COVID-19 Pandemic Community Information

WDFN Fitness Centre Health Check – Community Member Information

Your safety and the safety of our community members and employees are very important during this time of global pandemic. For that reason, COVID-19 Health Checks for all users of the Fitness Centre are now mandatory and effective immediately.

You must complete an online Health Check before you enter the Fitness Centre. It is private, secure, only takes a few moments, and will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone safe. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with a confirmed or probable case or have travelled outside of the country in the last 14 days, access to the Fitness Centre will be denied.

The Health Check is online and accessible on your mobile device:

Click on this link: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=u6FmVqVwPkasIEyMyBeyhBpgZQEZ3ctHiPbANiOJvTZUMjJBR0U2VllLUklSNzVOWUJUOFhFUURRTC4u

SCAN THE QR CODE FROM YOUR MOBILE DEVICE’S CAMERA (you may need to adjust your camera setting or download an app):

HOURS: DAILY 8 AM to 7 PM.

NEW USER: please visit the band office during business hours to sign a waiver. Once the waiver is processed, an access code will be issued to you (note that this may take a few business days).

COVID-19 SAFETY RULES:

  • Max time is restricted to 1 hour per day. Please leave the building when you complete your workout to allow other users to use the Fitness Centre;
  • Max occupancy is two (2) users at a time. If there are two (2) people at the Fitness Centre when you arrive, please wait until one (1) person leaves the building;
  • No handshakes or greetings with physical contact;
  • Pay attention to the safety posters and guidelines in the Fitness Centre;
  • Keep a 2 meter distance between yourself and others at all times;
  • Practice good hand hygiene (frequent hand washing and sanitizing);
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Practice good respiratory hygiene (cover your mouth/nose with bent elbow or tissue if you need to sneeze or cough);
  • Disinfect the equipment using the disinfecting spray and paper towel before and after each use;
  • Do not use the showers;

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kristen Netmaker, Recreation Coordinator, at the Health Centre (306) 373-4600. Note that Kristen will be away until September 7 inclusively and all inquiries can be addressed to Carrie Desnomie at the Health Centre.

Band Office Receptionist for Waiver and Access Code: (306) 477-0908.

August 5, 2020 Whitecap Dakota First Nation Covid-19 Special Update

July 2020 Update

Chief and Council, as well as staff of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation, are taking multiple steps to ensure the community remains safe during this time. We have established a Pandemic Committee, led by Chief and Council, to ensure we have the necessary plans and resources available for our community members. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community.

We thank those who continue to practice appropriate physical distancing and hygiene practices during these challenging times. It is important that as a community, we are aware of the continued risks of the COVID-19 pandemic, and follow the recommendations as provided by health authorities.

Given the recent increase in reported cases across Saskatchewan, it is vital that we continue to be vigilant to prevent the spread of the virus. Following health and safety protocols, practicing physical distancing, limiting interactions beyond your social circle, and avoiding travel when possible will continue to be key factors in the fight against COVID-19.

As we learn to live with the ongoing presence of the virus, following COVID-19 protocols is extremely important to reduce the risk of transmission.  Continue to follow these important tips for you and your family’s safety:

  • Keep your social circle small and avoid high-risk activities (large crowds and gatherings)
  • Avoid traveling to high risk areas
  • Practice and maintain physical distancing
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is difficult, especially indoors
  • One or two family members to shop for groceries or essentials from your household
  • Be mindful of visiting vulnerable populations including those with health risks or elders

WDFN COVID-19 Testing Site

COVID-19 testing is now available for anyone who requests it, whether you are showing symptoms or not. Universal testing is now available in Saskatchewan and the WDFN Health Centre is available to test all members and employees if requested.  If you would like to be tested, contact 811 or the WDFN Health Centre at 306-373-4600 to arrange for a test at the WDFN testing centre. 

Testing is available for all members and employees during the site’s operating hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1-3 pm.

We strongly encourage our members to get tested if you have recently traveled out of province or to high risk areas, or if you are showing any symptoms of COVID-19.

More information on testing available here: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/testing-information

WDFN Facility Updates

WDFN Government Office, Business Centre and Public Works – Closed to the Public  

WDFN staff have returned to work in the office with proper health and safety protocols in place.  The office remains closed to the public at this time, but Reception is available during normal business hours to re-direct your inquiries to the appropriate staff.

Regular business hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am – 4:30 pm with closure for lunch between 12 pm – 1 pm. We are closed on all regular statutory holidays.

WDFN Health Centre – Services available by appointment

The WDFN Health Centre staff are working in office and are taking appointments for services.  Regular business hours are Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4 pm with closure for lunch between 12 pm – 1 pm.  The Health Centre is closed on all regular statutory holidays. Please contact Reception at 306-373-4600 to schedule an appointment with the appropriate staff member or to ask any health-related questions.

Health programming is being provided virtually when available, including recreation and mental health services. Follow the WDFN Health Centre Facebook page for up to date information on programming and services offered by the Health Centre or contact Reception for more information.

WDFN Housing and Public Works

Staff are working in-office and are available to assist members by phone during regular business hours: Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4 pm with closure for lunch between 12 pm – 1 pm. 

If you require assistance, please contact Reception at 306-477-2013

Whitecap Trail Gas Bar

As of July 20, the Whitecap Trail’s business hours are:

Monday – Saturday: 7 am – 11 pm

Sunday: 8 am – 10 pm

The maximum number of customers in store is 15 to ensure space for physical distancing.  When entering the store, please use the hand sanitizer provided and do not enter if you are feeling ill.

WDFN Security

Security officers are on shift in the community from Wednesday – Sunday, 7 pm-6 am. If you have a security issue, contact them at 306-281-4868 or 306-281-7543.  In the event of an emergency, call 911.  

For updated information on COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus

WDFN Off-Reserve Member Programs

Please fill-out and submit the WDFN Off-Reserve Member Program Sheet to update your information with our office. Please complete with your address, email, and dependent information.

WDFN has assembled cleaning kits amid the COVID-19 pandemic to make available to its members both on and off-reserve. To assist in distribution of these kits we are asking you to register with us to confirm your contact information, address and the number of people in your household.

This “census” information will also help us for future planning and programming to support our off-reserve members.

Please fill out the attached form on-line and email it to spinacie@whitecapdakota.com or you can contact the WDFN offices at 306-477-0908 during business hours (Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm) to get the form filled out over the phone. Members who live in the Saskatoon area and have registered will receive cleaning kits next week. Alternative arrangements will be made for those who do not live in the Saskatoon area.

WDFN Pandemic Prevention Law Now In Effect

  • Council passed the WDFN Pandemic Law on April 21 as an Emergency Land Code Law
  • Complements Saskatchewan Public Health Order with additional tools to protect public health and safety on Whitecap lands
  • Key measures to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19:
    • Restrictions on visiting WDFN, including giving Council the power to put up signs and checkpoints
    • Restrictions on public gatherings, including gatherings and parties in private homes
    • Rules for Businesses operating on WDFN Lands
    • Meeting Public Health Order requirements (e.g Physical Distancing)
  • Appointment of security staff to enforce law, including issuing orders and imposing fines
  • RCMP recognizes law and will assist WDFN and its security in enforcement of the law

Measures taken to reduce COVID-19 risk in our community:

  1. Closure of all Whitecap Dakota Government Offices to the public, including the Health Centre, to ensure the risk of transmission is reduced for our employees and community members.
  2. Closure of the CRHES and Whitecap Early Learning Centre – effective March 16 indefinitely.
  3. Health assessments for elders 60 years + to ensure programs are put in place and assistance is available if required.
  4. ACCFS office will be closed – effective March 16.  Emergency duty workers are available to assist if required.
  5. Whitecap Trail Store will remain open to serve the community but with operational restrictions to ensure the safety of staff and customers. Restrictions include the suspension of self-service options, and limited customers allowed in store at a time.
  6. Chief and Council are working closely with other government agencies, including the Saskatchewan Health Authority
  7. All community gatherings have been cancelled to assist with social distancing
  8. The Dakota Dunes Casino is closed – effective March 17 and until further notice
  9. Regular Pandemic Committee Meetings are taking place twice a week.

Contact Numbers:

Band Office, Business Centre, Fitness Centre and Elders Centre: 306-477-0908

Health Centre: 306-373-4600

Fire Hall: 306-290-2760

Housing and Public Works: 306-477-2013

Mental Health Resources

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic can cause anxiety and worry in all of us. Whether you’re coping with the loneliness of self-isolation, concerned about the health of your loved ones or worried about what the future may hold, there are mental health supports available to help you through this difficult time.

People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

Resources are available. Please contact any of the below for assistance:

  • HealthLine 811 mental health and addictions service continues to be available, providing 24/7 crisis support, advice to help manage a caller’s situation, information and connection to community resources.
  • Kids Help Phone offers professional counselling, information and referrals. You can phone, text or chat online. It’s confidential, free and available 24/7.
  • Call 1-800-668-6868
  • Text CONNECT to 686868
  • Chat online at kidshelpphone.ca
  • Whitecap Dakota First Nation Health Centre Support – Call us at 306-373-4600 to speak with the Mental Health Therapist

We’re all in this together.  Please reach out if you require support.

Indigenous Services Canada

Indigenous Services Canada’s Community Guide on Accessing Additional Supports provides an overview of additional supports for communities related to the COVID 19 pandemic.

NIHB Mental Health Counselling continues to be available and is being delivered via telehealth platforms. Check out thiswebsite for more information.

Mental Wellness Teams continue to support communities in a variety of ways, including on-line and over the phone. In some regions, face-to-face meetings are still possible, but limited to emergencies only.

  • First Peoples Wellness Circle (FPWC) are supporting MWTs by providing guidance material on how to support individuals, families, elders, and communities.
  • FPWC will also be launching a secure on-line platform to help MWTs better reach communities in a safe and effective manner. For more information on this work, please see FPWC’s website.

IRS Resolution Health Support Program (IRS RHSP) and support for those affected by the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) continue to be available. IRS RHSP and MMIWG workers are following public health guidelines and mainly providing services virtually and by phone. Professional counselling for eligible IRS and MMIWG clients is also available at this time and can be provided virtually or by phone.

  • A help line provides services for former students of the Indian Residential Schools and their families. These services are accessible 24/7 toll-free at 1-866-925-4419.
  • The support line for MMIWG provide immediate assistance, national and independent, toll-free 24/7 at 1-844-413-6649. The service is offered in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.

Most federally-funded Treatment Centres have closed, but in some cases, counselling staff are reaching out to clients over the phone and on-line. Some centres are also exploring on-line options for aftercare and some have been providing care hampers to past clients, elders, and low income community members. Check with treatment centres to find out more. Treatment centres are also being supported by Thunderbird Partnership Foundation.

OAT Sites are working with the medical professionals affiliated with their programs to make sure clients have continued access.

Jordan’s Principle – Services continue during the COVID 19 pandemic. Please see the website for more details.

Inuit Child First Initiative – Services continue during the COVID 19 pandemic. Please see the website for more details.

First Nations Specific Resources

Assembly of First Nations has a webpage dedicated to COVID 19 that includes a variety of information including tips and considerations around mental wellness.

First Peoples Wellness Circleexists to improve the lives of Canada’s First Peoples by addressing healing, wellness and other mental health challenges. They have developed a series of resources for a variety of audiences related to COVID 19.

Thunderbird Partnership Foundation‘s top priority is developing a continuum of care that would be available to all First Nations people in Canada, using the Honouring Our Strengths document as a framework. They have developed a variety of resources related to COVID 19, including several specific to substance use.

First Nations Health Managers Association works on certification and professional development opportunities. They have pivoted to use their voice as another medium for COVID 19 messaging. They have been and will continue holding town halls related to COVID 19 that have featured topics such as mental wellness and youth.

National Association of Friendship Centres focus on supporting Friendship Centres across Canada. They have developed a webpage with Indigenous resources that are from vetted and trustworthy sources.

Native Women’s Association of Canadahas posted messages on COVID 19 and are helping connect people with their elders.

Elders and Seniors in the Community

We strongly recommend that all senior community members and Elders take precaution and remain isolated in their homes in the coming weeks. Self-isolation is recommended while our community and Saskatchewan deal with the current pandemic. Please reach out to your family to assist with required needs, including grocery shopping.

There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians 65 and over, and those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions.

  • No one should attend visit an assisted living, long-term care or health-care facility if ill, with the exception of seeking medical attention.
  • Everyone should model social distancing (i.e. no handshakes, hugs, kisses).
  • Everyone should follow proper hand/cough hygiene.
  • Persons at higher risk, for example those over 65 or anyone with underlying medical conditions, should reconsider attending mass gatherings and international travel at this time.

If an Elder requires assistance, please contact the Nurse Practitioner Christine Gates 306-373- 4600

Precautions to Take at Home

As a respiratory illness, the best method to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to practice everyday preventive actions, including:

  • Practice physical distancing and only go out if it is necessary. Physical distancing is a term applied to certain actions that stop or slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease by restricting distance and contact between individuals. The general rule is 2 metres. Visit saskatchewan.ca for more information.
  • Practice proper cough and sneezing etiquette (into the bend of your elbow) – throw used tissues in the garbage and immediately wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • ​Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them thoroughly; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Maintain safe food practices and avoid sharing cups, glasses, dishes or cutlery, and ensure they are thoroughly washed with warm water and soap after each use;
  • ​Regularly clean workstations and objects with disinfectants that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs, handles, vehicles, phones and keyboards.

Accessing Financial Support

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.

Additional Resources

If you have questions related to COVID-19, please visit the Government of Saskatchewan website or contact HealthLine at 811.

Government of Canada Information on COVID-19 Fraud Alerts

Talking to Children about COVID-19

Reduce the spread – Wash your Hands

Information on Government Programs: Government of Canada website

Self-Assessment Tool – COVID-19

This webpage will be updated regularly as new information is available to share.