Halton to Offer Emergency childcare to Health care, and frontline workers

By Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative

Halton Region is offering emergency childcare to frontline workers, and healthcare workers.  The offer is response to the province’s decision to push back in-class learning until at least January 17 2022.

The Region is working with select operators in throughout Georgetown, Oakville, Milton, and Burlington, as well the Ministry of Education to provide free childcare for frontline, and healthcare workers in the area. “Throughout the pandemic, our healthcare and frontline workers have worked around the clock to keep our community safe,” Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr said.

The service is available on or before January 10, 2021 for workers with children between 4 and 11 years old.  The spaces will be completely funded by the province.  For more information visit the Region’s Childcare Services webpage.  Spaces are limited, and those eligible are asked to apply by contacting the providers themselves.  Second-time applicants are being asked to reapply.

Rapid expansion” of Third Dose Eligibility Responsible for Staffing Shortages

The Province of Ontario  opened appointment availability for adults between 18-49 years of age on December 20, 2021.  Soon after, stories began circulating that residents were unable to book appointments sooner than February.

“Public Health and hospital staffing are stretched thin across the province with high demand for vaccination, testing and case management, and ongoing health care demands,” Spokesperson Elizabeth Kostruik said in email.  They are starting to hire clinic staff  including regulated and retired health care professionals, as well as support staff.

Residents are to cancel their appointments online,  if they have their vaccine in a pharmacy, at a primary care office, or elsewhere.  Cancelling the appointment automatically allows someone else to book.  “We continue to add appointments, and other appointments become available as others’ cancel, Kostruik said.

The Region of Halton reports an increase in 691 cases of COVID-19 as of today, and 150 of those are in Milton.  Many are thought to be of the Omicron variant, which experts say is less severe, but causes increased hospitalizations.  Acute care beds in Halton hospitals are at 112%, while ICU beds sit at 83%.  The Region’s hospitals are dealing with 63 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in acute care, and 10 cases in ICU.