To help keep Blood Tribe members safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19, a second round of door-to-door testing was recently completed on the Blood Reserve.
Last week, over 850 tests for COVID-19 were performed across the Reserve through a collaborative team effort made up of health staff from Blood Tribe Community Health and First Nations Indigenous Health Services.
Michelle Liboiron with the First Nations Indigenous Health Services says, she felt the testing service went well and that the teams, including herself, felt very welcomed by the Tribe.
Blood Tribe Community Health Nurse Tara Shouting, says not only were the staff from both organizations happy with how the testing went, but also the Tribe members as well.
“We had a lot of people that were very grateful that we’ve come to their house,” says Shouting referring to the opportunity for members to get tested for COVID-19.
For the one week of testing, approximately seven to nine teams, consisting of three nurses, which included two testers and one community member, would travel each day going door-to-door, in order to get to as many homes as possible. The teams would sometimes work until 7 p.m. just to fulfill the daily work involved.
Another benefit, that came from the door-to-door testing for members was the opportunity to learn more about the virus.
“When we were swabbing, we were also educating,” says Shouting referring to the COVID-19 information package that was handed out to members.
The testing for COVID-19 was done either inside or outside the homes they visited, all depending on what the individuals felt more comfortable with, or if they had health/mobility issues. To ensure the safety for all parties involved, during the testing procedure, the health staff made sure to follow all necessary safety steps to minimize any exposure. This included maintaining physical distancing and using hand sanitizer, while wearing all the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
Blood Tribe Community Health says, at this time, they have no plans to do future door-to-door testing. However, they will reconsider offering the service again if needed down the road.
For any member, who wasn’t able to get tested or would like too but are in a position where transportation is a factor; Community Health says to contact them and they will make the arrangements to help provide the service.
The first round of door-to-door COVID-19 testing was done back in June.
By: Joey Sugai