COVID this week

Nine people were diagnosed with COVID-19 in Weston this week, bringing the total number to 205. Of those cases, 144 occurred outside healthcare facilities.

Weston has  one of the highest rates of community infection in the city, with 800 per 100,000 people infected. Only nearby Maple Leaf has a higher rate, and the north west of the city generally has a very high infection rate.

The Weston, Mount Dennis, and Humber Heights areas also have a large number of cases in long-term care homes, including

  • Weston Terrace Care Community, with 25 confirmed cases, 24 deaths, and 39 staff cases.
  • West Park, with 5 cases, 26 deaths, and 5 staff cases
  • Village of Humber Heights: 24 cases, 22 fatalities, 17 staff cases

Why our neighbourhoods are particularly hard hit is very hard to say. There are at least two questions:

  1. Why does COVID ravage some homes for the aged?
    1. Does it have to do with corporate culture, for-profit models, or cost?
  2. Why is it spread in some communities, but not others?
    1. Is it poverty? Density? Employment opportunities?

I, for one, can’t see any easy causal links. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Weston is a hotspot for COVID

Weston, Mount Dennis, and Humber Heights are hotspots for the COVID virus, with some of the highest rates of infection in the city. Excluding healthcare transmissions, Weston is the second-most infected neighbourhood.

The city released data yesterday that showed the geographic distribution of COVID sufferers.

 

  • Humber Heights, just across the river, has the highest rate in the city, with 1525 cases per 100,000 residents. 
  • Weston has the second-highest rate in the city: 1022 per 100,000.
  • Mount Dennis is fifth, with 904 cases per 100,000.

This is, of course, terrible and tragic, but it may be explainable by a higher concentration of nursing homes, which have been responsible for many transmissions.

In part, this is the case: excluding institutional cases, Mount Dennis and Humber Heights fall to a more typical number of cases. Weston, however, does not.

If we don’t count the number of cases in nursing homes and elder care, Weston has 705 cases per 100,000 residents—15 times the number in the beaches, and 6 times the number in the Junction.

Only nearby Maple Leaf has more cases. Weston has the second-highest infection rate in the city, and therefore among the highest infection rates in Ontario, since COVID cases are concentrated in the GTA.

 

City facilities reopening

The city is re-opening many sports, recreation, and library facilities. In Weston and Mount Dennis, you should be able to

  • Use the dog parks
  • Golf at Scarlett Woods
  • Fish at the Humber and Topham Pond
  • Play tennis

For the time being, playgrounds, pools, and splash pads remain closed. The Weston Farmers’ Market will not open until mid-summer, at the soonest. The soccer field at Weston Lions Park, which had attracted players in violation of distancing rules, remains closed.

The Weston Public Library will reopen for curbside pickup of book holds on June 1. Borrowers will be able to return their loans through the drop box. The library is asking that you hold onto any large or fragile items.

 

 

Last issue of the York–City Centre Neighbourhood Voice

The final issue of the York–City Centre Neighbourhood Voice featured two local articles by Megan Delaire. The first is about Torontonians who are struggling to get by on disability benefits, and features the experiences of Michael Bogart and Bob Murphy.

The second is about the good people at Frontlines, and their struggle to serve community members through the COVID epidemic.

The Voice, formerly known as the York Guardian, cut staff and went online only this month.

Frontlines raising money for food drive

Frontlines launched a drive to raise money to provide meals and groceries to 75 families in need. They raised $1500 in no time flat, meeting their goals, but I don’t see any reason why we can’t push them higher than that!

If you or yours needs a little help in this difficult time, go to Frontlines.to and click on “Register”. They offer grocery and meals for pickup on Mondays and Thursdays.

UrbanArts update

UrbanArts has started posting online programming until we’re all ready to get back to work. Some of the programming has included:

New arts activities are posted every day on their Facebook page.