I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to members of the Canadian Chinese community on the occasion of Chinese New Year – Year of the Rat.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to members of the Canadian Vietnamese community as they celebrate Tết Nguyên Đán or Tết and mark the beginning of the Year of the Rat.
Based on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s forecast, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert today for Toronto in anticipation of colder weather conditions within the next 24 hours or longer. The Extreme Cold Weather Alert will be in effect until further notice.
Extreme Cold Weather Alerts activate local services that focus on getting and keeping vulnerable residents inside. A warming centre is open at Metro Hall by 7 p.m. the day an alert is called, and remains open continuously until noon on the day an alert is terminated. Other services include notification to community agencies to relax any service restrictions, availability of transit tokens in some drop-ins, and additional overnight street outreach.
Throughout the year, 24-hour respite sites provide meals, places to rest, and service referrals at locations across the city. People can call 311 for locations and to connect to Central Intake for a referral. Homeless Help lists site information at http://www.toronto.ca/homelesshelp.
The City asks that residents help vulnerable people by calling 311 if there is a need for street outreach assistance. Call 911 if the situation is an emergency.
Extreme Cold Weather Alerts are issued when the temperature in the daily forecast suggests temperatures will reach approximately -15 degrees Celsius or colder, or when the wind chill is forecast to reach -20 or colder. The Medical Officer of Health may also consider other weather-related factors when issuing Extreme Cold Weather Alerts.
Exposure to cold weather can be harmful to your health. Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius and can have severe consequences, including organ failure and death. Frostbite can also occur in cold weather when skin freezes and, in severe cases, can lead to amputation when deeper tissues freeze.
Those most at risk of cold-related illness are people experiencing homelessness or those under-housed, those who work outdoors, people with a pre-existing heart condition or respiratory illness, elderly people, infants and young children. People with heart problems can experience worsening of their condition up to several days after cold weather occurs.
During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert, members of the public are encouraged to take the following precautions:
• Check the weather report before going outside.
• Dress in layers, making sure your outer layer is windproof, and cover exposed skin.
• Wear a hat, warm mittens or gloves, and warm boots.
• Stay dry. Your risk of hypothermia is much greater if you are wet.
• Choose wool or synthetic fabrics for your clothes instead of cotton, because cotton absorbs and holds moisture, no longer keeping the wearer warm.
• Seek shelter if you normally spend long periods outside. Depending on the wind chill, exposed skin can freeze in minutes.
• Drink warm fluids other than alcohol.
• Warm up by taking regular breaks in heated buildings when enjoying winter activities outside.
• Consider rescheduling outdoor activities, or limiting time outdoors, during colder temperatures, especially if it’s windy.
• Heat your home to at least 21 degrees Celsius if infants or elderly people are present.
• Call or visit vulnerable friends, neighbours and family to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties related to the weather.
More information and tips for staying warm during cold weather are available at https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-programs-advice/extreme-cold-weather/.
Information to help residents prepare for extreme weather and weatherproof their homes is available at https://www.toronto.ca/extremeweatherready.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish members of the Canadian Tamil community happy Thai Pongal and Pongal Vazhthukkal.
Jim Karygiannis, Councillor – Ward 22
The Scarborough Health Network
Jim Karygiannis, Councillor for Ward 22, Scarborough-Agincourt and Scarborough Health Network are committed to delivering the best services for the residents of Scarborough. By working together, we are committed to ensuring investments in our health and community infrastructure that will make our community stronger, healthier and better.
Happy New Year! May you and your family have a wonderful and prosperous 2020.
During the month of January, many of our Tamil and Chinese community members in Scarborough-Agincourt will be celebrating the occasions of Thai Pongal and Chinese New Year respectively. To those of you, who will be celebrating these occasions, I send my warmest greetings to you and your loved ones:
Yesterday, Toronto Public Health issued a bulletin with respect to the cases of the undiagnosed viral pneumonia which are being investigated by health authorities in the City of Wuhan, in central China. Chinese authorities have engaged the World Health Organization (WHO) to assist with the investigation. The WHO reports that the main symptoms of this pneumonia are a fever followed by difficulty breathing. Toronto Public Health is not aware of any reported cases of this illness in Canada and the overall risk to residents is considered very low.
I would like to take the opportunity to wish members of the Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, Armenian and other Orthodox Christian Communities a Merry Christmas.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best to members of the Canadian African Community on the occasion of Kwanzaa.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.