COVID-19 Collaboration Efforts – Amish and Mennonite Communities

The Grey Bruce Health Unit has traditionally had a collaborative relationship with our Amish and Mennonite communities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have continued to build on this relationship.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to grow throughout the province and in Grey and Bruce Counties, we want to remind everyone that COVID-19 has no boundaries, and does not care where you live.  As a result, COVID-19 has reached every corner of Grey and Bruce to date including the Amish and Mennonite communities.

In order to help with this situation, many Mennonite and Amish community Elders and leaders have chosen to cancel school and church gatherings for various time-frames (1-2 weeks) and are in direct communication with each other and the Grey Bruce Health Unit.  In collaboration with the Grey Bruce Health Unit, community distribution of COVID-19 prevention information is taking place. This includes Elders sharing all COVID-19 information with their community, and asking all people with symptoms to isolate at home until resolved.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit currently has capacity to ensure people who acquire COVID-19 locally receive case and contact management within 24 hours. Our collaborative efforts with Amish and Mennonite communities has ensured case and contact management within the same target time frame is met.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit’s School Health Team is working with many school leaders within these communities to assess COVID-19 related needs, and will act accordingly to ensure that knowledge and resources are shared with community schools as required (masks, hand sanitizer, educational resources).

COVID-19 requires us all to stay in this together. Now is the time to collaborate, not divide. We are eager to continue our efforts within these vital and vibrant communities and offer advice and support to the various communities, in the same way we collaborate with all municipalities within Grey and Bruce. It is only with this collaborative approach that we can get through this challenging time.