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March 20, 2020
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Dear Neighbour,

This eNewsletter is the best way that I can communicate updates to the community. Please share it with your friends, family, and neighbours, and encourage them to sign up to get these updates directly. There's new information coming out constantly, and I want to ensure that everyone stays up to date. 

Where can you find the information you need?
 
Earlier this week, Mayor Tory announced that all non-essential city staff would be sent home in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. While critical and emergency services continue to function, the reduction in non-essential city staff will inhibit my office's ability to answer many of your non-emergency questions. I would ask for your patience during these unprecedented times.
 
There are a number of informative resources available online to help assist you with questions that you may have, and I would encourage you to use these resources as your first point of contact for any inquires. Where are we now?
 
City of Toronto          Province of Ontario Government of Canada Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms?

Do you know what to do if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has it? Visit the Province's Self-Assessment tool for more information here.

Do you think you have COVID-19 symptoms?

  • Fever, new cough, difficulty breathing?
     
  • Muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, runny nose or diarrhea?

Combined with any of the following:

  • Have you travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days?
     
  • Are you in close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
     
  • Are you in close contact with a person who is sick with respiratory symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) who recently travelled outside of Canada?

If you answered 'yes' to the questions in the Self-Assessment, you should:

  1. Contact your primary care provider and let them know you have used the self-assessment tool. They will direct you on the best course of action. 📞

    OR
     
  2. Contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to speak with a registered nurse. They will direct you on the best course of action. 📞
Social Distancing

I'm sure you've been hearing the term "social distancing" a lot over the last little while, and I want to make sure that it is clear what this means. It is important that everyone is taking this seriously, and in order to do so it is important to understand what it is.

What is social distancing?
 
Social distancing means:

✅ Keeping 2 metres apart from others
✅ Staying home as much as possible
✅ Only going to stores for essential supplies

What social distancing is not:

❌ Arranging play dates or sleepovers for kids
❌ Visiting friends & family for coffee
❌ Attending crowded stores or events
 
Learn more about social distancing here.


Helping Your Neighbours
 
This is a very difficult time for everyone, but it's important to remember that we're all in this together.
 
Check in on your friends, family, and other loved ones via phone or online platforms. This can be a lonely time for many, but it's important that we all remain connected.
 
We have a large senior population in Etobicoke-Lakeshore, and some of them may need your assistance. Check in on your elderly neighbours and see if there is anything that you can do to assist them such as picking up groceries or items from the drug store. Every trip that they don't have to take helps to reduce their risk of getting sick.
 
Please only purchase what is needed, and do not overbuy resources. When you do, that takes away from what the rest of our community members need. This is a time for our community to be united. Help each other, hoarding resources only makes these challenging times more difficult for others.

Resources for Seniors

For seniors not living in a long-term care home, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care continues to provide essential support services to seniors already enrolled in their Supportive Housing program with personal care, medication reminders, and safety checks. Many community agencies offer supports to seniors including Meals on Wheels, friendly visiting, transportation to appointments, personal support, and adult day programs. Seniors and caregivers should check with the individual agencies to confirm continuity of service delivery. Call 211 (available 24/7 in 150+ languages) to obtain up-to-date information.

Other resources for seniors include:
  • Toronto Seniors Helpline: 416-217-2077 or 1-877-621-2077, for support and referral to services
     
  • Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Home Care: 310-2222 (no area code required) to find out about services in their area
     
  • Distress Centres of Toronto: 416-408-4357, 416-408-HELP
     
  • Seniors Safety Line (Elder Abuse Ontario): 1-866-299-1011

Non-Essential Businesses

Many have expressed concerns regarding the fact that some private, non-essential businesses remain open. While I believe everyone should do their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, closing private businesses would be regulated by the Provincial Government, not the municipality.
 
As it stands currently, only the establishments outlined here by the Provincial Declaration of Emergency are legally required to close. However, the City's Medical Officer of Health is calling upon other non-essential services, such as hair and nail salons, and clothing stores to do their part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and temporarily close their doors to support social distancing efforts.
 
I will provide any updates that I receive on this.
 
Sincerely, 

Mark 

 
email:
councillor_grimes@toronto.ca
phone: 
416-397-9273

Copyright © 2018 Councillor Mark Grimes, All rights reserved.

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