Healthcare

We have made the case that hybrid city council meetings work; is the Quebec government listening?

Last Monday (April 11) Côte Saint-Luc City Council  convened for our first in-person meeting in over two years,

Despite the fact we have over 60,000 cases of COVID-19 daily in Quebec, the CAQ government is in election mode so no matter how backed up our emergency rooms get and regardless of how many crucial surgeries are cancelled due to the explosion of the pandemic it is business as usual according to our National Director of Health.

So, among the many senseless things our provincial government has done is force councils back in public. It was ironic that on the day  we did return, former Councillor Sam Goldbloom was admitted to the Jewish General Hospital with a serious case of COVID. I spoke to Sam today. His condition is improving and he should be released in the coming days. The list of people I know who have come down with COVID in the past two weeks is endless. Yet here we were in the Council Chamber, albeit everyone masked and distanced,asked to meet in the presence of the public. Vaccine passports are now part of our past.

MeinMaskatFirstInPersonMeeting
Seated at our first in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic.

The council meeting proceeded similarly to those of the past two years. While we were indeed all seated in the Council Chamber, we wore headphones and via Zoom the session was broadcast live on YouTube. One member of the public showed up, but she left before we got started. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and I are immunosuppressed. So after the agenda was approved, we each went to separate rooms and continued to participate in the meeting. Oh yes, we did have plenty of questions and all of them came online.

What we proved on April 11 is that hybrid meetings do work. We adopted a resolution, calling upon the Quebec government to allow us to conduct such meetings. Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante, St. Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa and The Association of Suburban Mayors back this format. Will the Quebec government budge? It would be nice for this occur, but I am not betting on the CAQ doing the right thing where COVID protocols are concerned until after the October election.

Here I am on CTV Montreal

Here I am on CJAD

Here is the video of our first in person meeting

 

RESOLUTION TO REQUEST LEGISLATIVE AMENDMENTS TO ALLOW REMOTE PARTICIPATION OF THE COUNCIL MEMBERS:

            

WHEREAS Ministerial Order 2020-029 authorized the remote participation of elected officials in municipal council meetings as well as in public consultation assemblies due to the state of the declared public health emergency throughout Quebec;

WHEREAS Ministerial Order 2022-024, taken on March 25, revoked Ministerial Order 2020-029, thus requiring physical presence at municipal council meetings and public consultation assemblies;

WHEREAS the sixth wave of the COVID-19 infections is causing a sharp rise in cases across Quebec;

WHEREAS an elected municipal official is at the heart of municipal democracy and that its presence is essential in order to fulfill his duties and obligations;

WHEREAS the remote work mode promotes the participation of elected officials on the move, work-family balance as well as the possibility of voting at a municipal council meeting even in the event of illness;

WHEREAS experience shows that remote communication is done effectively within the framework of the various council meetings;

 

             It was

                       MOVED BY COUNCILLOR Andee Shuster

                       SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR Sidney Benizri

             AND RESOLVED:

            THAT the Council of the City of Côte Saint-Luc ask the government and the National Assembly of Quebec, by means of a letter addressed to the provincial deputy, to adopt the necessary legislative amendments in order to confer on municipalities the power to determine, by by-law or resolution, the procedures for the remote participation of elected officials in meetings of the municipal council as well as in public consultation assemblies.

             THAT a certified copy of this resolution be sent to the MNA of D'Arcy-McGee, Mr. David Birnbaum, to the ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation, to the Union des Municipalités du Québec as well as to the Association of Suburban Municipalities ;

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

RÉSOLUTION POUR DEMANDER UNE MODIFICATION LÉGISLATIVE RELATIVEMENT AUX MODALITÉS DE PARTICIPATION À DISTANCE DES ÉLUS MUNICIPAUX

            

ATTENDU QUE l’Arrêté ministériel 2020-029 autorisait la participation à distance des élus aux séances du conseil municipal ainsi qu’aux assemblées publiques de consultation en raison de l’état d’urgence sanitaire déclaré sur tout le territoire québécois ;

ATTENDU QUE l’arrêté ministériel 2022-024, pris le 25 mars dernier, a abrogé l’arrêté numéro 2020-009, obligeant ainsi les élus municipaux à siéger en présentiel aux séances du conseil municipal et assemblées publiques de consultation ;

ATTENDU QUE la sixième vague d’infections à la COVID-19 provoque une forte hausse des cas à travers le Québec ;

ATTENDU QU’un élu municipal est au cœur de la démocratie municipale et que sa présence est ainsi primordiale afin de remplir ses devoirs et obligations ;

ATTENDU QUE le mode de travail à distance favorise la participation des élus en déplacement, la conciliation travail-famille ainsi que la possibilité de voter à une séance du conseil municipal même en cas de maladie ;

ATTENDU QUE l’expérience permet de constater que la communication à distance s’effectue efficacement dans le cadre des différentes assemblées du conseil ;

             Il fut

                       PROPOSÉ PAR LE CONSEILLER Andee Shuster

                       APPUYÉ PAR LE CONSEILLER Sidney Benizri    

             ET RÉSOLU :

 

            QUE le conseil de la Ville de Côte Saint-Luc demande au gouvernement et à l’Assemblée nationale du Québec, par le biais d’une lettre adressée au député provincial, d’adopter les modifications législatives nécessaires afin de conférer aux municipalités le pouvoir de déterminer, par règlement ou résolution, les modalités de participation à distance des élus aux séances du conseil municipal ainsi qu’aux assemblées publiques de consultation.

             QU’une copie certifiée conforme de la présente résolution soit transmis au député provincial de la circonscription de D’Arcy-McGee, monsieur David Birnbaum, au ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation, à l’Union des Municipalités du Québec ainsi qu’à l’Association des municipalités de banlieue ;

ADOPTÉE À L’UNANIMITÉ

 


"Forcing" municipalities to return to in-person public meetings represents another example of pretending COVID is over

The Quebec government continues to dig its head in the sand, doing away with COVID-19 measures as if this is a race.

Public Health Director Luc Boileau said today that he may delay the lifting of the mask mandate past mid-April. Well,  that makes sense. We are now officially in a sixth wave. Hospital workers are out in big numbers. A number of restaurants and pubs have had to shut down and while the hard to get PCR testing numbers show over 3,000 cases a day, Boileau  admitted that the real number of daily infections in Quebec is likely closer to 30,000.

Head in sand
Some people from our government do indeed have their heads in the sand.

 

I know it is an election year for the Quebec government, but if the governing CAQ continues to act like COVID does not exist they are removing the incentive for people to get vaccinated or boosted - and just watch as hospital emergency rooms go beyond capacity.

As a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc,  I am at loss to understand why municipalities have just been advised that we are now being forced to return to in-person public meetings.  For the past two years we have been convening virtually. The process has worked exceptionally well and while we all want to do this again with the public in attendance and for them to be able to ask questions directly to us, it really is all about timing. Since we now have live webcasts of these meetings, more people than ever are tuning in.  And nobody can argue about the safety factor.

As this sixth wave begins,  no less than nine Members of the National Assembly - including the Premier and the Deputy Premier- sit home isolating because of COVID. Would it not make more sense for the government to leave this choice up to each municipality? Clearly they are spreading the new variant among each other in Quebec City.

Today, Health Minister Christian Dubé spoke about not entirely lifting the State of Emergency; that the government still requires the power to make some urgent decisions. He took a lot of heat for this. Well, here is a perfect opportunity for him to grant municipalities to return to public sessions at the very least when this sixth wave subsides.

Here is the memo municipalities received


À la suite des derniers développements concernant les mesures de la COVID-19, le ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation confirme que l'arrêté 2020-029 du 26 avril 2020, qui permet la participation à distance des membres de toute réunion, séance ou assemblée d’un organe délibérant (dont le conseil d’un organisme municipal), a été abrogé le vendredi 25 mars dernier par l’arrêté ministériel 2022-024. Dans ce contexte, l’ensemble des séances du conseil doit de nouveau se tenir en présentiel, conformément aux règles prévues, entre autres, à la Loi sur les cités et villes et au Code municipal du Québec.

Le site Internet du MAMH sera mis à jour sous peu pour tenir compte de cette abrogation.

I was interviewed by CTV Montreal News. You can see the report here.

CBC also did a report. You can see it here.

 


As Quebec hastily ditches COVID restrictions I will push for Côte Saint-Luc to maintain mask mandates in our buildings

It is quite a shame that the CAQ Quebec government and the supposedly independent Director of Public Health Dr. Luc Boileau are rushing to make us believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us.

According to Premier François Legault, Health Minister Christian Dubé and Dr. Boileau, the vaccine passport is no longer necessary. Entertainment venues and restaurants can return to full capacity. Daily COVID case counts basically no longer exist. You think you have COVID? Take a rapid test. Masks are also set to go by mid-April, to me the biggest mistake of them all.

Mask1
I feel more comfortable seeing others wearing masks in stores.

COVID-19 and the Omicron variant have not disappeared. COVID remains a pandemic, not endemic. What was the rush to remove masks of students on March 7, just days after many returned from holidays outside of the country? I know more people with COVID now than I have in the last two years.

Well, there is a Quebec election in October and Legault is worried. Sure, polls show that he should win a majority. But the fledgling Conservatives are making a dent in his base in Quebec City and do not count the Liberals out just yet. The Freedom Convoys made a lot of noise and provincial politicians gave in to their demands.

I feel sad and worried to see the mask mandate come to an end. For the past two years wearing a mask at a mall, grocery store or at work gave me true sense of comfort. There is a reason why nobody got the flu. Family members of mine, prone to bronchitis, bad colds and the like, have never been healthier. If someone coughs in the fruits and vegetable aisle, odds are when and if they sneeze on the zucchini, we are well protected.

Would I feel safer at the Bell Centre next to non-vaccinated maskless individuals? Absolutely not!  Only time will tell to see whether this roll of the dice by the government is a giant mistake.

In Côte Saint-Luc we were early leaders on mask mandates. Well, we will not be able to order people to wear masks at the Quartier Cavendish, synagogues, stores or in apartment buildings when Quebec lifts the mandate. But we sure can do so in our own buildings. I hope our council will decide to maintain mask mandates inside our City Hall, Library and Aquatic and Community Centre.

As for council meetings returning to a live in person format, there is no rush to do so. Since we pivoted to an online format, there are more eyes on our meetings, and I must say during my door to door last fall nobody complained. Sure, we want to return to the City Hall Council Chamber, but only when the time is right. Hopefully that will be soon. It would be prudent to wait and see how the Quebec COVID experiment works first. What happens if the case count doubles in the next month?  On public council meeting evenings, we convene several hours earlier in caucus. The space we use at City Hall is tight under normal circumstances, especially since we have working dinners. This presents a problem we must find a solution to.

And when we do return to public, I believe we should require members of the public to show a vaccine passport or alternatively ask their questions virtually if they have decided not to get the jab.

Folks I had COVID in January 2021. It was a miserable month in my life. I have friends who are Long Haulers. One still has not regained his sense of taste or smell in a year and half.

Now we wait and watch!

See this report on CityNews for which I was one of the people interviewed.

See this Gazette story

 


Update on the vaccination program of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal

 

Covid

 

The following is an update on the vaccination program of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal.

Vaccinations to date

All long-term care residents who consented to and qualified for COVID-19 vaccination have received their vaccine (in CHSLDs, Intermediate Resources and Family-Type Resources). The vaccination campaign for those who live in private seniors’ residences (RPAs), and religious orders is ongoing and expected to be completed by February 26th. The CIUSSS is also currently vaccinating seniors who are living in municipal low-income housing and non-profit housing.

Indigenous residents of our territory and clients of the following homeless shelters in our area have been vaccinated: Chez Doris, Resilience Montreal, the Open Door, and the Côte-des-Neiges warming centre.


Recruiting vaccinators

To combat COVID-19 quickly and effectively, the Human Resources team of our CIUSSS is looking for anyone who is available and interested in assisting in the vaccination campaign.

We are looking for physicians, midwives, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, nurses and licensed practical nurses, as well as:


Acupuncturists

Dental hygienists

Podiatrists

Audiologists

Veterinary doctors

Ambulance technicians

Audioprosthesists

Prescription opticians

Medical technicians

Chiropractors

Optometrists

Medical electrophysiology technologists

Denturists

Speech therapists

Physiotherapy technicians

Dietitians or nutritionists

Physiotherapists

Medical imaging technologists

Occupational therapists


Students in nursing, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry are also invited to apply.
Details of hiring conditions and schedules will be specified when the candidates are contacted by our Human Resources teams.

To apply: recrutement.ccomtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca or 514-293-0526.

Public Vaccination Program

a) Eligibility for Vaccination

We expect the public vaccination program to start soon. During this first phase of the public vaccination program, priority will be given to residents of the territory who are 70 or over.

b) Making an Appointment
It will be necessary to make an appointment to be vaccinated. Appointments will have to be made online or by telephone.

c) Preparing for the Appointment
Residents should plan on a visit lasting 30 to 45 minutes, which covers time for registration, the vaccination itself and post-vaccination observation.
Residents should bring their health card with them.

Mise à jour sur le programme de vaccination du
CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal


Vous trouverez ci-dessous une mise à jour sur le programme de vaccination du CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.

Personnes vaccinées jusqu’à maintenant

Tous les résidents des centres de soins de longue durée admissible et qui ont consenti à la vaccination contre la COVID-19 ont été vaccinés (dans les CHSLD, les Ressources intermédiaires et les Ressources de type familial). La campagne de vaccination pour les personnes vivant dans les résidences privées pour personnes âgées (RPA) et les communautés religieuses est en cours et devrait être terminée d’ici le 26 février. Le CIUSSS vaccine actuellement les personnes âgées qui habitent dans des logements municipaux à coût modique et des logements sans but lucratif.

Les résidents autochtones et les clients des refuges pour sans-abri suivants de notre territoire ont été vaccinés : Chez Doris, Résilience Montréal, La Porte ouverte (the Open Door), et la halte-chaleur Côte-des-Neiges.
La semaine prochaine, nous prévoyons de vacciner les patients âgés de 70 ans et plus hospitalisés à l’Hôpital général juif.

Recrutement de vaccinateurs

Pour lutter rapidement et efficacement contre la COVID-19, l’Équipe des ressources humaines de notre CIUSSS est à la recherche de toute personne disponible et intéressée à participer à la campagne de vaccination.

Nous cherchons des médecins, sages-femmes, inhalothérapeutes, pharmaciennes et pharmaciens, infirmières et infirmiers et infirmière et infirmiers auxiliaires autorisé(e)s ainsi que des :

Acuponcteurs

Hygiénistes dentaires

Podiatres

Audiologistes

Médecins vétérinaires

Techniciens ambulanciers

Audioprothésistes

Opticiens

Techniciens médicaux

Chiropraticiens

Optométristes

Technologues en électrophysiologie médicale

Denturologiste

Orthophonistes

Techniciens en physiothérapie

Diététistes ou nutritionnistes

Physiothérapeutes

Technologues en imagerie médicale

Ergothérapeutes

Les étudiants en soins infirmiers, médecine, pharmacie et médecine dentaire sont également invités à présenter leur candidature.
Les détails des conditions et des horaires de travail seront précisés lorsque les candidats seront contactés par les membres de l’Équipe des ressources humaines.

Pour présenter votre candidature :

recrutement.ccomtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca ou 514-293-0526.

Programme de vaccination public

a) Admissibilité à la vaccination

Nous nous attendons à ce que le programme de vaccination public soit lancé prochainement. Au cours de la première phase du programme de vaccination public, la priorité sera donnée aux résidents du territoire âgés de 70 ans et plus.

b) Prise de rendez-vous
Il sera nécessaire de prendre un rendez-vous pour être vacciné. Les rendez-vous devront être pris en ligne ou par téléphone.

c) Préparation au rendez-vous
Les résidents doivent prévoir une visite d’une durée de 30 à 45 minutes pour l’inscription, la vaccination et le temps d’observation après la vaccination.

Les résidents doivent apporter leur carte d’assurance maladie.

 

 

 

 


New Physiotherapy clinic opens in CSL; young owner has interesting back story

Hampstead native Greg Stern's passion for movement and helping others along their own health journey developed from his own physical struggles. In 2013, he sustained an ankle injury that would forever change his life. What appeared to be a routine ankle sprain, developed into a chronic problem in his foot that caused him constant pain for three years. "I consulted and worked with many different rehab professionals to no avail and eventually underwent surgery," he says. "Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of my journey, as compensatory patterns triggered hip and back pain that had not been there prior to the operation."

 

Greg had reached a low point and was struggling for answers. It was at this point that he knew he needed to dive deeper in order to understand his body if he  was ever going to escape the pain he was experiencing. 

 

While his professional education includes a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Kinesiology, and Masters in Physical Therapy at McGill University, Greg's curiosity has always extended far beyond the classroom. He has spent thousands of hours learning from books, coaches online, attending courses and trying to gather as many perspectives on different therapeutic approaches, researching and experimenting which methods work and which don’t.

"I began to incorporate a comprehensive approach that looked at the root causes behind my pain and considered the environmental factors—shoes and chairs to name a few—that were continuing to contribute to my poor movement behaviour," Greg says. "Over time, I diligently and methodically applied the concepts that I learned to slowly restructure my body. Thankfully, I am now able to experience life pain-free, play the sports I love unimpeded by fear and go for long hikes barefoot after not being able to stand for more than few seconds without pain."

 

Greg Stern
Greg Stern

 

 

Last June Greg opened From The Ground Up Physio at  5555 Westminster (Suite 108) in Côte Saint-Luc. He calls himself the CFO (Chief Foot Officer).

 

"With From the Ground Up, my aim is to help guide people through their own path of self-discovery on their health journeys and guide people to not only be pain-free, but to thrive in their everyday lives," Greg says. "Injuries are not only a process of recovery, but discovery; an opportunity to learn, be curious, to better understand your body, to correct issues and improve efficiency and performance."

 

For more details go to www.groundupphysio.com, email info@groundupphysio.com or call 514-369-0909.

 

 

 


The iconic Caldwell Pharmaprix location is closing; merging operations at Cavendish

David Banon and Sarah Ettedgui are closing their Pharmaprix store at the Caldwell Shopping Centre on October 14 and centralizing all operations at their much larger location at Quartier Cavendish.

“The lease is up,” David told me. “There were renovations planned,   but nothing was ever confirmed with the landlord and given that we always look for long term commitments and the importance of our business staying opened year round,  we had to shift operations.”

David recognizes the fact this news has been quite shocking to customers who have been going there for decades, from the time the late Howard Smith was the owner-pharmacist. Caldwell has a special appeal, notably because of its two stalwart technicians Thomas Virta and Sheila Cohen. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of every client and go the extra mile when it comes to contacting doctors for  prescription renewals and pharmaceutical distributors to get certain products.

DavidSarah
Sarah Ettedgui and David Banon.

“ I want to reassure you that we are taking the move and the interests of our clients very much to heart and as such all our Caldwell staff are absolutely staying on and are invested in making the transition as smooth as possible,” said David. “There will be the same telephone and fax number and when the line is answered it will be with the familiar voice of Sheila or Thomas! They will have their own mini pharmacy set up in the back of our current lab at Cavendish where they can call patients and even automatically renew their medications.”

Whereas Caldwell was open weekdays until 6 pm, customers will now have access to store open seven days a week until 10 pm. David and Sarah, his wife and business partner, have hired a registered nurse so that many new services can be offered A list of her services was posted online on their website. "And as of this year, we will start a flu vaccination clinic beginning the end of October,  where pharmacists will vaccinate our clients," David said "Clients will be able to take appointments online."

 What is the future of the Caldwell strip mall? There was once a bakery and that storefront has remained vacant for the better part of a decade. I would love to see Caldwell Provisions take over the Pharmaprix spot and double in size!


Our city council and staff have shown leadership during this pandemic period

On the eve of Yom Kippur I repeat something everyone has heard  many times since last March: be careful! There are new limitations to public gatherings. Please abide by them.

COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. We had a brief reprieve over the summer when too many people let their guards down, but now we are entering a second wave.

I do not think that Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, our seven members of council and our staff ever imagined a mandate like this. It has been a challenge  and that is for certain, but I think as elected officials we have handled this pandemic responsibly.

First let me underline the incredible leadership shown by our senior management trio of Tanya Abramovitch, Jonathan Shecter and Nadia Di Furia. They have been ahead of the game every step of the way. Our teams in Finance, Urban Development/Engineering, Public Works, Purchasing, Communications, IT, the Library, City Clerk’s Office,  Parks and Recreation and Public Safety have done an incredible job. I could not be more proud.

Look at our Men’s Club. This is a group which lives for personal gatherings, but since last spring they have embraced the Zoom video platform and opened up an entire new world. This brings me to my next subject. Out of respect for social distancing measures and in order to discourage seniors and others coming to public gatherings, all of our city council and committee meetings have been held via Zoom since March. And you know what? It works beautifully. In fact, over the past seven months our number of meetings have more than doubled!

Until there is a vaccine, bringing eight elected officials, staff and the public into a hardly spacious council chamber would be a very bad idea. Just look at the recent spate of COVID-19 positive cases for politicians: the leaders of the Bloc Québecois and the Conservative Party of Canada. Our own Councillor David Tordjman was at an event for the latter. He said he stayed for less than a half hour, wore a mask at all times and made sure to clean his hands any time he touched something. Nonetheless he got COVID as well.  Please see this story.

Maskandshield
This is how I dress to go to work now!

 

There are a number of hot button issues coming up on our agenda. We broadcast our public meetings live now on YouTube, via Zoom, and as Larry David would say, attendance  is “pretty..;pretty..pretty good.” People can ask questions in the comments section or send them in advance.

I shudder to think of how we would be functioning if this pandemic had occurred in say 1987?

I have spent the past few months walking my District 2 on foot several days a week and talking to constituents from a distance.  My district meetings have successfully moved to Zoom and I am happy to say work is getting done at a good pace.

We all want this to be over, but now we must brace ourselves for a rough fall and winter.  Get your flu shot! One can only pray that by spring that elusive vaccine will arrive.


New hours for "by appointment only" testing clinics

As of September 8, test centres at our CLSCs (to test blood and other samples) will have new hours of operation. This change does not affect our COVID-19 Testing Clinics. 
  • CLSC Benny Farm: Monday to Friday, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. 
  • CLSC Metro: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • CLSC Parc-Extension: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • CLSC René-Cassin: Monday to Friday, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. 
Tests are performed by appointment only. An appointment must be booked at CLICSANTE.CA or, if online booking is not possible, by calling the CLSC.  
 
Note: As of September 28, a new test centre will open at CLSC Côte-des-Neiges, by appointment only, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
 

Dès le 8 septembre, un nouvel horaire sera en vigueur dans les centres de prélèvements de nos CLSC (analyses sanguines et autres prélèvements). Ce changement n’a pas d’incidence sur nos cliniques de dépistage de la COVID-19. 

  • CLSC de Benny Farm : du lundi au vendredi, de 7 h 30 à 11 h 30  
  • CLSC Métro : du lundi au vendredi, de 7 h 30 à 15 h 30  
  • CLSC de Parc-Extension : du lundi au vendredi, de 7 h 30 à 15 h 30  
  • CLSC René-Cassin : du lundi au vendredi, de 7 h 30 à 11 h 30 
 
Les prélèvements sont effectués sur rendez-vous seulement. Vous devez prendre un rendez-vous en ligne à CLICSANTE.CA ou, si ce n’est pas possible, en téléphonant au CLSC.  
 
À noter : en vigueur le 28 septembre, un nouveau centre de prélèvements ouvrira au CLSC de Côte-des-Neiges, sur rendez-vous seulement, de 7 h 30 à 15 h 30. 

 


CLSC Test Centre deserves a thumbs up; appointment only system to be instituted August 10

I usually go for my blood tests a few times a year at the CLSC René Cassin at Quartier Cavendish. In the past year they extended their hours from 7:30 am to 9:30 am, to 11:30 am, and added the two weekend days. It could not  have been better. Then COVID-19 hit and people like me avoided locations like this and put blood tests on hold.à

IMG_8555
In full protective gear as I head to the test center.

 

The  fact that my last set of tests were some eight months ago concerned  me, so today I went back with my requisitions.   I was told that some people were arriving as early as 6 am to get a good timeslot, many of whom not properly social distancing. That was not a route I  chose. I turned up at 7:30 am by which time the herd of masked men and women were told to leave the inside of the building and form a line outdoors. I waited until the line disappeared and the security guard handed me a piece of paper with a number and a 9:30 am appointment time.

 

IMG_8550
Is this lineup for a rock concert or blood tests?

 

I  returned  at  that  time, was told to go inside and the process from  there went fairly quickly. Only one person having blood drawn at a time. But with a second wave coming, the CIUSS West  Central  Montreal has just announced a new appointment only procedure. This will ensure that they can allow enough space for distancing by having as few people as possible in the waiting rooms. Walk-in visits will no longer be permitted.

 As of August 10, anyone who wants to make an appointment at one of  the CLSC test centres to have blood drawn or other samples tested must go to CLICSANTE.CA. Then they should choose “Blood test and specimens” and enter their postal code. Clic Santé will propose an appointment, which may not be for the same day. Since some people may find it difficult to gain access to this website, and in order to ensure a smooth transition, the CLSCs can also be phoned to book an appointment.

A statement  I received says: “We understand that getting used to this change may take some time. However, given our new reality, it is important for us to implement this new system now, so that we can provide the best possible protection for our users, staff and visitors. Users can call the CLSC if they have any questions about the new appointment system.”

Bravo for a wise decision.

Here are the  Test Centre locations

CLSC René Cassin

5800 Cavendish Boulevard

Montreal, Quebec H4W 2T5

514-484-7878

 

CLSC Benny Farm

6484 Monkland Avenue

Montreal, Quebec H4B 1H3

514-484-7878

 

CLSC Parc-Extension

7085 Hutchison Street

Montreal, Quebec H3N 1Y9

514-273-9591

CLSC Metro

1801 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West

Montreal, Quebec H3H 1J9

514-934-0354


High School student Elan Vigderhous launches COVID-19 themed care package business

During this pandemic, it has been heartening to see different young  people step up,

Take Elan Vigderhous for instance. The soon-to-be 15 year old Côte Saint-Luc resident  has started a home-based business called “Care Packages,” which is composed of a week's worth of COVID supplies (mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer). For every purchase, $3 goes to Hope and Cope, which has been providing compassionate, supportive, evidence-based cancer care for over three decades.  He chose that charity because his grandfather, noted musician Gideon  Vigderhous,  is now hospitalized due to an invasive cancer. 

“A while back when quarantine started and school was suspended, my father started to teach me about business and we decided to put the lessons into practice,” said Elan, a Grade 10 student at Royal Vale School in NDG. “ I decided to start a business that not only would be helpful to the clients, but I wanted to make sure I could help a charity close to home too. I liked the idea of making gift boxes that could be sent to a family member or friend, as a gift. I decided that the box should include the essentials: masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. I also added a little candy, to make it a little  sweeter.”

Carepackages
Elan is putting his free time to good use.

 

Originally Elan was going to raise money for COVID-19 relief,  but  given the fact his grandfather got diagnosed with melanoma a few years ago and recently he had to go to the hospital, he opted for  Hope and Cope.

Since launching a website  at https://www.care-packages.ca, orders have started to roll in. “I enjoy running my first business, and I go to work every day working on sales, marketing, packaging and delivery,” said Elan.

See this report from Global TV.