Toronto has effectively been under lockdown since fall. The lockdown will cover all of Ontario and schools will remain be closed until January 11 (and 22 in Southern Ontario). There will be more resources to help hospitals and outreach to high priority populations ($12.5 million for 15 different areas).
[The government did not discuss rights of disabled peoples and how they would be involved in this second lockdown – They are not responding to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Supporting High Priority Communities Points from Ontario News release (December 21):
- Tailored community outreach and engagement to enhance awareness of the services and supports available, including:
- Teams of Community Ambassadors to provide door-to-door outreach, promoting access to available services and supports, and supplying masks and hand sanitizer kits; and
- Developing targeted and culturally appropriate communications to ensure community members and leaders have the information needed to combat misinformation and myths.
- Increased access to testing, including more locations tailored to the unique needs of Ontario’s many and varied communities, transportation assistance, expanded and flexible hours of operation, and the use of rapid testing. In addition, Ontario Health Regions continue to develop community partnerships to understand and support addressing barriers to testing. Currently 35 sites are open, made up of assessment centres, pharmacies, and community labs, with additional testing sites opening in the coming weeks.
- Wraparound supports using a case management approach to connect individuals and families with available services, such as groceries and essentials, and emergency financial assistance so they can isolate safely at home, in a hotel, or at a designated isolation facility.
- Currently, there are isolation facilities in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa.
- The province is planning to work with its local partners to increase existing isolation facility capacity and create new facilities, in the designated communities. The facilities will provide safe places to isolate as well as supports and services, such as meals, security, transportation and links with health and social services.
- Community case managers will coordinate access to a range of wraparound supports, including emergency financial assistance. This support will be provided to individuals required to isolate to ensure that they can meet their existing obligations including rent and other basic needs. Many individuals are eligible for federal supports, as well as up to $733 in provincial support to help with short-term financial obligations. This support will be provided to individuals in financial need in high-priority communities who are waiting for test results, are sick (COVID-19 positive or likely positive) or are required to self-isolate.