of COVID-19. Strategies include:
- Minimizing prolonged (more than 10 minutes), close (less than two metres) contact between other individuals in public;
- Avoiding greetings that involve touching such as handshakes;
- Disinfecting frequently used surfaces;
- Following public health advice related to self-monitoring and self-isolation if you have travelled or have been exposed to someone ill with the virus; and
- Avoid travel and any crowded places, especially if you are at higher risk.
COVID-19 can spread through close contact with an infected person who is coughing or sneezing as well as by objects contaminated with the virus. Prevention measures include:
- Washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, and if your hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand cleanser may be used.
- Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, or you can cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
- Avoiding close contact (within two metres/six feet) with anyone showing symptoms of a respiratory illness such as coughing or sneezing.
- Staying home when you are sick.
If you are experiencing emotional distress and want to talk, contact the toll-free Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate help for all First Nation peoples who want counselling or crisis intervention. Help Line counsellors can help if you:
- want to talk
- are distressed
- may be triggered by painful memories
If asked, counsellors can work with you to find other wellness supports that are accessible near you. Telephone and online counselling are available in English and on request, in Anishinaabe.
Please visit COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for more information on how you can protect yourself and others from the COVID-19 coronavirus.
COVID-19 Coronavirus Online Resources
Manitoba Shared Health COVID-19 Screening Tool
Manitoba Government Official Updates
Government of Canada Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update
Government of Canada Travel Notices
Southern Chiefs' Organization COVID-19 Coronavirus Notices
SCO COVID-19 NOTICE #3: Measures for Community Preparedness (March 19, 2020)
SCO COVID-19 NOTICE #2: SCO Declares State of Emergency (March 17, 2020)
SCO COVID-19 NOTICE #1: SCO Responds to COVID-19 (March 13, 2020)
Assembly of First NationsCoronaVirus Factsheet: