Ktunaxa Nation implemented door-to-door testing, which involves going door-to-door with a portable table, chairs, and PPE staff conducting swab testing. Modeled on an inner-city outreach program, this testing brought to a rural community is convenient for community members with the office closed and physical distancing guidelines in place.
Ktunaxa Nation worked with local college to obtain a First Aid vehicle in order to conduct mass immunizations/screening during the pandemic and also for future use on-site at Pow Wows and other gatherings.
Door-to-door testing provides a safe option for staff and clients to barrier-free testing option for the members of our communities. Building on the existing review of the guidelines for testing in health centres, we developed a strategy to offer the door-to-door testing in response to the pandemic. The four Nation communities are close to urban centres where testing sites are available, however our experience has been that the community members feel safe in accessing services from the community health nurse and health staff. The nurse can assess, provide the test if required based on symptoms, follow-up and provide information regarding isolation, and activate community supports to assist in the isolation requirements.
Using tools provided by Interior Health Authority (IHA)/FNHA, we assessed our ability to be ready in a short time. A nurse was tasked with setting up the program and it was about 1.5 weeks of organizing the program initiative. As the Nation is the hub for the four Ktunaxa communities, the medical supplies and equipment are centralized and all orders are for the collective through this process. The Medical Office Assistant does the weekly inventory with the community health nurses. FNHA has been filling our PPE orders and we have funding now to purchase PPE through community grants from local industry. IHA was a partner in providing the testing supplies, providing a Medical Health Officer for the most responsible person on the laboratory requisition. IHA shared the skill review information, procedure information, assessment sheets, and the terminal cleaning guidelines for healthcare settings. A binder was put together for each community health nurse with lab information. All nursing staff and support staff took the online Transportation of Dangerous Goods course.
The First Aid vehicle will be able to be used in a variety of health services and offers outreach capabilities to staff. The rain is a challenge with the door-to-door testing and we have adapted using a big golf umbrella.