Kenora and Surrounding First Nations Get Added PPE Supplies

Minister Rickford Working at Kenora Airport - Photo credit to Tom Thomson
Minister Rickford Working at Kenora Airport - Photo credit to Tom Thomson

KENORA – Getting PPE supplies into Kenora took the extra set of hands of Premier Doug Ford’s ‘Minister of Everything’ Greg Rickford.

Minister Rickford returned home to Kenora late last week bringing critical supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) to support First Nations communities across the riding.

The PPE shipment, coordinated by the Lake of the Woods District Hospital and the Northern Supply Chain, included 21,500 surgical masks, 50 boxes of gloves, 50 boxes of disinfectant wipes, 5,000 protective gowns and 1,000 swab tests. MPP Rickford made the first delivery to Dalles First Nation this past Wednesday.

“I was very glad to help get these critical supplies delivered to local First Nations communities who are working diligently to protect their community members against the spread of COVID-19,” said MPP Rickford. “I’d like to thank the All Nations Health Partners Ontario Health Team and the Kenora District Services Board for coordinating these efforts and thank Chief Cobiness for her leadership and quick response to keep the Dalles community safe.”

Coordination is underway for more communities across the riding to receive shipments of PPE and MPP Rickford will be making those deliveries over the coming week.

“We really appreciate the protective gear we have received. To date, we haven’t had a lot of it because we know our partners in the hospitals and on the frontlines need it,” said Chief Lorraine Cobiness, Chief of Dalles First Nation. “We are humbled and blessed that we are able to help our people the way we have so far and are thankful for the support provided by Minister Rickford through our weekly calls. We are thankful to the many partners and organizations who have stepped up to help.”

The 1,000 test swabs included in the shipment went directly to support testing capacity at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital.

“PPE and testing capability is absolutely critical for the safety of our frontline workers and greater community so I appreciate MPP Rickford bringing this critical inventory to our community,” said Ray Raclette, CEO of Lake of the Woods District Hospital. “We are also appreciative of Greg Rickford’s support to have our testing done in Winnipeg as opposed to Toronto. This has allowed us to get test results back sometimes in less than 2 days instead of 7 days.”

Henry Wall, the CAO of the Kenora District Services Board and Co-Chair of the All Nation Health Partners also supported the shipment, “This inventory of PPE is a gamechanger to our community. We can now confidently tell our staff, our paramedics and those who work in shelters and long-term homes, who are battling this COVID-19 pandemic on the front lines – we got your back.”

Upon returning to Kenora, MPP Rickford was able to get a COVID-19 test from the Assessment Centre, a project of the All Nations Health Partners, which came back negative. The Assessment Centre is supporting testing capacity in the Kenora region in partnership with the Northwestern Health Unit, Sunset Country Family Health Team, Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig, Kenora District Services Board, KACL and Kenora Chiefs Advisory.

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