COVID-19 Resources

Last Update: April 20, 2022 | If possible, call the Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre before visiting as staff may be out of the office. If you need advocacy, please get in touch to make an appointment with the Gender Based Violence Navigation Advocate ([email protected] | 935-8042) or the Gender Based Violence Court Advocate ([email protected] | 935-8599). Please wear a mask when visiting the Centre.

Note: This information reflects only a selection of available resources and is subject to change.

For up-to-date public health information on COVID-19: 

Find current Public Health Measures and Restrictions here.

Find out about restrictions/closures of City of Thunder Bay services here.

MCIS (Multilingual Community Interpretation Services) provides multilingual information about COVID-19 on their website and on their COVID-19 phone interpretation line.  To apply for phone interpretation services, complete their Free Interpretation Registration Form COVID-19.

211 ONTARIO NORTH provides free, confidential, multilingual access to information and referrals to the full range of community, social, health and government services. Dial 2-1-1 to speak with a Community Resource Specialist for help (24/7), or visit their website to chat online or search their database for specific resources.

 

Health and Wellbeing

OHIP: three month waiting period is waived and all who are enrolled will have immediate coverage. Expiring health cards will still be accepted until further notice from the Ministry of Health. If you do not have a health card, you cannot be denied emergency healthcare, regardless of your immigration status.

Screening for COVID-19: Symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from person to person and by age group. The Ministry of Health encourages the regular use of screening tools for adults COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool and children COVID-19 school and child care screening.

What to do if you think you may have COVID-19 or were exposed to the virus: Thunder Bay District Health Unit advises Thunder Bay and area residents to follow these guidelines from the Ministry of Health.

Getting vaccinated in Thunder Bay: COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics 

Student Health and Wellness: Physical Distancing Tool Kit from Lakehead University 

Free Counselling: Thunder Bay Counselling and Children’s Centre Thunder Bay are providing free single session “Talk-In” counselling via phone or video on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.  

Mental Health Resources from CAMH: Mental Health and the Covid-19 Pandemic  

Mental Health Resources from CMHA: Covid-19 Resources 

CMHA Crisis Response Services (24/7): 807-346-8282; Toll-Free (Thunder Bay District): 1-888-269-3100

Rapid Access Addiction Medicine: RAAM Clinics support individuals living with substance use issues by providing access to specialized addiction medicine, counselling and peer support. Referrals are encouraged but not required.

Superior Points Harm Reduction Program: outreach, mobile needle exchange and other harm reduction supplies, education and referrals.

CNIB Foundation: free enhanced virtual program offerings are expanded for Canadians impacted by blindness. The CNIB website also includes COVID-19 resources.

March of Dimes: The Warehouse Project Virtual Drop-in Program offers weekly interactive social and life skills activities for individuals living with disabilities in Thunder Bay. 

 

Safety

If you feel you are in immediate danger, or if you are injured, call 911.  

Centralized hub for GBV resources: Resources on Gender-Based Violence and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Report from the Canadian Women’s Foundation co-authored by Women’s Shelters Canada, Pauktuutit, Inuit Women of Canada, Anita Olsen Harper (NACAFV), and Jihan Abbas (DAWN- RAFH Canada), with grateful acknowledgement of Nneka MacGregor (Women at the CentrE), and Nadine Sookermany: Resetting Normal: Systemic Gender-Based Violence and the Pandemic

Local agencies working with women experiencing violence and other 24/7 crisis lines:

 

Food Security

If you need an emergency food hamper, or delivery while you isolate, contact 211 Ontario North by dialing 2-1-1 (24/7) to get connected to an organization providing access to emergency food.

Good Food Box: Subsidized fruit and vegetables can be purchased monthly for $22/box. Find GFB program updates here or call (807) 345-7819 or email [email protected]  

Free or subsidized meal/food programs: Where to Get Food in Thunder Bay  

Meals on Wheels: expanded capacity to ensure that seniors, people with disabilities and those with underlying medical conditions receive support as quickly as possible. Access food delivery and other services here.  

 

Income Security

Emergency Assistance: If you need urgent financial help because of COVID-19, and you are not already receiving support from OW or ODSP, you can apply for emergency assistance online.

Federal Recovery Benefits: If you are not working due to COVID-19 and don’t qualify for Employment Insurance (EI), you may be eligible for the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) or the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). 

Ontario Works: If your Special Diet Allowance, Mandatory Special Necessities or other benefit is expiring, it will be extended. Ask your worker about discretionary benefits if you have exceptional costs related to COVID-19. 

Immigration Status and Income Assistance: CLEO provides an overview of legal information for immigrants claiming refugee or permanent residency status who want to apply for Ontario Works (OW). 

ODSP: If your Special Diet Allowance, Mandatory Special Necessities or other benefit is expiring, it will be extended. Ask your worker about discretionary benefits if you have exceptional costs related to COVID-19. 

Income Assistance and Federal Recovery Benefits: CLEO provides legal information about the impact of government benefits like CERB on ODSP and OW.

If you are receiving income assistance and encounter a problem, call your worker first, and then call Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic at 344-2478 if you need legal advice to help resolve the issue.

 

Employment and Work

Employment Standards and COVID-19: information about employee rights and employer responsibilities in the context of COVID-19.  

Foreign Worker Rights: Employment and Social Development Canada has a COVID-19 guide for temporary foreign workers travelling to Canada.

Legal Information related to employment: CLEO provides up-to-date information about employment and work during COVID-19, including workplace safety, closures, layoffs, and employment benefits.

 

Housing and Utilities

Housing Law: CLEO provides up-to-date legal information on COVID-related housing/tenant issues, including evictions, health and safety, and privacy. If you have an eviction order against you, contact Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic at 344-2478 for legal advice. 

Social Assistance Relief Rent Arrears Fund (SSRF): TBDSSAB funding to help pay off rental arrears. View the application here.

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP): a grant program for Hydro One customers that pays up to $1000 toward amounts owing on electricity bills.

Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) provides monthly on-bill credits for lower-income customers to reduce their electricity bills.

TELUS Mobility for Good Program provides low-income seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) with low-cost wireless service on their own device or on a discounted refurbished device from TELUS.

 

Other Legal Matters

Healthcare Workers Permanent Residence Pathway: Refugee claimants who work as specified frontline healthcare workers may now be able to get help from Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) to apply for permanent residence.

Tribunals and Courts: CLEO provides up to date information regarding COVID-19’s impact on tribunal process, family and criminal courts, provincial offences, and small claims court.

 

Fraud, False and Misleading Claims

PROTECT YOURSELF and BEWARE OF SCAMS – Some people will try to take advantage of the current pandemic by asking for your money or your trust. Numerous people fall victims to scammers claiming to be Government Officials (like Revenue Canada), police or non-existent charities. NEVER give out your Social Insurance Number or Credit Card numbers, or send cash or e-transfer to an unconfirmed source.  Scams to watch for: 

  • Spoofed government, healthcare or research information 
  • Unauthorized or fraudulent charities requesting money for victims, products or research 
  • Unsolicited calls, emails and texts giving medical advice or requesting urgent action or payment: 
    • If you didn’t initiate contact, you don’t know who you’re communicating to 
    • Never respond or click on suspicious links and attachments 
    • Never give out your personal or financial details 
    • Don’t feel pressured into making a donation 
  • High-priced, low-quality products purchased in bulk by consumers and resold for profit  
  • Questionable offers, such as: miracle cures, herbal remedies, vaccinations, faster testing 
  • Fake and deceptive online ads, including: cleaning products, hand sanitizers, other items in high demand – these items may be expired and/or dangerous to your health
  • The Government encourages anyone who has information regarding the potential non-compliant sale or advertising of any health product claiming to treat, prevent or cure COVID-19, to report it using the online complaint form.

 

Please email Stacey at [email protected] if you have corrections or updated information.