Mobile vaccinations teams to park at or near schools to encourage taking the needle

By Staff

August 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The snap call of a federal election will muddy up the radar screen and get in the way of news that is critical to people – especially parents who want to know more about just what kind of an environment their children will be walking into when they return to school on September 7th

The public Board of Education will be meeting this evening and we should get some idea from them what the plans are.

The Board is tightly bound by what the provincial Ministry of Education determines. A report from that Ministry earlier today sets out how they see things working out.

This is what it is all about.

The Ontario government is working with public health units and publicly funded school boards to plan and host vaccination clinics in or nearby schools.

Clinics are expected to run before school starts and during the first few weeks of school. The program is part of the province’s last mile strategy to target those who have yet to receive a first or second dose

. “As part of the last mile campaign to reach as many students and staff as possible and to keep schools as safe as possible, we are requiring school boards and public health units to roll out clinics in or close to schools. By making vaccines more accessible, and with a cautious reopening in September following the expert advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we will further bolster our fight against COVID-19 and variants.”

As of August 15, more than 69 per cent of youth aged 12 to17 have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 56 per cent have received a second dose. School-focused vaccination clinics will support increased uptake for eligible students, as well as education staff, and a safer return to school in the fall.

With respect to consent at school-focused clinics, COVID-19 vaccines will only be provided if informed consent is received from the individual, including eligible students, and as long as they have the capability to make this decision.

Health care providers, the school, and families must respect a young person’s decision regarding vaccination. Parents and guardians are encouraged to discuss vaccination with their children prior to attending a school vaccination clinic.

Students waiting for their turn to be vaccinated.

All vaccines delivered as part of Ontario’s vaccine rollout provide high levels of effectiveness against hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and its variants, including the Delta variant. During July 2021, unvaccinated individuals were approximately eight times more likely to get infected with COVID-19 compared to those who were fully vaccinated.

The growing number of people 12-17 who are vaccinated is encouraging – but being in the 55-60 % area isn’t good enough – not when we get reports of 500 + new infections daily and learn that the vast majority of those people have contracted the Delta variable that infects much faster and does serious damage to those infected.

Deaths are lower – but surely that is not a reason for not getting vaccinated.

Many jurisdictions are taking the position that if you are not fully vaccinated you cannot return to work.

Why the province is not making full vaccination mandatory is beyond this writer.

The upside is a safe, prudent choice – the downside will become evident the day we learn that a child has died.

Pressure from parents is what makes this government move.

 

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A stupid remark by a person who should perhaps not be working at a hospital

By Pepper Parr

August 13th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Who was the employee at the Joseph Brant Hospital who told a patient waiting in the emergency area to “stop inter fearing” when she was asked if a blanket could be brought out for a women appearing to be in serious pain and shivering in the wheel chair?
Another patient waiting in the Emergency area saw the woman who was reported to be “shivering severely” and asked an attend walking by if she could get a blanket for the woman.

A hospital is a place where caring is all that really counts – everything flows from that.

The attendant paused and appeared to be about to walk on when the person that reported the behaviour to the Gazette said quite loudly “she needs a blanket” at which point the attendant got a blanket, wrapped it around the shivering patent and then said “stop inter fearing”.

The Joseph Brant Hospital is better than that. If the people working there can’t care for people – try finding another job.

The vast majority of the people who work at the hospital are caring people – this was an exception. It is the exceptions that do the damage

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A Liberal thanks a Liberal for calling out a Conservative

By Staff

August 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ontario Liberal Leader, Steven Del Duca got it right when he congratulated the Prime Minister for stepping up and pledging a secure vaccination certification tool.

Ontario Liberal Leader, Steven Del Duca

Del Duca, the leader without a seat in the Legislature, wants Doug Ford to immediately begin working with the federal Liberal Government to get this right.

“Ontario Liberals” said Del Duca, “have been fighting for this responsible public health measure for weeks while Doug Ford has pandered to his fringe anti-vaxxer supporters. This is about protecting our most vulnerable, stopping a fourth wave, and keeping Ontario open for good.”

 

 

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Burlington residents and businesses dealing with Covid well with logical action and strong optimism

Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington is a city full of young families which means I am always surrounded by selfless people willing to help each other in their time of need.

Many Burlington businesses are in a time of need, especially the hospitality sector. Others are glad to be back at work with an economy that is opening up and shifting away from the risk of having to shut down – again. Some don’t see another huge spike in Covid cases.

Value Village is back to where it was before the pandemic hit the city.

“We have been reopened since June 17… we are now back to business as usual,” said Value Village manager Beau Kowanetz.

In an attempt to help small businesses, the business Burlington Economic Development Team has supported business with website development and access to grants.

Clothing stores needed to adapt to online purchasing because all trade shows were shut down.

Carol Boyko, owner of the Bocana Boutique is putting in 16 hour days and learning to use the internet to advertise.

“We’re doing virtual zoom meetings to look at new clothing collections … that’s an issue on its own because you cannot feel and touch the merchandise,” said Bocana Boutique owner Carol Boyko.

Boyko has had to put in 16 hour days in order to keep her business alive while learning all about online advertising.

Though difficult as it was her resolve is better than ever and although she is praying and is optimistic about not going into lockdown again, she has contingency plans ready for if businesses are forced to close. .

The reason I think Burlington has done so well is because the people of this city have a great, rare universally shared mentality that I have not seen since visiting Argentina where I worked for a short period of time.

People in this city do not look for someone to blame for the problems; something that is easily done in societies that are divided by opinions. Burlingtonians don’t think of problems that have to be changed by someone but rather people in this city analyze the issue, ask what needs to be done to get through it and diligently and patiently surmount the issue without panic turning instead to hard work.

Being in Burlington means being in a place that is peaceful but also where my responsibilities are not too far away. Burlington is a city that lets me enjoy the seclusion of the country and wilderness but also where I can become more active in my community, find stable work and conveniently attend college.

Burlington as I see it is a city that has maintained its spirit, optimism and its joys; it shows the same spirits of the people who looks past excuses and focus on solutions.

When Covid hit Burlington the people were disappointed that our lives had come to a stop but they were not surprised; they watched the news and knew it was only a matter of time – unlike so many in the United States who rejected reality or looked for someone to blame.

The Burlington Food Bank provides food for families that have been financially damaged by the pandemic. Citizens donate to keep the operation going.healthy

I see Burlington as a city of people who give care to its family and support to those who need it and are doing everything that needs to be done to end the pandemic soon.

Burlington residents have found themselves coping quite well with the pandemic – they feel they have it better than most.

“I think we’ve been doing very well, said parent Amy Cohen.

“Parents are looking forward to in-class learning for their children in the fall and with a keen sense of returning to normalcy.

“Parents enjoy taking their children out to Orchard Community Park and allowing kids to play at the water parks and not wearing masks but still keeping socially distanced and limited people on playground at a time.

The Orchard as a community has pulled together to get families through a problem they never expected to have to deal with.

With people coming out to be vaccinated in large numbers and the city slowly but surely opening up, residents are seeing the end in sight believing the pandemic to be over soon.

With the majority of residents vaccinated and plans to have their children vaccinated as soon as Covid19 vaccines are approved for younger ages.

“I think [the schools] are doing the best they can, given the amount of notice they have been given,” Cohen continued.

Max Bowder is a second year journalism student at Sheridan College.  He is part of a team with the Gazette on the Local Journalism Initiative funded by the federal government.  Before enrolling at Sheridan Max volunteered in a community in Argentina  where he worked with young people.  He is a Burlington resident who helps out on the family farm in Milton.

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Heat warning issued for Aug. 11-13: Libraries open as cooling stations

By Staff

August 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

An extended heat warning has been issued by Halton Region for Aug. 11-13, 2021.

When a heat warning is issued by Halton Region, residents can stay cool at all open Burlington Public Library branches.

Heat warnings are issued by Halton Region when temperatures are expected to be at least 31°C and overnight temperatures are above 20°C for at least 3 days or humidex is at least 40 for at least 2 days.

Cooling Centre information:

• Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the heat warning
• Community members can use for 1-hour increments
• Screening for COVID-19 upon arrival
• Measures in place to ensure physical distancing
• Non-medical face coverings required

Central Branch
2331 New St.
905-639-3611

Aldershot Branch
550 Plains Rd. E.
905-333-9995

Alton Branch
3040 Tim Dobbie Dr.
905-634-3686

Brant Hills Branch
2255 Brant St.
905-335-2209

New Appleby Branch
676 Appleby Line
905-639-6373

Tansley Woods Branch
1996 Itabashi Way
905-336-5583

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Why are we at the point where a fourth Covid wave is expected?

By Pepper Parr

August 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

I keep hearing about the “expected fourth wave” as if it a certainty.

What would make a fourth wave certain? Because not enough people are fully vaccinated – that’s something we control isn’t it.

You get vaccinated – if you’re not vaccinated you can’t enter a supermarket; you can’t go to work.

No one has the right to decide they are not going to be vaccinated when it is now clear that vaccination stop the spread of the virus.

There is a lot of chatter about privacy and human rights. We are all for free speech – but that doesn’t give someone the right to stand up in a dark theatre and cry out Fire! Fire and leave people scrambling to get out.

There are limits.

During the Second World War men were drafted into the armed forces. They may not have wanted to go to war but their country forced them to go.

There were an unfortunate few that chose to desert – when they were caught they were shot by a squad of Canadian soldiers ordered to shoot them

Tough times called for tough decisions. That’s what governments are in place for.

When a restaurant looks like this – you are seeing dashed hopes and a dismal future for the owners and the employees.

A fourth wave will do huge damage to the hospitality sector. Will office workers be able t return to their buildings?

I shudder to think what it will do to the children who will be returning to classrooms in September

I put the following questions to the Chair of the Halton District School Board:

Does the Board have a policy that requires everyone working in a school, whatever the capacity, to be fully vaccinated before they return to work in September?

Will the Board make any exceptions and if they do – what are the exceptions?

Andrea Grebenc was quick with her response:

“The Board does not have the power to do this. We can’t even ask the vaccination status for the COVID-19 vaccination.

“This has to be a provincial mandate. (MMR. Diphtheria, Tetanus are shots that are mandated, but there are exemptions.

“I assume” said Grebenc “that since the Education Worker Unions pushed so hard in the spring for priority vaccination, that we do have a high percentage of all staff vaccinated.

“Halton has one of the highest vaccination rates in the province (83% one dose and 74% double vaccinated for 12+).”

All true and the infection numbers for Burlington look pretty good (if a disease with the capacity to kill can be described as looking good) but the numbers province wide are not good – we are back where we were in June and nearing the 21 day period for phase 3.
The province is going to want to say something positive – difficult to do when many are talking about the expected fourth wave.

These are the numbers from the Regional Public Health Office for Burlington on August 9th

No word either on just what we are going to do once the kids are back in the classrooms where colds are part of the business.

Andre Picard, Globe and Mail columnist who has been doing sterling work on the Covid19 crisis passed along a phrase he got from a colleague who is Chair of the federal Covid19 immunity Task Force who said ”Nasty fall ahead”.

Is this what we are sitting here waiting for that fourth wave to happen?

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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Public school board starts to prepare for the return to classes in September

By Staff

August 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Halton District School Board, Andrea Grebenc, isn’t pleased with the provincial plans for the start of school in September.

Halton Public School Board chair Andrea Grebenc adjusting her head set during a virtual Board meeting.

She was frustrated to see “guidance in the plan that encouraged boards to pivot to remote learning around inclement weather days (snow days and extreme heat). It demonstrates the lack of understanding of equity issues. Every family does not have a device for each child, nor a strong internet connection, nor parents that can drop everything to facilitate at-home remote learning.

“The direction to easily pivot comes from a very privileged vantage point; if you can’t afford to have a device for each of your children and a great broadband connection, your children don’t get to learn while others progress. Also, many young students end up with grandparents or in daycare situations on these types of days so they will also not be learning remotely.

“The guidance also assumes that a whole day of lesson plans meant for the classroom easily flip to a remote setting.”

Grebenc has always been of the view that the province does not include the Directors of Education when they do their thinking – they aren’t as plugged in to what actually happens in a school and its classrooms.

Grebenc said: “We don’t have all the information from the Ministry yet. Hopefully more information will be coming soon as classes begin in 4 weeks.

There is still a concern about vaccination and how Covid issues will be dealt with when they occur – and the expectation is that they will occur.

Board staff are organizing a Q & A session along with Medical Officer of Health for Halton, Dr. Meghani, towards the end of the month for the community.

Parents will be able to submit questions that will be answered during the session. More on just how that will roll out is expected as we get closer to the actual return to school.

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Threat of rain cuts the Gift of Giving Back food drive short

By Max Bowder, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 8th, 2091

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Gift of Giving back food drive was cut short today after rainy weather forced the fundraiser to close early.

Jean Longfield – scale weighing in the donations lower right: figures have not been released.

“We’re doing very well,” said Gift of Giving Back founder Jean Longfield; a statement that wasn’t reflected in the flow of traffic.

The Gift of Giving back food drive was initially to run from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm but with cloudy weather approaching and not many donators coming through the food raiser was forced to stop.

The Gift of giving back had four of their beneficiaries on site at the event including Burlington Food Bank, Compassion Society, Food For Life and the Salvation Army all prepared with trucks ready to cart away whatever was donated.

“We’re very committed to help feed our kids, especially in the midst of going back to school,” said Longfield.

There were spurts of traffic – threat of rain resulted in shutting down early.

Despite the conditions, many on site workers said that they have received a satisfying amount of donations and though it might not be as much as they had hoped for, enough food was raised to donate tp families in need through the food banks.

Because of Covid a lot of families are struggling with people in the restaurant of hospitality business out of work,” Longfield continued.

There were a number of young families arriving with food donations giving  a bag or two of food. There were several local sports teams, including the Burlington Cougars hockey team on hand to help out.  They also brought donations with them.

Unloading food donations.

“I got a good life and I wanna share what I got with other people,” said donator Kathy Winter.

Several organizations have been working in order to organize the food drive by mostly working with grocery stores and knocking on doors doing their best to collect donations, it is also were the majority of the donations come from.

Ms Longfield was unable to tell the Gazette just how much food was collected.

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West Nile Virus returns to Burlington

By Staff

August 7th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The West Nile Virus has returned to the Region and chosen to make a home for itself in Burlington.

A batch of mosquitoes trapped this week in Burlington has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first batch of WNV positive mosquitoes for Halton this year.

“Halton is committed to reducing West Nile virus in our communities through both education and preventative programs like larviciding,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Until the hard frosts of fall set in, Halton residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites.”

The West Nile virus is now in the Burlington area – precautions are not hard to handle.

Urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires that hold water.

Residents can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

  • Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
  • Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects, where possible. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.
  • Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.
  • Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.

Locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied this year are available on the West Nile Virus page on halton.ca.

 

 

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 595,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.

 

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Slight increase in the Covid count - you can keep it even slighter

By Staff

August 6th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There has been a sudden jump in the number of new Covid19 infections.

The impact the variances have had is very evident. They are what will create a 4th wave.

Not a severe jump – but a jump nevertheless.

People who are very vulnerable have been hardest hit – that happens when the virus gets out into the public realm.

This is our fight to lose. A look at the chart shows the impacts the variants are having – and new variants are being found.

Being sensibly reasonable and asking those you come into contact  with if they have been vaccinated – and if they haven’t, remove them from your circle.

They might object but the health of everyone depends on everyone doing what we know works.

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Terry Fox: 'Anything is possible if you try'.

By Staff

July 29th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington is going to do it again.

If you haven’t yet registered for this year’s Terry Fox Run, register online by August 10 for exclusive access to a special virtual after-show experience of Terry Fox: The Power of One.

Enjoy never-before-seen content and extended footage of incredible musical performances! Everyone who registers for the Terry Fox Run by August 10 will be sent a backstage pass link to this special virtual after-show on August 12, following the premiere of Terry Fox: The Power of One on Monday, August 9 at 8 pm (8:30 NT) on CBC. Register TODAY!

Terry Fox running along LAkeshore yards away from the monument that commemorates the event.

During his Marathon of Hope 41 years ago, Terry Fox said, “Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.”

You are being invited to help keep Terry’s dream alive by joining us for the annual Terry Fox Run on September 19, 2021.

Be part of a powerful movement and get involved in a way that feels right for you! Whether you run, walk, bike or wheel—any way you choose to participate will make a meaningful difference and help us fund critical cancer research.

You can take part wherever you are—around your neighbourhood, backyard, down the street, or around the block. We will unite in spirit across the country and collectively raise funds for cancer research in honour of Terry’s enduring legacy.

 

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Regional Public Health Unit begins to wind down clinics

By Staff

July 28, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a release to media Halton Region reports on the tremendous success they have achieved vaccinating residents at its community clinics.

Halton’s vaccination rate for residents 12 years and older continues to exceed the Provincial average. With more Halton residents now fully vaccinated, Halton Region will begin consolidating its community clinics in August to focus on targeted community outreach and school-based immunization programs.

Effective August 16, the COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) will be closed. This decision was made in collaboration with Joseph Brant Hospital and Halton Healthcare.

Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr.

“We have reached a significant milestone in our COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with 81 per cent of residents having received one dose and 65 per cent of residents fully vaccinated,” said  “Thanks to the commitment of Halton residents to get vaccinated and the tremendous work of our clinic staff. Over 250,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at our hospital clinics, and I am extremely grateful for our hospital partners for their dedication and contributions to the vaccine rollout over the past several months to get us to this pivotal point.”

Residents who had vaccine appointments scheduled at Joseph Brant Hospital and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital on or after August 16 are being notified that their appointments will be cancelled, with options to reschedule at another Halton clinic, pharmacy or primary care provider.

Halton Region is working on a plan to also begin consolidating community vaccination clinics by the end of the summer. Coupled with expanded access to COVID-19 vaccines through pharmacy and primary care offices, Halton Region Public Health will continue to deliver and expand its targeted community outreach to support anyone who may experience barriers to vaccination and ensure no one is left behind.

In addition, several clinic locations will transition to immunization clinics that will offer non-COVID vaccines to students in Grade 7, 8 and 9 as part of the school immunization program. This will provide Halton with an opportunity to catch-up eligible students who were not able to get vaccinated with these important vaccines due to the pandemic.

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

“I am grateful for our hospital partners who have been instrumental in the Halton vaccine rollout and provided high quality care to our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “While this is an important step to return to normal, it’s critical that more residents get fully vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and our community. Each and every dose counts, and getting your second dose will give you better protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant. #RollUpYourSleevesHalton and let’s make it a two dose summer so we can avoid a fourth wave in the Fall.”

“It was a privilege to be the first Vaccination Centre in Halton Region and to be part of the largest immunization rollout in a generation,” said Denise Hardenne, President & CEO, Halton Healthcare. “By August 15 we expect to have administered 200,000 vaccines at the OTMH Vaccination Centre. With community clinics now well established and the demand for vaccines decreasing, the closing of hospital vaccination centres will provide us with the opportunity to focus on our recovery plan. I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts of our staff and physicians for their dedication and tremendous efforts in the fight against COVID-19.”

“Since opening in March, over 58,000 vaccinations were administered at the Joseph Brant Hospital vaccination clinic,” said Eric Vandewall, President and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital. “I would like to thank our hard-working staff, physicians and volunteers who helped make this clinic a success, and for their ongoing commitment to meet the needs of our community during the pandemic. I also would like to thank the residents of Halton Region for their overwhelming support of our clinic, our people and our hospital – we are so grateful and honoured by your kind and encouraging words, emails, social media posts, lawn signs and letters.”
Important information & instructions

• Effective August 16, vaccination clinics at Joseph Brant Hospital and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital will be closed. Residents 12 years of age and older can reschedule their appointments at any of Halton’s seven Community Vaccination Clinics through the online booking system.

o Bookings for Halton residents are not available through the Provincial booking system; residents who access the Provincial booking system will be redirected back to Halton’s system.
o Walk-in appointments are currently available at some Halton Region Vaccination Clinics on a first come, first served basis and dependent on supply. Learn more about current walk-in locations and times.
o To maintain physical distancing and safety measures, please arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment (not earlier) and remember to wear a mask. Please note: you will be required to bring proof of age to your appointment, and are asked to complete a wellness check before attending a clinic, using Halton’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Screening Tool.
o Residents are asked to attend their appointments alone if possible in order to limit the amount of individuals in our clinics and maintain adequate physical distancing. You may bring one support person, if required (for example, a caregiver or interpreter).
o There are also more than 100 pharmacies in Halton are offering walk-in or booked appointments and select primary care offices offering booked appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. Please contact the pharmacy or primary care office directly to learn more.

• The quickest and easiest way to schedule or reschedule an appointment is online. Residents who require booking support can also call 311.

o Residents should cancel their appointments as soon as possible if they find earlier appointments through a pharmacy. By cancelling your appointment, this ensures that someone else who is eligible can get the vaccine.

• Residents have the option to book same-day (“last minute”) vaccine appointments through our online booking system. These appointments will become available when there are last minute cancellations at a vaccination clinic. This option is only available to those who are currently eligible and residents must arrive at the selected clinic within 45 minutes of booking.

• Residents who need assistance with transportation (if transportation is a barrier to getting to the appointment) can contact 311. Halton Region continues to offer transportation services to and from appointments for residents who require support, free of charge.

The infection numbers for the Region and Burlington are manageable.  Of the 46 active cases in the Region as of July 28th 22 were in Burlington.

The concern at this point is the anti-vaxers.  There is work to be done on that cohort.  The solution for those of us who understand the need for vaccinations to continually correct the information that is out there.

 

 

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Artists use maple leaf design cut out of aluminum on which artists will paint to raise funds hospital: target is $375,000

By Ryan O’Dowd

July 28th,2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Throughout August the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation (JBHF) will showcase local artists to raise funds with a big boost from Burlington Artscape.

The initiative features fifty local artists who have painted 4 foot leaf-shaped canvases with a unifying theme of the love of Burlington.

Ashley Davison, the Chief Development Officer with the JBHF, spoke about the love of Burlington theme, at a time when a celebration of city and community seems particularly poignant.

“Bringing people together to create beauty out of a time when things have been so challenging might be a nice way to celebrate nearing the end of the pandemic and to start to bring life and beauty back to the community through the installation.

“Many local artists have a connection to the hospital and Burlington.  Burlington Artscape marries the art with the beauty of Burlington, as well as the pivotal role the hospital has played over the last 18 months, meeting the needs of our community at a time when they’ve never been needed more.”

Burlington artist Jodi Harrison founded Burlington Artscape in 2021 to support the hospital with the help of the art community.  August 8th,15th and 22nd are dates for an outdoor showing of all the completed leaves. It will run from 10am to 4pm at Grace United Church located at 2111 Walkers Line, Burlington. Leaves will be available to order August 7th, 2021 at 8 a.m. Orders will be available online or at the outdoor art shows.

Although COVID-19 added considerable pressure to the hospital, Annisa Hilborn, the president of the JBHF, pointed out that the need for corporate and community support is constant – taxes don’t cover everything.

Annisa Hilborn, President of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation

“If we all come together to support our public health care system it’s only going to get better,” said Hilborn. “The pandemic reminded our community of the need and urgency to support these important foundational elements of our society, to ensure we are a healthy society and get through things like the pandemic…and when it’s not the pandemic it’s something else that’s coming.”

“The theme resonates with the feeling of the last 18 months,” Hilborn added, “there’s a greater appreciation of the community getting together because we wouldn’t have been able to get through what we’ve gone through unless everyone participated. We say at the hospital, ‘we’re here in the moments that matter’ and we ask that the community be there for us too.”

Cathy Lorraway with the leaf shaped canvas she will paint on.

The 50 leaf-shaped canvases will be on display on the 8th, 15th, and 22nd of August at Grace United Church. The artwork is available for purchase now for $750 which will go toward Burlington Artscape’s goal of $37,500. 100% of proceeds will go to support the critical needs of the hospital.

COVID-19 safety precautions have been taken for the event.

Hilborn and Davidson praised community support throughout the pandemic but are looking forward to future events in person as restrictions loosen.

“We’re on our toes about it, responding as the regulations and guidelines change,” Davidson said, “seeing where we can, safely and responsibly, have people interacting in person because I think the community will be ready for that.”

The featured paintings can be viewed now on Burlington Artscape’s website and their Instagram account.

Many paintings depict lively visions of Burlington, a bustling Spencer Smith Park, the Burlington Teen Tour Band marching, a crowded beach, distantly familiar after 18 months of the pandemic.

As the city opens and Burlington Artscape calls upon the community to celebrate and be celebrated perhaps the city has turned over a new leaf.

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The target is to have 90% of us vaccinated. Do your bit

By Staff

July 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Given that a picture is said to be worth 1000 words – let the picture do the talking.

If you, or anyone you know is not part of the graphic above urge them to roll up their sleeves.

Getting to that 90% vaccinated level is what will prevent a possible fourth wave. The only people who can prevent that are you and me.

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Child admitted to hospital after swimming incident

By Staff

July 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At 1:48 pm on Sunday 25th July, 2021, the Halton Regional Police Service responded to a resident reporting a child having drowned in a swimming pool.

Police and Paramedics were quickly on scene. Lifesaving measures were performed. The child was transported to hospital where he/she remains in a critical condition.

An investigation at the scene continues in an effort to determine the circumstances.

Anyone with information regarding this incident who has not yet spoken with Police are asked to contact the Duty Staff Sergeant at Burlington Police Station on 905-825-4747 ext: 2310.

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Rivers: A Premier for the Lobbyists and Developers?

By Ray Rivers

July 24th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

“Despite being the epicentre of the COVID pandemic in Ontario, for-profit nursing homes, from a business point of view, did incredibly well over the past 15 months. The Ford government indemnified them against liability from lawsuits, paid them out at full capacity no matter how many residents they had, and even offered them subsidies for other lost revenues.

The profitability of the long term care sector is astonishing.

In fact, many of the investment-backed, corporate players in the nursing home industry will emerge from COVID-19 in better shape than they entered it, thanks in large part to the province’s aggressive and generous plan to refurbish old homes and build new ones.” (Toronto Star July 2021)

The authors of this in-depth report (link below) concluded that throughout Ontario’s COVID crisis, premier Doug Ford simply followed the advice of the last person he had met with, and those were all too often corporate lobbyists or his friends in the development sector. Apparently when it comes to COVID Ford has one rule for the lobbyists and another for all the rest of ‘his people’.

Construction hours have been extended at the request of the developers.

Why for example, was construction allowed to continue pretty much business-as-usual when so many other businesses with lower COVID transmission rates were forced to shutter? Construction is known to have one of the highest transmission rates of all industries, and yet, curiously, residential construction was declared an essential service.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to appear to be acting tough on public health measures, recreational golf and tennis, which had no previous record of COVID transmission, were banned. Small non-grocery business owners, with a tiny public footprint, were outraged that their big box competition at Walmart and Costco could continue to operate while they had to close.

And despite being among the hottest spots for viral transmission in the province, meat packing, the Post Office and Amazon, were allowed to continue unabated. In the end it took the local medical officers of health, not the province, to shut them down.

The way Mr. Ford has tailored his priorities helps explain why it has taken Ontario so long to get our COVID infection rates down. This policy of allowing high risk activities to continue while curtailing safer options is not just unfair, it’s also negligent.

The opening up of the hospitality sector too soon brought about a third wave from which we are just emerging.

“….since Ontario first declared a state of emergency in March of 2020 the government has made decisions that align with the interests of lobbyists — many of whom have close ties to the premier, his party or both — and the businesses they represent. Those decisions have often favoured certain sectors over others and have, at key moments in the pandemic, gone against public health advice, delaying or fracturing lockdowns. Those decisions have often favoured certain sectors over others and have, at key moments in the pandemic, gone against public health advice, delaying or fracturing lockdowns.?” (Toronto Star July 2021)

If only a lobbyist for vaccine passports or mandatory vaccination for health care workers could make their way over the premier’s office?

Background links

Star Report –   Construction Sector –   Building Trades –  Retaining and Big Box

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The push is on to help prevent a fourth Covid19 wave in the Fall.

By Staff

July 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As vaccine supply increases, many appointments available in July and August

Halton Region Public Health is encouraging all residents 12 years of age and up to get both doses of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible in order to gain full protection against COVID-19 and help prevent a fourth wave in the Fall.

“We are making great progress with our vaccine rollout, with 81 per cent of residents with one dose and 60 per cent of residents fully vaccinated,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “With a more steady and predictable supply of vaccine from the Federal and Provincial governments, there are many options to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Halton and make it a two dose summer.”

Here are the many ways to get first and second doses in Halton:

• New! Walk-in vaccinations now available at Gary Allan Learning Centre clinic (3250 New Street in Burlington). Daily, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for individuals 18+.

• New! More clinic options in Milton – appointments can now be booked online for the St. Francis Xavier Secondary School clinic – appointments available in July!

• Quickly and easily book online at one of Halton’s community clinics, located across Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville – appointments available in July and early August!

o All residents are eligible to get a second dose at a minimum 28 days. Anyone who has appointments booked in September and October, are urged to reschedule to an earlier date as soon as possible.

o Same day or “last minute” appointments available based on cancellations. Anyone with a booked appointment can check daily.

• The Province continues to host local pop-up clinics, with one happening July 24 and 25 at Holy Trinity Secondary School in Oakville.

• More than 100 Pharmacies in Halton are offering walk-in or booked appointments.

• Select Primary Care Offices are offering booked appointments.

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

“We are in a race against COVID-19 and its variants. We need to get everyone fully vaccinated to avoid a fourth wave in the Fall,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Make it a two dose summer – get your second dose to gain better protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant as soon as possible. We need 90 per cent fully vaccinated and every dose counts. Be part of the community level protection we need to get back to normal…and stay there. Now is the time to #RollUpYourSleevesHalton!”

Important information & instructions
• All individuals 12 years of age and older who have received their first dose can get their second dose at a minimum 28 day interval.

All new appointments are booked at a minimum 28 day interval.

o Anyone who has appointments booked in September and October, are urged to reschedule to an earlier date as soon as possible.

o Anyone who has found earlier appointments elsewhere (e.g., through a pharmacy) or has completed both doses must cancel their existing appointment at a Halton clinic.

• The quickest and easiest way to manage appointments, including booking or rescheduling an appointment at a Halton clinic, is online. Residents are asked to avoid calling 311 unless they need immediate booking or rescheduling support.

• Individuals requiring additional assistance, language supports or other accommodations can contact 311 prior to their appointment to arrange for additional supports.

o Transportation services to and from appointments are available, free of charge, for those who require it. Parking is free at all clinic locations.

• To maintain physical distancing and safety measures, please:

o arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment (not earlier);
o wear a mask;
o complete a wellness check before entering a clinic, using Halton’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Screening Tool; and
o attend appointments alone if possible. You may bring one support person, if required (for example, a caregiver or interpreter).

To learn more about Halton Region’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program, including how to book an appointment, please visit halton.ca/COVIDvaccines.

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Online registration for indoor summer recreation programs opens July 24

By Staff

July 20, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Burlington will open online registration for indoor summer recreation programs for adults 19+ and adults 55+ beginning Saturday, July 24 at 9 a.m.

Registration for swimming programs at Tansley Woods, Aldershot, Centennial and Angela Coughlan pools will also open on Saturday, July 24 at 11 a.m.
A complete listing of indoor summer programming can be found online at Burlington.ca/recreation.< Drop-in programs
Registration for drop-in recreational swimming and skating programs at indoor City facilities is required 25 hours in advance of the program start time. Drop-in swimming programs start today, Monday, July 19, and skating programs will resume Tuesday, July 20.
New self-serve option for withdrawing from drop-in programs

New this season, participants have the ability to withdraw from drop-in programs online by logging into their Live & Play account. More information about the new feature is available online at Burlington.ca/recreation.

All City programs will continue to follow public health guidance when required, including physical distancing, capacity limits and wearing masks or face coverings. Individuals participating in an in-person program will be required to fill out the mandatory health screening form at Burlington.ca/screening before each session.

Individuals who have questions or require assistance can email live&play@burlington.ca or call 905-335-7738 between 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

• Recreation fee assistance funding is available to resident individuals or families who require assistance with the cost of City of Burlington recreation programs. For more information or to apply, visit burlington.ca/feeassistance. You can also leave a confidential voicemail message at 905-335-7738, ext. 8501 and staff will return your call to assist you.

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Is our Air Quality an issue? WHO says it is

By Staff

July 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

The air quality in Burlington right now is the THIRD WORST in the World!

What? How could that be? And who made the statement and what evidence do they have?

The World Health Organization claims our air quality is six times worse than the accepted rate.

The cause is mostly due to the 100 fires burning in Ontario.

Alan Harrington, an inveterate Gazette reader brought this to our attention and suggests people may want to put those masks they may have put away backon.

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Technology from inventive minds helps RBG collect donations while you take a walk in the park

By Staff

July 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Like many not-for-profits, Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens saw a slump in donations during the pandemic. With their main garden areas and indoor spaces restricted they were forced to close due to COVID-19.

The tap to give technology helps RBG get through a slow period for donations.

The trails systems saw a significant increase in foot traffic, which is why they are there.

What RBG wasn’t able to do was solicit donations. They had no means of requesting donations from hikers and walkers.

Then Moneris and a start up brought out their idea.

You may not know Moneris – but they know you. In many places where you use your plastic to pay for something the transaction could be going through a Moneris terminal.

Moneris Canada and the start up, tiptap, helped to install a touchless solar powered device at the entrance of one of their trails.

The device allowed visitors to donate by simply tapping their credit or debit card before starting their walk.

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