Ottawa's top doctor is expressing concern about the levels of COVID-19 in the community and is urging residents to "reassess and adapt" their behaviours by limiting in-person contact and wear masks indoors and outdoors in crowded spaces during the seventh wave of the pandemic.
"I am concerned about the current wave," medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said in a statement, noting there are "very high levels" of COVID-19 in the wastewater and hospitalizations and outbreaks are increasing.
"This is indicative that the level of COVID-19 is very high in Ottawa right now, higher than the January Omicron wave."
The above was Dr. Etches.advice in Mid July. As we move into Fall, Dr. Etches remains concerned that there may be new peaks and immunocompromised persons need to remain cautious.
Now, in the month of November, more and more authorities are increasingly stressing the importance of wearing masks while attending indoor activities. The reason is that infection levels have been increasing, week by week, for some time, and the "infection peak" is still to come.
CHECK COVID LEVELS LIKE YOU CHECK THE WEATHER
"I would suggest that people check the COVID levels like you check the weather and adapt your behaviour according to your risk level," Etches told CTV News at Six.
"So younger people, people who are vaccinated, we see the lower likelihood of severe illness. When you are older, you have an immunocompromised state or someone in your family is like that, then you do want to be careful and choose to wear mask indoors, meet outdoors on the patio.
"We're trying to find the balance with the need for social connections, that is clear."
Etches says the message is people should adapt their behaviours to the current level of COVID-19 in the community.
"We're very high and now that a return to those masks indoors, in grocery stores that can make a difference for people."
With respect to coping with Covid, we are hearing and seeing many changes over the past while. Many of these changes are very encouraging and challenging to all of us! The future will show us which are viable and which are not.
With the easing of restrictions, we have reopened the Perth Seniors Fellowship for Activities For Seniors and are very excited to welcome all back when they are ready to begin. Since we are operating a Seniors Building, we will require all our members to be fully vaccinated, preferably masked and practising social distancing when necessary. Note that Masks are currently required in our halls and we may soon be required to make masks compulsory in Activity rooms again.
Everyone attending must also sign a disclaimer freeing PSF from any associated liability before being admitted. Your membership cards will prove that each of you are willing to comply with all these regulations, and cards must be shown each time you attend a group. It will be up to the Group Leaders to collect and deliver to the office all names, email or house addresses and phone numbers of those who wish to join, together with their membership fee of $30.00 for the year. Membership cards will be given to the group leaders to distribute when collecting the fees. If group leaders want to collect the data and send it to the office by email, please address it to email@example.com and we can start preparing the cards. Directors can collect the funds payable for membership as they give out the membership cards. No-one will be allowed to attend any group without an up-to-date card.
We require that each group leader, from all groups, let us know the date and the time of their start-up. This is very important! Please email us so we can be prepared to accommodate each group. Each group must notify us before they arrive! We all need to work together to keep our building viable and safe for all attending. Without a membership card you cannot attend.
As many of you have probably heard Vivian has stepped back from the day to day work due to a severe back problem. Erin Carter will be doing the day to day work with Vivian working in the background. Vivian will still be managing the building and the Perth Seniors Fellowship so feel free to get in touch with her for any help you might require! firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 613-267-2874.
We know that opening after such a difficult time will be a learning experience for all of us. Much as we would like everything to go back to normal that won’t be immediately possible, but we will strive to make a new normal that will fill the needs of all our members. If you have any suggestions we will be glad to hear them. Right now our only wish is to get everything up and running and keep everyone as safe as possible. We will do all we can to maintain a clean, safe environment for all those who use our facilities.
Thanks for your cooperation and assistance!
Vivan Buchanan, Executive Director, Perth Seniors Fellowship
Brian Henderson, President, Perth Seniors Fellowship
IT'S UP TO YOU
At a time when we have been informed that in Ontario, restrictions are being lifted, Boards operating activities for seniors are hard-pressed to know what is safe and what is not. We do everything we can to keep the inside of McMartin House free of contamination with the cooperation of activities that have accepted their own responsibilities in this regard. We are ready to reopen, and whether you attend is up to you.
There are still some concerns on the horizon —like the advent of more new, mutant strains of the COVID-19 virus. We also have some practical, common-sense concerns. We deal with seniors, and seniors often are immunosuppressed to varying degrees. The greater the degree of immunosuppression, the greater the risk of infectivity. At the same time, while children are seldom infected, they may carry and transmit the virus. Seniors have families, visit families and in some cases may carry the virus back to activities with their peers.
In view of all of the above, we are trying, as a Board, to ensure that reopening is safe. We have a large number of older seniors –potentially the most “immunocompromised” groups. We have established some policies intended to safeguard them (such as requiring attendees to show proof of vaccination or letters from an authority (such as a physician) affirming that an individual has acquired immunity from infection and recovery from the disease). With the assistance of Activity Directors, infection control requirements and practices will be inplemented and monitored, including masks and social distancing to the extent possible.
We shall be doing what we can! However, our individual members must continue to bear responsibility for themselves. Each member must use their knowledge of their own health, especially of any urgent degree of immunosuppression, and apply their own “common sense” to assess their own exposure to risk. Each individual must decide whether an activity open because COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted is or is not safe for their attendance.
We may face new challenges and new restrictions, or even new lockdowns. All we can do is react as these occur and continue to try to do whatever is required in the new circumstances. Please stay safe!
Are you a stamp collector or interested in becoming one? Then the Perth Stamp Club is a place you need to visit! Whether you collect stamps, covers, souvenir sheets, cancels, or maybe you collect a specific country, or a special topic? This club is for you.
We are a small group of enthusiastic philatelists. We love to look at stamps, talk about stamps and share our hobby with others. If you want to learn about stamps or to share your interest in stamps please join us.
We meet at McMartin House on the second and fourth Wednesday evening of the month from September to June.
For more information please contact Susan Murray at: email@example.com
The new Mary Bowrin Boardroom seats 8 comfortably. Its central feature is a large double pedestal oak board table styled to be complementary with the heritage of McMartin House. Other features include conference chairs with armrests, a historic (now decorative) fireplace, oven and cook top, sink, coffeemaker, microwave, printer, projection screen and other accessories commonly needed or useful at Board meetings. For pictures of the new Mary Bowrin Boardroom and information on rentals, click the Mary Bowrin Boardroom tab at the upper right on our home page.
PSF is very grateful to have been the beneficiary in 2019 of a substantial In-Trust award from the Meriama Fund, which has helped us to develop and maintain the “Mary Bowrin Boardroom” within McMartin House. Additonal grants have subsequently helped to finance selected maintenance projects within McMartin House. In February 2021, a second major donation from the Meriama fund was received and will greatly help Perth Seniors Fellowship to survive the Covid 19 crisis financially and continue to carry out these responsibiities. More recently, throughout the Covid 19 Pandemic, further substantial awards from the Meriama Fund have helped PSF maintain payments required to sustain its operations during a period when our activities have been closed and our usual sources of revenue have been unavailable. We are very, very grateful for this vital support at a critical time.
Raymond Cho, the Government of Ontario's Minister for Seniors and Accessibilty, has asked us to share the following information:
Ontario is committed to keeping seniors healthy but untreated oral care can lead to future chronic diseases and reduced quality of life. That is why our government launched the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program, which will provide free routine dental care for eligible low-income seniors across the province. Ontarians aged 65 and over with an income of $19,300 or less, or couples with a combined annual income of $32,300 or less, who do not have dental benefits, will qualify for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.
The new dental care program will be available through public health units, including some mobile dental clinics, as well as participating Community Health Centres and Aboriginal Health Access Centres. A new user-friendly web portal to apply for the program is now open and can be accessed via ontario.ca/SeniorsDental. Seniors can also pick up an application form at their local public health unit.
To find out more, please call: 416-916-0204 or Toll-Free 1-833-207-4435; TTY 1-800-855-0511
At the September 19th 2019 Meeting of the Perth Seniors fellowship Board of Directors, recently retired Board Member Maxine McEachern was named Honourary Member of Perth Seniors Fellowship. This award recognizes special personal contributions assisting PSF to accomplish its Mission of "Serving social, intellectual and recreational needs of our mature adult community while preserving the heritage of McMartin House." Previous recipients include John McCluskey, and the late Keith Buchanan, Mary Bowrin, Helena Hardy, Judy Burns,and Gus Quattrrochi.