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On May 16, 2020 the Cambridge Memorial Hospital announce expanded access to COVID - 19 testing. To facilitate rapid testing, anyone with symptoms of COVID - 19 can now contact the testing centre for an appointment. A referral from a physician or nurse practitioner is not required. The move was made with the full support of the Region of Waterloo’ s Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hs iu - Li Wang. “Expanded access to testing is important as the Province opens up businesses and services. In addition to continuing to accept physician referrals, I truly appreciate Cambridge Memorial Hospital being able to offer this additional option, as I believe this will only increase access to testing and remove barriers for residents, such as for those who are having difficulty accessing primary care during the pandemic. Broad testing of all those with COVID symptoms will aid in our disease control and surveillance ” said Dr. Hsiu - Li Wang.
Amidst continued concerns regarding the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and in keeping with physical distancing recommendations, Drayton Entertainment has cancelled additional productions at its seven stages across the province. The wellness of patrons, staff, artists, volunteers, and the community continues to be of paramount importance for the not-for-profit charitable arts organization. The new cancellations will impact all programming through Saturday, September 5. “It’s sad and disappointing, but we know this is the right decision. Health and safety must come first,” says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director & CEO of Drayton Entertainment. “We’ve received many wonderful messages of support, which are so appreciated. These may be uncertain times, but one thing we can be sure about is the innate power of arts and culture to bring us together. We’ll be back when the time is right, excited to share the magic of live theatre with the community once again.”
A program that aims to break the cycle of poverty and create opportunities for youth is regrettably unable to hire for the summer due to COVID-19. The decision to suspend the employment part of YouthForce was made by the Region of Waterloo and the program’s lead agency, Kinbridge Community Association. YouthForce employs youth who live in or near community housing to work in their neighborhoods over the summer while building skills to help with their future careers. Much of the work involves inspections in people’s homes and outdoor cleanup, which would be a concern for the health and safety of youth and tenants during COVID-19.
Top Ten Jobs Posted in May 2020 for Waterloo Wellington Dufferin; The unemployment rate raised to 7.8 percent in Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge and 8.6 percent in Guelph for April of 2020. Find out more, including the top ten jobs posted in Waterloo Welington Dufferin for April of 2020, in our Labour Market Snapshot.
The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) has released a new report looking at Ontario’s labour market results for April, during the ongoing economic shutdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ontario lost 689,200 jobs in April, bringing the province’s employment down to its lowest level since late 2009. As a result, Ontario’s unemployment rate climbed to 11.3 per cent in April, its highest level since June 1993. Nearly all the job losses were related to the government-directed closure of non-essential activities starting in mid-March. Since then, the FAO estimates that about 2.2 million Ontario workers – nearly one in three jobs in the province – have been directly affected through either job losses (1.1 million) or sharply reduced hours (1.1 million).
Smart Waterloo Region (SWR), in partnership with four local charitable foundations, has successfully secured enough money to cover internet costs for the students of 1,500 families in the Region. With the abrupt closure of schools in the Region as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) have been working to find ways to support e-learning for their students. As a part of this effort, 1,500 households in the Region were identified as requiring financial support in order to provide children and youth with access to technology to support their e-learning needs.
The Region of Waterloo and its community partners continue to find homes for people who need them the most amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, Lutherwood, the emergency shelters, and street outreach agencies supported 10 families and two individuals who were homeless into community housing, including Waterloo Region Housing. Another 15 households will move into units this month. “Our aim is to get as many people as we can out of shelters and congregate settings because we know that having your own home is the best protection against COVID-19,” said Ryan Pettipiere, Housing Services Director at the Region of Waterloo.
Today, May 15, finds us five days into our spring term and nine weeks since the global pandemic was declared. Reflecting on how far we’ve come together, I am struck, as always, by the resiliency, leadership and spirit of our Laurier community. I know that these are the same qualities that will carry us forward as we look to our fall term. Over the past few weeks, the university has been engaged in collaborative discussions to consider how we will deliver the fall term in a way that meets government and public health guidelines and maintains the safety of our new and returning students, faculty and staff. Equally important, we considered how to deliver our fall term in a way that upholds the quality of our academic experience and student supports while ensuring that we continue to feel the unique sense of community that sets Laurier apart.
The Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing health technology innovation and commercialization, announced a Canada-wide call for applications from companies for its Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN™) to address COVID-19. OBIO’s EAHN is a network of health organizations that get leading-edge technologies into the health system. EAHN partners Canadian companies developing health technologies that are ready for adoption with health organizations (e.g., acute, primary care, long-term care, home and community care).Through this network, novel technologies that have been vetted and assessed for their readiness to be adopted and scaled will be evaluated, disseminated and procured.
The Region of Waterloo and area municipalities are relaxing some restrictive measures at parks, trails, and open spaces as part of a careful and cautious approach to expanding access to the outdoors amid the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. Effective as of last May 14, 2020, access to municipal parks and open spaces is permitted for some recreational purposes.
Dear Editor, The recent closures of meat packing plants in Alberta, Quebec and several American states due to the Covid-19 pandemic are shedding light on the tremendous expense of this style of massive meat processing operation. The expense borne by the workers at the plants is the greatest of all, their health threatened so severely, even causing death to two Cargill workers in Alberta. However the expense doesn’t stop there, as consumers are expected to see meat prices jump, farmers have seen the prices paid for their animals drop by more than 30% and tax payers will ultimately pay the price to help bail out this sector.
Geneva, Switzerland - Economic distress and social discontent will rise over the next 18 months unless world leaders, businesses and policy-makers work together to manage the fallout of the pandemic. As economies restart, there is an opportunity to embed greater societal equality and sustainability into the recovery, which would unleash a new era of prosperity. These are the findings of COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and Its Implications, published today. The report, produced in partnership with Marsh & McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, taps into the views of nearly 350 senior risk professionals who were asked to look at the next 18 months and rank their biggest concerns in terms of likelihood and impact for the world and for business. The immediate economic fallout from COVID-19 dominates companies’ risks perceptions. These range from a prolonged recession to the weakening fiscal position of major economies, tighter restrictions on the cross-border movement of goods and people, and the collapse of a major emerging market.
Western University Associate Professor Janet Martin is part of the CovidSurg Collaborative which has projected that, based on a 12-week period of peak disruption to hospital services due to COVID-19, 28.4 million elective surgeries worldwide could be cancelled or postponed in 2020. The modelling study, published in the British Journal of Surgery, indicates that each additional week of disruption to hospital services could be associated with a further 2.4 million cancellations. “This has never happened before on a global basis in an era where we have the volume of surgery we have today,” said Martin, Associate Professor of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. “Surgery is a critically important part of health care globally. This study was essential to define the global impact of surgical cancellations.”
The 3-year pilot will test an industry-specific approach to help employers in the meat processing, mushroom and greenhouse production, and livestock-raising industries fill ongoing labour needs for full-time, year-round employees. It will provide a pathway to permanent residence for many temporary foreign workers already in Canada. A total of 2,750 applications will be accepted annually throughout the pilot, which applies primarily to people who are already in Canada. Existing travel restrictions continue to apply. Canada is committed to attracting the best talent from around the world through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program to fill skills shortages, drive local economies, and create and support middle-class jobs in communities across the country that will benefit all Canadians.
Descartes Systems Group announced that innoAviation Limited, a leading unit load device (ULD) leasing and services provider, is using the Descartes CORE™ ULD Tracking solution as part of its service to help air carriers track critical COVID-19–related personal protective equipment (PPE) shipments. A significant percentage of air cargo coming from Asia today is PPE to fight COVID-19. Combined with an imbalance of ULDs, air carriers are challenged to move critical freight. innoAviation is leasing air carriers ULDs with Descartes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags and using Descartes CORE ULD Tracking to track shipments and better manage the ULDs. The cloud-based tracking solution supports social distancing because it provides air carriers with shipment visibility while working from home.
In the time of the 1918-19 Spanish flu, the world was very different. Of course, there was no Internet, TV or social media. In fact, there wasn’t even any radio until a few years later. All the news was provided by the newspaper and almost all long-distance transportation was by rail or ship. We’ve come a long way in most aspects of life in the ensuing century. But as we face the COVID-19 pandemic, two crucial areas of society need to move forward. Although much modern health care is technology-based, almost no client-doctor interaction uses technology. In fact, it’s so antiquated that most medical interface with clients is through an actual meeting between a doctor and patient – often causing patients to waste hours away from work or school, or by travelling large distances.
One of the world's leading infectious diseases societies will host the first virtual congress specifically dedicated to COVID-19 this September. The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) will hold this virtual congress across three days from Wednesday 23 to Friday 25 September 2020. The congress will feature several parallel tracks of research, and during the coming week ESCMID will issue a call for abstracts and studies to be presented. The full programme is currently being developed by a dedicated Programme Committee and will be available as the congress draws nearer.
Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights recently gave a statement sounding the alarm that Canadians living with disabilities – including permanently injured workers – face disproportionate challenges during the pandemic. “People with disabilities must often rely on others for help with daily tasks,” she reminded, something that is increasingly difficult during COVID-19 (9 April 2020). “…our efforts to combat this virus won't work unless we approach it holistically, which means taking great care to protect the most vulnerable and neglected people in society, both medically and economically."(6 March 2020) Injured workers – along with all Canadians living with disabilities – face a bevy of unique changes to their day to day life during these difficult times, including:
Governments must work alongside private lenders to provide sustained support to bridge companies through the crisis, paying particular attention to sectors most likely to suffer a prolonged period of low demand even as the economy re-opens, according to a C.D. Howe Institute working group. At its latest meetings on May 5 and May 12, the Crisis Working Group on Business Continuity and Trade discussed the risks and headwinds for economic recovery and the action that is needed to prevent “scarring” in key economic sectors – notably air travel, agrifood, petroleum, and tourism and accommodation. The group of industry experts and economists noted if businesses face distress and a disorderly wave of insolvencies, the ability of the economy to rebound will be impaired and the recovery slowed. Without an effective “bridge,” the disruption of productive capacity will further slow the recovery – even as restrictions on workplace activities are lifted.
The concept of remote working has been around for a long time. Many entrepreneurs have mastered the ability to work virtually, but it is often a major challenge for those who normally work in a busy office setting to shift to working outside their traditional office environment. Working remotely can feel more isolating than mingling with co-workers in an office setting. Being effective while you work remotely takes more than a mindset shift. It requires a disciplined approach to planning your activities and seeking out opportunities to interact with your co-workers. Here are nine practical tips you can use to make the most of this experience.
As another step in their coordinated emergency response to the global pandemic, the Region of Waterloo and all area municipalities extended the public closure of municipal administrative and operations facilities until at least June 30. The decision aligns the municipalities with Sunday’s announcement from the provincial government delaying the re-opening of the province’s schools until June 30. It is also consistent with the “Framework for Reopening our Province” recently released by the provincial government.