Halton District School Board hosting Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for Parents/Guardians this Spring


By Staff

March 31st, 2022



The Halton District School Board is hosting Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for parents/guardians this Spring. Covering specific topics based on feedback from parents/guardians, each session will be led by a mental health expert in that area who will share their knowledge and provide helpful information and resources.

Sessions include: 

Building Executive Function Skills in Teenagers – Tuesday, April 5 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Supporting a Child who is Grieving – Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Black Mixed-race Children & Identity – Wednesday, April 27 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Mental Health, Well-Being & Autism Spectrum Disorder – Thursday, May 5 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Celebrating Neurodiversity – Monday, May 9 at 7 – 7:45 p.m.

Supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ Students – Tuesday, May 17 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Anxiety & Depression in Youth – Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Registration is required for these sessions as limited spots are available.

Parents/guardians can register by completing the Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions Registration Form.

Sessions will be held on Google Meet, where closed captioning is available in various languages. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the session. Sessions will not be recorded.

Parents/guardians will have the opportunity to submit questions when completing the registration form or during the session.

The Board’s Mental Health & Well-Being webpage has information for parents/guardians and students on mental health, ways to support positive mental health and well-being, and how to get additional support at school and in the broader community.





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COVID19: Hospitalizations are rising - up to nearly 800 this week

By Staff

March 31st, 2022



Of course we know – but we don’t seem capable of doing all that much about what is going to happen next.

Epidemiologist Peter Jüni said the highly transmissible BA.2 variant of Omicron isn’t the main culprit — its peoples’ actions, bolstered by the relaxing of health restrictions. He calls it the “‘throw-caution-to-the-wind’ wave.”

Hospitalizations are rising, too — up to nearly 800 this week from around 600 just 10 days ago.

Meanwhile we have a Premier taking a major risk to public health while he scrambles to win re-election.  Why the public health people have not returned to wider testing is hard to understand,

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New Covid19 Outbreak at Joseph Brant Hospital - two staff tested positive

By Staff

March 25th, 2022



We were told that there would be small COVID-19 Outbreaks.

The Joseph Brant Hospital Inpatient Unit advised the public today that an outbreak has been declared on Unit 2 North 600 (2N600) at Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) after two staff tested positive for COVID-19. All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of patients, Essential Care Partners (ECPs), staff and physicians.

Joseph Brant Hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control team and Employee Health Services are ensuring all those who have been impacted will be contacted, monitored and tested as required.

A number of enhanced safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of our patients, staff and physicians. The unit remains open to new patient admissions. Essential Care Partners can enter the unit, adhering to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements including face masks.

JBH is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work to bring a safe end to the outbreak as soon as possible. Patients or loved ones who have questions or concerns can contact a member of the JBH Patient Relations team at 905-632-3737 ext. 4949 or by email patientrelations@josephbranthospital.ca.

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JBH Gradually Easing Public Health Measures: Surgical Activity has Reached 90 %

By Eric Vandewall

March 23rd, 2022



As key public health and health system indicators continue to improve, Ontario and local governments are gradually easing public health and safety measures. While many of us welcome the opportunity to take part in indoor social activities such as sporting events, it is important to recognize that COVID-19 remains transmissible to vulnerable individuals receiving care in healthcare settings. We cannot lose sight of our role in protecting the health and safety of patients and healthcare workers at Joseph Brant Hospital.

Eric Vandewall: President and CEO Joseph Brant Hospital

Individual organizations and municipalities are responding and managing these new measures differently – some may choose to adopt current practices, while others may take a more careful and measured approach depending on local conditions and the populations that they serve. The lifting of public health measures by provincial and local governments is, at the end of the day, a judgement call.

Hospitals have the discretion to establish their own guidelines and review them on an ongoing basis. At this point, JBH will continue to require that all patients, essential care providers, and visitors wear a hospital-issued, medical grade mask while in the hospital. This decision is rooted in data, evolving science and evidence-based best practices – it is what is best for our patients, our staff, physicians, learners and volunteers.

We have not changed our COVID-19 vaccination requirement for Essential Care Providers (ECPs), with very limited exceptions. ECPs are still required to complete a COVID-19 screening before coming to the hospital. It is important for patients and their loved ones to review the visitor guidelines; we will continue to re-evaluate our policies in the weeks and months ahead, with input from our patients, their ECPs and our staff.

We have made changes to the limits on ECPs, recognizing the important role ECPs play in a patient’s care, well-being, and recovery. Patients staying in hospital can have two ECPs at their bedside, and individuals coming for appointments or coming to the Emergency Department can have one person accompany them.

I am pleased to report that our surgical activity has reached 90 per cent of pre-COVID levels, consistent with the changes in provincial direction. Our diagnostics are running at full capacity. We continue to explore additional strategies to address the surgical procedures backlog and are we are working closely with our surgeons to monitor deferred procedures very closely to ensure timely access for patients requiring  urgent and time-sensitive procedures.

Throughout the pandemic, we have shared what we are seeing in our community when it comes to care needs – this includes the growing need for mental health and addictions (MHA) services. I invite you to a virtual panel about Burlington’s current and future needs for these services on Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. The panel aims to shine a light on this important topic; help people to discover the available services in the community; and to provide a forum for questions and answers at a time when many are looking for more support.

Join our MHA experts, Dr. Steven Selchen and Dr. Monidipa Ravi; our moderator, Jane McKenna, MPP for Burlington and Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues; and Michelle Barr, Director of Services of Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK). Please go to www.keepcareclosetohome.ca for details on how to join the virtual discussion, and please take a moment to fill out a short survey about the mental health and addictions resources in our community.

These last two years have been incredibly difficult for everyone. The road behind us has been a long one, and we are moving in the right direction, with high vaccination rates and a decreasing trend in COVID-19 hospitalizations. As public health measures continue to lift, we encourage you to continue to follow the guidance of medical experts and public health officials.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our teams have continued to care for people in our community. I am so proud of our teams here at JBH and I would like to thank all of our dedicated staff, physicians, learners, and volunteers for their incredible efforts to provide safe and quality care.

Thank you for your continued support.

Please take care, stay safe and be well.

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Regional mask By-law will be rescinded effective 12:01 a.m. on March 21' city of Burlington bylaw also expected to be rescinded.

By Staff

March 19th, 2022



On Saturday, March 19, 2022, Halton Regional Council approved an amendment to Halton Region’s Consolidated Mask By-law 47-20 to rescind the by-law effective 12:01 a.m. on March 21, 2022. The amendment was approved at a Special Meeting of Halton Regional Council in order to update Halton’s by-law in alignment with the removal of the Provincial requirements related to the wearing of a mask or face covering in most settings.

Halton’s mask by-law was originally adopted by Regional Council on July 15, 2020, as an important measure to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and keep the Halton community safe. While the mask by-law is being rescinded in Halton, some Provincial and Federal masking requirements will remain in place.

Are these days behind us?

As of March 21, masking will continue to be required in select settings such as public transit, long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other health care settings, shelters, jails and congregate care and living settings, including homes for individuals with developmental disabilities.

In addition to the settings above, masks will also be required in the following circumstances:

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are required to wear a mask until day 10 following a positive test result or the onset of symptoms (whichever occurred first).
  • Close contacts and household contacts of individuals with COVID-19 are required to wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.
  • Individuals who have recently traveled outside of Canada, have to wear a mask for 14 days upon return.

Halton Region Public Health is also reminding residents that wearing a mask continues to be an effective public health measure for reducing the spread of COVID-19 and to be kind to those who choose to continue wearing a mask to protect themselves and others.

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health.

“There is still risk of transmission in Halton and we need to be mindful that the risk of infection and severe disease is greater for some individuals than others, including those who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions, and older adults,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health.

“Some individuals may choose to keep wearing masks in places where they are not required, and others, such as those who are close contacts of COVID-19 cases, will be required to wear masks for a period of time. Businesses and organizations may also continue to require or encourage mask use based on the risk in their workplaces and to their patrons. I encourage all Halton residents to continue to be kind and respectful to everyone, regardless of their decision to wear a mask or not.”

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Foundation created to identify and fully fund creative arts and exercise programs for those living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel.

By Tamara Boaden

March 18th, 2022



The Passion for Parkinson’s Foundation is a non-profit corporation . Our primary objective  is to identify and fully fund creative arts and exercise programs targeted specifically to enhance and support the lives of those  living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative movement disorder affecting 25 new people daily in Canada.  Next to medication, exercise is the most beneficial therapy for managing this disease.

My husband was diagnosed with  Parkinson’s in 2011 and I have experienced what this debilitating disease does and understand how important these programs are for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

In May 2021, we  launched Parkinson’s in the Park ™which offered weekly walking, exercise, and Tai Chi programs in various parks In Mississauga.

In September 2021, we  expanded the walking and Tai Chi programs to Burlington.

Based upon our success and seeing the difference it made to our Parkinson Community, beginning April 2022, we are offering  and fully funding Arts and Exercise programs in Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington. Flyers are attached.

We plan to further  expand  our programs to Brampton and Milton by 2022/23.

We need your help to increase our community reach to attract new participants, volunteers, and financial supporters. Any assistance you can offer (i.e. share with your social media feeds, post flyers/brochures on community boards.





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Regional Council to debate an amendment to the mask bylaw in a rare Saturday meeting

By Staff

March 18th, 2022



Halton Regional Council will meet in a rare Saturday meeting to discuss an amendment to the bylaw relating to the Non-Medical Masks/Face Coverings in Certain Enclosed Public Places.

Notice of Amendment from Mayor Rick Bonnette and Councillor Clark Somerville re:  LPS26-22 – Update 5: Mandatory Non-Medical Masks/Face Coverings in Certain Enclosed Public Places in Halton Region


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Muir: Too early to change the masking rules - what's the rush?


By Tom Muir

March 17th, 2022



It isn’t popular to talk about masks and social distancing these days.

Everyone wants to see the pandemic declared over and get us to the point where we are dealing with an endemic and those are a piece of cake.

Tom Muir who contributes to the Gazette frequently focuses on just what it is we are dealing with and where the leadership is falling short.

I’m afraid I see too many cooks in the kitchen regarding Covid mandates, and too many splits of who has authority to decide.

Is this the time for the Medical Officer of Health to weight in with some comment?

I am particularly concerned about schools and the educational system, and have repeatedly expressed that concern. Now I find out from your message here that the City bylaw does not apply to schools. And also that the Regional Office of Health has authority, and could issue a Section 22 order, which could mandate masking in schools. Then, as well, you tell me the Medical Officers of Health at the Region is recommending lifting the mask bylaw.

So who has the responsibility to protect the children and the school system in this messy division of power? Regional Health has a conflict of interest between following orders that are “legal”, and the fact that something that is “legal” is not necessarily permissible, or morally justified in an ethical society, especially when the possible consequences for the most vulnerable in our society are known and are grave.

This conflict is very concerning as it raises questions of responsibility and accountability for a decision about children and schools – Who will be called to account for the decision and the consequences? Is the Board of Education responsible for this fiduciary duty of trust? If not, then why not?

I say again, it is just too soon to stop masking and other Covid controls in the school system right after all the interactions and mingling, and therefore increased virus transmission opportunities that will occur during school break. Several weeks are needed to see what happens. In addition, the City and Regional masking and other Covid bylaws, as you say, and I repeat –

“requires the wearing of masks or other face coverings within enclosed spaces open to the public, including:

  • City Hall and City facilities open to the public;
  • Burlington Transit;
  • Public areas of offices, retail outlets and malls; and
  • Inside common areas of apartment and condominium buildings.”

Is masking necessary for these children?

My point here is that enclosed public spaces are the areas of maximum transmission, and the masking is the first line of defence, then distancing, and this is an historical practice of public health infection protection.

Further, I say we need more time in general to consider lifting the masking bylaw because there is a lag in time to show what the health indicators are doing after the break, and in general.

I read this below in the Washington Post today, and it would do us well to heed the warning about the failure to be cautious in decisions with very serious consequences that we already know about very well. The whole article is worth a read in terms of what is going on with the virus.

“A surge in coronavirus infections in Western Europe has experts and health authorities on alert for another wave of the pandemic in the United States even as most of the country has done away with restrictions after a sharp decline in cases.”

“Infectious-disease experts are closely watching the subvariant of omicron known as BA.2, which appears to be more transmissible than the original strain, BA.1, and is fueling the outbreak overseas.”

My bottom line is that someone has to be called to be responsible to fulfill the Board of Education duty as Trustees – with root of Trust – to protect the children and the schools from the risk of this inherent policy harm, as stated by many independent experts, and by the known ways of how the virus acts. This is not safe policy for children, teachers, schools, or parents. It is not stated by Ford to be a safe policy, but a personal choice about risk tolerance.

The children themselves do not have the wherewithal to make such an independent choice for themselves, and are at the mercy of the politics, and what you decide to do. The rest of us will be collateral damage.

In my view, whoever gets to decide, whether it is the Board or not, will be guilty of negligence of fiduciary duty if they just obey Premier Ford’s orders.

Tom Muir is a retired federal civil servant who writes frequently on public issues




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Views on masking are mixed: many think the decision to remove the requirement came too early

By Staff

March 16th, 2022



The winding down of COVID-19 restrictions has begun in most of the country, and it’s being met with both confidence, and concern.

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, in partnership with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, finds Canadians divided about the swiftness of public health measure reduction, and open to keep key restrictions in place for longer if necessary.

Indeed, large numbers say that removal is happening too quickly (36%), at the right pace (38%), or too slowly (22%). Significant regional differences define the overall findings, as people in various parts of the country react to the situation where they live and gauge the changes through the lenses of their own realities.

Nationally, 73 per cent say they would support continuing masking requirements in public spaces while 64 per cent support proof of vaccination at places like restaurants and theatres in their community.

These data help to underline an emerging trend as governments shift responsibility to Canadians to decide which health measures to continue to follow. While official requirements may soon no longer be in place, many are ready to continue with the habits they have formed over the past two years. Two-thirds (64%) will continue sanitizing their hands in addition to washing, three-in-five will maintain the practice of social distancing, and fully half say – at least for the time being – they will avoid large crowds (53%) and continue to wear a mask in public (50%).

Mayor Meed Ward with staff members at a restaurant chose not to wear a mask.

As premiers and public health officials make announcements about the plan for spring, they do so with varied public opinion profiles. In Atlantic Canada, B.C., and Quebec, premiers are perceived as having handled the previous two years well. A majority also say that Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam has done a good job (56%). On the other end of the spectrum, residents in Manitoba and Alberta are overwhelmingly critical of what they have seen from their premiers since the pandemic began.



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Milton, Oakville and the Region end their State of Emergency - Burlington still hanging in there

By Staff

March 15th, 2022



The Town of Milton has ended its state of emergency for Covid-19. The state of emergency was first declared at the onset of the pandemic, on March 24, 2020.

The ending of the state of emergency follows the same announcements from Milton’s municipal partners – Halton Region and the Town of Oakville.

With the end of the state of emergency,  all residents are thanked for their resilience and commitment to keep our community safe. Residents are asked to remain kind, considerate ,and respectful toward those who continue to practice public health measures for their own well-being.

Residents are also encouraged to remain vigilant and practice what we have learned over the last two years. This includes staying home when sick and most importantly, getting vaccinated and boosted.

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Top five ways to prepare for a safe and healthy March Break

By Staff

March 8th, 2022



As provinces lift restrictions, many Canadians are itching to travel. With March Break upon us, the team at COVIDdetect has pulled together top five ways to help remain as safe as possible during these times of excitement, and a little trepidation.

Premier Ford was masked when he got his vaccination. The rest of us can do it

#1 Get vaccinated – get boosted

Getting vaccinated ensures you are adequately protected against the virus. It lowers your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. With over 80% of Canadians with at least two doses, many provinces and territories are loosening restrictions and mandates. A booster shot can increase your efficacy to hold off severe infection from COVID-19.

#2 Wear a mask, wash your hands

Wearing a mask and washing your hands are additional precautions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. These sustainable and effective measures can cut the risk of transmission of not only COVID-19 but also other viruses and illness.

#3 Be prepared – have rapid antigen test on hand

Forget the hassle of having to find a rapid antigen test while you’re away or the worry of not being sure if you should gather with friends and family. Carry rapid antigen tests with you to test before and after social gatherings, travel on planes, trains, and automobiles (and on public transit). Taking a rapid antigen test is quick, easy, and convenient. It allows you to get the results within 15 minutes without leaving the house. It is the perfect way to have peace of mind and enjoy yourself.

#4 Plan your trip carefully

Have a plan. Planning ensures smooth sailing for a trip and helps calm nerves, especially if this is your first time traveling in a long time. Look for activities with smaller crowds and gatherings or scheduling the activity at off-peak hours. Understand local restrictions and public health guidelines so you know what to expect. Reduce your risk by choosing outdoor activities. Check local travel blogs and community websites for a list of possible activities.

Get tested

#5 If you’re not feeling great, take a test

If you are not feeling well take the time to investigate. Using rapid antigen tests and common sense will limit exposing your friends and loved ones to whatever ailment you may have. With a rapid antigen test, you can better understand your symptoms and make informed decisions on taking care of yourself and when to seek treatment if necessary.

If you’re still worried about COVID-19, plan activities that are close to home, have a backup plan if activities become too busy and be creative! Additional resources are available on the Government of Canada travel and tourism website.


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A program for seniors who need special care may get really rolling with Covid19 restrictions being eased.

By Pepper Parr

March 7th, 2022


A program for seniors who need special care may get really rolling with Covid19 restrictions being eased.

You know him as the Council member for ward 5; the without a doubt, smartest member of Council – with ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns a very close second smartest council member.

Councillor Sharman has held two public sessions with Senior’s as part of his effort to understand their needs and develop policy that Council can put in place to serve this vital community. At most of the sessions Sharman’s Dad is often in the audience.

Sharman has always had a soft spot for the seniors, it is a sector to which he pays close attention.

During a conversation over what he was going to do next Paul Sharman would not say he was going to run again nor would he offer as much as a hint about possibly challenging to the sitting Mayor come October.

Paul Sharman wanted to talk about PACE, a project on which he has done some work in the past and very much wants to do more on in the future ; he made it clear to me that he was talking about near future.

Last November he explained what PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) was about to a small group of seniors at the Wellington Tower in downtown Burlington.

Paul’s story was a very personal that resonated with his audience. He first learned about it during a conference he was attending in Detroit. Sharman was invited to visit a charitable organization that created an interesting program.  He and Rick Goldring, Burlington mayor at the time, went down and visited Presbyterian Villages and United Methodist Retirement Communities, that provided thousands of income-geared condo-style homes that were rented to people on limited incomes.

On the ground floor of all of this was a program called PACE. Other communities were served by standalone PACE centres.

The focus was on keeping older adults in their homes longer; Sharman wanted something like this in Burlington and was able to launch a first effort in January 2020 to provide comprehensive care for older adults as an alternative to long-term care facilities.

Paul Sharman’s quest to bring better care to seniors is a very personal story.  It began when his mother had to be moved to a long-term care (LTC) facility from a retirement home after apparently “assaulting” another community member while in distress. His mother was deemed violent even though she was frail.

An Earth Day event, where the lights were turned off for an hour, spooked Sharman’s mother, who was suffering from dementia, resulting in her pushing away the other community member when they approached her.

This unnamed LTC facility also had locked wards for residents who were considered “violent,” where younger residents with mental health and other issues were also located and would allegedly assault other residents.

Paul Sharman with members of his family at a community event.

After much advocacy by Sharman’s sister, their mother was eventually moved out of the locked ward to one mostly occupied by residents who had suffered from strokes. Eventually, she developed pneumonia, was unable to swallow antibiotics, and was then moved to a hospital. By then, her options were limited and she passed away in early 2015.

Paul Sharman: When he puts his mind to an issue he looks for the data and lets that lead him to the decision he makes.

“Long-term care is necessary but insufficient,” said Sharman. Sharman believes that things could have been better for his mother had there been more support services available in the community. His mother inspired him to look for ways to develop support groups for older adults so they could stay in their homes as long as possible and therefore have a better quality of life.

He and others got as far as setting up a non-profit organization that practices in condo towers and other places of congregate living.

The local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) was very engaged and interested and wanted to give them access to their services kit, meaning they would organize services for those people who needed help at home.

Healthcare system restructuring meant that CCACs were disbanded, which meant those services still existed operating under a different name, the future became unclear without the CCAC, and the program was suspended.

On the way back from Detroit, Goldring and Sharman talked about how the Presbyterian and United Methodist villages were able to pull together so many housing units with limited resources and what exactly made it work.

To help them think it through, Dr. Jennifer Mendez, a Toronto-based professor who taught geriatric care to medical students at Wayne State University in Detroit and an advisor to PACE in Detroit, was brought in to provide support for the Burlington project.  Mendez, now retired, has been involved with the American iteration for more than 25 years, first starting in Milwaukee.  Mendez says collaboration between all of the service providers is essential for the success of the program.

JBH president Eric Vandewall manages well and gets the job done.  The biggest problem he faces is a cultural one.  The problem existed long before Vandewall arrived.

Sharman’s team then presented the idea to a special meeting of 80 Burlington community leaders, including Eric Vandewall, President and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital, and Dr. Michael Shih of Emshih Developments, who specializes in the development of medical buildings and retirement homes.

When the presentation was over, Sharman asked the assembled leaders if anyone could think of any reason not to pursue this program going forward. The room was silent. People then asked what would be done next.

This resulted in Sharman and Goldring setting up committees to discuss how PACE might be established in Burlington. Vandewall and Shih were brought on to the volunteer committee and after about eight or nine months of talking it through, the program was moved into the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), as they had all the resources and connections necessary for it to work, coupled with Halton Community Housing, which owns and operates large housing properties for older adults.

Residents over 80 years of age in 2016 census it was 5.7% in Burlington and 9.2% over 75. The 2021 census has not provided Burlington yet, but Ontario is 4.6% over 80 and 7.8% over 75.

“I think this is the population that requires the most attention,” said Shih. “Social isolation is a problem.”  “Also because of the seniors living much longer now, in terms of care and [their] financial situation, everything needs more attention,” he added.

A solid strategic thinker who wonders just where the vision for the city is hiding.

Unfortunately, just after the pilot program launched last January, PACE couldn’t offer new services or group programs due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the organizations that were already working with residents were able to continue doing so.

The pandemic shed an extremely negative light on long-term care in the province, giving PACE a chance to stand out and continue to grow.

And with the help of vaccines, the program has been back up and running for about six months and has been granted approval from the Burlington Ontario Health Team (OHT), operating out of Joseph Brant Hospital, to scale up and continue its work.

Halton Community Housing has also committed $1 million for renovations on the ground floor of Wellington Terrace to better house PACE and its programs.

There is a lot more to this story.  The big question is: can Paul Sharman get PACE off the ground and be Mayor at the same time?


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Joseph Brant announces Changes to Designated Essential Care Partner Policy

By Staff

March 1st, 2020



Joseph Brant Hospital recognizes the need to continue protecting the health and safety of its patients and healthcare workers as the province of Ontario enters into the next phase of its re-opening plan. While the opportunity to enter public spaces such as restaurants or sports venues is a welcome change, COVID-19 remains transmissible to vulnerable individuals receiving care in healthcare settings.

Effective March 1, Joseph Brant Hospital will be easing limits on Essential Care Partners (ECPs); however, the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for ECPs will remain unchanged, with very limited exceptions.

We have made the following changes to the limits on ECPs in hospital, understanding the important role they play in a patient’s care, wellness and recovery:

  • Ambulatory care: One (1) ECP may attend with a patient.
  • Emergency care: The patient may identify up to two (2) ECPs. Only one (1) ECP can be at patient’s side at any time.
  • In-patient care: Two (2) ECPs are allowed at the bedside at the same time.
  • Person in labour: Two (2) ECPs are permitted including a Doula, if applicable.
  • In-patient end of life: Patients expected to pass within 72 hours are permitted up to four one-time, two-hour visits. Additional ECPs are permitted above those originally identified. Only two (2) ECPs may be at the bedside at a time.
  • Patients under 18 years of age: Two (2) parents/legal guardians are permitted to accompany the patient or attend the bedside at the same time.

All ECPs must complete a COVID-19 screening before coming to the hospital. Those who fail screening due to vaccination status will not be permitted entry with very limited exceptions. Existing personal protective equipment (PPE) policies, including masking, also remain in effect.

“As we gradually plan for the resumption of surgical care in the coming months, we will continue to place the highest priority on the safety of our patients and healthcare workers, who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic,” said Eric Vandewall, President and CEO. “We look forward to seeing a further downward trend in the numbers of COVID-19 cases in our community, and will continue to re-evaluate our policies accordingly, with input from our patients, their families and our staff. We appreciate the understanding of our community.”

Wherever possible, patients are encouraged to connect with their loved ones by email, telephone or by video. To help keep them connected, we are offering free in-room phone and Wi-Fi.

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Proof of vaccination requirement ends March 1.

By Staff

February 25th, 2020



The City of Burlington will follow the direction from the Provincial government and will no longer require visitors to City recreational facilities to show proof of vaccination as of March 1.

Masks, physical distancing and active screening are still required until further notice.

More information will be shared if there are additional impacts to recreation facilities or programs once the full regulations are released by the province.

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture said: “Regardless of any changes, our staff will always work to providing the safest and highest quality programming we can offer. Please be patient with staff as we work through implementing any change and as we take cautious steps on the journey to fully reopening our facilities and programs.”

I wouldn’t throw out the card yet or delete it from my cell phone.  Wait until the pandemic gets renamed to an endemic.

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New Covid19 infections are still being reported but the numbers are decreasing

By Pepper Parr

February 17th, 2022



The province moves into a new part of the Roadmap to Recovery with many restrictions being lifted.

Halton Regional Medical Officer of Health Hamida Meghani told Regional Council yesterday that while things are certainly a lot better than they were in January it is still important that people be vigilant – “wear your mask when you are with people who are not part of your bubble”.

Dr. Meghani displayed some graphics that show the stages this pandemic has gone through adding that the virus is still very much with us.

The degree to which the Omicron variant impacted the province. The concern is that there could be another variant working its way towards us. The defence is ensuring that everyone is fully vaccinated.

Provinc- level testing has been cut back but the Region has been testing the effluents at the waste water treatment plants in the Region and reported that the level of the virus in the community is stable with none of the waste water treatment plants showing increases.

Testing results from waste water treatment plants

Dr. Meghani stresses again and again that this virus is passed from person to person and that the most effective way to prevent that from happening is to wear a properly fitted mask.

She produced a graphic that explains it all – adding that being fully vaccinated lessens the chances of an infection taking hold.

Look at the graphic carefully – it shows the path the virus takes.

The virus on the left and the route it takes getting to you.

Related news stories:

Province eases up on restrictions February 17th and again on March 1st.

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Covid19 rapid tests are now available free at 32 locations in Burlington

By Staff

February 10th



And it doesn’t hurt.

Ontario is distributing FREE COVID RAPID TESTS to the general population as supply increases.

Starting today, over 2,300 participating grocery and pharmacy locations — including 32 locations in Burlington — will provide free rapid tests, with a limit of one box of five tests per household per visit.

A list of participating retailers as well as information on how retail locations are distributing rapid test kits can be found at Ontario.ca/rapidtest


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Make a note of this: GO-VAXX walk in Clinic at Sherwood Park has a new date February 5th.

By Staff

January 31st, 2020



Update to Feb. 5 GO-VAXX Indoor Walk-In Clinics schedule

Feb. 5 schedule is now as follows:
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. : Adult Pfizer for ages 12 to 29 years of age
4 p.m. – 5 p.m. : Moderna for ages 30 years of age and older
5 p.m. – 6 p.m. : Paediatric Pfizer for ages 5 (on the day of the clinic) to 11 years of age

The GO-VAXX Indoor Walk-In Clinics will take place at Sherwood Forest Park. No appointment required.

Links and Resources
COVID-19 Resources
• For information about COVID-19 in Halton Region, including the latest public health guidance and the status of COVID-19 cases, please visit halton.ca/coronavirus
o COVID-19 Vaccine information
• Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 905-335-7777, by email at city@burlington.ca or online.

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Blood Services inventory running low - Omicron is impacting everything.

By Staff

January 31st, 2020


New and returning donors needed to support patients through Omicron

JAN. 31, 2022 (OTTAWA) – Canadian Blood Services is calling for new and returning donors to replenish the blood, platelet and plasma supply and support patients through the latest COVID-19 wave.

The platelet inventory and days on hand of several blood types are at low levels. This is a pivotal time to reverse concerning trends and ensure that we fill all available appointments in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.

“Like other organizations across Canada, the latest COVID-19 wave is challenging Canadian Blood Services like never before,” says Dr. Graham Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services.

“As Omicron continues to spread across the country, it is also impacting our operations. Our employees and donors are among those falling ill or being required to isolate. For these reasons, and also because of severe weather in parts of the country, we’ve seen a concerning drop in donations recently. By booking appointments over the next several weeks, donors can help us reverse this worrying trend before the situation becomes urgent.”

In addition, Canada needs many more donors, new and returning, to help us meet patient needs now and into the future. Since the pandemic began, the number of donors in Canada has been steadily declining. Regular donors impacted by the latest wave of COVID-19 can’t give if they are sick or required to isolate.

One in two people in Canada are eligible to donate blood, plasma, and platelets, but only one in 81 does. This donour is at the 100 donations level.

“Today, new donors are more important than ever. One in two people in Canada are eligible to donate blood, plasma, and platelets, but only one in 81 does. The problem is that we’re relying on a very small group of people to meet the needs of the country,” says Dr. Sher.

“Whether you choose to donate blood or plasma this week, next week or next month, all donors are an important part of Canada’s Lifeline. We also need donors to continue to be patient, and adapt with us, through this period of change and uncertainty. Lives depend on it,” he says.

People ineligible to donate whole blood may be eligible to donate plasma. Since the red blood cells are returned to the donor’s body and only the plasma is taken, donors can give plasma much more frequently. Men can donate every week and women are able to give every two weeks.

If you’ve never donated before, and are well and able to leave home, please book an appointment. If you can’t book an appointment to donate right away, please consider booking one for next month.

Canadian Blood Services is considered an essential service and exempt from lockdown orders. Same day and open appointments spots are available every day at many donor centres and community events across the country.
Visit blood.ca or download the GiveBlood app today to book or change a blood donation appointment, find a donor centre or check your eligibility to donate blood or plasma.

About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization. Regulated by Health Canada as a biologics manufacturer and primarily funded by the provincial and territorial ministries of health, Canadian Blood Services operates with a national scope, infrastructure and governance that make it unique within Canadian healthcare. In the domain of blood, plasma and stem cells, we provide services for patients on behalf of all provincial and territorial governments except Quebec. The national transplant registry for interprovincial organ sharing and related programs reaches into all provinces and territories, as a biological lifeline for Canadians.  We used to know it as the Red Cross.

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Hospital still struggling with new outbreaks of Covid19 - this virus is still with us

By Staff

January 30th, 2020



Days after announcing that levels 4, 5 and  6 of Joseph Brant Hospital had been cleared of the Covid19 outbreak, the hospital announced that there has been an outbreak on Unit 6 South 200 (6S200) where two patients tested positive for COVID-19.

All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of patients, Essential Care Partners (ECPs), staff and physicians.

Staff struggle to keep up with new Covid19 infections at JBH

Joseph Brant Hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control team and Employee Health Services are ensuring all patients on the unit, along with staff and physicians who have been or may have been exposed, are being contacted, monitored, tested as required and self-isolating in keeping with Public Health guidelines. Patients on the unit are in isolation as of January 29 and have been instructed to continue the 10-day self-isolation when discharged from hospital.

A number of enhanced safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of our patients, staff and physicians. This includes closing 6S200 to new patient admissions and placing patients on enhanced droplet and contact precautions.

In addition, ECPs are no longer permitted to enter the unit except under very limited circumstances in consultation with the patient’s care team. Patients can still connect with their loved ones by telephone and video – both telephone and WiFi are available at no cost. Patients and their loved ones can visit the hospital website for information on how to book a video visit: www.josephbranthospital.ca/en/patients-and-visitors/visiting-hours.asp

JBH is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work closely with Halton Region Public Health to bring a safe end to the outbreak as soon as possible. Patients or loved ones who have questions or concerns can contact a member of the JBH Patient Relations team at 905-632-3737 ext. 4949 or by email patientrelations@josephbranthospital.ca.

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Hospital back to normal - all the Covid infections are under control - visitors can return

By Staff

January 28th, 2022



It was a tough one – three different floors of the Joseph Brant Hospital were at one time working flat out to cope with Covid 19 outbreaks.
The hospital announced minutes ago, in consultation with Halton Public Health, that the outbreak has been declared over on inpatient Unit 4N700 and 5N400,

The outbreak on 4N700 was declared on January 12, 2022. In total, 11 patients and 5 staff contracted COVID-19. All appropriate actions were taken to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and physicians.

We thank our staff whose expertise and teamwork brought this outbreak to a close. Our thoughts are with those whose well-being may have been impacted during this outbreak.

Essential caregivers and support persons are now able to visit patients on 4N700 and 5N400 in accordance with the inpatient visitor policy outlined on the Joseph Brant Hospital website at: www.josephbranthospital.ca/visitors

Joseph Brant Hospital remains vigilant in following the Infection Prevention and Control safety measures in place to protect our patients, our staff and our physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Joseph Brant Hospital

Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) is a full-service community teaching hospital located in the growing and thriving community of Burlington, Ontario, serving more than 185,000 residents in Halton, Hamilton, Waterdown, Flamborough, Milton and Stoney Creek. It is honoured to be recognized as one of Hamilton Niagara’s Top Employers for five (5) consecutive years, with a skilled staff of 194 physicians, 1,911 full- and part-time staff and more than 700 volunteers.

JBH is a Clinical Education site in conjunction with McMaster University, and designated as an Academic Community Teaching Hospital. Its expanded campus includes the state-of-art Michael Lee-Chin & Family Patient Tower, featuring a new Emergency Department, 172 acute inpatient beds, 9 new Operating Rooms and post-anaesthetic care unit to support expanded medical, surgical and outpatient services. JBH is also a partner member of the Burlington Ontario Health Team.

JBH inspires and empowers a culture of caring and this is demonstrated in many ways in our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of our people.

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