COVID-19 Updates & Essential Services

OFFICE CLOSURE EXTENDED TO MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2021. Essential services will be maintained and staff are working remotely during this time.

Our offices remain closed to the public until further notice. Drop boxes are available between the doors of the following entrances: Administration Building main entrance, Finance department, Health Centre, Education Office and Natural Resources. Membership services (status cards and registrations) are available curbside. Please call 705-753-2922 to make an appointment in advance.

Please click here for more information about our extended office closure.

Please click here for Ontario’s news release about the provincewide stay-at-home order that is in effect as of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, April 7th for 4 weeks.

Emergency Contacts During Extended Closure:

  • Public Works: 705-840-3626
  • Right Path Counselling & Prevention Services: 705-753-1375 (Please leave a message. Voicemail is monitored daily.)
  • Food Bank Access Dates: 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month. Download the order form at For more information, call 705-753-6972 (leave a message) or send an email to

Important Updates & Contacts

*** Updated April 7, 2021 *** Our Health Services team has now successfully completed two mass immunization clinics providing 1st doses of the Moderna vaccine to everyone who had registered to receive one.  33 community members considered at highest risk (elders in congregate care settings and their caregivers/service providers) have received their 2nd doses.  Nearly 1,200 individuals have been vaccinated in NFN to date.   If you haven't yet received a 1st dose and would like to, you are encouraged to call the Health Centre at 705-753-3312 to register as soon as possible.  If you have registered and haven't yet received a call for a vaccine appointment, please contact the Health Centre to confirm your contact details.  Everyone who has received their 1st dose of the vaccine will be contacted for an appointment when we receive our vaccine allocation for 2nd doses.  You do not need to call to register again.


You must register in advance to receive a COVID-19 and will then be called for a vaccine appointment based on priority and the time at which you registered.   If you have already registered for a vaccine, someone from the Health Centre will call you to book an appointment when we receive our next shipment. You do not need to call again.  We will continue to process registrations until further notice.


  • You are over 16 years old; and
  • Live in Nipissing First Nation; or
  • Are a Nipissing First Nation member living off-reserve and can attend a vaccine clinic here; or
  • You are employed by Nipissing First Nation, or by a business located on NFN.
If you meet the criteria, and would like to get the COVID-19 Vaccine, please call to register as soon as possible.  You should not wait until the vaccine arrives. PLEASE NOTE: The North Bay Indigenous Hub will be hosting vaccine clinics for the urban Indigenous community of the Nipissing-Parry Sound Districts and can be reached at 705-995-0060 for more information.


  • Call the Lawrence Commanda Health Centre at 705-753-3312 to have your name put on the vaccine registration list.
  • If the automated message picks up, dial extension 2232 or 0 to bypass. If all phone lines are busy, voicemail will pick up and prompt you to leave your name and number.
  • You should expect to receive a follow-up call by a team member within 48 hours to complete the registration process.
  • Please only call once to register, and allow 48 hours for us to return your call.  If you call in on a weekend, this window may be extended to 72 hours due to the high volume of calls.

We will not be accepting walk-up/walk-in vaccine appointments. Everyone must be pre-registered.

  • Community Health Nurse
    • Carole Lafantaisie - 705-753-3312 ext. 2257 or 705-840-8830 (cell)  |
  • Right Path Essential Client Services
    • Phone-in appointments - 705-753-1375
    • Overdose Prevention Line 1-888-853-8542
Harm Reduction Services (needle exchange and naloxone kits) are available every THURSDAY afternoon from 1pm to 4:30pm at 316 Ted Commanda Drive, Garden Village during our extended office closure.  Knock at the door and someone will assist OR call Lisa at (705) 753-1375 and leave a message on the general voice mail and arrangements will be made to get your order to you.  You can also reach us by email:
The Suboxone Clinic is located at 58 Semo Road (Lawrence Commanda Health Centre) Monday to Friday from 8:30am - 4:30pm.  Referrals can still be made during our extended office closure, and self-referrals are welcomed.  Call 705-753-1375 or 705-753-3312.
  • Essential Client Transportation
    • Home and Community Care - 705-753-3312
      • 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 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 NIHB & COVID-19 Chiefs of Ontario Update


  • Carole Lafantaisie, Community Health Nurse – COVID-19/Pandemic Response 705-753-3312 ext. 2257 or 705-840-8830 (cell)  |
  • Kimberly Lalonde, Director of Health Services 705-753-3312 ext. 2223  |

Food Bank Services

Access days are the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.  Click HERE to visit the Food Bank page for the current month's order form. Deadline is Tuesday at 4:00pm prior to each access day. Food Bank clients are limited to ordering TWICE per month.  Click HERE for information about changes to Access Days that are effective March 2021. For more information, call 705-753-6972 (leave a message) or send an email to * If you are not a current Food Bank client and would like to see if you qualify, please call 705-753-6972 or read the Food Bank Policy to learn more about eligibility requirements.

Other Social Services

  • Ojibway Women’s Lodge 705-472-3321 (emergency), 705-472-0233 (crisis support) or 705-472-7828 (inquiries)
  • Ontario Works Ginger Penasse, Ontario Works Supervisor 705-753-2050 ext. 1324
  • Child Welfare (Emergency) Wendy Lariviere, Band Representative Program Manager 705-753-2691
  • 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

Garbage & Bi-Weekly Recycling Collection:

Garbage is collected every week on Mondays, and Recycling is collected every two weeks on Tuesdays. Please note that Monday, April 12th is Nipissing Day, which is a holiday for NFN staff.  Garbage collection is moved to Tuesday, April 13th and recycling will be picked up on Wednesday, April 14th.
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, January 16th, the Landfill has returned to normal hours of operation and is open  Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday from 9am to 5pm Please note that Monday, April 12th is Nipissing Day, which is a holiday for NFN staff and the Landfill will be closed. Download the NFN Waste App for Apple or Android and never miss garbage day again!  More details: Garbage & Recycling » Nipissing First Nation (

Other Services:

  • Building Maintenance & Disinfection
  • Road maintenance
  • Waste Management
  • Water & Wastewater Treatment


  • Steve Doucette, Public Works Manager 705-753-4167 ext. 4001 or 705-840-3626 (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-Transfers (EMT) from banking institutions that allow auto-deposits.  Please note that some banks (mainly credit unions such as Caisse Populaire) require a password for EMTs and we cannot accept these transfers - we can only accept auto-deposits. All EMTs should be sent 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)
All payment information and questions should be directed to

Student Bussing & School Reopening Plans

Other Helpful Information

Updates & Notices

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:


COVID-19: Support for people - Learn what financial, mental health and other supports are available in Ontario during COVID-19.
Resources from Giyak Moseng (Right Path) Counselling and Prevention Services: A reminder that the Right Path is maintaining Essential Client Services (phone-in appointments).  For more information, please call 705-753-1375 and leave a message, or send an email to Harm reduction supplies (needle exchange) can be picked up at the Right Path (316 Ted Commanda Drive) by calling 705-753-1375 to arrange for pick up.  You can also drop-in at the door and pick up supplies if calling is not an option.  If you live outside of Garden Village, supplies can be ordered and delivered by calling the office at 705-753-1375.
Other Resources:
  • 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
Please call our Administration Office at 705-753-2050 or contact one of the following individuals:
  • Chief Scott McLeod 705-498-7599 (cell)
  • Brendan Huston, Chief Executive Officer 705-498-0889 (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)
  • NFN Rental Housing Emergency Repairs/Maintenance 705-477-1586 (cell)
To contact staff by email, please visit our Contact Us page.

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.  Stay informed with updates from reputable sources, such as the health officials listed below.

Current Status of Cases

Public Health Information

Nipissing 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

Non-medical Masks

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. When you must 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 2-4 business days from when the specimen is received by the laboratory. You will only receive a call if you test positive for COVID-19.   After you have been tested for , you can access your test results online. 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)

Assessment Centres

West Nipissing Assessment Centre – by appointment only Open 10am – 4pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday Phone:  705-580-2186
North Bay Regional Health Centre – by appointment only 2 Options:  Assessment Centre at west end of NBRHC in parking lot #9 – for symptomatic patients or children 8 years & under, and a new drive-thru option for asymptomatic testing at west entrance. 705-474-8600 ext. 4110
Note about Assessment Centres – as of September 25th, new testing guidelines are in place and Ontarians are asked to go to Assessment Centres only if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to a confirmed case (as informed by the Public Health Unit or the COVID-19 Alert App), are a resident or worker in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak (as identified and informed by the Public Health Unit), or are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the MOH or MLTC).


Symptoms of COVID-19 positive cases have ranged from mild to severe.  The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to someone with COVID-19. Call 911 if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
  • severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, can only speak in single words)
  • severe chest pain (constant tightness or crushing sensation)
  • feeling confused or unsure of where you are
  • losing consciousness
The situation continues to change rapidly.  The most recent updates are available on the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit's website: View the current list of symptoms from the Ontario Ministry of Health (updated September 21, 2020), or visit the COVID-19 Stop the Spread website to learn more about what you need to do to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, how to self-isolate if you’ve been exposed and how to care for someone with coronavirus (COVID-19).. COVID-19 Online School Screening Tool (or click HERE to download the PDF version)

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:

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. Children attending school or child care centres should use the COVID-19 Online School Screening Tool (or click HERE to download the PDF version). 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.

Assessment Centres

West Nipissing Assessment Centre – by appointment only Open 10am – 4pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday Phone:  705-580-2186
North Bay Regional Health Centre – by appointment only 2 Options:  Assessment Centre at west end of NBRHC in parking lot #9 – for symptomatic patients or children 8 years & under, and a new drive-thru option for asymptomatic testing at west entrance. 705-474-8600 ext. 4110


  • 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