Our lives changed overnight again, with the announcement of another lockdown. However, for many of us, it feels like we’re exactly where we were over a year ago: still uncertain about what our next few months look like, unsure of what will happen once this is finally over and how long it will take to reverse the sacrifices everyone has had to make this year.
But in a lot of ways things are better. The vaccine rollout is happening. Partners have become competent at operating safely. We’ve learned a lot about how to pivot. And we will persevere like we have all year.
- Vaccination rollout: the people who most need protection from the coronavirus are often the hardest to reach, with language barriers, poverty, erratic schedules at essential jobs and a mistrust of the government complicating efforts to access services. An Equity Approach to COVID19 is being taken. Just a few stats from the Phase 1 rollout.
- Overall, 21% of approximately 150,000 residents (36,028 total doses) are vaccinated with their first dose (as compared to 16% of Ontario population).
- All Long-term Care Home and Retirement Homes residents and staff have been offered first and second doses.
- 77% of eligible First Nation residents living in First Nations communities have been vaccinated with first dose. 28% with the second dose.
- Ontario is moving into Phase 2 Vaccine Distribution Plan. Anne Marie Shaw (firstname.lastname@example.org) is our social services sector representative on the Grey Bruce Vaccination Task Force. A working group of the Task Force has been reaching out to organizations working with vulnerable populations. Don’t hesitate to contact Anne Marie if you are seeing gaps and/or have questions on vaccination clinics for vulnerable populations.
- All residents of Bruce and Grey Counties are invited to take part in the Community Safety and Well-Being Planning Survey. It will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and will examine resident’s experiences since March 2020 and measure the impact of COVID19 on people’s well-being.
- CERB repayment amnesty: Campaign 2000 has released a Call-to-Action to sign a parliamentary petition by April 23rd and a call-out for CERB stories (https://forms.gle/egQh2zQzTL23jFHKA).
In preparation during the current shut-down, here is a reminder of information about COVID-19 financial supports:
- Employment Insurance – This is the first place to go if you lose your job. Because of COVID-19, there have been changes to this program. If you are not eligible for Employment Insurance, look at the other options below.
- Canada Recovery Benefit – gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
- If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.
- If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 19 eligibility periods (38 weeks)between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit – gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
- If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.
- If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 4 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. You cannot apply for periods that are closed.
- Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit – gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
- If you are eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.
- If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. Each household may apply up to a total of 38 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
- Ontario Works – If you are not eligible for EI or any of the three COVID-19 related programs, Ontario Works is your next option. Contact your local Social Assistance Office:
- Bruce County’s Corporate Services Committee voted to direct $1.75-Million of projected surplus to affordable housing.
- Students from the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning have worked closely with the Town of Saugeen Shores and the Municipal Innovation Council (MIC) for the last three months and facilitated a day-long Attainable Housing Research Symposium.
- Homeless By-Name’s List:
- 54 people (34 chronic homeless)
- 24 with complete sets of information (14 female, 7 male, 7 Indigenous)
- Of 52 people with birthdates, 15 people were under 30 (28%)
- Grey Bruce Public Health have pulled together all the Community Food Program related guidelines in one document: Guidance for Community Food Programs (17 February 2021) and included are the Community Gardens Guidelines (2019).
- Please note that the Provincial Outdoor Gathering Limits have changed.to a maximum of 5 socially distanced people.
- Chez Gilles: yesterday they served 396 meals. The April 20th delivery will be postponed to April 27. Chef Gilles will be absent from April 19 to 24. You can register by email: email@example.com or Chefathome1969@gmail.com or by phone at 519.538.9262. You can also contact the office at Christ Church Anglican Meaford 519.538.1330.
- Meaford Good Food Box for April is cancelled during this lockdown. They will move all current orders to the next available month we can get back up and running. Volunteers will work on the list throughout the next week to ensure people are aware.
- My Dad’s Group will run virtually starting this April. My Dad’s Group provides a supportive environment so men may learn, accept and embrace their roles and responsibilities as fathers in enhancing the well-being of their children. This program is free! For more information, call 519 372 2720.
- Getting Ahead will be delayed and an in-person group start has been rescheduled on May 7th. Spaces remain for the Owen Sound group and referrals can be made via OW/ODSP workers.
Stay well, Jill