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PSWs don’t need COVID test for home-based care, unlike long-term care counterparts

in Health by
PSWs don’t need COVID test for home-based care, unlike long-term care counterparts

A Little Britain woman is concerned there are different rules for personal support workers (PSWs) who see people in their own homes versus the PSWs who work in retirement and long-term care.

Namely, says Renee Aucoin, PSWs who provide homecare do not have to have to take a COVID test. Instead, they rely on self-evaluation – something that doesn’t sit well with her, considering her grandmother relies on home care.

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Councillor wants city to establish PPE production to see return of manufacturing jobs

in Business/Municipal by
Councillor wants city to establish PPE production to see return of manufacturing jobs

If Councillor Ron Ashmore has his way Kawartha Lakes could one day be a manufacturing hub for PPE, therapeutics, and vaccines.

A majority of council, at the committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 12, recommended a written proposal from the Ward Six councillor to investigate attracting medical manufacturers with hopes of reducing the area’s concerning 9 per cent unemployment rate.

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Mayor talks budget, COVID planning; City gets $5 million from feds

in Municipal by

Mayor Andy Letham shared with reporters at his weekly media scrum updates on many pressing municipal issues and an extensive list of important municipal and provincial dates of interest.

Five million in funding for COVID relief 

The city has received notice that Kawartha Lakes qualifies for $5 million on COVID assistance money from a fund set up by the federal government and administered by the provincial government.

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What the first day of school will look like, elementary and secondary

in Education by
Octoblocks: Trustees hear pros and cons of 22 days of only one class

Wes Hahn, director of education for the Trillium Lakelands District School Board, began to share with trustees last Tuesday at a Special Meeting of the Board what opening day for students is going to look like.

School signage

Signage is current being installed at all schools to indicate what access doors are locked and unlocked and what direction students are to walk in the halls.


“Enhanced cleaning” of facilities is planned for morning, mid-day and evening each school day. Hahn praised the “passion and commitment to making this work” shown by custodial staff right across the board.

Length of in-school day

300 minutes of learning time have been mandated by the province.

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Will schools be clean enough?

in Back to School 2020/Education by

As desperate as they are to return to some kind of normalcy in their lives, parents who were contacted by the province made it clear that schools must be safe and sparkling clean before their children arrive back on Sept. 8, and that they need to remain that way.

Probably for the first time in a very long time, this pandemic has caused people’s attention to focus on the very important women and men who clean their children’s schools: the custodial staff.

Depending upon the school, there could be as few as one or as many as 20 custodians. And they’re every bit as concerned about conditions in schools as parents are.

“Most of us are over the age of 55 … and this is terrifying,” said one custodian with the Catholic board. (Staff quoted in this story requested anonymity.) “I can’t imagine with all the uncertainty around school cleanliness and safety that anyone would be interested in a custodial position right now.”

Another custodian from TLDSB said in a text, “It is all a numbers game right now … If more than half the kids come back, all bets are off without more staff and schools closing to the public when the buses roll. There simply won’t be enough staff to maintain the level of cleanliness that will be expected. I have seen a quarter of our kids home with the regular garden variety flu in December. COVID is much more serious for me, my fellow custodians and my students.”

Safety is the word on everyone’s lips. “Support staff wants students and staff to be able to work and learn together in a safe environment,” said Bill Campbell, president of the CUPE local that represents support staff including custodians at the Trillium Lakelands board.

Many school buildings are open from early in the morning until late at night, a veteran custodian who works in a public high school pointed out.

“When the students leave, the public comes in. There is no way we will be able to get the buildings clean if they are still open for public rentals.”

“Those public rentals also expose the staff to hundreds of other individuals who might be carrying the coronavirus. That is very frightening for front-line workers like school custodians,” the custodian added.

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