Community News Update - August 18, 2021

Dear Community,

I want to start today with an important reminder that this Friday August 20th from 1-8PM, I will be co-hosting a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic with Women’s College Hospital, Unison Health and Community Services, and the Oakwood Village BIA.

Here are the full details:

I want to sincerely thank everyone who came to our last vaccination clinic, and we’re looking forward to another great turnout on Friday.

One thing keen readers might have noticed in the above criteria is that the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines has actually changed slightly this week. Whereas previously, to get vaccinated you needed to be at least 12 years of age, starting today anyone who will be turning 12 in 2021 is now eligible as well.

So that means if your child is 11 right now, and turning 12 before then end of this year, they can get their vaccination (only Pfizer is currently approved for children).

In another important update, the province will also begin offering third doses of vaccines to some high-risk groups, who likely wouldn’t have received the desired level of protection from their first two shots. Those groups include residents of long-term care homes, transplant recipients, patients with specific forms of cancer (hematological cancers), and more.

You can find the full list of eligibilities for third doses here.

We are now firmly in a fourth wave of COVID-19, and today we’ve reported another 485 new cases of COVID-19. This now brings our rolling average to 496 new cases per day of COVID-19. As we’ve seen the case counts rising in the past couple weeks, one thing that is becoming very clear in the data is the effective protection provided by vaccinations.  

Of the 485 new cases, 309 of those cases have been confirmed to have been found in unvaccinated individuals, with 41 in partially vaccinated people, and the remaining 135 cases in either fully vaccinated folks, or people who’s vaccination status is not documented.

That means that well over 60% of new cases are coming from the under 20% of the population who remain unvaccinated. Of course it’s also vital to note that in cases where partially or fully vaccinated folks are still infected, their health outcomes have also been documented to be much better, with severe COVID-19 related complications in vaccinated people remaining rare.

With that in mind, I’d just like to reiterate my call to everyone reading this to ensure that you get vaccinated, if you haven’t already gotten your shots.

In Ontario political news, there is growing outrage regarding a fundraising letter that’s been distributed by the Ontario PCs, that deliberately resembles an invoice. Many, myself included are very troubled with this tactic, which can be confusing for many receiving the letters. It’s very concerning that there are individuals who could feel compelled to send money in, not realizing it is, in fact, not a real invoice.

This is of particular concern for vulnerable folks who have received this in the mail, I’m thinking of seniors, people with disabilities, anyone on a fixed income, newcomers with English as their second language who might panic thinking they missed a bill, and pay up. While money is of course a part of politics in Ontario, there are ethical lines that must not be crossed.

In my eyes, this type of fundraising crosses every imaginable boundary. I’m thankful that, Ontario NDP MPP Taras Natyshak from Essex, our Ethics Critic, has written to Elections Ontario to investigate this matter, and I will update when we know more.

Coming up this weekend, we’ll be running another round of Community Food Tables, and once again we’re looking for volunteers to help out! If you’re interested in volunteering this week, you can register for a shift at one of the links below!

Finally, I’d like to extend my thanks to MPP Marit Stiles, Trustee Shelley Laskin, and Catholic School Board Trustee Norm Di Pasquale, for joining me on Monday evening for an Education Town Hall on Facebook Live. It was a terrific conversation, and if you missed it, you can catch the replay here.

In Solidarity,

Jill

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