April 29th- Support for Ontario, KFL&A Response, and Vaccines
We all know that April has been a hard month in Ontario. The province has made some difficult decisions in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In this update, I'd like to share with you how the federal government is supporting Ontario through this challenging time, how KFL&A is responding to current challenges, and an update on how Canada is doing with vaccines.
Additional Support for Ontario to Fight COVID-19
- Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has been working hard to support and protect Canadians. Last week, the Prime Minister announced additional support for Ontarians as the number of COVID-19 cases in our province continues to rise.
- To date, eight of every ten dollars spent in Canada to respond to the pandemic has come from the federal government. This funding has been used for various safety measures like purchasing vaccines, personal protective equipment and rapid testing materials as well as helping to make sure that schools are safe for students, teachers and support staff.
- On Monday, the federal government announced further emergency support for Ontario through the deployment of federal health human resources, provision of support from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and funding the redeployment of the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) to augment or relieve staff within medical care facilities.
- The CAF is preparing to deploy up to three multi-purpose medical assistance teams (MMATs), which are scalable healthcare provider teams primarily composed of Nursing Officers and Medical Technicians as well as additional CAF members for general duty support as applicable.
- The Government Operations Centre continues to have staff working to coordinate the federal response to the situation in Ontario. Canadians can be assured that all orders of government are working together to deliver the required help.
- To date, the federal government has supported Ontario with safe isolation sites for temporary foreign workers, CAF and the CRC for long term care facilities, two mobile health units, and Canadian Rangers in a number of small communities.
- You can read the full news release here.
New Official Travel Advisories
- Last week, the Federal Government announced the suspension of flights from India and Pakistan for a period of 30 days due to the higher number of COVID-19 cases among individuals travelling on flights originating from those locations.
- Please consult Travel, Testing, Quarantine and Borders for the latest information pertaining to travel to Canada.
- The KFL&A Public Health Unit (KFLAPH) has coordinated a very strong community response in the fight against COVID-19, and for that we are all thankful. To access an overview of the status of cases in Kingston and area, or the latest information on the local vaccination strategy, or information about testing and assessment centres, please visit KFLAPH's website.
- The Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) is playing a critical role in caring for COVID-19 patients from across Ontario. We cannot thank our healthcare workers on the frontlines enough for the work they are doing-every day, but especially during this third wave. At present, the hospital is treating 45 COVID-19 patients, 26 of whom are in ICU. To keep up-to-date with this critical response, please visit KHSC's COVID-19 dashboard
- Dr. Moore, our Medical Officer of Health, has recommended that going outside and exercising, while following public health protocols, is beneficial to our mental health and overall wellbeing.
- If you need financial support, because you cannot work as result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for programs administered by the federal government.
- Yesterday, the provincial government introduced their plan for Paid COVID-19 Leave. The province will reimburse employers for up to three paid sick leaves days related to COVID-19 for every employee.
- As of April 21, over 13.7M vaccine doses have been delivered to the provinces and territories, 5,637,955 to Ontario specifically .
We ask that community members continue to adhere to public health guidelines and the stay-at-home order. It is critical that we work together to bring Ontario's case counts down, and reduce the stress on our healthcare system. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with me or my team if you have any questions or are looking for support. We are here to help!
Keep safe and be well,
Mark Gerretsen, MP
Kingston and the Islands