First Nation opens its own COVID-19 assessment centre
Chippewas of the Thames testing site saw its first visitors on Wednesday
Chippewas of the Thames First Nation opened its own COVID-19 assessment centre Wednesday to ensure people in the community and neighbouring First Nations can easily be tested.
The drive-thru site, also open to Oneida and Munsee-Deleware community members, is a drive-thru site located next to the local health centre.
It will run on an appointment-only basis and should help reduce the barriers of travelling to London to be swabbed.
"A lot of people in our community don't have access to transportation, so getting to London is difficult," said Kimberly Fisher, health director for the First Nation. "There's also fear and stigma."
Chippewas of the Thames, as well as neighbouring Oneida of the Thames closed its borders to visitors when the pandemic was declared. Other Ontario First Nations, such as Six Nations, did the same, setting up checkpoints to monitor traffic.
There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Chippewas of the Thames territory, Fisher said.
Despite that, she notes people in her community have been impacted by food shortages the past number of weeks.
"Bathroom tissue, you know, was a big issue and food prices went up as well. That caused a lot of major issues for our community."
Care packages are being distributed to ensure people have what they need.
Listen to Kimberly Fisher on Afternoon Drive with host Chris dela Torre