COVID-19 Information

Nipissing First Nation has closed all facilities and suspended all programs and events until April 20th to protect the health and well-being community members, staff, students and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council is meeting weekly and our Emergency Control Group (ECG) meets twice weekly via online conferencing to coordinate essential services and to manage our response.  We will adapt our plans as necessary and keep the community informed with accurate and timely updates.

Essential Services & Contacts

  • Community Health Nurse
    • Carole Lafantaisie - 705-840-8830 (cell)
  • Right Path Essential Client Services (phone-in appointments)
  • Essential Client Transportation
  • Home and Community Care
    • Driver – Allen Penasse, HCC Cell # (705) 499-5921
  • Medical Transportation:
    • Driver – Eleanor McLeod, MT Cell # (705) 477-5143
    • Until further notice, only one household (same address) is permitted in vehicle per trip.
  • Community Transportation Services
    • Driver – Jeff Stewart, Work Cell # (705) 840-8850
    • Services available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and are limited to one trip per week per household (same address), and limited to one (1) grocery store, one (1) pharmacy and one (1) bank per trip.
IMPORTANT NOTE:   Medical transportation will transport anyone with symptoms such as cough or fever with a surgical mask.  HCC and Community Transportation Services have to refuse anyone with symptoms and report to their supervisor as these are not medical trips. Please click HERE to read the notice about transportation services, including the safety measures that will be in place.


  • Carole Lafantaisie, Community Health Nurse – COVID-19/Pandemic Response 705-840-8830 (cell)  |
  • Kimberly Lalonde, Director of Health Services 705-753-3312 ext. 2223  |
  • Ojibway Women’s Lodge 705-472-3321 (emergency), 705-472-0233 (crisis support) or 705-472-7828 (inquiries)  |
  • NFN Food Bank (open Wednesday, April 15th from 9am – 4pm) Rebecca Commanda, Food Bank Coordinator 705-753-6972 (leave a message) |
  • Ontario Works Ginger Penasse, Ontario Works Supervisor 705-753-6999 ext. 1324 (leave a message)  |
  • Child Welfare (Emergency) Wendy Lariviere, Band Representative Program Manager 705-753-2691 (leave a message)  |
  • True Self Debwewendizwin 705-477-4043 for Administration inquiries or 705-494-0743 for General Information and for a call back from staff for Support Services or Peer Support Individual Staff can also be contacted by email: Program Manager Administrative Assistant Employment Facilitator Support Services Counsellor Peer Support Peer Support

Garbage & Bi-Weekly Recycling Collection:

  • Garbage only on Monday, April 6th
  • Garbage only on Tuesday April 14th  (Closed Easter Monday, April 13)
  • Recycling only Wednesday April 15th
To help protect the safety of workers, please put all garbage in bags before placing it in your bin.

Landfill Operations:

  • Open Sunday, April 5; Monday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Tuesday, April 7)
  • Open Sunday, April 12; (Closed Easter Monday April 13, 2020) Open Tuesday April 14. (Closed Saturday, April 11 and Closed Easter Monday April 13)

Other Services we are maintaining:

  • Building Maintenance & Disinfection
  • Road maintenance (as required)
  • Water & Wastewater Treatment


  • Patrick Stevens, Director of Community Infrastructure 705-498-2519 (cell) |
  • Terry Lariviere, Public Works Supervisor 705-471-7009 (cell) |
  • Seniors’ Apartments Cleaning and Maintenance
  • Rental Housing emergency maintenance/repairs, call or text:  705-477-1586
Classes at Nbisiing Secondary School will continue to be delivered online using Google Classroom. Visit the Nbisiing Secondary School website and Facebook page for updates and notices. The Ministry of Education is also offering new online learning portals Learn at Home and Apprendre à la maison – that will provide resources for families so students can continue their education while schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Resources are created by Ontario-certified educators, and high school content was designed with a focus on STEM courses. Click HERE to read the news release.

Online Learning Resources

On March 25th, Finance Minister Rod Phillips announced that parents will see one-time payments of $200 for each student, $250 for each child with special needs students who are out of school to pay for unexpected school-related expenses.  More details will be provided when confirmed.


Mental Health & the COVID-19 Pandemic:  This site is designed to provide information and suggestions about how best to cope in this difficult time. It is not intended to be a resource for people who require screening for COVID-19 or are experiencing a mental health crisis. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact 911 immediately or present to your nearest emergency department. For up-to-date information about Ontario’s COVID-19 response, please visit the provincial government's COVID-19 information page
Other Resources:

Webinar Series: Mental Wellness

We know that in times of uncertainty and high stress, like those caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic, our work and overall well-being can be impacted. Recognizing this, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division, and Mental Health Works, are inviting Ontarians to attend a special webinar series on mental wellness. There will be two sets of webinars geared to different audiences:
  1. Customers and clients:The webinars will cover a variety of topics that integrate best practices in workplace mental health with the importance of engaging in social distancing. How do we balance work and life when our workplace has become our homes?
  2. Healthcare professionals and workers:The webinars will explore topics relevant to both hospitals and clinics, as well as telehealth professionals and those who work to support patient outcomes, such as custodial staff, security professionals, and administrators.
A complete list of topics with registration links are provided below: Please share with colleagues and other organizations and anyone else that will benefit from these webinar series.
  1. Health Anxiety, 26 March, 2020 from 1400-1500 EST
  2. Stress and Anxiety, 02 April, 2020 from 1400-1500 EST
  3. Isolation and Loneliness, 06 April, 2020 from 1300-1400 EST
  4. Being Mindful at Work (from home!), 15 April, 2020 from 1300-1400 EST

  1. Mental Wellness for Healthcare Professionals 02 April, 2020 from 1800 1900 EST
  2. Stress Management in Healthcare Settings 06 April, 2020 from 1730-1830EST
  3. Mental Health for Telehealth 15 April, 2020 from 1800-1900 EST
  4. Mental Health for Support Staff: Taking Care of Yourself 17 April, 2020 from 1800-1900 EST
We now accept Interac e-Transfer (EMT).  All you need to do is send an EMT to and include a message. You MUST provide your email address and payment details using the Message option at the time of sending the EMT from your bank account (see below examples).  Otherwise, we may not be able to credit the appropriate account, or trace the payment back to you to clarify what it is for. It's encouraged to include your Customer Number (CUST#) in the message, this can be found on invoices/statements and receipts - usually beginning with a JP or B for lease payments. Messages options:
  1. Rent
  2. Loan
  3. Land Lease
  4. Natural Gas
  5. Daycare – indicate which daycare
  6. Hall Rental – date of event
  7. Workshop – must provide name and date of event
  8. Other – (Specify what payment is for – ex. Good food box payment)
Cheques can also be mailed to our Administration Office at 36 Semo Road, Garden Village ON P2B 3K2.
  • Chief Scott McLeod 705-498-7599 (cell) |
  • Dwayne Nashkawa, Chief Executive Officer 705-498-4268 (cell)  |
  • Melvin McLeod, Emergency Services Manager 705-493-6508 (cell) |
  • Freda Martel, Director of Administration 705-471-4172 (cell)  |
  • Gen Couchie, Communications Officer 705-498-2507 (cell) |

Chi-Miigwech to everyone for your patience and diligence during these extremely exceptional and uncommon circumstances.  Please pay close attention to public health information and stay safe and healthy.

We all play an important role to lessen the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing and self-isolation are critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.  If you have to leave your home to go to work or get some essential items keep a 6 foot or 2 metre distance between yourself and others.  Stay informed with information from reputable sources, such as the health officials listed below.

Current Status of Cases

Public Health Information

North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit News:

For status updates:

Everyone can take simple precautions to stay healthy and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid unnecessary outings and practice physical distancing if you must go out - this means putting distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community (this is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick)
  • Clean high touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach
  • Self-monitor and if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share your recent travel history with your health care provider
  • If you need to self-isolate, please follow the advice from your healthcare provider.
  • Know the Difference: Self-monitoring, self-isolation and isolation for COVID-19
  Take a few simple, practical steps to prepare yourself and your household.  Here are some tips to help you and your family stay healthy.  For more information, visit


Individuals are encouraged to call their health care provider or the Health Unit if they believe they may have or been exposed to COVID-19.  An assessment for COVID-19 will be done by a primary health care provider, they will then decide if a test for COVID-19 is required. Considerations include an individual with a fever – over 38 degrees Celsius – and/or a cough and any of the following exposures within 14 days prior to onset of illness: 
  • Travelled outside of Canada or 
  • Was in close contact with a confirmed or possible case of COVID-19 (determined by a health care professional) or 
  • Was in close contact with a person who has been to an impacted area and has breathing issues (acute respiratory illness) 
Once a specimen is taken, it is transported to one of four labs in the province for testing.  The current turnaround time for test results, is approximately 4 – 6 business days from when the specimen is received by the laboratory. You will receive a call whether the results are positive or negative.  There is no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. People with mild symptoms may be asked to self-isolate and care for themselves at home.

VIDEO:  COVID-19: Testing & Care in First Nations Communities(Indigenous Services Canada)

COVID-19 Assessment Centre in West Nipissing

On March 30, 2020, the West Nipissing General Hospital (WNGH) will open a COVID-19 Assessment Centre in the Marcel Noel Hall at 219 O’Hara Street in Sturgeon Falls.  For health and safety reasons, the COVID-19 Assessment Centre is by appointment only, and “walk ins” are prohibited.  To make an appointment, patients must call the Public Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 and meet the criteria. Read the announcement for more information.


Symptoms of COVID-19 positive cases have ranged from mild to severe illness and death. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to someone with COVID-19.
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
If you show mild symptoms and have called the Health Unit or your health care provider you should:
  • Stay at home
  • Self-isolate (limit your contact with other people)
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Get rest and sleep as much as possible
  • Try a humidifier or a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough
If you develop severe symptoms call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. Severe symptoms include:
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face
Make sure you mention your travel history and symptoms.

For more information:

  • Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1-866-797-0000
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5229
  • Your primary health care provider (i.e. Family Doctor)

Please do not visit an assessment centre unless you have been referred by a healthcare professional. Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment tool can help you determine if you need to seek further care. You can also visit Dial-a-Doc to submit an online request and get a callback from a Doctor within 24 hours.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, contact:

  • Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1-866-797-0000
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5229
  • Your primary health care provider (i.e. Family Doctor)
  • If you are having difficulty breathing or are experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately. Advise them of your symptoms and travel history.

Please do not visit an assessment centre unless you have been referred by a healthcare professional. Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.


  • Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1-866-797-0000
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5229
  • Your primary health care provider (i.e. Family Doctor)

Carole Lafantaisie, Community Health Nurse
705-840-8830 (cell)  |

Kimberly Lalonde, Director of Health Services
705-753-3312 ext. 2223 |

Support for Businesses & Individuals