COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout in Whitecap Dakota First Nation
Phase 1 of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccination delivery began on January 19, 2021 in Whitecap as part of the Provincial Vaccine Delivery Strategy. Priority groups have been developed by the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Phase 1 included individuals aged 70+, residents of long term care facilities, and Covid-19 health care workers. Those who received the first round of vaccination in Phase 1 will be receiving the second dose during the week of February 8-12th. If you were included in the Phase 1 priority group, a nurse will contact you directly to schedule your appointment.
As we receive additional vaccines through the Provincial Vaccine Delivery Strategy, we will advise our members on the prioritized rollout process as determined by public health officials. We will share information with the community on additional vaccinations when we receive it.
What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine:
Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread and reduce the impact of infectious diseases, whether it’s seasonal flu or childhood infections. A safe and effective vaccine(s) for COVID-19 will protect us against the novel coronavirus and will be an important step to safely resume normal life in Canada and around the world. Only vaccines that are safe and effective will be approved for use in Canada.
Learn more here on the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Vaccination Process: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/awareness-resources/know-vaccine.html
Public Service Announcements
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 – Friday, 9 am – 11 am.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
- 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.
- Closure of the CRHES and Whitecap Early Learning Centre – effective March 16 indefinitely.
- Health assessments for elders 60 years + to ensure programs are put in place and assistance is available if required.
- ACCFS office will be closed – effective March 16. Emergency duty workers are available to assist if required.
- 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.
- Chief and Council are working closely with other government agencies, including the Saskatchewan Health Authority
- All community gatherings have been cancelled to assist with social distancing
- The Dakota Dunes Casino is closed – effective March 17 and until further notice
- Regular Pandemic Committee Meetings are taking place twice a week.
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.
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.
If you have questions related to COVID-19, please visit the Government of Saskatchewan website or contact HealthLine at 811.
Information on Government Programs: Government of Canada website
This webpage will be updated regularly as new information is available to share.