Office of the Mayor and Council Update
April 20 COVID-19 emergency
As we mark the start of National Volunteer Week, we need to applaud our volunteers now more than ever.

From those working at food banks and delivering to those in need, to the neighbours running errands for the vulnerable who need to stay home, to those who have joined volunteer groups to help out perfect strangers: I applaud you. Without the help of your many hands, so many in our community would be struggling during this difficult time.

To see a timeline of where we are and what we've been through, scroll to end of this newsletter.
Items in this update:

  • Isolating is beating COVID-19
  • The third leading cause of death in Canada is COVID-19
  • COVID case counts
  • COVID in Halton’s institutions
  • COVID cases at Maplehurst
  • Surprise drive-by salute at OTMH
  • Homelessness help is here
  • Trail etiquette
  • Earth Day 2020 going virtual
  • Province seeks COVID-19 ideas
  • Ontario closing jail
  • Windsor Field Hospital admits dozens
  • Borders to remain closed 30 more days
  • Canada missed a cue on COVID-19
  • Where is the virus?
  • You’ll feel better after reading this
  • Germany seeks path out of lockdown
  • A look to the year ahead in America
  • Malaria drugs fail COVID-19 test
  • TOWARD Marine Rescue suit up
  • You showed us your masks
  • Coronavirus timeline
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Top stories:
Isolating is beating COVID-19
The Ontario government today released updated COVID-19 modelling, which shows that the enhanced public health measures, including staying home and physically distancing from each other, are working to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. However, the Chief Medical Officer of Health says emergency measures must remain in place to continue reducing the number of cases and deaths.

Ontario health officials say the COVID-19 outbreak appears to have peaked. It says province is now estimating a total of about 20,000 cases, down from a most-likely forecast of 80,000, and a worst-case scenario of 300,000.

While Ontario's coronavirus outbreak appears to have peaked, modelling suggests it's still not contained in long-term care facilities. Authorities propose 3 main measures to flatten the curve: aggressive testing, more effective disease management, and more supports for workers.

Oakville & Halton:
COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton have increased by 3 from 380 cases yesterday to  383  with 0 more confirmed cases in Oakville, this figure remains at  120 .
 
While this is very positive news. Halton Region has listed 24 probable cases in Oakville.
 
The Province defines Probable Cases as:
 
A. A person with fever (over 38 degrees Celsius) and/or onset of (or exacerbation of chronic) cough AND any of the following within 14 days prior to onset of illness: • Travel to an impacted area or • Close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 or • Close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has been to an impacted area AND In whom laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19 is not available, inconclusive, or negative (if specimen quality or timing is suspect) (see footnote 5,6,7)
 
OR
 
B. A person with fever (over 38 degrees Celsius) and/or onset of (or exacerbation of chronic) cough AND in whom laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19 is inconclusive

The Provincial Government is reporting 11,184 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario; this number includes those cases that have been reported as resolved or deceased.

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

COVID in Halton’s institutions
The following are numbers for COVID-19 positive staff at each institution that Halton Region is aware of as of Friday, April 17.
*Note: The number of cases among staff members at institutions can be difficult to reliably track, since many staff members live outside Halton and are managed by the health unit where they reside.
COVID cases at Maplehurst
At this time, Public Health is aware of one inmate with COVID-19 at Maplehurst Correctional Complex and one staff person. These cases are not linked and as such, Maplehurst does not have an outbreak of COVID-19. 
Drive-by salute
A surprise drive-by salute at OTMH this afternoon was well received by Halton Healthcare workers. The salute honoured those working tirelessly during the pandemic.

More than 25 units of first responders from Oakville Fire, Halton Police and Halton EMS participated.
Homelessness help is here
Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing works with municipalities and social housing providers to help individuals and families find suitable housing and address homelessness in Ontario.
 
Halton Region can provide services and support to help those regain stable housing. For single adults and couples with no children, Halton Region funds the Salvation Army’s  Lighthouse Shelter  in Oakville. The shelter is available for anyone 16 years of age and older. The Shelter also provides counselling and services to assist individuals find stable, assisted, or affordable housing options.
 
For families with children, staff at the  Wesley Urban Ministries  can help find temporary housing as Halton Region provides short-term accommodations to house families in need.
 
Due to Covid-19, all homelessness prevention services will be delivered by appointment only. To book an appointment, please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311. For emergency shelter programs, please call 311.
 
Expanded emergency child care
Last Friday the Province announced expanded eligibility criteria for emergency child care, effective immediately, including:
  • individuals serving vulnerable populations (such as people working for a Children’s Aid Society)
  • staff who work in shelters serving homeless populations;
  • emergency response and law enforcement sector staff (such as First Nations constables, critical staff operating the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre);
  • power workers;
  • pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing;
  • non-municipal water and waste-water employees; and
  • federally employed staff including Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency Officers and Canada Post employees. 

The Province has received many requests to include additional workers on the list of those eligible for emergency child care. Additions to the list are being considered using a phased approach, based on the status of the outbreak and the needs and capacity of communities. As of last week, there were 50 child care centres and 30 licensed home child care agencies offering emergency child care across the Province. 
Trail etiquette to keep us all safe and healthy
Trails remain open for pass-through purposes only. People are asked not to congregate or linger and we ask that some trail etiquette be observed, such as moving to the side when someone is approaching, and respect physical distancing measures. This is important for all trail users to do - including those who are walking, running, biking and blading. And please, stay within your neighbourhood when exercising. This will help prevent areas from becoming too crowded.

In the coming days, more signage will be installed where possible, but in the meantime, let's all be responsible and neighbourly.
Earth Day 2020 going virtual
In the 50 years since the first Earth Day in 1970, there have been some victories in the struggle to protect our planet. But today, we face grave threats to the Earth’s ecosystems from climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, over consumption, and habitat destruction.
Now, more than ever, the Earth needs us to step up and act.

As always, please continue to be mindful of social distancing and self-isolation requirements. Continue to be safe and healthy while we celebrate our planet, and the 20th Anniversary of Earth Day.

Visit https://bit.ly/3eq1BdQ for all of the activities.

Ontario:
The Ontario government is investing $20 million to advance medical research and develop tools and resources to combat COVID-19 and other infectious diseases through the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund. The government is calling on all of the province's world-class research institutions, postsecondary institutions, and non-profit scientific partners to take action in the development of innovative solutions to track and defeat COVID-19.

Ontario researchers are encouraged to submit proposals through the new  Ontario Together  website. This portal was established to locate or manufacture emergency products and identify immediate and innovative solutions to help support the province's response to COVID-19. The website also includes an option for research institutions, in addition to individuals, corporations and other entities, to submit ideas about how to expand health care capacity and knowledge, better utilize artificial intelligence, and build Ontario's current and future supply chain capacity. Research submissions through the Ontario Together portal will be accepted until April 24, 2020.

Ontario closing jail
Brampton's Ontario Correctional Institute (OCI) is set to close for 14 days. Inmates will be transferred to Toronto centre due to coronavirus outbreak at the OCI facility.

According to the chair of Ontario Corrections Division for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Chris Jackel, a decision was made over the weekend by the ministry to “temporarily close” the facility and transport inmates to the Toronto South centre (TSDC) in Etobicoke. 

Windsor Field Hospital admits dozens
The Windsor Regional Field Hospital at the main campus of St. Clair College has been operational for a few days and already and 28 patients have been admitted to the new COVID-19 specific facility.

Patients who previously lived at Heron Terrace Long-Term Care home in Windsor, but tested positive for the coronavirus have been moved into the temporary facility to help lighten the load at long-term care homes, a segment of the population hardest hit by COVID-19.

The field hospital at the Sportsplex has a current capacity of 100 patients, with the ability to expand the facility to handle as many as 300 beds, according to hospital officials.
Canada:
Borders to remain closed 30 more days
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau  announced  that Canada has extended its border closure with the United States for 30 days. The closure restricts non-essential travel across the border. The border was originally closed on March 21, with the arrangement set to expire on Tuesday.

Canada missed a cue on COVID-19
As of April 19, Canada had 885 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections per million people — eighth lowest among 24 countries and 60 per cent fewer than the U.S. Thirty-nine per million Canadians had died, 10th lowest in this group, and compared with 118 per million in the U.S.

Still, that’s not a very high bar. South Korea, early to aggressively test for the virus, has recorded 208 cases per million people and just five deaths per million.

So what were the consequences of Canada's slower COVID-19 response? Read the full story: https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/the-path-not-taken-the-consequences-of-canadas-slow-covid-19-response/
International:
Where is the virus?
You’ll feel better after reading this
The New York Times asked the experts to answer questions about all the places coronavirus lurks.

Germany seeks path out of lockdown
Germany was the first large Western democracy to contain the spread of the coronavirus and now is using broad, random tests for antibodies to methodically go about reopening its economy.

A look to the year ahead in America
According to nearly two-dozen experts, the New York Times reports there won’t be any quick return to our previous lives.

Here’s a look at what the year ahead might look like in the United States: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/18/health/coronavirus-america-future.html
Malaria drugs fail COVID-19 test
The malaria drugs touted by President Donald Trump as potentially “the biggest game changers in the history of medicine” have received a decidedly more sober assessment of their  coronavirus -fighting potential from researchers in China, France and Brazil.

OR
Oakville:
TOWARD Marine Rescue suit up


Boat and Equipment Committee members spent yesterday completing the engine and out drive servicing and installation observing COVID19 Coast Guard protocols.
You showed us your masks
Carmen made her mask from a scarf and two elastics, using the below video for instructions.
Michelle has made a few masks for herself and some friends using old curtain fabric and elastic left over from other projects. She followed instructions from this video:
Cheryl has made 22 of these masks for family and friends using an online pattern, quilting fabric and shoe laces and donated the $250 proceeds to Ian Anderson House.
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.
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.
Coronavirus timeline