The active COVID-19 case count has risen to 37 across Chatham-Kent.
Meanwhile, the Province of Ontario is increasing mental health and addictions services in response to COVID-19.
Current status in Chatham-Kent
The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit updated their ‘current situation’ page, which provides a summary of COVID-19 cases and testing in Chatham-Kent, on Thursday, December 17, 2020.
A long-term care outbreak, which was declared at Riverview Gardens on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, remains active.
However, there are no more active cases at the facility.
There is also an active workplace outbreak, which is not open to the public, CK Public Health health officials say.
The total number of cases has increased to 570.
22 of the active cases are linked to close contact, eight cases have information pending, four are unknown, two are linked to the workplace outbreak in Chatham-Kent and one is linked to a workplace outbreak outside of Chatham-Kent.
CK Public Health officials say one person from Chatham-Kent is currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
To date, 530 people have recovered from the virus in Chatham-Kent, while three people have died.
A total of 50,703 tests for the virus have been completed to date.
The Municipality of Chatham-Kent remains in the ‘Yellow-Protect’ tier of the Province of Ontario’s Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, Provincial officials announced on Friday, December 11, 2020.
Public health officials are encouraging people to continue following these public health measures:
More details about the ‘Yellow-Protect’ tier can be found, here.
To view the full ‘current situation’ page from CK Public Health, click here.
For more information about COVID-19, residents are asked to visit
http://www.ckpublichealth.com/covid19 or call the CK Public Health COVID-19 intake line at 519-355-1071 ex. 1900.
Ontario increasing mental health and addictions services
The Ontario government is providing over $147-million to immediately expand access to the provincial mental health and addictions system for people of all ages and address capacity issues in response to COVID-19.
Provincial officials say this funding builds upon the $176-million provided earlier this year as part of Roadmap to Wellness, the government’s comprehensive plan to deliver high-quality care and build a modern, connected and comprehensive mental health and addictions system.
Details were provided on Thursday, Deember 17, 2020 by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“With Ontario in a second wave of COVID-19, and with the holiday season just around the corner, it is critical that we act now to make it easier for people to find and access mental health and addictions services,” said Minister Elliott in a media release.
“We are supporting our most vulnerable populations, while expanding community-based and virtual and online services to close gaps in care and ensure the right mental health and addictions supports are widely available.”
The impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, including prolonged physical distancing, widespread financial uncertainty, and being constantly inundated with new information about the virus, have made life increasingly difficult for many people and families across Ontario, especially among those living with mental health and addictions challenges, Provincial officials say.
With the arrival of the holiday season, this investment will address the increasing demand for services during these difficult times.
Through this investment, the government will add more staff, accommodations, virtual supports, housing and short-term accommodation, and other supports to continue providing safe in-person services where appropriate, including supports specifically for Ontario’s frontline workers, Provincial officials added.
– Over $62.2 million in community-based mental health and addictions services and inter-professional primary care teams, including $30 million in targeted funding for child and youth mental health services. Services include local in-person and virtual community mental health and addictions services, housing and accommodation supports, capacity-building for front-line workers, peer supports and resources, and enhanced services through interprofessional primary care including Family Health Teams, Indigenous governed supports and Community Health Centres;
– $8 million in targeted, culturally safe services for Indigenous peoples, including land-based programming, and culturally safe and age-appropriate mental health and addictions supports, including wellness supports for children and youth;
– Over $10 million to help specific vulnerable populations, such as those in residential settings that may be at high risk of COVID-19 outbreaks, those at risk of homelessness, soci al isolation and justice-involved individuals. Services include mobile crisis supports, rent supplements and supports for racialized individuals; and
– Over $15.4 million to expand virtual mental health and addictions supports, making it easier for Ontarians across the province to access these resources, including internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, virtual addictions supports and virtual supports for health care workers. This investment will provide additional virtual services for children and youth through the Kids Help Phone and Child and Youth Tele-Mental health services. Health care workers will also be supported to continue accessing virtual mental health services.
Provincial officials say in addition, over $51.5 million will go towards a cross-sectoral approach to support vulnerable populations, including but not limited to postsecondary students, First Nations communities, Metis, Inuit and urban Indigenous peoples, Black youth, children and youth in care, LGBTQ youth, people with developmental disabilities, and victims of gender-based violence.
In response to challenges caused by COVID-19, funding will be targeted towards supporting municipal and First Nations police services, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police in accessing innovative and effective virtual training to assist them in handling mental health cases.
“With the New Year quickly approaching, our government recognizes that more needs to be done to ensure that individuals and families are fully supported during these difficult times,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions in a press release.
“Today’s investment builds on our commitment to increase mental health and addictions support during the COVID-19 outbreak so people of all ages can continue accessing the high-quality care they expect and deserve.”
As part of Ontario’s Fall Preparedness Plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, the funding announced builds on the $46.75 million in emergency funding for mental health and addiction services provided in the first phase of the COVID-19 outbreak, Provincial officials say.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Ontario government has invested a total of up to $194 million in its COVID-19 mental health and addictions response.