COVID-19 Updates & Essential Services

Nipissing First Nation is taking a phased approach to restoring business operations with staff returning to work on a gradual basis to mitigate risks as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. Employees will return to work in a three-part wave, and dates may shift based on COVID-19 activity.  Our offices reopened to the first wave of employees on Tuesday, May 19th, with the second and third waves being planned for June 1st and 8th.

Please note that our offices will not be open to the public until further notice.  To ensure that NFN continues to provide a healthy and safe environment for our staff and visitors, preventive measures are being implemented using guidelines from public health authorities or agencies. These include physical distancing markers and shields in our reception areas, and visitor screening measures when we begin reopening some services to the public. All plans and dates are subject to change as the situation evolves.  Please check regularly to access the most up-to-date information.

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 – Allan 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.
Non-Insured Health Benefits Q&A Document


  • Carole Lafantaisie, Community Health Nurse – COVID-19/Pandemic Response 705-840-8830 (cell)  |
  • Kimberly Lalonde, Director of Health Services 705-753-3312 ext. 2223  |

Community Wellness Check-Ins

All on-reserve member household to receive a phone call checking on wellness & needs

Our Social Services team is leading this program with the support of staff from the Ojibway Women’s Lodge.  Staff will be calling every on-reserve member household to ask how you’re coping and to provide information about services available, such as the food security and community transportation programs.

NFN Food Security Program

For local NFN community members (on-reserve and in nearby communities)

On the week of May 31st, the NFN Food Security Program will start winding down and will only be available to seniors (aged 60+) on a weekly basis, and to Food Bank clients* every two weeks.

*If you are not a current Food Bank client and would like to see if you qualify, please call 705-498-0432 or read the Food Bank Policy to learn more about eligibility requirements. Miigwech to the dedicated staff who have worked hard to get this program up and running to support community members during this difficult time.  

For more information or to place an order:

Phone / Text: 705-498-0432 Email: Please click here to view updated information and order forms.

Food Bank Services

Effective May 6, 2020 and until further notice, access to the Food Bank is not available as staff are now working in collaboration with the Food Security Program.  To make an order, call or text 705-498-0432 or email

Other Social Services

COVID-19: Support for people - Learn what financial, mental health and other supports are available in Ontario during COVID-19.

Community Withdrawal Management program video series:

  • 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

Garbage & Bi-Weekly Recycling Collection:

Garbage is collected every week on Mondays, and Recycling is collected every two weeks on Tuesdays. To help protect the safety of workers, please put all garbage in bags before placing it in your bin.  NO LOOSE GARBAGE will be accepted.

Landfill Operations:

Effective Saturday, May 23rd, the Landfill has returned to regular hours of operation:
  • Open Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesday from 9am-5pm

Seniors' Lawn Care Program

Although we are unable to proceed with the Beautification Program as in previous years due to reduced programming and public health measures, the seniors' lawn care program will continue to be offered this summer.  The program will operate with modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff are contacting community members aged 65 years of age and up who have previously received lawn care services, or who are now eligible.  We will provide further updates about the program as soon as possible.  For more information, please contact:  Randy Penasse at (705) 498-3372.

Half-Load Restrictions Lifted - effective May 4, 2020

Restrictions remain in effect in other municipalities.  For more information, please contact:  Terry Lariviere at 705-471-7009 or

Other Services:

  • 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) |
While our offices remain closed to the public, our payment options are as follows:
  1. Sending a cheque in the mail (36 Semo Road, Garden Village ON  P2B 3K2)
  2. Providing us with a void cheque to do a Pre-Authorized payment
  3. Providing us with a credit card/Visa debit (including Expiry and 3 digits on the back)
  4. Interac e-Transfer – see details below  *NEW*
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)
We are set up with auto-deposit, therefore a password won't be needed in most cases, but if it requires a password, please use an obvious answer (i.e. what month is it?) or send the password answer to All payment information and questions should be directed to
Support for Families – The Ministry of Education is providing financial support to parents to assist with the costs of educational resources during school and child care closures as a result of Ontario’s declared emergency to stop the spread of COVID-19. Parents are eligible for a one-time per child payment of
    • $200 for children aged 0-12, or
    • $250 for children with special needs aged 0-21
The link to apply is: Please note:  All parents who are residents of Ontario are eligible for funding, including parents of First Nation children attending schools on reserve.  However, the selection options on the application form do not currently support an option for First Nation schools or child care.  This is being addressed by the ministry.   If your child’s school does not appear in the drop down menu, parents / guardians should select “My child is not enrolled in either public or private school” and then select the most relevant option from the drop down list.
COVID-19 Support for Post-Secondary Students - The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19. This benefit is for students who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI). From May to August 2020, the CESB provides a payment to eligible students of $1,250 for each 4-week period OR $2,000 for each 4-week period, if you have dependants or a disability.  Learn more about the benefit and how to apply here: The new Canada Student Service Grant, will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.

Updates & Notices

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.  Please refer to the guidelines below regarding the amount of time students should be working on school work:
  • Kindergarten-Grade 3: Five hours of work per student, per week with a focus on literacy and math
  • Grades 4-6:  Five hours of work per student, per week with a focus on literacy, math, science and social studies
  • Grades 7-8:  10 hours of work per student, per week with a focus on math, literacy, science and social studies
  • Grades 9-12:  Three hours of work per course, per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students with focus on achieving credits/completion/graduation.
The government made clear that no student will have their graduation compromised due to COVID-19, saying that the Ministry of Education continues to work with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to make sure that there are no barriers to accessing post secondary education.

Near North District School Board - Mental Health Check-Ins

The Mental Health team for the NNDSB are offering mental health check ins for students currently receiving services through their regular counsellors as well as mental health check ins for new or emerging needs, through social worker intake also available on our website.  Please see the link below and help us to share out with our students and families if possible. Other Resources:

School Board Websites


  • 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) |
  • Rental Housing Emergency Repairs/Maintenance 705-477-1586

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:

  • Status of Cases in our District - updated Monday to Friday at 3pm with the most up-to-date information on the status of cases in the North Bay Parry Sound District.  Please note:  NFN Health Services will receive phone and fax notification of COVID-19 cases that require our follow-up.
  • More COVID-19 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

Non-medical Masks

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada issued a statement yesterday reversing the Public Health Agency of Canada’s position on the use of  non-medical (handmade) masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Non-medical masks help to contain droplets of those wearing them and are meant to keep people without COVID-19 symptoms from unknowingly infecting others.   They are not intended for use by people with symptoms such as cough, fever or body aches. Always wash your hands before putting on a mask, after taking it off and wash the mask between each use or discard it and use a new one.  Turning the mask inside out to use again is not recommended.  Avoid touching your face including your eyes while wearing it. If it is absolutely necessary to leave home, adhere to a 6 feet (2m) physical distance from others as just wearing a non-medical mask will not stop COVID-19. The best prevention is to stay home, avoid non-essential trips and frequent hand washing for 20 seconds with soap and water.


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) opened 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, you must call 705-580-2186.  Hours of operation are 12pm - 4pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.


Symptoms of COVID-19 positive cases have ranged from mild to severe. Complications from COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure and, in some cases, death. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to someone with COVID-19. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
  • Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or greater)
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath
Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Sluggishness
  • Decrease appetite
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose or sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Hoarse voice
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • New smell or taste disorder(s)
  • Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
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)
Take a self-assessment test here:

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, using 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.  Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.
  As of Sunday, May 24th, anyone can get tested for COVID-19. You no longer need to make an appointment or have any symptoms. However, if you get tested on a voluntary basis, you will need to self-isolate until you get your results back, which could take between 7-10 days. Testing is available at the North Bay Regional Health Centre from 9am to 5pm weekdays, and at the West Nipissing General Hospital from 12pm - 4pm weekdays (except Wednesday).


  • 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 People & Businesses