New services in place to keep seniors in Elliot Lake safe from COVID-19
SUDBURY -- The City of Elliot Lake is putting out a new message to its residents urging everyone who is over the age of 70 or immunocompromised to not to leave their homes at all.
The city has launched two new services to make it possible for vulnerable community members to stay inside and practice physical distancing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
There is now 'Age Friendly Delivers' and 'Age Friendly Checks-In' available to residents who might not have family members or others to help them during this time.
"The program is, of course, designed for those over a certain age who are deemed to be vulnerable or anyone who has any immunocompromised disease of any sort," said Daniel Gagnon, the city's Chief Administrative Officer. "But again, we don't discriminate if anyone wants to take advantage of this service, we're there for them."
A task force has been established making it possible to provide a completely contact free grocery delivery service. First residents must sign up for the service through the city's website and then within one or two days a volunteer calls them to confirm their order.
Maureen Johnston, who has been a resident of Elliot Lake for 50 years, has already used the service twice.
"She took our grocery order and within three hours our groceries were on the front porch. Which was just incredible," said Johnston.
Once residents receive their groceries, an invoice is sent out making it so that no contact happens between the volunteer and the shopper.
"We feel much safer knowing that the city has our back," said Johnston.
Officials say in Elliot LAke about 4,000 community members are 65 years or older. However, this initiative is aimed to help more than just the vulnerable.
"We don't want to have that 40% of our population showing up to the ER or to our family health team because obviously we want to ease the burden on the health care system," said Gagnon. "That's the main issue. The other issue is we just want to do right by our residents."
The city also launched 'Age Friendly Checks-In' where residents can sign up to receive a daily email or phone call. This is especially aimed at those who might not have a local contact or family member during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gagnon says it's important for this to be taken seriously.
"Everyone should be staying home right now, period," said Gagnon.
Elliot Lake got it's first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 31.