Six Nations offers details on how they are managing coronavirus response

We had an opportunity to ask Six Nations Emergency Control Group questions about the details of how they are managing coronavirus responses on Six Nations: how many tests are outstanding, do we have enough PPE for front-line workers, and are community paramedics still facing massive offload delays at the Brantford General Hospital? And we got answers – published here in their entirety.

Q – What is the number of current cases of coronavirus on Six Nations and what are the ages of the patients?
A – Six Nations has had 9 positive cases and 1 COVID related death.

Q – If the ages of patients will not be released – can you please explain why generalized non-identifying data is not being shared with the community and whether or not you feel sharing statistical data of coronavirus cases will be beneficial to the community.
A – We are very aware that information is being shared with the community through social media. Results of testing are held by Ohsweken Public Health, which is governed by First Nations Inuit Health Branch. The information is not being released by them.

Q – If a person tests positive on Six Nations and it is determined that they need medical intervention at a hospital – what is the process? Are they being sent to a specific hospital?
A – People who are showing symptoms are to call the hotline to be assessed for the need for swabbing to test for COVID-19. Once testing is recommended, they become a “probable case” and Ohsweken Public Health makes contact to advise them of how to monitor for ongoing symptoms, and when they should seek additional medical attention, and where they should go for intervention.
If symptoms are more severe, they are directed to call 911 and paramedics will be informed and transport to hospital as per dispatch directives.

Q – Have any of the cases of coronavirus on Six Nations been because of travel out of the country? If so how many?
A – Yes, there are cases due to travel.

Q – Have any of the coronavirus cases on Six Nations been because of contact with someone who has been out of the country? If so how many?
A – Yes, there are cases due to contact with someone who travelled.

Q – Have any of the coronavirus cases on Six Nations been because the result of community transmission? If so how many?
A – Yes, there are cases due to community transmission.

Q – Have Six Nations Ambulance Services been adequately equipped with the tools they need to protect themselves during the pandemic and still be available for emergency response on the territory?
A – Paramedic Services have been equipped with the adequate Personal Protective Equipment required, along with additional cleaning equipment that can disinfect the ambulance vehicle between calls.

Q – Has anything been done to address the offload problems paramedics were experiencing at Brantford General Hospital specifically?
A – Offload issues have been addressed, and the hospital is prepared to deal with arrival of COVID cases into the hospital setting.

Q – Has the province delivered on the 2019 funding for the Six Nations Paramedic Services that was previously reported to be delayed back in January 2020?
A – The delay reported in January, was in the approval of the budget submissions. This was approved in March and has been received.

Q – What is the current number of Six Nations membership that could be more vulnerable to coronavirus complications due to comorbidity?
A – Adults over 18 in our total membership have the following risk factors: High blood pressure 26%, Current Smoker 25%, Diabetes 21%, Asthma 19%, Cancer 5%. If inviduals have more than one of these on the list, their risk will increase. We also know that there are reportedly individuals who have had none of these risk factors who have had a very poor outcome from COVID-19. It is difficult to predict how folks will be affected.

Q – The province is estimating between 3000 and 15000 patients may die this month alone because of coronavirus. Are there similar projections for Six Nations and/or are we included in those numbers?
A – Statistics are based on the trajectory of positive cases and the potential for spread of the virus, based on what is being reported and what has been seen in other countries. The world rate of death from Covid-19 is based on the number of positive cases.
Globally there are 1,503,900 positive cases and 89,931 deaths, 340,112 recovered.A 6% death rate, 22% recovery rate. At Six Nations, with 1 death out of 9 positive cases, we are at a death rate of 11%.

Q – How many people on the territory have been tested? How many tests have come back negative?
A – To date: 117 swabs as of April 8: 9 positive. As of Sunday April 5: 1 Death, 74 negatives. Outstanding results: 43

Q – Does Six Nations have adequate PPE? And what is being done to ensure those supplies are well-stocked?
A – Six Nations has necessary PPE for the safe provision of health care services to clients/patients/community members. We are working with Ministry of Health and Indigenous Services Canada to acquire the PPE stock we require. As the recommendations change, we are responding to increasing the levels of protection. We are in constant search for additional PPE to be able to support the other services.
At this time, we are requesting assistance in providing fabric masks to our staff who are still reporting to the work settings.

Q – In the area, coronavirus infection rates among adults aged 20-64 are three times higher than those in the 65 and over category. Does that line up with the cases we are seeing on Six Nations? Do you expect we will follow a similar pattern here?
A – We have not had sufficient data to make these determinations. Recommendations are to test all symptomatic indigenous persons, so until we have more data, we cannot do an accurate analysis.

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