Dear Neighbour,
I know this is a challenging time and so I want to thank you for all you are doing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Please know that our actions – staying home, washing our hands, and practicing physical distancing – saves lives.

There have been an increase in the number of outbreaks in long term care residences and a sharp increase in infections among health care workers.  Dire messages have been coming from the front lines of health care where more resources are needed to fight COVID-19. Our health care workers are putting their lives on the line every day. They are working to keep all of us safe. We must ensure that they have the resources they need at work and at home to stay safe. My colleagues and I have put forward six recommendations to Premier Ford to support health care workers. You can read the details about the plan below.
Premier Ford has indicated that the province would be releasing updated figures tomorrow for the potential impact of COVID-19 and he referred to the numbers as a “wake-up call”.
We have called on him to follow provinces like British Columbia and release infection modelling (how the number of cases is calculated and reported). It would help raise awareness on the seriousness of the pandemic. You can read the full statement below. I should add that many in the field of public health are also calling on the provincial government to be transparent with this information. 
Today the Premier
 announced increased spending of $12 million on mental health for online and remote services plus the hiring of front line mental health workers. This is something that the many of us had been asking for and we are happy to see it. It is a much needed resource for those on the front lines.
I know all of us are incredibly thankful for the life-saving work that our health care providers are doing. Many across our community are joining RNAO’s #Cheer4HealthWorkers campaign. I have seen many incredible videos like 
this one of our community coming together in the High Park neighbourhood showing their solidarity for and gratitude to health care workers.
Wash your hands. Stay home (except if you must work). Be kind. We are all in this together.
Bhutila Karpoche,
MPP for Parkdale—High Park
Our Plan: Supporting our Health Care Workers
  1. Issue an emergency order to ensure workers can have personal protective equipment
    • Legally protect the right for health care workers to determine – based on their professional and clinical judgement – when they require access to personal protective equipment like masks.
  2. Issue an emergency order to require all organizations to donate personal protective equipment they’re not using.
  3. Hike Personal Support Worker (PSW) pay to $22
    • Aggressively ramp up recruitment efforts to get more staff into seniors care homes. Many trained PSWs are not working in home care or long-term care because of underpaying and understaffing. More staff gives workers in long-term care and home care time to care for people and take necessary precautions with virus containment protocols.
    • Create a retention fund for PSWs.
  4. Give health care workers mental health supports
    • Invest $5 million to provide round-the-clock, emergency mental health supports for health care workers.
    • Provide Presumptive WSIB coverage for frontline health care workers whose mental or physical health is affected by COVID-19.
  5. Scale-up free child care centres for health care workers now
    • Ramp-up opening child care centres.
    • Locate child care centres located near hospitals, long-term care homes, COVID-19 assessment centres and other health care facilities.
    • Set required standards for cleaning and disinfecting the temporary child care centres.
  6. Cancel all parking fees at hospitals and other health care facilities.
NDP calls for government’s COVID-19 infection modeling to be released
QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is asking the Ford government to follow the actions of the British Columbia and Alberta governments and release its infection modelling so that Ontarians can better understand the importance of physical distancing and staying at home during this pandemic.
Alberta’s modelling has revealed their healthcare system will require thousands of intensive care beds and ventilators. British Columbia has a public website with its modelling and projections. 
“If everyone had a clearer picture of what lays ahead if they do stay home — and what lays ahead if they don’t — I think we’d see folks take physical distancing even more seriously,” said Horwath. “And our health care heroes deserve nothing but the best information as they continuously adapt their plans to contain this virus.”
The University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health has already released its
 own modelling, showing Ontario will need more than 3,000 acute care and critical care beds to handle a surge of COVID-19.
Reminder: For the most up-to-date information please visit Toronto Public Health, Ontario Ministry of Health, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Contact information is available on my website here.
Community Office
While our office will be closing to the public as part of our efforts to manage the COVID-19 virus, we will continue to provide services for constituents via phone and email. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this time. 

Phone: 416-763-5630
Copyright © 2020 MPP for Parkdale—High Park, All rights reserved.

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