Kenora’s Lake of the Woods Livin’ Photo Competition

Summer 2020 Photo Competition

Kenora residents and visitors are invited to submit photographs to show local pride during your ‘Kenoracation’ and collect photos for the creation of the new City of Kenora website and tourism promotion.

Participants are being asked to submit images that capture the variety of activities and images in Kenora including but not limited to: action and activity shots, wildlife, and landscapes. Images of all four seasons are appreciated. All photos must be original photos of the participant. All photos submitted must be taken within City of Kenora or surrounding area. Participants are able to submit as many photographs as they wish. All photographs submitted must be accompanied with participant’s name, phone number and email address.

Kenora understands that permanent and seasonal residents alike love all that Kenora, Lake of the Woods and our surrounding area have to offer. We are looking for you to share your greatest adventure, your favourite beach day, the trophy worthy fish; whatever you think embodies your favourite Kenora moments and memories. Bonus is your photo could be used on the City of Kenora website and win you a gift card to one of our local shops or restaurants.

The photo submission deadline: August 31st, 2020. Successful competition winners will be notified by September 14th, 2020.

Photographs to be submitted in their original size via e-mail to

All selected photographs for this project will be awarded a $50 gift card to your favourite local shop or eatery. Selected photos will become the property of the City of Kenora and the Lake of the Woods Development Commission and can be used in tourism and other promotions.

All photos with individuals must be accompanied by a letter of consent by the individual in the photo (or their legal guardian if they are a minor).

Individuals will be required to sign an agreement with the City of Kenora to provide approval to use the photo in the means outlined in this proposal, including the City of Kenora website and other promotions.

For further information or questions, please contact:
Tourism Kenora
(807) 467-4637

Important Update from the All Nations Hospital Project (ANH) Steering Committee June 30, 2020

All Nations Hospital Project Steering Committee Media Release

Three sites have been shortlisted as potential locations for the new All Nations hospital, one of which is the current site as required by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. These sites will be scored using a detailed evaluation tool which considers size, serviceability, access, constructability, availability, cost, natural and land based healing attributes.

The public is invited to weigh-in on site priorities via virtual public engagement sessions. The following events are currently scheduled:

July 6th 12:00 noon: Summer Residents Session (virtual)
July 7th 12:00 noon: Kenora Business Community Session (virtual)
July 7th 7:00 pm: Summer Residents Session (virtual)
July 10th 12:00 noon: Kenora Public Session (virtual)
July 14th 10:00 am: Summer Residents Session (virtual)
July 15th 12:00 noon: CMHA Session (virtual)
July 15th 7:00 pm: Kenora Public Session (virtual)
July 21st 12:00 noon: Minaki Public Session (virtual)
July 23rd 8:00 am: Kenora Public Session (virtual)
July 28th 12:00 noon: Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls Public Session (virtual)

These engagement events will include a detailed project update.

The Lake of the Woods District Hospital Foundation will be engaging summer residents to participate in the site selection exchange.

There are a number of summer events planned for surrounding First Nation communities, which will enable engagement of these residents. Engagement opportunities will occur, where possible, in conjunction with KCA hosted BBQ’s in communities, and these are currently being scheduled.

For regular event updates, please follow the Lake of the Woods District Hospital on Facebook and check the All Nations Hospital Project website regularly:

For those wishing to provide ideas on site selection, a new online survey focusing solely on site considerations is available.

COVID-19 significantly changed our ability to offer in-person engagement and the Steering Committee would like to acknowledge the work of the team for their creativity and commitment to collecting public feedback through virtual processes. For more information on summer engagement or if you would like to schedule a virtual engagement session with your community or interest group, please contact one of the Community Project Planners (CPPs) below:

Charlene Kissick
Community Project Planner
P: (807) 464-1941

Kathy Kishiqueb
Community Project Planner
P: (807) 276-8956

For further information please contact:
Wendy Peterson
Chair, ANH Steering Committee

Chief Marilyn Sinclair
Vice-Chair, ANH Steering Committee

ANHP Media Release June 30 2020

New Canoe Routes Published for Lake of the Woods Region

City of Kenora Media Release

In partnership with Destination Northern Ontario, the City of Kenora and the Township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls are excited to launch four new canoe route publications, in addition to the two canoe routes already mapped out. The canoe routes focus on experiencing our shared body of water, Lake of the Woods, as well as many other interesting lakes and rivers in and around our communities.

Canoe routes are a top request at Visitor Centers in both communities. These publications will provide resources and support for all paddlers, and encourage new paddlers to explore our lakes and rivers. To help paddlers plan an exciting and safe adventure, the publications show the access points, possible campsites, difficulty level, and the estimated duration of each route. Purchasing detailed maps and, if necessary, guiding services are recommended to complement these guidelines when planning a canoe trip.

“We were pleased to partner with the City of Kenora and Destination Northern Ontario on this project. We recognize the importance of expanding opportunities for visitors to the region. With Lake of the Woods as a shared Tourism asset for both communities, it is great to work collaboratively to develop opportunities for visitors to explore it further,” says Norbert Dufresne, Mayor of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls.

“We receive numerous requests at the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre for canoe routes. So we were excited at the opportunity to partner with Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls and Destination Northern Ontario to develop 4 new routes to accompany the 2 current routes that will help us promote Kenora and the Lake of the Woods region,” says Josh Nelson, Tourism and Recreation Division Lead for the City of Kenora.

“Nature and adventure tourism products, including paddling experiences, are key elements in the overall offerings that Northern Ontario can provide for its visitors. With an ever-growing importance on the domestic market, we know that soft outdoor experiences are great products for Ontarians and Manitobans alike. We will continue our work on product development in the paddling sector and in Northwestern Ontario to support the dynamic tourism industry in the region,” says Marty Kalagain, President of Destination Northern Ontario.

Paddlers have the opportunity to choose a canoe trip on routes through Dogtooth Lake, Ena Lake, Kakagi Lake, Kenora to Minaki, Lake of the Woods and Stewart Lake.

Find all six canoe route publications on sports and

Print copies are available at the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre in Kenora and Northern Ontario Sport Fishing Centre in Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls.

We are also sharing with paddle organizations in Manitoba and across Northwestern Ontario.

Summer Company Businesses Launched in the Kenora Rainy-River District!

Northwest Business Centre Media Release

Securing a summer job has taken on a whole new meaning for two students in the Kenora Rainy-River District as they will each be starting and running their own business as participants in the government of Ontario’s Summer Company program, offered through the Northwest Business Centre. These two entrepreneurs – Cassandra Jolicoeur and Will Richardson – have turned their ideas and passions into businesses that they have spent the last two months planning.

Kenora’s Will Richardson is operating Wheelie Good Tune-Ups and offers bike tune-ups and tire repairs, starting at $15. Will is also offering contactless drop-off and pick up through a nifty bike stand! You can phone, text (807-464-6597) or send a Facebook message for information and to book a service (!

Cassandra Jolicoeur is a Dryden local who is busy with residential and commercial lawn care needs! Her business is called Jolicoeur Lawn Care and you can message Cassandra through her Facebook business page to set up a free consultation appointment – but better be quick, her summer schedule is filling up fast! Call 807-216-8512 or check out her Facebook page at

The Northwest Business Centre provides business counselling and training to all of our Summer Company participants, and we have paired each student with a mentor in the community for additional support and business advice.

Summer Company is a program of the Government of Ontario that helps young people between the ages of 15 and 29 years old start and run their own summer business by providing funding, advice, and services. Students accepted into the program receive an award of up to $3,000, hands-on coaching and mentoring from business leaders in their community. For more information contact the Northwest Business Centre or review the guidelines on the Summer Company website.

For further information on this program and/or the 2020 Summer Company Entrepreneurs contact:
Allyson Pele
Manager, Northwest Business Centre
Phone: 807-456-3682


Awesome Adventures Day Camp Registration Opens on June 22

Awesome Adventures Summer Day Camp

Awesome Adventures Summer Day Camp will begin July 6th. Registration will open up Monday, June 22nd at 8:30 am. We are only taking phone registrations as we had to modify our day camp due to COVID 19.

We only have 8 spots per week for ages 7 – 11 years old.

You must register for the full week and we will only be taking one week registrations per participant. If space available we will open it up for other weeks.

Children will be screened daily and social distancing will be enforced. We want to make sure the children and our staff are safe this summer.

For more information please contact Casey Pyykka, Community Program Liaison at 467-2987 or

We cannot wait to see all the smiling faces back this summer!

Important Update from the All Nations Hospital (ANH) Steering Committee

All Nations Hospital Steering Committee Media Release

Due to COVID-19 the ANH Steering Committee took a meeting break to allow the hospital to focus on pandemic planning. On May 27, 2020, the ANH Steering Committee met virtually, and will continue to do so in the coming months to ensure the All Nations Hospital Project planning remains on task and to ensure the project milestones are met.

We are excited to announce that the Community Project Planners (CPPs) are working hard to resume virtual engagement sessions. The engagement on services and programs has concluded, and the future focus will be on the site selection for the new hospital. If you would like to schedule a virtual engagement session with your community or interest group, please contact one of the Community Project Planners (CPPs) below:

Charlene Kissick
Community Project Planner
(807) 464-1941 

Kathy Kishiqueb
Community Project Planner
(807) 276-8956

Be assured that your feedback is being heard. All information from sessions, forums, and surveys is being compiled. In the summer months we will be communicating back to you about the general themes identified throughout the consultations.

We would like to continue to encourage everyone to visit the All Nations Hospital Project website where you will find a wealth of information, including upcoming public events, media releases, presentations, and more. Please visit us at: A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is now available and will help answer the key questions that you, the public, continue to bring forward.

It is important to note that alongside community consultations are staff consultations. A draft Clinical Services Plan is in the process of being validated by the Clinical Planning Teams, which are well represented by the Lake of the Woods District Hospital (LWDH), Kenora Chiefs Advisory (KCA), professional staff, partner organizations, and patient and family advisors.

For further information please contact:

Wendy Peterson
Chair, ANH Steering Committee

Chief Marilyn Sinclair
Vice Chair, ANH Steering Committee

ANH Steering Committee Media Release June 4 2020

Science North Introduces Virtual Camp Program “Summer Science At Home” and Makes Changes to Summer Camps

Science North Media Release

The health and safety of the children who registered for Summer Science Camp is Science North’s top priority. Responding to the Ontario Government’s recent announcement about summer camps, Science North has made some adjustments to their programming for children this summer.

The Government’s guidelines have shaped Science North’s decision to cancel Summer Science Camps for the weeks of June 29, July 6, and July 13 in all communities. Additionally, at this time camps will be cancelled for all weeks in the following communities:

Atikokan, Barrie, Blind River, Bracebridge, Cochrane, Elliot Lake, Espanola, Fort Frances, Hearst, Huntsville, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Kirkland Lake, Little Current, Marathon, Midland, Nipigon, Orillia, Parry Sound, Pembroke, Petawawa, Red Lake, Temiskaming Shores, Timmins, Wawa.

There are still some decisions to be made about camps in Sudbury, Thunder Bay, North Bay, Kenora, Dryden, Sioux Lookout, and Sault Ste. Marie for the weeks of July 20 through August 31. An update regarding the remainder of the summer will be announced once further provincial and health recommendations and requirements are in place.

For those who have already registered for this summer, Science North will be contacting families directly to receive full refunds. Beginning the week of June 1, Science North will contact individuals on a weekly basis based on the week they were registered for camps to discuss refund options.

Science North appreciates the understanding and patience of those who have registered.

As a result of the cancellation of Summer Science Camps, Science North will offer Summer Science at Home, a new online science program for children this summer.
The facilitated activity-based hour held on Zoom takes summer camp in a whole new direction. From building hovercrafts and catapults to creating secret codes with invisible ink, children will get a chance to experiment, build and tinker with stuff found around the house. After the live session is over, Science North will provide families with extra activities and media so children can continue to engage with science in the world around them.

Summer Science at Home will be available for children ages 7-12 and delivered in English and French. The live sessions will be held for a one-hour time slot from Monday to Friday and will beginning the week of July 6.

Pricing ranges from $80 to $104 depending on family size, length of week and if you are a member or not.

Registration for Summer Science at Home begins Monday, June 1 at 12:00 pm.

Visit for full details, FAQs and to register.

For more information, please contact:
Lara Fielding
Senior Manager, Marketing
Science North and Dynamic Earth



A May long weekend like no other… Letter to LOWDSA Members from LOWDSA President and Kenora Mayor Reynard

Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association Media Release

Only days away from it and we’re anticipating a May long weekend like no other we’ve ever seen. No sooner are cottages closed up for the season in the fall than we begin looking forward to the May long weekend and another great summer at the lake. The season traditionally opens without fail on that weekend although it rarely looks or feels quite the same from year to year. Lake levels, water temperature, ice-out timing, road construction, winter damage (or lack of) thanks to animal visitors, fire hazards – so many variables that define season opening. Just the same, whatever the differences from previous years, the season always kicks off in a wonderfully, familiar way and we’re back at the lake and loving it! To say that this year will be different would be, to put it mildly, a huge understatement.

Making the most of lake time this season is proving to be challenging as we try to navigate the many COVID-19 recommendations and restrictions issued by all levels of government and various health authorities across the country. As we all know, they are currently advising that we stay at home and avoid non-essential travel and, of most relevance to lake-time, that seasonal residents everywhere stay safe at home to avoid stresses on rural health care facilities, essential services and supply chains. No question …. it’s the last thing we want to hear with that long weekend teasing us just around the corner. It’s also the absolutely last thing Kenora area businesses want to see. Your lake communities are itching to welcome you back as soon as possible, but right now the health infrastructure and local supply chains simply cannot provide the support and services you are accustomed to when you return home to the lake.

We recognize that there are instances where isolating at the lake makes sense and may even be necessary. There are also reasons why you may need to travel to your lake property, to check on ice damage after high water levels at freeze-up or perhaps to satisfy insurance requirements. The decision on whether or not to head your cottage under the present circumstances is a personal one, will be made by everyone for their own reasons and should be respected as such. LOWDSA members, both seasonal and year-round residents have collectively made real and lasting contributions to our community as evidenced when we look at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, the Museum and most recently the Muse, to name just a few. The economic impact of LOWDSA members measures in the tens of millions annually and is not taken for granted. The majority of Kenora residents appreciate the dollars infused into the local economy by summer residents and the jobs that are a direct outcome of that infusion. So, if you are travelling to your cottage anytime soon, it is with great reluctance that the City of Kenora asks you to resist the temptation or need to visit local businesses – just for the time being until the risk diminishes and it’s safe to do so. All those restaurants and stores you’ve supported so well over the years cannot wait to welcome you back when it’s safe for all concerned.

When that big ‘welcome back’ day will be is beyond predicting and will likely remain so for awhile yet. In the meantime, we’ll all continue to wait on continuing changes in emergency orders for Ontario, Manitoba and across other provincial and international borders to set the stage for what is recommended and what is permitted or restricted. In the meantime, we thank you for being mindful of community safety and respectful of best practices for moving about your community at home and at the lake.

Hardy Bock, LOWDSA President & Mayor Dan Reynard, City of Kenora

Comments from municipalities and businesses

Kenora Harbourtown BIZ recognizes the importance of our summer residents and the value they bring to our community. Our seasonal residents contribute millions of dollars annually to our community by supporting our local shops, services and restaurants. They are a part of our Kenora family and we look forward to welcoming them as soon as our community gets back to some semblance of ’normal’. Stay safe everyone and we will see you soon!” Rob Dokuchie – Chair, Kenora Harbourtown Business Improvement Zone (BIZ)

On behalf of the Kenora and District Chamber of Commerce I would like to invite and promote our continued relationship with our neighbours from Manitoba and  surrounding area . In this pandemic it is a time when we need to restrain from common activities at the lake and areas of enjoyment as per government policy at this time. When better times are to be enjoyed, all will be welcomed with open arms and our buisnesses so look forward to be able to serve our valued summer residents and guests. Look forward to seeing you soon. Andy Scribilo – President, Kenora & District Chamber of Commerce

Seasonal residents and visitors make up an important part of our community. The Township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls is excited to welcome them back, as soon as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed and it is safe to do so. Mayor Norbert Dufresne, Township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls

We appreciate all that our resident cottage owners and tourist bring to our communities, however during these trying times we ask you to exercise precaution and follow the guidelines set forth by our provincial and federal counterparts to keep our communities safe and COVID Free. Mayor Colleen Fadden, Lake of the Woods Township

Contact: Diane Schwartz-Williams, Executive Director, LOWDSA 807-543-4287
Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association PO Box 1160 Kenora, Ontario, Canada P9N 3X7

Media Notice – Letter from LOWDSA President and Kenora Mayor to summer residents

Fire Fatalities Across the Province Are Up Since Last Year

Keep Fire Safety Top of Mind

Since January 1, fire fatalities across Ontario increased by 65% compared to the same time last year, with 17 Ontarians dying in fires in March alone. City of Kenora Fire Chief Todd Skene wants to remind everyone how important it is to keep fire safety top of mind.

“I urge you to be vigilant in preventing fires in your home, especially now with so many people at home practicing physical distancing because of COVID-19,” said Fire Chief Skene. “It’s just as important that you test your smoke alarms and practice your home fire escape plan.”

Between January 1 and May 4, 2019, there were 31 fire fatalities in Ontario. Over that same period this year, there have been 51 fire fatalities.

“Only you can make sure these types of tragedies do not happen in Kenora,” continued Fire Chief Skene. “You need to do everything you can to prevent a fire in your home.” There are simple things that you can do to prevent a fire from happening in your home and ensure that everyone knows what to do if a fire starts.

How to protect yourself and your loved ones

Reduce fire risks in your home:
• Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. Unattended cooking is a leading cause of home fires.
• Keep a close eye on anyone drinking alcohol and attempting to cook or smoke.
• Encourage smokers to smoke outside the home and outside the garage. Thoroughly extinguish all smoking materials in water or sand.
• Always blow out candles before leaving the room.
• Avoid overloading electrical outlets. Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection. Avoid running electrical cords under rugs, which can damage the cords and cause a fire.
• Ensure items that can burn are at least one metre away from space heaters.
• Do not attempt to sterilize or decontaminate face masks for re-use by heating them in a microwave oven. Various fabric or metal components can overheat or create sparks and cause a fire if heated in a microwave.

Make sure your alarms work:
• Test smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Only working smoke alarms can give you the early warning you need to safely escape a fire in your home.

Practice your home fire escape plan:
• Ensure everyone knows two ways out of each room, if possible.
• All exits must be unobstructed and easy to use.
• Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults and anyone who needs assistance to escape.
• Choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for.
• Call the fire department from outside the home, from a cell phone or a neighbour’s home.
• Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.
• If you live in an apartment or high-rise building talk to the building superintendent to learn about the emergency procedures outlined in the building’s fire safety plan.

For more information or assistance with fire safety, please contact Fire Station One at 807-467-2090.

Lake of the Woods District Hospital (LWDH) Requests Summer Residents to Respect Stay at Home Practices

Lake of the Woods District Hospital Media Release

As we approach the Easter weekend, we recognize that we are doing so in a very different way in our lives.

From the hospital’s perspective, we will be continuing our planning for what will come our way over the next few weeks. It is fair to say we are nervous since we do not know what we will face. However, we do have an excellent and talented team of health care workers, professional staff, and support staff that will do our utmost to serve our community. We will be as ready as we can be.

For many of us, this will be a weekend of reflection, and less so of family gatherings, with all of the concerns about COVID-19 and the spread from person-to-person. As we take on the COVID-19 pandemic and witness how it is impacting different countries, cities, and health systems around the world, important lessons are being learned. Since COVID-19 is a new virus, humans do not have immunity against it and the virus can easily spread from person-to-person. The countries and cities that have implemented social distancing and stay at home strategies are doing the best in fighting this pandemic. Behavioural change is proving to be our best weapon as a society in our fight against COVID-19 infection spread. In Northwestern Ontario this has been embraced across our communities and it is our belief that it will reduce the level of illness in our communities and the care needs we would otherwise have faced in our health system.

LWDH would like to thank Minister Greg Rickford, Mayor Dan Reynard, and Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh for their leadership, and we support them on their public positions taken over the importance of summer residents exercising their ability to help us by respecting our social distancing and stay at home practices so that we can reduce the burden of illness and the demand on the healthcare system. We are all in this together, and it is important that we all do our part. Stay safe – stay home.

LWDH Public Media Release re COVID 19 Easter Weekend Travel April 9 2020

COVID-19 Task Forces Mobilizing in the Kenora District

Kenora District Services Board and Kenora Chiefs Advisory Media Release

All Nations Health Partners

The All Nations Health Partners is a diverse coalition of municipal, Indigenous and health system leaders who have combined forces to support and prepare our communities for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part of our COVID-19 pandemic plan includes the development of a COVID-19 Emergency Centre that will serve as a temporary off-site support facility for the vulnerable population. This includes:

• People who are showing COVID-19 symptoms and are waiting for testing;
• People waiting for COVID-19 test results; and,
• People who have tested positive for COVID-19 whodo not require hospital care and need a safe and supportive place to be quarantined.

Multiple facilities throughout Kenora and Keewatin were reviewed and examined to ensure the best facility was selected to meet the needs of the COVID-19 Emergency Centre. The three largest facilities considered included the Kenora Recreation Centre, the Kenora Curling Club and the Keewatin Memorial Arena.

The All Nations Health Partners, after a careful assessment, determined that the Keewatin Arena was the most suitable facility to best support this important and critical work. In partnership, the Lake of the Woods District Hospital and the Kenora District Services Board have entered into a short-term agreement with the City of Kenora for the use of the facility. All renovations and modifications to the Keewatin Arena are temporary and the COVID-19 Emergency Centre will close once the COVID-19 pandemic response is completed.

The supports and services will be provided in coordination with many organizations from the community and the All Nations Health Partners; this includes health care service providers, developmental services, social services, local physicians and community partners. This project is a true coming together of partnerships that is equal to the very challenge that our communities are about to face.

“The support from individuals and businesses from the community has been extraordinary. To date, over $40,000 in materials, supplies, furniture and equipment has been donated to the project. Without the generosity of Sierra Construction and Weyerhaeuser, the renovations to the facility would not have been possible,” stated Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer, Kenora District Services Board.

“Responding to the COVID-19 threat is challenging and it has created a great opportunity for everyone to come together as partners, providers, volunteers and citizens to contribute in their specialized capacity. Protecting the vulnerable from COVID-19 is part of this challenge and we have created a solution that will work for our community,” says Ray Racette, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Lake of the Woods District Hospital.

“The All Nations Health Partners have created a strong foundation by forming close partnerships, to make sure all voices from our area are represented. It is in critical times like these that we have to rely on those partnerships and work together to make sure our most vulnerable are taken care of, and the proper steps and precautions are taken. A big thank you to all the community support we have received and members who have stepped up to help make this possible,” says Joe Barnes, Executive Director of Kenora Chiefs Advisory.

The All Nations Health Partners thank the members of the Vulnerable Population Task Force who have worked tirelessly in bringing this project together in a very short amount of time.

Media Contact:

Joe Barnes, Executive Director
Kenora Chiefs Advisory
Co-Chair All Nations Health Partners
Phone: 807-467-8144

Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer
Kenora District Services Board
Co-Chair All Nations Health Partners
Phone: 807-223-2100 ext. 2222


All Nations Health Partners COVID-19 Assessment Centre Expands Service

All Nations Health Partners Media Release April 9, 2020

On Monday March 30th the Lake of the Woods District Hospital (LWDH) opened the central site drive-through COVID-19 Assessment Centre in partnership with Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), the Sunset Country Family Health Team (SCFHT), Kenora District Services Board (KDSB), Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig (WNHAC), and Kenora Chiefs Advisory (KCA),. To date, 198 swabs have been collected locally with 118 pending and 80 negative results returned.

On Thursday, April 9th, 2020, the COVID-19 Assessment Centre will progressively expand mobile COVID-19 testing services to Kenora and regional First Nations communities. “The expansion of testing services is essential for residents of this area and will help us to better understand the extent of the pandemic in our region”, said Dr. Ian Gemmill, Acting Medical officer of Health at NWHU. This expansion will occur through the coordinated effort of WNHAC/KCA and the KDSB, and will enable patients to be assessed in the community by a mobile team of travelling health care professionals. Joe Barnes, Co-chair of the All Nations Health Partners, said “I am proud to see our partners work collaboratively to ensure that everyone in the Kenora Area has access to appropriate assessment and testing. The mobile team expansion will ensure that our First Nations communities have equitable access to assessments and testing. Kenora Chiefs Advisory will be providing a mobile team to support First Nations communities in coordination with our partners at WNHAC.”

Community members with potential COVID-19 symptoms (fever, or any new or worsening acute respiratory illness including cough, shortness of breath at rest, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, runny nose, and joint aches) who feel they should be assessed for COVID-19 can either contact their primary care provider or phone the Northwestern Health Unit Hotline 1-866-468-2240 to determine if they meet the eligibility criteria.  If eligible, the Assessment Centre will be notified and the individual will then be contacted to schedule an appointment, either at the drive-through central site at the LWDH, or in the individual’s residence or community.

The Assessment Centre’s key role is to assess people and take a specimen for subsequent testing for COVID-19 by an approved health laboratory. A sample is taken from the back of the nasal cavity with a swab. Offering this type of service through mobile testing will significantly increase the access to COVID-19 testing, and will reduce the need for patients to seek this service through the LWDH Emergency Department and thereby avoid unnecessary possible exposure.

People who do not require medical intervention and can safely manage independently will be provided with contact and health management information. People who require medical intervention will be directed to the most appropriate service.

The Kenora COVID-19 Assessment Centre is approved and funded by the Ministry of Health. The Assessment Centre, developed and operated by the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, the Northwestern Health Unit, the Sunset Country Family Health Team, Kenora District Services Board, Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig and Kenora Chiefs Advisory, reflects the strength and unity of the All Nations Health Partners coalition. Chief Lorraine Cobiness stated “KCA and area leadership are pleased with the collaborative efforts of all partners. In times like these we need to work together and ensure that pandemic response plans are in place to support all of our population and groups. Through our channels, the indigenous community partners, have been able to secure a substantial amount of test Kits. These test kits are going to significantly change our areas capacity to monitor Covid-19. Kenora and surrounding communities have an increased risk due to poorer health status and we need to ensure we are doing everything to be responsive to our entire population. And a reminder to everyone, do your part by social distancing and wash your hands!”

Media Contacts:
Joe Barnes, Executive Director
Kenora Chiefs Advisory
Co-Chair All Nations Health Partners
Phone: 807-467-8144

Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer
Kenora District Services Board
Co-Chair All Nations Health Partners
Phone: 807-223-2100 ext. 2222

ANHP press release April 9 (3) Assessment Centre Expands Services