Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Updates on COVID-19 emergency
Yesterday I wrote to you that it was starting to look like our COVID case numbers were beginning to flatten and today, Dr. Theresa Tam suggested to Canadians that she's cautiously optimistic that may be the case across the country.

With that being said, now is not the time to be any less diligent about our efforts. Now is the time to ensure we're following all orders put in place, maintaining our physical distancing and only going out when absolutely necessary.

As our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made clear, we have many more weeks of this battle ahead of us. We can't rush this or any efforts made thus far may be wasted.

I thank you all for your continued efforts. Oakville is well-known for our ability to come together as a community and I see that now more than ever.
Items in this update:

  • Health Canada launches new mental health portal
  • More Canadians eligible for emergency benefit
  • Ontario ramps up protection for long-term care residents
  • COVID case counts
  • Dr. Tam offers cautious optimism
  • WHO guidelines for lifting restrictions
  • Looking ahead to when parks may re-open
  • A reminder about staying home and what's closed
  • Waste reminder
  • Burloak Technologies partners with Mohawk College & NGen to product face shields for healthcare workers
  • Select Oakville hotels open for those in need
  • List of Oakville businesses offering online, delivery and take out service
  • Oakville company offers pop-up washrooms for truckers
  • Temperature check on the Halton District School Board
  • Burlington hospital staff told to return to work “immediately” if they are asymptomatic
  • Producers warn of COVID-19 impact on meat supply
  • Less variety and higher prices to come
  • New York State to require face coverings in public
  • Bill Gates' epidemic predictions
  • Iran virus deaths nearly double reported figures
  • Food banks reaching record demand
  • Oakville Meals on Wheels still delivering
  • Get your digital daffodil
e-Newsletter sign up
Did you receive this email from someone? Please consider signing up so you never miss an update.


Health Canada launches new mental health portal
Recognizing the significant strain that COVID-19 has placed on individuals and families across the country, Health Canada launched Wellness Together Canada , which provides tools and resources to help Canadians.

More Canadians eligible for emergency benefit
Part-time and seasonal workers are now eligible to claim the $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and new money is coming for front-line workers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced.
Now, workers who are earning less than $1,000 a month, such as contract or gig economy workers, or who have seasonal employment and can’t find a job due to COVID-19, as well as those who are running out of employment insurance, can now apply to the CERB.

In order to better protect the most vulnerable and stop the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes, the Ontario government has developed an action plan with key measures to be implemented within hours. In addition, the province has issued a new emergency order restricting long-term care staff from working in more than one long-term care home, retirement home or health care setting. These measures are being taken on the advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.

COVID case counts
Halton’s total cases have increased by 9 from 335 cases yesterday to 344 today with 1 more cases in Oakville from 113 to 114.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Ontario’s regional health units are reporting 9,268 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 and a total of 425 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Visit https://art-bd.shinyapps.io/covid19canada/ for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map.

Dr. Tam offers cautious optimism

There is cause for cautious optimism that the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic is slowing, Canada’s top doctor said Wednesday.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that the number of cases in the country is now doubling every 10 days or so, compared to every three days in late March, which means the epidemic is slowing down.
But Tam warned emerging from COVID-19 would “be like making our way down the mountain in the darkness,” stressing that it was too soon to ease physical distancing measures.
“We mustn’t rush or let go of our safety measures, or the fall will be hard and unforgiving,” she said.
The WHO has issued guidelines for lifting restrictions
As many countries are starting to show some positive signs of slowing the spread of COVID-19, this discussion is starting around the world.
But is Canada ready?

A look ahead to when parks may re-open
Most of us are likely eager for our parks to reopen, as they have in Berlin, as referenced in this Globe Mail opinion piece by Doug Saunders: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-we-learn-to-fight-this-thing-together-by-keeping-parks-open/

Our parks and recreation areas are under a bit of a double lockdown now. We closed them early without an enforcement power and a few days ago the Province ordered them closed under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and gave municipal and police officers authority and direction to enforce the Order.

Even so, we are still permitting "pass thru" use by pedestrians respectful of keeping your distance. Parking lots, however, are not open. They are subject to the order.

The desired effect of the Province's order is to keep people circulating closer to home. The medical authorities say the virus can be spread by contact with objects outdoors because it survives outside the body for long periods of time.

Until the Province lifts its order under the EMCP Act, we will of course continue to be required to obey and enforce the order .
For an idea of when we may expect our parks to re-open, as they have in Berlin, please watch this video by Dr. Andy Thompson, which offers some great explanations and insight into when the lockdown could end.
A reminder about staying home and what's closed
Public health officials are advising us to stay home and only go out for essential services to help slow the spread of COVID-19. To support this, the Provincial emergency order closing outdoor recreational amenities states that:  Outdoor recreational amenities that are intended for use by more than one family are closed, regardless of whether they are publicly or privately owned and regardless of whether they are attached to a park system. 

 Public health officials advise us that the safest place to play is in your yard or driveway, as close to home as possible. Town municipal enforcement officials will seek to educate people who may not understand the rules and give them the opportunity to leave without being ticketed. Town walkways and trails are still open if you want to take your children outdoors to run.
Waste reminder
Please bag and tie all organic materials such as tissues in compostable bags before placing at the curb. All garbage materials including masks, disposable gloves & personal hygiene products should also be bagged and tied. Loose items will not be collected.
Burloak Technologies partners with Mohawk College & NGen to product face shields for healthcare workers
Oakville-based additive Manufacturing company, Burloak Technologies, a division of Samuel, Son & Co., Limited, announced it will support the fight against COVID-19 by producing face shields that will be used by frontline medical and healthcare workers.

This personal protective equipment was designed and tested in collaboration with Hamilton Health Sciences and Mohawk College. Production has begun and will ramp up to volumes of approximately 10,000 units per week.

Select Oakville hotels remain open to service those in need
There are people who require overnight accommodations due to matters of self-isolation, travel issues and more during COVID-19. As such, there are many Oakville hotels that are still operating to support those in need.

Courtesy of Visit Oakville, these hotels are listed below. However, since information is changing quickly, please contact the hotel directly to ensure availability: 
Visit Oakville has also compiled a list of Oakville businesses offering online, delivery and take out services.

See the full list here:
Oakville company offers pop-up washrooms for truckers
Oakville company Freshco, located at 1151 South Service Rd. West, between Dorval and Third Line is offering the use of clean washrooms for truckers. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the portable executive washrooms have been set up for truck drivers as service centres have become unavailable.

Temperature check on the Halton District School Board
Halton District School Board provides updates on kindergarten registration, construction and new schools amid coronavirus crisis.

Burlington hospital tells staff who test positive for COVID-19 to return to work ‘immediately’ if they have no symptoms
A Burlington hospital where there have been two outbreaks of COVID-19 is telling workers who test positive for the virus to return to work “immediately” if they are asymptomatic.

A spokesperson for Joseph Brant Hospital told the Star this is consistent with province-wide guidance provided by the Ministry of Health.

Producers warn of COVID-19 impact on meat supply
Some meat producers say COVID-19 has closed plants and reduced production and will have immediate effect on Canada's meat supply chain.

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says Canadians could see higher prices and less variety of food on store shelves this year.

Bibeau says she’s confident the country has enough food but acknowledges that COVID-19 is creating challenges across the agricultural industry.

Labour shortages on farms and outbreaks of illness among employees at processing plants are two current issues that affect the food supply.

The federal government has announced millions in new spending for farmers just this week, including money to help employers of temporary foreign workers and to increase the number of food inspectors.
New York state to require face coverings in public
  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state residents will be required to wear face coverings  when they are out and coming in close contact with other people.

The new mandate will require a mask or face covering on busy streets, public transit or any situation where people cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing. The executive order is similar to recommendations already in effect in New York City and will be in force Friday.

Bill Gates' epidemic predictions
In 2015, during a Ted Talk , Microsoft mastermind Bill Gates came pretty close to predicting the COVID-19 outbreak. Here’s what he says about it now.

Iran parliament: Virus deaths nearly double reported figures 
The death toll in Iran from the coronavirus pandemic is likely nearly double the officially reported figures, due to undercounting and because not everyone with breathing problems has been tested for the virus, a parliament report said.

Food Banks experiencing record demand
Oakville's food banks are in record-breaking demand. If you can donate anything, please do. Your help is needed.

Fareshare Food Bank Oakville: 905-847-3988 or email  oakvillefoodbank@gmail.com

Kerr Street Mission: 905-845-7485 or donate online at kerrstreet.com

The Salvation Army Oakville: Donate online https://salvationarmy.ca/
Oakville Meals on Wheels continues to deliver
Oakville's Meals on Wheels continues to offer services despite COVID-19. Thank you to the staff and volunteers for all they do. Please note the following measures that have been implemented to ensure everyone's safety.

  • Proactive screening of clients, volunteers and staff members
  • Reinforcing Government of Canada and Ontario protocols for clients, volunteers and staff members returning from affected countries
  • Continuing existing infection prevention and control measures
  • Ensuring volunteers and staff are informed and have access to appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Monitoring the situation daily.

Get your digital daffodil
For the first time ever, to support social distancing and ensure the safety of those we serve, the Canadian Cancer Society made the difficult decision to suspend all face-to-face fundraising activities in April and beyond.

Instead, they're offering 'digital daffodils'

  1. Donate and create a Digital Daffodil on cancer.ca/daffodil – a virtual badge to honour someone you care about to share on your social media channels.
  2. Share your reason for supporting CCS – post your daffodil on social media, or share with our community your connection to the cause, give encouragement to those in our community facing cancer during this difficult time, etc. Please tag us on Facebook at CCSBurlington, Twitter at CCSHaltonUnit and Instagram at CCSHalton.
  3. Encourage community members to participate in the CCS Digital Daffodil Campaign by doing the same.
COVID Conversation: Canada's Supply Chain in the COVID-19 Crisis

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the second webinar in the COVID Conversation series this  Wednesday (April 15th), from 12:30 to 1 p.m. 

President & CEO Drew Redden will have a conversation on Canada's Supply Chain during COVID-19 with Sean Finn, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer, CN.

Register to watch on Zoom , or join LIVE on Facebook!
Haltech Virtual Office Hours
 
(NEW) Strategies to Optimize Cashflow-Discussion with MNP
Friday, April 17 1 – 2 p.m.

Speakers:  Divyan Panchal (Manager, Consulting Services) and Yohaan Thommy (Partner, Consulting Services)
 
Topics will include:
  • Strategies to manage cashflow
  •  Provide information on a free cashflow tool that Divyan Panchal built
  • Discuss how government programs can elongate the cashflow cliff
  • Highlight the programs in place to help such as the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy, and Work Share program,
 
Register:
Call the COVID-19 hotline
For the duration of the pandemic, if a member of the public wishes to report an incident of non-compliance with the emergency orders, they may contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722

It is critical that our residents use 911 for emergencies only.