Community News Update - November 27, 2020

Dear Community,

Today we have seen another record number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario, with 1,855 new cases being registered in the last 24 hours. Of these cases, 494 have been from Toronto, and 517 in Peel.

One thing to remember here is that while we are still seeing record numbers during lockdown – that does not mean that the lockdown isn’t helping flatten the curve. The best advice from our public health experts is that it will take two weeks of lockdown before the measures will have a significant impact on our daily case counts.

That is why it’s so important that we all make sure to keep focused on doing everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19, and as we begin another weekend it’s important that we’re all operating as cautiously as possible.

That means that we need to be wearing our masks, washing our hands, and maintaining our physical distance from anyone that we do not reside with. These are the simple steps that will have a big impact on the spread of COVID-19.

One thing that we are all looking forward to is the arrival of a vaccine for COVID-19. However, this week we have learned that we might be waiting for longer than originally expected for our doses.

While there is still a great deal of uncertainty on the timelines for the distribution, we have heard this week that we will start to see doses arriving in the first quarter of 2021, and today the Prime Minister said that by Sept 2021 most Canadians could be vaccinated. This timeline is frustrating for many of us, as it appears that our timeline is behind that of other countries, as we simply do not have the domestic capacity to manufacture enough vaccines.

Let us hope that the lessons from COVID-19 are learned and that we invest in the infrastructure we need in our healthcare system to ensure that should anything like this happen again, we’re ready to put together the stellar response, that we ought to have had this time.

Earlier this week, the Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk released a damning report on the province’s response to COVID-19.

Some of her findings were in direct contradiction to what we’ve heard from the Ontario government during the pandemic – specifically – she found that the response has been led by political actors – not medical experts. Further, she found that many of the lessons from SARS, and the recommendations that came out of the examination of the SARS outbreak in Toronto were ignored, leaving us vulnerable.

While the Ford government has tried to discredit her report the Auditor General is standing by her findings.

While this response is not surprising from the Ford government, it is still disappointing. Let’s hope that moving forward, they’re ready to accept more accountability for their actions.

Have a safe weekend.

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew

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