Community News Update - October 29, 2020

Dear Community,

I’m writing this special edition of my community update on a Thursday as I will not be able to write the Friday edition this week. We will be back to the regular Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule starting again next week.

Halloween is coming up this weekend, and because of COVID-19, this is a going to be Halloween very different than we have ever seen before. This year, we are being asked to adapt to our new circumstances, and to find creative ways to still celebrate with our loved ones, without breaking the COVID-19 protocols that will keep us all safe.

But while we won’t be going trick-or-treating this year, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still have a great time. Some of the best suggestions that I’ve seen so far are to have a candy hunt inside your home, getting your whole household together for a movie night, or maybe getting dressed up for a virtual Halloween game night with your friends.

However you decide to celebrate, I want to wish you a very happy Halloween, and I am looking forward to seeing what creative ideas our community comes up with this year! If you have a costume that you’re particularly proud of – please send it in to [email protected] and we will highlight some of them in my Monday community update!

Sadly, the reason we can’t celebrate our holidays the way we normally would is that COVID-19 is still surging across Ontario, as we reported another 934 cases today. With many of these cases being reported right here in Toronto, it is very important that we do not allow Halloween to cause another spike in cases. It’s up to all of us right now to make sure that we are washing our hands regularly, that we wear our masks, and that we only make physical contact with those that we live with.

As we battle COVID-19, we are also entering into flu season. Frustratingly, across Ontario we are hearing reports of shortages of flu vaccine in jurisdictions across the province. Today, MPP Peggy Sattler spoke up in the Legislature about the shortages in her constituency of London West. Her office has been flooded with complaints from her constituents that they cannot access the flu vaccine in a timely manner. It is absolutely unacceptable that this is happening right now, in a year where we have learned just how important this critical health care infrastructure really is.

Finally today, I want to share with you an important update from my last email regarding the Time to Care Act.

As a quick recap, the Time to Care Act is a bill that has been introduced by the NDP four times into the Legislature, and it would mandate a minimum level of care for residents in long-term care homes of 4.1 hours per day. I’m glad to report that the bill passed its second reading today and is one step closer to becoming law in Ontario. Of course, we still need to keep pushing to make sure that this bill comes back and quickly and passes third reading and receives royal assent.

If you can, please make sure to add your name here to show your support for the Time to Care Act.

 In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew

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