Open Letter to Federal Minister of Health re: Scarborough COVID-19 Isolation Center

  • Provincial News

Hon. Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9

RE: Request to open a family-friendly isolation centre in the Scarborough community

Dear Minister Hajdu,

I’m writing on behalf of my constituents in the Ontario provincial riding of Scarborough-Guildwood to request that the federal government assist the Province of Ontario and City of Toronto to open an isolation centre in Scarborough that is suitable for families.

Throughout the pandemic, Scarborough’s health indicators have been consistently worse than the provincial average. Scarborough Health Network has reported very high positivity rates, which have been as high as 20% in some communities in recent weeks. This high positivity rate at assessment centres cannot be sustained and immediate intervention to stop community spread in Scarborough is needed.

Scarborough residents are also facing more serious health outcomes, with more hospitalizations and ICU patients being treated for COVID-19 than in any other part of the City of Toronto. This has become more pronounced in recent weeks, as it came to light that Scarborough General Hospital is at 90% capacity, with COVID-19 patients comprising 75% of the ICU.  The hard working health professionals and frontline healthcare workers are doing all they can but need more support.

While the news is serious, it does not come as a surprise. The communities that are hardest hit by the pandemic often feature dense, multi-generational households often living in hi-rise apartments, public transit dependent, with people who are essential workers therefore with fewer options to work from home, and face higher risks of contracting COVID-19 with limited options for self isolation.

I would like to formally request that the federal government provide the necessary funding and work with the Province of Ontario and City of Toronto to open an isolation centre in the Scarborough community, to assist residents and families without other options to self-isolate and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Thank you for all that you and your government are doing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.  We know that Canadians are safer and more economically resilient because of your proactive responses. 

Thank you for your prompt attention to this request.  If I can be of assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Mitzie Hunter, MPP Scarborough-Guildwood