This page is OKIB's official source of information for members regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Please bookmark this page and check back daily for updates.
Safe opening procedures in place at OKIB facilities
Safe Opening Procedures in place at OKIB facilities
Health Department and OHS staff develop safe reopening procedures and we need your cooperation.
June 24, 2020 - OKIB offices are now open; however, the office doors will be locked and visitors and guests will require an appointment to visit the offices.
We will do our best to provide you with assistance over the phone, or we will arrange an appointment for you.
- Band Office: 250.542.4328
- Health Department: 250.542-5094
- Social Development: 250.558.3706
- Public Works/Lands: 250.542.3444
- TSD: 250.542.7132
- Language & Culture: 250.503.5593
- Wellness Centre: 250.558.3957
snc'c'amala?tn | Early Childhood Education Centre reopeing plan
June 17, 2020 - snc'c'amala?tn Early Childhood Education Centre is planning to resuming childcare services on Monday, July 6. However, this will be on a limited capacity, at first, to ensure that all new health and safety protocols are enacted appropriately in order to proceed in a cautious, thoughtful and safe manner.
The centre will first open to all parents working on-reserve and Tier 1 essential workers. Those offered a daycare space can schedule time to coincide with their work hours and commuting time, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
We know some employers will be encouraging you to return to work, but unfortunately we are not in a position right now to extend places to all children. Spots will continue to be held for children who were enrolled in the two daycare rooms, unless you choose to withdraw your child or the child is no longer of age for the program. Reopening of snc'c'amala?tn is still conditional and dependent on several key factors; however, we are hopeful that we will be ready for July 6. One main factor is dependent on continued positive trends as reported by the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix. We will also continue to take direction from Chief and Council and the OKIB Health Department.
Having received guidance from the Province, we have begun to create an action plan to prepare for our phased reopening. You will soon be contacted and asked about your intentions to send your child back to daycare. We recognise that you know your children and their personal situation best, and that there are many factors which will influence your decision. We understand that this is a very unsettling time for us all, but be assured that we will do everything we can to make sure that we are ready to safely receive any children who are returning. All our plans will be reviewed by the OKIB Health Depai1ment. We will keep you updated with our preparations for making snc'c'amala?tn as safe as possible so that you can make an informed decision. snc 'c 'amala?tn has implemented Provincial hygiene protocols but can not fully protect you or your child from contracting COVID 19.
Some of the measures that will be put in place are:
Increased disinfecting, cleaning and handwashing
A detailed plan and stringent sanitation measures will be put in place. Staff members will receive training on prevention of COVID-19.
Physical distancing strategies and the use of personal protective equipment
We will be looking at what is practical and necessary in a child care setting.
Limiting toys and activities
Toys and equipment that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected will be removed. Activities that were previously shared like play dough will be used by one child only.
Lower ratios and smaller group size
Our capacity will be reduced during this first phase of reopening. As mentioned above, only children of Okanagan Indian Band employees and essential services staff will be in attendance. This will give us the oppmiunity to practice new protocols and measures.
More outdoor play
Recent evidence suggests that the transmission of COVID-19 is lower outdoors compared to indoors.
Revised staff and child illness policies
This will be necessary to ensure that no one enters the building with COVID-19 symptoms or if they have been exposed to anyone with symptoms. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sneezing, sore throat, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath, headaches or fatigue. If a child experiences any of these symptoms they will be immediately isolated and the parent will be required to take the child home immediately.
Procedures for safe food handling, cooking practices and serving food will be reviewed.
There will be many changes at the centre in order to provide a safe environment and keep staff, children and families healthy. Thank you for your patience as we work to ensure the maximum level of health and safety for families and staff.
You will be receiving further communications from us in the upcoming weeks. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we move towards a safe reopening.
Meet the OKIB Food Distribution Team
OKIB's food hamper distribution program
May 14, 2020 - Watch as Glenda Louis, Community Engagement Lead, talks about the food hamper pick-up that happens Friday, May 15, 2020. The program will continue monthly until the pandemic eases.
To register for the June distribution call the Food Security Initiative hotline at 250-241-9790 between 10 am and 2 pm or email [email protected]
COVID-19 testing available for OKIB community members and staff
May 8, 2020 - OKIB Health is preparing to offer testing of community members and staff who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 3 p.m. by appointment only. Call the OKIB Nurse Hotline 250-241-7595 to book.
Where: OKIB Health Centre
Who: OKIB community members and staff who are experiencing any symptoms compatible with COVID 19 (even mild symptoms) including:Fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, runny nose, nasal congestion, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, or loss of appetite.
- Individuals who do not have any symptoms will not be tested.
- Testing will be done by OKIB RNs and LPNs who have obtained competency and attended training.
Questions? Call the OKIB Nurse Hotline 250-241-7595.
What to do if you have symptoms
March 23, 2020 - Today the Okanagan Indian Band Health Department issued a bulletin for all members about what to do if you have symptoms.
If you have any of these symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Flu-like feelings
- Trouble with your breathing
You are required to do the following:
- Self-isolate immediately (stay home and away from others).
- Use the online COVID-19 Symptom Self-assessment Tool or call 8-1-1.
- Call the OKIB Nurses Hotline Number at 250-241-7595 to let the OKIB Nurses know that you or your family are self-isolating.
IT IS VITAL THAT ALL COMMUNITY MEMBERS FOLLOW THESE STEPS.
IF EVERYONE FOLLOWS THESE STEPS WE CAN REDUCE THE RISK OF COVID-19 TO OUR COMMUNITY.
OUR COMMUNITY’S HEALTH AND WELLNESS DEPENDS ON IT.
Symptom Self-assessment Tool and Information on testing
March 17, 2020 - Here is some information for community members about testing for COVID-19:
The BC Ministry of Health has a COVID-19 Symptom Self-assessment Tool that you can use.
Who should be tested for COVID-19?
People with respiratory symptoms who are:
- Hospitalized, or likely to be hospitalized
- Health Care Workers
- Residents of long term care facilities
- Part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak
Who does not need to be tested for COVID-19?
- People without symptoms
- Patients with mild respiratory symptoms who can be managed at home, including returning travellers with an onset of illness within 14 days of return to Canada
The BC Ministry of Health strongly urges anyone who has symptoms - including a fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, or difficulty breathing to self-isolate for 14 days.
To protect yourself while out in public, wash your hands frequently and maintain a distance of about 2 metres from others.
For more information on COVID-19, check out to HealthLink BC's COVID-19 website.
The province has created a phone service to provide non-medical information about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing. Information is available in more than 110 languages, 7:30 am to 8 pm at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or via text message at 604-630-0300.
Previous communications from OKIB about the pandemic
- June 24, 2020 - Safe opening procedures in place at OKIB facilities
- June 18, 2020 - Letter to parents: snc'c'amala?tn Early Childhood Education Centre reopening
- June 8, 2020 - Self-management resources for community members
- May 26, 2020 - Meet the OKIB Food Distribution Team (video)
- May 15, 2020 - OKIB Community Garden (video)
- May 15, 2020 - Snc'c'amala?tn Summer Camp cancelled as a precaution
- May 15, 2020 - Watch a description about the community gardens (video)
- May 14, 2020 - Update on the food hamper distribution program (video)
- May 14, 2020 - COVID-19 highlights need for better access to health-related data in First Nation communities
- May 13, 2020 - Food hamper pick-up map and instructions
- May 12, 2020 - COVID-19 Emergency Measures Bylaw
- May 10, 2020 - Education Department update (video)
- May 8, 2020 - COVID-19 testing available for OKIB community members and staff
- May 7, 2020 - Chief and Council to host Membership Forum by Zoom
- May 4, 2020 - Senk'lip News May 2020 edition now available
- May 1, 2020 - Cleaning and disinfecting helps prevent the spread of illness including COVID-19
- April 30, 2020 - Information regarding COVID-19 funding for membership
- April 29, 2020 - Information about the COVID-19 Education Supplement
- April 28, 2020 - BC Housing announces Temporary Rental Supplement program
- April 24, 2020 - OKIB food hamper program to commence monthly distribution
- April 21, 2020 - OKIB Nurses Hotline can answer questions and concerns about COVID-19
- April 20, 2020 - First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day program connects members to doctors
- April 17, 2020 - Chief Byron Louis talks about financial supports available to members (video)
- April 17, 2020 - The Narwhal interview with Chief Byron Louis: Balancing Indigenous food security with conservation
- April 14, 2020 - New word challenge contest
- April 13, 2020 - Chief Byron Louis talks about what we have learned from past pandemics (video)
- April 10, 2020 - Easter hamper distribution (video)
- April 9, 2020 - Chief & Council encourage seasonal visitors to stay away until further notice
- April 8, 2020 - Summary of Financial Supports
- April 8, 2020 - Wear a face mask when shopping or using public transit
- April 7, 2020 - Good Food Box and Easter hamper pick up happens April 8, 9
- April 7, 2020 - Business as usual for Social Development staff
- April 7, 2020 - Volunteer income tax preparation will resume for previous clients
- April 6, 2020 - Large quantities of food arriving
- April 6, 2020 - Isolation Scavenger Hunt contest
- April 6, 2020 - Accessing language lessons online (video)
- April 5, 2020 - OKIB Hot Meals program ramping up (video)
- April 4, 2020 - Chief Louis provides an update on the Good Food Box program (video)
- April 3, 2020 - BC brings in more emergency supports for Indigenous students
- April 2, 2020 - Senk'lip News for April 2020
- April 2, 2020 - Accessing financial benefits and support during the COVID-19 outbreak
- April 1, 2020 - Indigenous Community Support funding allocation
- April 1, 2020 - Emergency Operations Centre update
- April 1, 2020 - OKIB's Pandemic Response Plan
- March 31, 2020 - Education Bulletin: A letter to parents and students
- March 30, 2020 - Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan supports
- March 29, 2020 - Chief Byron Louis discusses the OKIB Nurses Hotline 250-241-7595 (video)
- March 27, 2020 - Prayer for the community from Elder Virginia Gregoire (video)
- March 26, 2020 - Economic and income supports available to members during the pandemic
- March 26, 2020 - Rent collection during office closure
- March 26, 2020 - Online wellbriety meetings
- March 25, 2020 - OKIB Fire Department to cease medical responses immediately
- March 24, 2020 - Chief Louis' video thanking staff (video)
- March 23, 2020 - What to do if you have symptoms
- March 20, 2020 - Pandemic update
- March 19, 2020 - Chief Louis' Pandemic video #1 (video)
- March 18, 2020 - You can help reduce the impact on community
- March 17, 2020 - Symptom self-assessment tool and information on testing
- March 17, 2020 - Daycare, Cultural Immersion School, Language Nest all closed until further notice
- March 16, 2020 - OKIB offices closed for three weeks; staff will continue to provide services
- March 13, 2020 - Events suspended and a recommendation to not travel
- February 28, 2020 - Information for travellers
- February 27, 2020 - How to protect yourself and your family
Resources for reliable and current information
Follow these links for up-to-date information from reliable sources.
BC Centre for Disease Control:
- Questions and answers about COVID-19
- Information about COVID-19, how to protect yourself, your family and your community
- Self-isolation and testing
BC Ministry of Health:
First Nations Health Authority
- Coronavirus web portal
- Virtual Doctor of the Day program
- Process for a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a First Nations community
Government of Canada:
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC):