Community News Update - May 3, 2021

Dear Community,

Tomorrow evening at 7PM, I will be hosting a Telephone Town Hall on COVID-19 with experts from Toronto Public Health, as well as respirologist Dr. Samir Gupta, to answer questions from our community about COVID-19, vaccines, and the responses from all levels of government.

While we will be calling 15,000 residents of Toronto-St. Paul’s to join the town hall, if you would like to guarantee that you will be called tomorrow at 7PM to tune in, please register here.

At the town hall, residents will be able to ask questions to our panellists and will be polled for feedback on the government’s response to COVID-19.

A very important development in Ontario’s COVID-19 response emerged this weekend, as now residents 18 and older can now book a vaccination appointment in city-run clinics if they live in a hot spot postal code. This is an important development and will apply to residents in our M6E postal code to the west end of Toronto-St. Paul’s, which has been deemed a hot spot.

In other vaccine news today, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has released new guidance on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which they are now recommending for anyone 30 years of age and older, with the caveat that individuals should weigh the risk of rare blood clots that can develop from the vaccine. This information from the NACI is of a different tone than we’ve seen from them in the past, and they have even said that in some cases it could make sense to wait for access to an mRNA vaccine, if you are at a low risk of contracting the virus.

With that said, they still believe that for most Canadians, the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh the risks that are associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Read more about this story here.

This news comes today as we learn more about the Long-Term Care Commission, who investigated what exactly lead to the crisis that we saw in long-term care facilities across Ontario in the last year. Now that we’ve had a chance to fully analyze the report, it is clear that the Minister of Long-Term Care, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, must be removed from her position in cabinet. The report documents that she knew early on the risks that were faced in our long-term care facilities, and she failed to act.

Her failures cost many Ontarian seniors their lives.

You can read the full commission report here.  

Today, Ontario reported 3436 new COVID-19 cases, and another 16 deaths as a result of the virus. Toronto has reported an additional 985 cases, and nine other jurisdictions reported 100 or more new cases.

While we are seeing our COVID-19 seven-day rolling average continue to decrease, and it now stands at 3577, that doesn’t mean that we can relent in our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. We must continue ensuring that we are following public health guidelines, wearing our masks, maintaining our distance, and limiting our trips out of our homes.

Finally, I’m happy to share with you a journal entry from the St. Clair West Oral History Project on Urban Farming in the community!

Click here to check it out.

In Solidarity,
Jill Andrew
Toronto—St. Paul's

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