Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Friday, April 17 updates on COVID-19 emergency
As we head into another weekend I remind you that physical distancing rules remain in place. All town facilities, parks and cemeteries are closed by order of the Province and we're being told to stay at home.

New signage at Glen Abbey Recreation Centre reflects this message and I hope we'll all do our part to help flatten the curve.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to email me at I'm here to help.
Thank you to our sister city
Thank you to Oakville's sister city, Huai’an, China, and Mayor Chen Zhichang for your donation of 12,000 masks.

We are all in this together!
Items in this update:

  • Halton Healthcare laying groundwork for internal field hospital in case coronavirus pandemic worsens
  • OTMH adding 80 beds
  • Oakville Town Council continues to serve residents
  • COVID-19 outbreak to cost Toronto at least $1.5 billion in 2020
  • Province makes it easier to reassign staff where they are needed most
  • COVID case counts
  • Why physical distancing is so important
  • Oakville Rotary clubs launch pandemic relief fund
  • Oakville Chamber holds coronavirus conversation webinar with federal politicians
  • iPads distributed to Ontario students to assist with online learning
  • Ontario offers emergency child care to more frontline workers
  • Sheridan team creating, distributing PPE for frontline healthcare workers
  • University of Guelph researchers help develop online COVID-19 tracker
  • More on mortgage deferral
  • HRPS police dog Nero retires
  • Town Hall lit blue
  • Ontario inmates released early
  • Trudeau sending military to Quebec
  • Federal government to clean up abandoned wells, offer assistance to other sectors
  • Second health care worker dies in Ontario after contracting COVID-19
  • RV owners helping essential workers self isolate
  • Denmark reopens elementary schools
  • COVID-19 patients recovering quickly after getting experimental drug remdesivir
  • Wuhan health officials raise death toll linked to COVID-19 by 50 per cent
  • Inspirational messages crop up on Oakville trails
  • Show us your masks
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Halton Healthcare laying groundwork for internal field hospital in case coronavirus pandemic worsens
Work is already underway to transform unused areas of Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital into a field hospital for COVID-19 patients.

Halton Healthcare's Senior Vice President of Redevelopment and Facilities Bill Bailey showed off some of the work already done during a media tour of the hospital today.

The work could accommodate a total of 260 additional beds inside the hospital.

See the photos and read the full story:
Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital adding 80 beds
Our hospital urgently needs to add 80 patient beds, four patient monitors and six ventilators.

According to an Oakville Hospital Foundation letter to donors, these items will help better equip the hospital. “As more people are diagnosed with the virus, more people will need us,” the letter states, calling on donors to make a gift of any size.

The Oakville Hospital Foundation has an OTMH COVID-19 Response Fund to support OTMH healthcare providers who are caring for our community. Donate online at:
Oakville Town Council continues to serve residents
Please be aware there are on-going meetings of Town Council and committees. Town Council will meet next Thursday, April 23 at 9:30 a.m. As always, you can tune in live at
Each Councillor is continuing to serve constituents and represent their needs, concerns, and suggestions to Council, the head of staff, and me as Mayor.

COVID-19 outbreak to cost Toronto at least $1.5 billion in 2020, says city

The estimation of the pandemic costing Toronto at least $1.5 billion in 2020 is the best-case scenario, said the city's Mayor John Tory today. The worst-case scenario — a prolonged lockdown — would create a financial hole of $2.76 billion.

Province makes it easier to reassign staff where they're needed most
To help stop the spread of COVID-19 among the province's most vulnerable citizens and ensure frontline services can continue to be delivered in priority areas, the Ontario government has issued new temporary emergency orders under the  Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that make it easier to reassign staff where they are needed most.

The Emergency Measures issued to further protect vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak include:

  • Restricting retirement home employees from working in more than one retirement home, long-term care home or health care setting, with compliance required by April 22, 2020;
  • Providing Local Health Integration Networks with the ability to direct home care service provider organizations to safely reassign frontline staff to areas where they are most needed, including home and community care settings, long-term care homes, supportive housing, retirement homes and hospitals;
  • Providing municipalities and District Social Service Administration Boards with the flexibility to offer reassignments to certain staff to where there is local need during the outbreak, including child care, by-law enforcement, and public health services.

COVID case counts
Halton’s total cases have increased by 9 from 350 cases yesterday to 359 today with 1 more case in Oakville from 115 to 116.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, Ontario’s regional health units are reporting 10,312 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, with 518 deaths.

The Toronto Star reports the province has seen 574 new cases and 49 more deaths since this time Thursday. The province reports 829 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19, including 245 in an intensive care unit, of whom 200 are on a ventilator — totals that remain  significantly less severe than Ontario’s worst-case projections .

The jump in fatal cases includes the largest single-day increase in the death toll in Toronto, a jump of 26 cases to 147 that was announced Thursday afternoon.

COVID-19 cases continue to grow at a slower rate than in previous weeks. At 5.9 per cent growth, the 24-hour jump in cases is below last week, which averaged 8.6 per cent daily growth. The week before that averaged 15.6 per cent growth.

Visit for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map.

This is why Physical Distancing is so important
According to t he Region of Halton, 45 per cent of COVID cases in Halton had no known travel or contact history, and therefore were believed to have acquired the virus within Ontario, making them community cases
Oakville Rotary clubs launch pandemic relief fund
The Oakville Rotary Relief Fund has been launched by four local Rotary clubs to address the “pressing” needs within the community during the pandemic.

The four Rotary clubs will match all donations to their relief fund with a three-for-one matching, up to $30,000. Contributions will go to the greatest needs identified within the community.

'We will help you cross that bridge' Oakville Chamber holds coronavirus conversation webinar with federal politicians
iPads distributed to Ontario students to assist with online learning
In a deal between the Ontario government, Apple and Rogers, students have started receiving iPads pre-equipped with free Rogers LTE wireless data. 

This week Ontario school boards began distributing the iPads to students who don't have either the technology or the internet they need to access the Learn at Home program. To date, more than 21,000 will be sent to the homes of families in need. The free Rogers wireless data will be available until the end of June.  

The Ontario government is expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive emergency child care. This will help additional frontline staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The additional frontline workers who can now access emergency childcare services include:
  • Staff working in developmental services, victim services, violence against women services, anti-human trafficking services and child welfare services (children's aid societies) and in children's residential settings;
  • Additional staff identified by the Ministry of the Solicitor General, including:
  • First Nations constables;
  • Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management fire investigators;
  • Select critical staff in community corrections, such as probation and parole officers;
  • Contractors in institutional corrections services;
  • Frontline staff at the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit;
  • Critical staff at the Centre of Forensic Sciences; and
  • Critical staff operating the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre.
  • Staff working in shelters (e.g., serving homeless populations);
  • Power workers;
  • Pharmaceutical and medical supplies and device manufacturing workers;
  • Non-municip al water and waste-water employees; and
  • Federally employed staff including Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers and Canada Post employees.

Sheridan team creating, distributing PPE for frontline healthcare workers
At Sheridan's  Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies (CAMDT) , a team is creating reusable personal protective equipment (PPE) to donate directly to local hospitals for use by frontline staff in response to shortages faced in the supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current yield of Sheridan-made materials will be distributed directly to local hospitals in the communities where its campuses reside – Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville – to ensure that no organization profits from their redistribution.

University of Guelph researchers help develop online COVID-19 tracker
A COVID-19 tracker fuelled by a University of Guelph research team is proving to be a valuable tool allowing researchers, news media and the general public to track pandemic infections across the country each day.

Called  COVID-19 in Canada , the online dashboard provides a snapshot of Canadian coronavirus cases and is attracting some 10,000 visitors a day.

More information on mortgage deferral
For the mortgage deferral program announced last month, the Government of Canada has leveraged its relationships and regulations with Canada’s large financial institutions to ask them to offer mortgage deferrals and assistance for homeowners struggling to cover their costs of a mortgage during this time.

The current situation leaves the determination with mortgage deferrals between the banks and the mortgage holders, the government has simply given the banks the tools to allow them to defer mortgages at this time, given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The decision to defer a mortgage is up to your financial institution, the government cannot mandate that they defer anyone's payments at this time.

You can read more about what the Government of Canada has put into place on mortgage deferrals at
HRPS Police dog Nero retires
After six-and-a-half years of service, Halton Regional Police dog Nero is ready to retire.

He enjoyed his last day on the job barking orders to deputies.

Enjoy your retirement, Nero!
Town Hall lit blue
In honour of the tremendous efforts of our healthcare and front line workers, the exterior of Town Hall will be lit in blue in the evenings.

Thank you healthcare and front line workers!
Ontario inmates released early
More than 2,300 inmates in Ontario were released early as the province tries to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Six inmates had tested positive for the virus when Corrections officials started releasing prisoners to allow for physical distancing between inmates.

Since March 16, the populations in provincial jails has fallen from 8,344 to 6,025 according to the Ministry of the Attorney General.
Trudeau sending military to Quebec
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is sending 125 members of the Canadian Armed Forces with medical expertise to Quebec to support the province's long-term care facilities.
Federal government to clean up abandoned wells, offer assistance for the arts, other sectors
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will support work in the oil and gas sector by spending $1.7 billion to help clean up what are being referred to as orphaned or abandoned wells.

He says restoring these oil and gas wells is good for the environment, for landowners who have to contend with them, and for thousands of workers the effort will employ.

The federal government is also creating a $700-million fund to cut methane emissions.

Trudeau says more assistance is coming for workers in the arts and other sectors as well, adding that the federal government will provide $500 million in support to the arts, culture and sports sectors through Heritage Canada.

The move comes as part of broader efforts to support creative industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, saying these industries “continue to make us dream, particularly in dark times.”

Second health care worker dies in Ontario after contracting COVID-19
A woman in her 50s has died confirmed a statement from Sienna Senior Living. The woman was a long-time employee at Altamont Care Community, a long-term care centre in Scarborough.

RV owners helping essential workers self isolate
A national effort to loan motorhomes out to health-care workers, first responders and anyone else working on the front lines of the fight against the global pandemic is helping frontline workers self isolate, protect their families.

Denmark reopens elementary schools
Elementary schools in Denmark are the first to reopen following the coronavirus outbreak. It has turned the Danish education system into a laboratory for whether and how schools can function in an age of contagion.

COVID-19 patients recovering quickly after getting experimental drug remdesivir
According to STAT news, COVID-19 patients  who are getting an experimental drug called  remdesivir  have been recovering quickly, with most going home in days. The news comes from a recorded conversation about the clinical trial obtained by the news organization.

Dr. Kathleen Mullane an infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago who is leading the clinical trial, refused comment with the University saying it will comment once the results of the clinical trial were ready.

Wuhan health officials raise death toll linked to COVID-19 by 50 per cent
At least 50 per cent more people died in China's virus epicentre of Wuhan than previously counted, with state media on Friday attributing the initial undercount to how overwhelmed the health system was coping with thousands of sick patients.

The addition of 1,290 victims raised Wuhan's death toll to 3,869, the most in China, and confirms suspicions that far more people died in the city where the illness began than has been previously announced.

Inspirational messages crop up on Oakville trails
An Oakville resident made this video of all the inspirational messages cropping up on Oakville trails.

Always look on the bright side of life, and for the colourful rocks around town.
Show us your masks
Are you making homemade non-medical face coverings? Do you want to inspire others by showing us your creations?

Reply to this email with a photo and details of how you created your face covering and you could be featured in an eNewsletter.
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

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

The Salvation Army Oakville: Donate online
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 – 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.
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.