Saskatoon city committee votes to allocate $117K for coronavirus response

A Saskatoon city committee moved to give $117,000 to the Inter-Agency Response to COVID-19. File / Global News

The Saskatoon Governance and Priorities Committee (GPC) voted to allocate more than $117,000 to a group of organizations dedicated to protecting the city’s vulnerable population during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Canadian Medical Association Foundation awarded the money to Saskatoon to help protect the city’s vulnerable persons against COVID-19.

A report from city administration recommended turning the entire amount over to the Inter-Agency Response to COVID-19, group of around 65 organizations, and the GPC followed that recommendation.

Read more: Saskatoon polling stations will look like grocery stores this civic election: returning officer

Mayor Charlie Clark lauded the group’s work during the pandemic, calling it “remarkable.”

Colleen Christopherson-Cote, a spokesperson for the Inter-Agency Response, said the money will go towards addressing ongoing challenges that vulnerable people face, like providing personal protective equipment and food.

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She told Global News the funding is also a much-needed boost for the group’s efforts.

“Up until this point we’ve received very little support from the provincial government to implement a vulnerable sector strategy,” she said, speaking over Zoom.

“So we’ve been relying on the relationship with funders through the community foundation and United Way.”

She said front-line workers and shelters are no longer treating the pandemic as an emergency and are now working to maintain the current situation.

Read more: In Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 epicentre, hundreds remain without a home

She added the funding will help prepare the city for a potential second wave of COVID-19 infections in the autumn.

City council must still formally approve the measure at a later date.

The Inter-Agency Response group will be required to submit a summary report detailing how the money is used.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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