How Red Cross is responding to COVID-19 in Ontario

Red Cross worker outside wearing medical mask and protective eyewearIn the context of COVID-19, the Canadian Red Cross is adapting its practices to continue helping with emergencies and to support the various levels of government as part of their response to the pandemic.

In Ontario, the Red Cross is working in partnership with the federal and provincial governments,local Public Health Units and First Nations leadership to provide programs and services to help individuals and communities in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health and safety are our top priorities, so we are also adapting programs and services to follow guidelines set out by public health authorities in order to keep volunteers, staff and community members safe.

Vaccination Support

Support for vaccination efforts across the province
Red Cross teams have been deployed across Ontario in support of local Public Health Units and First Nations leadership. 

This has included: 
  • Clinical support for vaccination clinics across southern Ontario in support of the Ontario Ministry of Health.
  • Non-clinical support for vaccination clinics operated by the Porcupine Health Unit, Eastern Ontario Health Unit, and the City of Ottawa.
  • Clinical support for vaccination clinics at the request of Akwesasne First Nation.
  • Clinical support for First Nations communities in James Bay through Operation Remote Immunity (February-March 2021).

Support for agricultural workers in Windsor-Essex

Working in support of the City of Windsor, as well as provincial and local health authorities, the Red Cross is operating isolation centres for agricultural workers following COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace. The Red Cross provides registration, meal delivery, and personal hygiene and comfort items to individuals during their stay. 

Read about how Red Cross volunteers are providing support.

Friendly Calls

Through the Friendly Calls program, Red Cross staff and volunteers help provide comfort and assistance, emotional support, and referrals to community services for people who may be feeling isolated or lonely, who may have limited social and family connections, or who feel they could benefit from more social interaction. Since March 2020, more than 42,400 friendly phone calls have been made to individuals in Ontario. 

Ottawa Outreach through the Human Needs Task Force

As an active partner with the City of Ottawa’s Human Needs Task Force, Red Cross teams are conducting outreach activities to address emerging community needs. This has previously included the distribution of COVID-19 information and awareness materials, conducting door-to-door wellness visits within designated communities including Ottawa Community Housing buildings, and providing onsite staffing support and needs referrals at various fixed sites such as the Seed and Soil Project.

Measures implemented for the delivery of emergency relief services

With the necessity of physical distancing in mind, our Emergency Management team has mobilized a Virtual Personal Disaster Assistance team that continues to meet the needs of Ontarians who face emergencies such as house fires or floods. The virtual nature of this team allows them to continue to provide comfort and care, community referrals, and identify and meet basic needs of affected individuals from a distance.

Additional Resources

First Aid and CPR courses in your area

Interested in taking a Red Cross First Aid or CPR course? Find a course in your community or online.

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