CoW: WDG Public Health is Outpacing Ontario and Canada on Vaccine Rollout

At Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting members of city council will receive another update about the region’s COVID-19 response, and that includes vaccine distribution. While there’s been a lot of talk about issues with supply, Committee will hear that Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph is actually doing better than Ontario and Canada at getting shots into arms.

Public Health’s presentation, which was included with the amended agenda for Monday’s Committee meeting, explains that since the commencement of vaccinations in the region on January 6, over 15,000 shots of the Pfizer vaccine have been delivered. So far, 5,848 shots have been delivered per 100,000 people, which is greater that the rate of vaccination in both Ontario and Canada with 4,971 per 100,000 and 5,299 per 100,000 respectively.

Committee will also hear that this is the beginning the even larger vaccine rollout including five mass vaccination clinics across the region, and that Guelph’s Emergency Operations Control Group (EOCG) has established a working table with Public Health and the Guelph Family Health Team to make sure all possible resources are being engaged to assist with the rollout.

“Additionally, the City formed an internal vaccination clinic operational task force to support Guelph’s vaccination clinics,” states the report. “This task force includes staff from Operations, Transit, Engineering, Corporate Communications, and Guelph Police Services, as well as our Community Emergency Management Coordinator. The group is meeting regularly to determine how best to manage traffic flow, temporary structures that may be required, transit access, communications support and/or any other request of the municipality.”

Along with the vaccine rollout and the ongoing trends of the virus, the report also deals with the formal political response on the part of the City of Guelph. Chief Administrative Officer Scott Stewart will review the many programs and endeavours the City is working on with local partners to create jobs, and protect Guelph’s most vulnerable.

In terms of the financial implications, the City confirmed that they’re receiving an additional $1.4 million in Phase 2 Safe Restart funding from the Provincial government, and that they’ve applied for Phase 2 funds from the transit section of the program. Interestingly, the City could receive $10.2 million from the Province, a sum that would reflect an amount approximate to lost transit revenues as of March 31, 2021.

The City has also received $879,202 from the Ministry of Long-term Care, an amount they’ll have to share with the County of Wellington to cover revenue losses from COVID-19 for the Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service. Unfortunately, the City and the County were not as successful when it comes to childcare. The Ministry of Education made a one-time reduction in the operating grant funding to the tune of $3.5 million, with the City of Guelph’s share of that pegged at $1.45 million.

City staff also report that advocacy on behalf of Guelph, and with the co-operation of other municipal governments, continues it order to secure more financial assistance from upper levels of government for 2021. Both the Provincial and Federal budgets will be released sometime in March.

In terms of more personal financial implications, the report also has numbers from police and bylaw enforcement of restrictions under the Reopening Ontario Act during the lockdown. Police and bylaw report they they charged six gatherings, and issued 21 fines worth $750, along with four fines with $1,000. There were also 31 complaints about businesses, but only four of those were followed up with charges.

Campus police were also busy during the provincial lockdown, they visited 11 gatherings, and issued 48 fines of $750. Nearly $69,000 worth of fines have been issued according to the staff report.

Check out the complete preview for Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting here.

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