Leadership Co-ordination Committee continues to lobby as a unified front

MANITOULIN–The Manitoulin COVID-19 Leadership Co-ordination Committee met for its sixth session on Tuesday, June 9 and is pleased to report that community leaders from First Nations (including the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising Tribal Council) and municipalities participated in the committee’s discussions. 

During this meeting, leadership co-ordinated its efforts to ensure that medical facilities on the Island are prepared for any further COVID-19 cases. “The committee is cognizant of a potential second-wave of COVID-19 and is coordinating to ensure that essential items needed by all business, residents and medical centres are purchased more economically, in bulk,” a press release from the committee states. 

“We are advised that the four requested ventilators are still outstanding due to supplier shortages, however, the health centre has begun using UV (sanitization) technology, which allows for medical rooms and tools to be sanitized quickly to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and any other diseases,” the press release continues. “This UV technology is already used in hospitals across Ontario and will be an excellent addition to the Island during and after the pandemic.”

During the meeting, leadership discussed how in preparing for the pandemic, additional funds were used by medical centres, municipalities and First Nations, all around the Island. Leadership will collectively approach the federal and provincial governments to secure additional funding for these purposes. 

The press release went on to note that leadership is seeking collective, meaningful discussion with the provincial and federal government to address the issue of insurance providers denying coverage for COVID-19-related matters. “Some insurers have already announced exclusions for insurance coverage of hospitals and medical centres. Locally, our hospital has been advised that its coverage will not apply to claims that are allegedly connected to certain specifically identified contagious diseases (including diseases such as SARS, MERS and COVID-19), any widespread occurrence of certain specifically identified contagious diseases (including Ebola and Zika virus) or any widespread occurrence of any other disease that becomes an epidemic, a pandemic or a public welfare or health emergency declared by a Canadian governmental authority. The committee will raise this concerning matter with the Ministry of Health.” 

The next committee meeting will occur on Tuesday, June 16.