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“We’re making sure that they’re safe, but we are really wanting to just provide some outlets and things for them to do,” she said.
Don Meikle is executive director of EGADZ, a downtown Saskatoon organization that helps youth and young adults through various programs, including housing. He said he’s grateful they’ve managed to keep COVID-19 mostly at bay, thanks to the efforts of staff. Meikle said the community has also stepped up with donations, including protective equipment and cleaning supplies from a local Home Depot.
“We can’t close a home down. We’ve had a case where the staff stayed and lived with the kids for 14 days. We’ve just had to adapt,” he said.
Like Pacik — and most everyone else in the world — Meikle wants the pandemic to be over.
“Our kids have been for the most part doing OK. It’s challenging with kids with mental health issues,” he said. “They were doing really well for the first three or four months, but kids like (other) people are getting sick of the isolation.”
Saskatchewan has not released final guidelines for when people in such settings will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, but a federal committee recommends giving congregate living settings access in the early part of the second phase of inoculations, tentatively slated for April.
Pacik said the conversation is ongoing.
“I do know that we are being considered,” she said. “At this point, I don’t have a final answer.”