At present, there are many hundreds of vulnerable people living in large and small congregate settings across the province, many with challenging physical and mental health needs. And there are chronic staff shortages being further exacerbated by the pandemic. So how do we go forward?

We believe one of the key ways to do this is to support the people caring for them. We need to recognize the essential role they are playing with our population during these uncertain and frightening Covid-19 times.

A quick story on the lack of support for people on social assistance during this godawful pandemic. “I have multiple chronic illnesses that put me in the high risk category from COVID-19. Not just from the illness itself, but also, if I do get sick it will likely worsen, maybe permanently, all the illnesses I’m already struggling with.”

Facing the same threat of coronavirus, a new order issued by Dr. Strang institutes more accountability for nursing homes than for institutions for people with developmental disabilities. That leaves Community Services off the hook, and that is wrong, says human rights lawyer Claire McNeil. As well, protocols around isolation of infected residents need to be revisited.