Dr. Latisha Hewton-Backfat is a Family Practitioner at the Siksika Health & Wellness Centre. She is from Siksika Nation and today, shares about the reason for isolating when sick during this time of COVID-19.

When someone living or working in Siksika is sick, it is important that they isolate themselves at home in order to avoid spreading infection to others. This means trying to stay at least 2 metres away from others, if possible in their own room and using their own bathroom; wearing a mask to reduce the droplets they spread around them; coughing and sneezing into their elbow instead of their hands; and washing their hands regularly.

It is especially important to stay away from Elders and those with chronic conditions, like diabetes or heart or lung disease, because these individuals can become very sick if infected.

Some individuals who become sick may not be able to isolate safely at home, or their household may not have the space or resources for isolation. Siksika Health Services and Siksika Emergency Management are working to develop options for Nation members who want or need support to isolate outside their home. This might include vulnerable individuals who are at high-risk, or those who require extra medical supports, or those who wish to distance themselves from vulnerable family members in their home. More information on compassionate isolation options will be available soon.

If you are sick, remember to get tested by calling 403-734-3829. Testing is available for those who live or work in Siksika 7 days per week, by drive through or in your home. A community health nurse will follow-up to support every person who gets tested. If you have concerns about isolating at home, please let the community health nurse know when they call.