Volunteers help Calgary church members diagnosed with COVID-19 – Calgary

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There are now 107 active cases of COVID-19 among people who attended a service at Calgary Kidanemhret’s Tewahedo Orthodox Church in August, according to health officials.This is almost double the number that was first reported on Monday when 57 cases were reported.

Members of the Ethiopian community in Calgary deliver baskets to people who were at church between August 9 and 23 and are now in isolation.

Read more:

Calgary Kidanemehret Tewahdo Orthodox Church COVID-19 Outbreak

An organization called EthioCare is helping recent immigrants who have been affected by COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, there has been a backlash towards the communities,” said Bekele Hankebo, EthioCare team leader, on Saturday.

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“It just creates anxiety and fear. People are already traumatized even before this pandemic with many other issues, and now they are wondering whether to send their children to school or daycare or even return to work.

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Hankebo said it was encouraging to see more people contacting them during this church outbreak than the Cargill outbreak near High River when he said many were fearful and secretive.

Read more:

Calgary Cares: Charity EthioCare Provides Additional Support To Immigrants During COVID-19 Crisis

He said the relationship building and communication they have had with the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities are bearing fruit.

“We delivered groceries during that time and they made us promise not to reveal their identities or names. Now they have called us. We didn’t have to go to them, ”Hankebo said.

Hankebo said EthioCare volunteers delivered 22 baskets on Saturday and carried out daily checks on church members in self-isolation. He said the group’s volunteers had helped with contact tracing and had been successful in building trust in the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities in Calgary.

“We are working hard to break down barriers and it is working so far. This coronavirus has already had a huge impact on immigrants in particular. There are language issues, a lack of awareness and cultural beliefs, ”Hankebo said.

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Dr. Deena Hinshaw expressed her gratitude Thursday to leaders and church members who have proactively gone for testing and who are working with Alberta Health Services to understand this epidemic.

She also clarified the comments she made on Monday about the recommendations only applying to people who attended church from August 9 to 23.

“I recommend to anyone who was at church on those dates to go get tested, that children who were attending church should temporarily stay home from school while information about the outbreak is being collected. so we can better understand who is at risk, ”Hinshaw said on Thursday.

Read more:

Hinshaw Clarifies Claim After Outbreak in Calgary Kidanemehret Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church

Hinshaw also stressed the importance of supporting those involved in epidemics.

“I have heard that this community is now targeted and stigmatized because of this epidemic. Stigmatizing people with this disease only increases the possibility that fear of this negative attention will prevent people from being tested and drive the virus into hiding, ”Hinshaw said Thursday.

“We cannot fight COVID in the dark and no region or group of society is immune from this virus. We are all best served by providing support and compassion to those facing outbreaks or isolated cases. ”

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