COVID-19: BC First Nations Community Guide for Additional Supports Needed

Press Release

Mar 20, 2020


On March 11, 2020, the Government of Canada announced more than $1 billion dollars for enhanced public health measures to ensure the health and safety of Canadians.

To support the immediate response to the outbreak, this funding includes $100 million to support federal public health measures such as enhanced surveillance, increased testing at the National Microbiology Laboratory, and ongoing support for preparedness in First Nations and Inuit communities.

As such the FNHA will be supporting communities to identify their associated COVID-19 costs. The mechanism for funding is still being determined. FNHA will support First Nations to access resources as needed including through the following methods:

• Coordinate service delivery and supports on behalf of communities

• ​Purchasing activity to procure items needed for COVID-19 response as collectively we have purchasing power with medical equipment suppliers through the provincial process


It is important for all communities to be prepared by updating their pandemic plans. Communities will be able access additional resources in order to:

• ​Respond to critical requirements to activate their pandemic plans including items such as:

• ​​E-health and connectivity requirements

• ​Incremental funding required for continuity of service delivery funded through contribution agreements

• ​Reimbursement of costs incurred related to COVID-19 response

• ​Other requests for COVID-19 related funding

• ​Support an effective allocation of the scarce public health and primary health care capacity to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

• ​Align with scientific evidence as determined by a medical officer of health.

• ​Be deployed in the short-term to address immediate needs.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for COVID-related primary health care activities, and possible transfer of individuals with respiratory symptoms can be requested from FNHA if they are not accessible through regular procurement channels, or provincial channels (please see Annex A for PPE request form and process). We recognize that each community’s needs are different, and we will work with our system partners to ensure that the personal protective equipment needs are met, while facilitating fair and timely distribution of supplies across communities and the health system.

Recognizing the urgency of PPE needs it is important to note that PPE request forms may come in separately from requests for other expenses listed below.

Submit to: [email protected]

Communities should ensure that they track all expenses specific to their COVID-19 response. Please keep a list of planned or incurred expenses that include information related to:

• ​Cost (with receipt or invoice);

• ​Item required or purchased;

• ​Brief description of item and the essential function it has for your community to be able to operationalize your plan; to support your community in reducing the spread of COVID-19; and/or to respond to cases in your community.

See Annex B for a template to identify and/or track associated needs and costs planned or incurred by your community due to COVID-19.

Submit to: [email protected]

Eligible expenses will include:

• ​​Community or service provider level infection prevention and control (soap, sanitizers, disinfectants, personal clinical supplies, community training, etc.);

• ​Medical Transportation: Travel (air, ground and water) / Meals and accommodations (note high-risk individuals eligible for private ground transportation, such as taxi, and private accommodations, such as hotel);

• ​Emergency Transportation – Additional escorts – Travel (air, ground and water) meals and accommodations (note high-risk individuals eligible for private ground transportation, such as taxi, and private accommodations, such as hotel);

• ​Health human resources surge capacity – primary care nurses and public health nurses needed to address outbreaks in communities, or other health providers such as paramedics and community workers;

• ​Mental health services to support communities, particularly when they are facing affected individuals;

• ​Adaptation of community space for surge capacity access to medical care or for self-isolation, quarantine and/or other related purposes;

• ​Storage costs of supplies;

• ​Other types of expenses will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Note that other additional non-health related expenses may be covered through the Emergency Management and Preparedness Fund administered by Indigenous Services Canada. BC’s Emergency Management and Preparedness coordinator can be contacted at:

Telephone: 604-209-9709

Email: [email protected]

Documents and resources:

Personal Protective Equipment Request Process and Form (PDF)

​FNHA Guidelines for PPE use (PDF)

Storage of Personal Protective Equipment (PDF)

Template to Identify Health Needs For COVID-19 (PDF)


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