Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Kingston organizations share messages of hope amid tense pandemic

As the world’s battle with COVID-19 continues to make headlines, new editions and rising cases within the Kingston area are making headlines in the news.

Ontario returned to Phase 2 of its roadmap TP reopening last week, with schools shutting down individual classes and banning indoor dining and gyms until at least January 17. The capacity limit has also been reduced to five in indoor settings for 21 days.

KFL&A Public Health says the Kingston community has been resilient to all difficulties and is working together to end the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a long and difficult experience for everyone in the KFL&A arena. We have seen for the first time how municipalities, health care systems, businesses and residents adapt quickly to challenges and pull together to find creative and effective solutions to respond to the pandemic,” said Dr. Piotr Oglaza, medical officer of health at KFL&A Public Health, said.

Dr. Oglazza appreciated the efforts of the municipalities from the very beginning in how they declared a local emergency in early 2020. This ensured continued access to the resources needed to keep the economy open and a healthy community. Health care systems and providers also work collaboratively in the continuum of care to support access to critical services available to meet the health needs of our community.

Another important input was from the business community who adapted their practices to offer goods and services in new and unique ways.

“They (businesses) have made a lot of sacrifices, but throughout it all, they have prioritized the safety of their employees and customers,” he said.

Dr. Oglazza also commended the residents who have shown immense strength and resilience in their efforts to adhere to public health measures.

According to KFL&A Public Health, the region has the highest per capita rate of dose administration over the past few weeks, the highest rate in the province of third dose coverage for individuals age 70 and older, and the highest rate of first dose coverage. Is. Those aged five to 11 years at 57.8 percent.

The pandemic has affected everyone, but it has been more challenging for marginalized members of our community, especially with regard to basic needs like food, shelter and mental health and addictions, as noted by Bhavna Verma, United Way KFL & Shared by the Chairman and CEO of A.

“These challenges have led to greater collaboration and collective efforts to approach programs with a people-centric approach,” he said.

Community agencies have adapted to online services and provide virtual counseling, meal programs, integrated care centers, community food redistribution warehouses and isolation options for people in vulnerable situations.

Apart from the health impact, the most significant impact of the pandemic has been on businesses, especially small businesses and entrepreneurs.

“COVID has served as a reminder that the only constant in life is change. The past two years have seen significant disruptions for businesses and their employees: the pivot to virtual services and events, constant policy and program updates, and whole new terminology to learn,” said Karen Cross, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce he said.

Throughout the situation, the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce is trying to help small businesses ride the waves and keep their heads above water, as explained by Cross. Most importantly, the Chamber focuses on increasing its capacity in communication and knowledge sharing to provide businesses with the vital information they need to keep their jobs running. Other essential services launched include ‘Shop Local Campaign’ and ‘Rapid Test Kit Program’ to help members conduct their business.

“For us, 2022 will be about making sure we build better, leaving no one behind in our city’s economic recovery, and addressing the systemic issues that are holding back Kingston’s growth and success,” Cross said.

Despite all the chaos and hardships, the community knows that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“Collectively, the community continues to move forward to support each other with charity, volunteering and encouragement. These collaborations and the ability to work together have propelled us through the pandemic and what has helped us KFL & A will help make it stronger than ever,” Verma said.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been chaotic, tense and challenging on all fronts. Local organizations say the way forward is to work together to get vaccinated, reduce social contact, and slow the spread of the virus as much as possible, so we can keep ourselves and our communities safe and healthy.


Nation World News Desk
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