Together Project
Blog

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES FOR OUR WELCOME GROUP MATCHES

---

STEPS THAT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT ARE TAKING TO PROTECT COMMUNITY MEMBERS

Ontario Government Announces that all publicly funded schools will stay closed until at least May.

City of Toronto Economic Support and Recovery for Individuals and Families

City of Toronto Employment Insurance and Ontario Works Support

Ontario Province – Renting Changes During COVID-19

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Toronto COVID-19: Affected City Services and Facilities

Toronto COVID-19: Social Support

Toronto’s mayor declares state of emergency amid COVID-19 pandemic

To ensure that anyone in need of care can receive it, Ontario is waiving the three-month waiting period for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. Additionally, the province will cover the cost of COVID-19 services for uninsured people who do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage. Together, these measures will ensure that no one will be discouraged from seeking screening or treatment for COVID-19 for financial reasons.

Torontonians urged to stay home, cancel dinner with friends, as COVID-19 cases climb

Canada and the US to close border to non-essential travel

Toronto Mayor John Tory provides COVID-19 update as Ontario declares state of emergency

“COVID-19 constitutes a danger of major proportions,” Tory says. “We must act decisively. We must not delay.”

As part of the declaration, the province will mandate the closure of restaurants and bars, though those that can offer takeout and delivery can continue selling food items.

The province is also prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people, including at indoor recreation centres, theatres and concert venues, libraries, places of worship, private schools and licensed daycares until March 31. Ontario previously ordered all publicly-funded schools to close until April 6.

The order does not yet apply to public transit, shopping malls, grocery stores and pharmacies, Williams said.

Ford stressed that the state of emergency does not constitute a “provincial shutdown.”

“The vast majority of businesses, including those most vital to day-to-day life, will not be affected by this order,” he said.

WHAT SOCIAL DISTANCING LOOKS LIKE IN A WELCOME GROUP MATCH

Got questions about social distancing? Here’s what you need to know

Together Project is proceeding with our Welcome Group program via remote support for our Welcome Group matches, volunteer interviews and training. We will not be making any new matches in person until April 6th, in line with current Ontario school closures. We are asking our Welcome Group volunteers to avoid in-person interactions with their matched newcomer households until further notice.

Despite these changes, now more than ever, we believe that access to social connections is critical for vulnerable newcomers. We suggest that volunteers check in with matched refugee households more frequently, not less. You may want to call or send a WhatsApp message to your matched household every few days. It is important to ask questions, share information and be responsive to concerns. Together Project staff are here to help you so please reach out for guidance.

Together Project is currently conducting a needs assessment with refugee households to determine what would be most helpful in terms of remote Welcome Group support and we will be sharing these findings within the next few days. In the meantime, you may want to ask your matched newcomer household about their comfort level with technology such as WhatsApp video, Facetime, Zoom or other platforms to facilitate remote social connection. It is important to be sensitive to the fact that newcomers may not have access to WiFi or computers and may wish to save data use for calls over seas. If this is the case, please continue to stay in touch by WhatsApp and phone.

SUGGESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO KEEP KIDS AND ADULTS ENGAGED WHILE STAYING AT HOME

Ontario Ministry of Education Online Learning for Elementary and Secondary Students

Storytelling and other activities for children

Audible Stories for children

This is a link in Arabic to visit famous museums worldwide virtually while you are at home.

This link has live-streamed events to music, dance, theater, and storytelling.

This link has some useful suggestions re; keeping children engaged at home.

Online resources:
– BrainPop
– Curiosity Stream
– Tynker
– Outschool
– Udemy
– iReady
– Beast Academy (Math)
– Khan Academy
– Creative Bug
– Discovery Education

YouTube Channels:
– Crash Course Kids
– Science Channel
– SciShow Kids
– National Geographic Kids
– Free School
– Geography Focus
– TheBrainScoop
– SciShow
– Kids Learning Tube
– Geeek Gurl Diaries
– Mike Likes Science
– Science Max
– SoulPancake

Board games, library books, tinkering/upcycling with household junk, etc.

Scholastic has created a free learn-from-home site with 20+ days of learning and activities.

These are links to different educational and entertainment websites in Arabic. Welcome Group volunteers that are matched with Arabic speakers can share these with their matched newcomer households.

Radio Stations from around the world (١. يلي بيحبوا الموسيقا.. من هون تسمع كل محطة راديو فى العالم)

Virtual Museums (يلي بيحبوا المتاحف ..١٤ متحف منزلين فيرتوال تورز ببلاش)

NASA’s Virtual Library of photos and videos from space (يلي بيحبوا الفضاء … ناسا فتحت المكتبة يلي الها بالكامل ببلاش)

Free books and textbooks (إللى بيحبوا القراءة فى ٥٠ مليون كتاب موجودين ببلاش هنا)

Free movies in Arabic (يلي بيحبوا الأفلام والمسلسلات… شاهد عاملة شهر ببلاش)

Free online courses from Harvard University (يلي حابب يتعلم شغلة جديدة جامعة هارفارد عاملة كورسات ببلاش فى مجالات مختلفة حلوة جدا)

HEALTH AND OTHER RESOURCES

Ontario COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool

List of Emergency COVID-19 Dental Services

Public Health Agency of Canada

Ontario Ministry of Health

Toronto Public Health 

World Health Organization

Toronto Region COVID-19 Assessment Centers

Canadian Muslim Response Network, COVID-19 Relief

Canadian Council for Refugees

This is an excellent development – WHO has created a WhatsApp info tool for Covid.

This is a digital clinic that is free for Ontarians with an Ontario Health Card. At this time, the clinic is not available for refugee claimants in Ontario who are covered by the Interim Federal Health Program. However, it is available for Government Assisted Refugees, PSRs and BVORs. No interpretation provided but you can use Google translate or call in with an interpreter.

Economic Support & Recovery for Individuals & Families

This page offers a list of resources which can be used to help minimize those impacts and help get Toronto residents back on their feet.

Employment Insurance Information

Employment Insurance Q&A Sheet

COVID-19 Resources in Arabic:

Government of Canada

Government of Ontario

World Health Organization

Information on Employment Insurance and Canada Emergency Response Benefit program

UPDATES ON CHANGES TO REFUGEE SERVICES

Trudeau says irregular migrants will be turned away at Canada-U.S. border

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday that irregular migrants crossing into Canada on foot from the U.S will be turned away when they reach the border as part of a wider border shutdown amid the new coronavirus pandemic.”

Immigration and Refugee Board will postpone in person refugee claimant hearings with a new update scheduled for April 5, 2020. Postponed hearings and mediations will be rescheduled promptly upon the resumption of full IRB operations. 

City-operated child care, and EarlyON Centres

Everything is closed! Child care in private homes offered through Toronto Home Child Care (THCC) may continue, subject to the provider’s discretion.

Ontario Works

Offices remain open, but staff is reducing in-person contact, clients encouraged to call first and to receive services by phone. Visitors are being screened for symptoms.

Ontario Disability Support Program

Offices remain open, but staff is reducing in-person contact, clients encouraged to call first and to receive services by phone. Visitors are being screened for symptoms.

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB)

All in person hearings and mediations, other than detention reviews, are postponed effective Tuesday March 17, 2020 through Sunday, April 5, 2020

Refugees & Asylum Claimants Experiencing Homelessness

Shelter referral will occur once individuals pass the 14-day isolation period and exhibit no symptoms. (This likely means 14-days post arrival from outside of Canada)

 

 

< Back to the Blog