Dear Cheam Members,
In an effort to provide clear communications during this virus pandemic that is sweeping through our country of Canada, and globally around the world; Cheam Administration wanted to provide a few updates on the pandemic and how we are responding to the needs of our Membership.
It is truly an uncertain time. With that being said, Cheam Leadership has stepped up to provide the following for membership: emergency funds distribution (taking place today – Friday, Mar. 27/20), preventive cleaning kits on a 3-day door-to-door distribution, and a soon to be in place food supply plan. More information is to follow.
It has become clear that Canada and those in BC and the Fraser Valley can expect to be dealing with the effects of this pandemic for months to come.
Over the last few weeks under the direction of the Executive Director, advised by FNHA and our pandemic planning team; we had to be very responsive as Cheam First Nation has a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our Membership and staff during a pandemic.
Important Reminders to Members
- Please stay home and limit any outings to shopping and other necessary needs.
- Practice physical and social distancing. This means not holding public or family gatherings and staying approximately 6 feet away from others.
- Be mindful of where your children are playing – the playground is not recommended due to possible virus contamination.
- Careful hand washing – approximately 30 seconds with soap and water.
- Continue to disinfect and clean your home, door handles, etc. often.
- Please be aware of signs posted in the community and on residential doors asking visitors to stay away or keep a distance.
- Check-in with your family and help each other with the required needs.
Here are some of the Changes Identified
Effective March 23, 2020, the Band Office has been closed to the public. Essential services such as Doctor/Nurse appointments, Food and Emergency Services Coordination, Income Assistance Cheque runs, will be handled remotely and partly in the Administration wing with no access to the general public. Finance operations will also continue via remote work from home and limited days in the Administrative Wing of the office. Cheam First Nation will continue to operate from the Health Wing at the Band Office, partly from home and in the office with reduced hours.
As we will have no staff manning reception desks, all health and social-related essential services will be operated from the Health Wing – side door of the band Office Building.
Doctor, Nurse and Homecare Services
- Seabird Island Health is open for appointments Monday through Friday at any time. Please call Seabird Health at 604-796-2165 to book an appointment.
- The Doctors office in Cheam will be open by appointment only on Thursdays, from 8:30 am to 11:00 am.Dr. Fox will be providing his services via phone appointments. He will see patients in person if its something that needs to be seen by the Doctor.Anyone needing to physically see Dr. Fox will undergo a COVID screening prior to seeing the doctor. Patients who are NOT COVID symptomatic will be seen by the Doctor. All patients that would like to be seen by the doctor need to be truthful with their medical history or if they have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.To book an appointment – call Seabird Health at 604-796-2165. Your appointment will be booked via telephone.
- Seabird Nursing will be accessible to patients Monday through Friday:
Seabird Nursing, Direct Phone Line: 604-794-7171
Lead LPN/CHR – Marlana Peters can be contacted at 604-798-3584 between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
- Cheam Home Care are limiting in-home services, but will be completing check-ins with clients via phone. Home care visits will be provided if necessary or emergency, but ultimately done via phone call check-ins.
Social Development – Income Assistance
Eligible Clients will still receive supports from the Income Assistance program. The next cheque date will be April 22, 2020.
We will also be providing an emergency supplement to those eligible to apply and meet the requirements. This will be assessed case by case. Who is eligible to apply for this supplement? A family unit that is eligible for income assistance, disability assistance, medical services only or hardship assistance and for children in home of a relative if the following apply:
- the family unit or a person in the family unit requires the supplement to meet an unexpected expense or obtain an item unexpectedly needed due to the identified emergency/disaster (e.g. moving or storage costs due to evacuation notice);
- the family unit or person in the family is unable to meet the expense or obtain the item because resources are not available to the family unit due to the identified emergency/disaster, and
- failure to meet the expense or obtain the item will result in imminent financial loss or danger to the physical health of any person in the family unit due to the identified emergency/disaster.
To contact Martha Fredette, call Tuesday – Thursday from 10-2 daily as she will be in the office during those times. You can alternatively contact her via email or you can leave a message with your full contact info, and she will return your call Monday – Friday between 8:30 am-4:30 pm.
Emergency Food Services for Vulnerable People
- There will be a modified food services program out of the Health wing similar to the carry out lunch people have been recently accustomed to receiving.
- Dates for lunches will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Service will be provided outside the side door of the Health wing. There will be garbage bins located outside by the picnic table. Please use garbage bins for your waste. Failure to do so may jeopardize the program delivery.
- There will not be a Pancake breakfast or a modified breakfast program. Instead, there will be a bagged lunch.
- Meals on Wheels clients will still receive a delivered meal. If you happen to be unable to receive your meal, or you have fallen too sick to eat the meal; then either call one of the Health Staff or Martha Fredette to inform them as soon as possible.
- Finance staff will be working both remotely and on designated days within the office to stay on top of all Financial processing needs.
- Accounts Receivables and Elder Bills – Debbie Ormandy is asking any Elders that submit utility bills to take a photo using their phones of the actual bill and email them or text the photo to 604-798-6170.
Cheam Garbage Collection
- Due to the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19, Public Works has decided to postpone community clean-up bins. Typically, we do not initiate this program until the end of April and we’ve had members asking when the bins will be placed. With the unknown lifespan of the virus on different materials, the bins will put the community at risk of spreading the virus. Therefore, the dates for Cheam Community Clean-Up Bins will be determined at a later date.
- White Disposal will continue to do their regular weekly garbage pickup, as they are considered an essential service. Please note that White Disposal will NOT do garbage collections if our bins are overflowing.
- Therefore, we are asking members to NOT overload the bins as this could impact our garbage collection services. Please assist us in keeping our community grounds clean.
Cheam Newsletter Distribution
- To minimize the risk of spreading the virus, we will no longer distribute the weekly newsletter door-to-door.
- If you would like a copy emailed to you – please email Daphne Edwards to get your email address added to our email distribution list.
Cheam Staff Working Remotely from Home
Many of our staff have been able to continue with their regular duties as we have set-up remote access from home for them to continue working. Some of their projects and/or programs may be on hold due to the lack of open businesses and organizations within the Fraser Valley.
Based on your needs, please contact the staff during regular working hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, unless of extreme emergency).
Other Emergency Services Contact Info:
- 911 – Emergencies Only (not for COVID-19 concerns)
- Agassiz RCMP: 604-796-2211 (non-emergency line)
- Chilliwack RCMP: 604-792-4611 (non-emergency line)
- Seabird Island Health: 604-796-2165
- Chilliwack Hospital: 604-795-4141
- Agassiz Food Bank: 604-796-2585
- Chilliwack Food Bank: 604-792-0001
- Flood/Water/Septic: Chris McIntosh (Cheam Public Works Supervisor), 604-316-5977