We start today with some important news.
It has been announced that the Ontario government is now encouraging residents to form social circles of up to 10 people, that they can see and interact with – without physical distancing.
This process is a little more complicated than it might seem at first glance, as your circle should be a closed loop of 10 people, and you’re only to be in one circle. Your circle begins with your immediate household, and people that you are regularly in contact with. If that is less than 10 people, then you can start adding more people to your circle. For those who are immunocompromised or elderly, it may be worth considering not joining a circle, or keep your circle smaller than 10 people.
As we take this step, it is important that we also recognize the expanded precautions that must be taken if someone in your circle is exposed to COVID-19. Should anyone in your circle test positive for COVID-19, develop symptoms, or is exposed, each member much self-isolate for 14 days and monitor if they develop symptoms.
This is a step towards the reopening of our community. With that, we must ensure that we’re remaining vigilant and redoubling our efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 in our community. It is going to be more important than ever to ensure that you are maintaining your physical distancing from anyone beyond your circle. Make sure to be washing your hands frequently, and please consider wearing a non-medical mask while you are out in public, especially anywhere you can’t physically distance.
On the note of masks, it is also being reported that soon you will not be able to ride the TTC without a mask. This policy is going to come into effect on July 2 and is designed to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 through our transit system. The TTC has announced that they will be distributing some single use masks to the community, and also that they will not be refusing service to those who do not wear a mask – and they won’t be issuing fines for any infractions. Instead, they will be focusing on educating riders about the importance of wearing masks while on transit.
Taking this step, the TTC is following in the footsteps of many other transit systems in Ontario, including Ottawa, Brampton and Mississauga.
Wearing masks is an important part of reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario, and for medical professionals, medical masks reduce their risks while interacting with patients who are positive for COVID-19. Shockingly, it was discovered this week that between May 28 and June 5, paramedics in Renfrew County were being issued non-medical masks to work with. These masks, are not adequate for high risk medical work, and now close to 150 paramedics are undergoing testing for COVID-19.
To say that this is unacceptable is an understatement. This cannot happen.
Today, I am joining the call for the Ford government to audit their supply of PPE. I refuse to accept that this far into COVID-19 that we have not been able to figure out our supply chain issues that could lead to a situation like this – where we are putting the health of our frontline workers in such jeopardy. We need our government to make sure that there is adequate PPE for frontline workers across Ontario, and never let a situation like this happen again.
Tomorrow, Saturday June 13, we will be hosting another day of Community Food Tables at St. Matthew’s United Church, and for the first time, also at Oriole Park (by the community garden). I am incredibly excited to see the second table get off the ground, after the great success that we’ve seen at the table at St. Matthew’s. If you are interested in volunteering at either table, you can click here to sign up for a shift at St. Matthew’s and here for a shift at Oriole Park!
Finally, I'd like to share two notes.
First, I'm sending my best wishes to the great team at Ecoexistence who have experienced a small flood in their store. They will be back open Monday – and ready to continue serving our community! Second, I'm sending a very sincere thank you to everyone at The Linden School who chose me as the winner of their Nancy Ruth Award, an award which honours a woman who has acted as a role model for Linden students.
If you have a positive story from our community OR a virtual event you're hosting that you want amplified, please email us at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca.
Birthday, Anniversary Greetings
During normal times, my office sends out congratulatory scrolls to folks across the riding to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones! While we're taking physical distancing measures, I will be continuing this digitally. If you have a birthday coming up in the family and you would like a special video message from me, please email us at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca. And if you should decide to share your video on social media do tag us @JillsLastWord on Twitter and Jill Andrew - MPP, Toronto-St. Paul's on Facebook.
Calling Local Artists
If you are local artist, and you have a piece of work that you’ve been putting time into, we would love to share it with the community! We know that #ArtsSavesLives and minds especially during traumatic times. If you’re interested in sharing your art please email us at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca
ALL art submitted MUST be accompanied by a short artists statement (50 words or less) to help contextualize the art. Additionally, there are no guarantees that submissions will be included in the newsletter. Thank you for sharing your work with us and our community."
News and Updates
Here are today’s new developments:
- The federal government has announced mandatory temperature checks for anyone travelling by air.
- Canada will extend the military deployment within long-term care homes in crisis in Ontario and Quebec due to COVID-19 until June 26 – the I am continuing to push for an independent and judicial public inquiry into the long-term care sector’s failure to protect vulnerable seniors during the pandemic.
- A Toronto-based law firm is launching a class-action lawsuit on behalf of long-term care residents that will allege that Ontario’s negligence in its oversight of nursing homes led to “widespread and avoidable illness, suffering and loss of life” during the pandemic.
- The Ontario Nurses’ Association is calling for an immediate exemption for its members from legislation introduced by the Ford government last June to cap wages for public sector workers including those in hospitals and schools.
- Ontario has announced new guidelines that allow for the formation of “social circles” – not to be mistaken with new rules around “social gathering.”
Solutions we’re pushing for:
- Doly Begum, says the Ford government's failure to fund child care centres to reopen safely means centres will be forced to hike their fees.
- France Gelinas said Ford must provide proper PPE to paramedics, as well as immediate answers on why a supply of masks given to paramedics in Renfrew were marked "not for medical use."
- MPPs in Toronto have written to Doug Ford urging him to provide financial support to the city, which is staring down a $1.5-billion shortfall this year, and at risk of having to raise taxes by 47 per cent.
- Taras Natyshak urged Doug Ford to get a handle on the COVID-19 outbreaks occurring among migrant farm workers through more significant funding and mandated quarantine protocols including guaranteed paid sick days, PPE for all workers and appropriate alternative accommodations for workers crowded into bunkhouses.
Featured Art Submission
I'm a local graphic designer and I teamed up with area emergency room doctor Kathleen Hughes to create the attached infographic about proper mask wearing during the pandemic.
www.ALLCAPSdesign.com | www.Rotsztain.com | @jrotszta