By Robyn Gillam

Covid 19 has ravaged Hamilton for months. Although numbers are now falling, the positivity rate remains well above the provincial average. There have been deadly outbreaks in nursing and retirement homes, workplaces and large apartment buildings.

Readers may be familiar with the widely publicized outbreaks at Rebecca Towers, 125 Wellington and 151 Queen Street North. Especially at Rebecca Towers, there has been serious illness, death and fear gripping residents afraid to leave their suites. Public pressure from community activists, health workers and the media finally led to mobile testing and free rides to the mass vaccination clinics, but the situation is far from resolved. If you live in this type of building, you should be aware of some important health and safety issues.

All apartment buildings have similar features, where tenants share common areas, laundry, halls, and elevators. The City recognizes that these buildings can be a problem. In addition, the Provincial Vaccine booking website is often hard to use and there is often a long time waiting, needing more than an hour to book a vaccine. If you don’t have a computer, or recent operating system, getting a vaccine can be challenging. There are also additional difficulties for those not used to communicating in English. However, Welcome Inn, a local community centre on Wood Street has a community support phone number that will help. If you need assistance booking a vaccine, Community Support Line (905) 516- 0480 can help people navigate how to book their vaccines if they require assistance.

Working together, we can hopefully be meeting with friends, going to our Rec Centre, as well as attending programs at Compass and Welcome Inn, as we put Covid behind us. So, if you need help booking that vaccine, please phone the Community Support Number.

The author would like to thank community members involved for their help.