MP wonders why the village of Church-Wellesley was excluded from hotspots – fr

MP wonders why the village of Church-Wellesley was excluded from hotspots – fr

While projections have played an important role in how politicians and health officials have approached COVID-19, downtown Toronto NDP MP Suze Morrison says looking back is everything. also important. Morrison says downtown Toronto’s M4Y zip code, which encompasses the village of Church-Wellesley, should have been included in the province’s 114 hot spot designations in part because of “historic prejudices” dating back to the crisis of AIDS in the 1980s.

“I think it’s especially concerning when you also take into account the story of how queer and trans communities were completely abandoned by all levels of government during the last pandemic this community went through, namely the AIDS crisis, ”she told CityNews. “So what kind of signal is this government sending to gay and trans people in our community that, once again, this government is not going to support you during a pandemic that will cost you the lives of community members?” . “

“You have to take into account these issues of fairness, these historical prejudices. It’s not as clear as the infection rates… ”

At Queen’s Park, Morrison also argued that M4Y had higher infection rates than some PC ridings that received hot spot designations.

At the request of NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, Auditor General of Ontario, Bonnie Lysyk announced last month that her office had “identified the strategy and implementation of COVID-19 immunization from the ‘Ontario as an audit candidate for the 2021-2022 audit cycle ”.

“As part of this work, we will be looking at the data used to determine the strategy used for vaccine delivery,” Lysyk said in a letter released by the NPD.

L – A Horwath Re COVID-19 Vaccines by CityNewsToronto on Scribd

In a heated exchange in the Legislature last month, Ontario Premier Doug Ford accused the NDP of “politicizing vaccine rollout” while claiming the province had followed the advice of its experts, including the COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Table, to make its decisions.

In a statement to CityNews, the Department of Health added, “The hot spots have been identified based on data and criteria from Public Health Ontario, including hospitalizations, outbreak data, low screening rates and deaths during the second wave of the pandemic. This work applied an anti-racism lens to ensure Ontario protects vulnerable communities. Regions in the top 20 percent were identified as hot spot communities. Regions among the richest 30% that faced additional barriers, including socio-demographic barriers, were also included.

“While the Department of Health provides additional resources to designated provincial hotspots, nothing prevents public health units from designating their own hotspots and providing additional vaccines as part of their allocation.

Robert Steiner, communications director for Ontario’s COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Table, told CityNews he “has not designated specific postal codes for vaccine distribution.”

“It’s not our job at the science table,” he added. “We developed a model to study what might happen if the province allocated a higher proportion of vaccines to postal codes that, at the time, in january, had accounted for most of the spread of COVID since the start of the pandemic. This was not a list of neighborhoods that we asked the province to prioritize – it goes way beyond our mandate or our knowledge.

Last week, the province began to distract from hot spots, opening provincial vaccine registration to all residents 40 years of age and older. On Monday, he announced that starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, anyone aged 18 and over will be able to book their vaccine appointment through the province’s online reservation portal.

‘Confused and chaotic’

Morrison also called M4Y an “incredibly vulnerable neighborhood” due to the population density and the “high proportion of low-income frontline service workers”.

Unity Health Toronto agreed. The network – made up of Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Center and St. Michael’s Hospital – has designated M4Y as a high-risk area, opening a handful of immunization clinics for its residents.

In a statement, Unity Health Toronto said it considers M4Y “a high risk area, given the number of shelters and community housing in this neighborhood.”

The disconnection between the province and the local health network has caused confusion among residents.

“The M4Y zip code has been one of the most confusing and chaotic items we’ve had to sort through in this deployment,” Morrison said.

“M4Y was not designated by the province as a hotspot, but as soon as this hotspot list was released, our local partners at Unity Health looked at the list and immediately realized what a glaring oversight it was.

“The fact that we have local organizations with a different list than the provincial lists, at some point these lists have to be unified… it’s needlessly confusing.

Central Toronto City Councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam also challenged the province’s management of hot spots, citing a lack of communication.

“When the province announced its intention to open eligibility to hotspot residents between the ages of 18 and 49, it did so before contacting the city, and without increasing the allocation of available vaccines,” he said. she told CityNews. “It dramatically increased residents’ anxiety about their risk, without providing them with adequate access to vaccines, and I think that was very irresponsible.

“I am very frustrated that the province has not worked more closely with Toronto Public Health to identify these hot spots. The Toronto Public Health Department has its own criteria for assessing the needs of the most urgent response, and I am convinced that better coordination would have saved many of us weeks of unnecessary stress and anxiety. .

“I know the gap has caused some confusion among residents, so I have asked the province, through our MPP Suze Morrison, to include M4Y in the hotspot list to help mitigate this confusion.

And while opening provincial vaccine registration to all residents over 18 will lessen the hotspot conundrum, Morrison still feels the village of Church-Wellesley has been unfairly blamed by COVID.

“I think the message I’ve heard from a lot of people is that they feel left out by this government,” she said. “They feel left behind, underserved and discriminated against by the police with the report of the disappearance and murder. When will the community be properly supported by the institutions and levels of government that are supposed to support us? “

“If you look at the map of the hot spots, it’s like they’ve intentionally drawn a circle around the village to exclude it.”


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