Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Tuesday, April 21 COVID-19 emergency
Seniors are most at risk of succumbing to COVID-19. See the news story by Inside Halton, below, for more details. You can also read more about the number of cases in Halton's institutions, which, like the rest of the country, are really the hardest hit by this pandemic.

You'll also read some good news stories, like the local Robotics Club that's repurposed its materials and manpower to produce face shields, and the Ontario business that is producing sanitizer to clean N95 masks so they can be reused.

While there is cautiously optimistic talk amongst Canada's highest health officials that things may be able to begin reopening soon, we must currently hold where we are and continue to stay at home until the green light is given. The same officials are reporting that the ongoing transmission in community means people are still having events where they are coming into contact with individuals and that they would like to see community cases decrease.

You will see in a graph below that deaths in the province are still on the rise and that fact should be sobering enough to have us all continue to follow the orders of our government.

Even so, I and my officials are hard at work on the Recovery Plan we will need to guide our reopening when the Premier relaxes the Province’s restrictions.

As always, I'm here to answer your questions and lead you to help should you need it. Send me an email at mayor@oakville.ca.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • COVID takes older lives at higher rate
  • Letter seeks financial relief for foodservice industry
  • Halton Region Chambers of Commerce launch PPE Procurement Portal
  • Local robotics club makes face shields
  • Province provides additional relief for vulnerable
  • Courts to stay on hold longer
  • Graph shows deaths aren’t declining yet
  • Ontario produce cleaner repurposed to sanitize N95 masks
  • New Details: Wage Subsidy Application & Calculator
  • Charities to receive federal funding
  • Participate in the Canadian Survey On Business Conditions
  • Festivities cancelled around the world
  • More than 2.5 million COVID cases worldwide
  • How governments plan for pandemics
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Oakville & Halton:
COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton have increased by 3 from 383 cases yesterday to  386  with 1 more confirmed case in Oakville, from 120 to  121 .

Halton institutional counts remain steady at 70 with nine deaths.

Ontario public health units are reporting a jump of 552 cases and 42 deaths in last 24 hours. That brings the overall total to 2,702 confirmed or probable cases and 676 deaths. 

In percentage terms, the growth in cases since Monday morning works out to a 4.5 per cent one-day jump, in line with a trend of slowed growth relative to recent weeks. The first seven days of April averaged 12.7 per cent daily growth; the second seven days averaged 6.8 per cent; and 5.5 per cent for the days since.

Canada’s chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam says she and her provincial counterparts are considering ways to ease restrictions around COVID-19. But she says the fight against the pandemic remains a “marathon” and there are lots of unknowns at play.

Tam is urging individual sectors to start thinking about innovative ways of reopening while preventing the illness from spreading, as immunity against COVID-19 across the country is “not high.”


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

COVID takes older lives at higher rate
While people of all ages are getting coronavirus, it is seniors whose lives are most at risk from COVID-19.

Public health units have reported 16 deaths in Halton. Among the eight women who died, three were in their 90s, another three were in their 80s, one was in her 70s, and one was in her 50s. As for the men, one was in his 90s, five were in their 80s, one was in his 60s and one was in his 50s.


Learn how Halton Region is helping protect seniors:
Letter seeks financial relief for foodservice industry
Yesterday, I wrote to Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seeking financial relief for Ontario’s foodservice industry.

In the letter, I wrote: With little to no revenue, restaurant operators will be unable to pay rent and other fixed costs, forcing them to permanently close their doors before recovery can even begin, and thanked both governments for the strong work already done to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Encouraged by the word that the provincial Premiers and Prime Minister are meeting and discussing options to address the need for up to three months of rent relief for small businesses that have been hardest hit by the crisis, I believe the Federal and Provincial governments can assist businesses to address the spectre of impending rent with a few essential steps.

These include an immediate moratorium on commercial evictions, a program of direct rent subsidies to businesses equivalent to the business’s sales volume reduction and measures to continue throughout the recovery period to allow business to ramp back up. Mayor Burton also suggests that, as these measures have been for the greater public good, Government should compel landlords and banks to share the cost of the emergency measures and believes they should not be borne solely by the lessee.

When we move into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario will need every business, large and small, available to pull together and cities able to provide essential municipal services that support the Province, its businesses and Ontario’s residents.

The Halton Region Chambers of Commerce launch PPE Procurement Portal
The  Chambers of Commerce of Halton Region in partnership with municipal, provincial and federal governments are working hard to ensure local businesses connect to fulfill urgent supply. If you have non-PPE items, such as food, that you want to make available, please follow the registration link for non-PPE. The Chambers and their partners will facilitate offline matching. We’re all in this together.

Local robotics club makes face shields
The Oakville Community First Robotics Team - Orbit Robotics have repurposed their 3D printing and manpower  to the assembly and donation of face shields to health care workers. 

This week they delivered another 120 complete face shields to the Oakville Community Drive for a total of about 250 plus headbands and stiffeners for another 200 to Inksmith in Kitchener. They have materials for about another 250. Orbit Robotics is very proud to be able to absorb the costs of the materials thanks to sponsors.

Ontario:
Province provides additional relief for vulnerable
The Ontario government is delivering much-needed support to Ontario's most vulnerable citizens, including seniors and persons with disabilities, during the outbreak of COVID-19. The province is investing $11 million to help deliver meals, medicines and other essentials to those in need and doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments.

Courts to stay on hold longer
The COVID-19 pandemic will keep court procedures in Ontario on hold for at least an extra three months. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice suspended regular operations on March 17 and either adjourned or suspended criminal and civil trials until June.

But the court has issued a new notice saying criminal and civil jury selections and trials will be paused until September at the earliest. It says it will keep assessing the public health situation and plans to offer further direction next month.

Graph shows deaths aren’t declining yet
Ontario produce cleaner repurposed to sanitize N95 masks
Clean Works' Clean Flow Healthcare Mini uses technology originally developed to sanitize produce, but was approved by Health Canada last week to be sent to health-care facilities so they can start reusing the N95s, a critical piece of personal protection equipment for people who may be exposed to COVID-19

Canada:
New Details: Wage Subsidy Application & Calculator
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the  Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy  will be open to applications on  Monday, April 27th  through the  Canada Revenue Agency website .
 
When you apply for the Canada Employment Wage Subsidy, you will be asked to enter amounts such as the number of eligible employees and gross payroll.

To get ready, you can determine these amounts and preview your subsidy claim now, based on information you enter. The calculator is a tool to help you estimate the amount of your wage subsidy.

Before you calculate your subsidy, make sure you are  eligible to apply .
After you apply for the wage subsidy, your claim will be subject to verification.


Charities to receive federal funding
Today, the federal government announced plans to provide $350 million to Canada’s charities sector. Charities have seen a severe drop in donations since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, with donors hurting financially themselves and an inability to hold fundraising events.
Trudeau says some of the money will go to smaller, independent organizations while the rest will flow to national groups such as the United Way and Canadian Red Cross.

Participate in the Canadian Survey On Business Conditions
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Statistics Canada for a survey to examine:

  • The impact that COVID-19 has had on businesses
  • Changes that businesses have made to adapt to the ongoing situation
  • Challenges they continue to face and challenges they expect to face as the recovery begins

The results from this survey will help inform solutions to foster business survival and continuity.

International:
Festivities cancelled around the world
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has banned people in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation from returning to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the dawn-to-sunset fasting during Ramadan.
The announcement came amid warnings from health experts that Indonesia could face an explosion of coronavirus cases that could infect more than a million people after Ramadan unless the government takes stricter measures.

Munich’s famed Oktoberfest folk and beer festival has been cancelled for the first time since the Second World War. The event was scheduled from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 and brings in $1.3 billion US for local businesses.
Germany has banned large public gatherings until at least the end of August, and the cancellation of the Munich event was widely expected.

Spain’s famous running of the bulls in Pamplona has also been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pamplona city hall announced Tuesday that the nine-day San Fermin festival held in July won’t take place this year. The city’s Mayor, Enrique Maya is infected with the virus.

More than 2.5 million COVID cases worldwide
The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has surpassed 2.5 million, according to the  Johns Hopkins University coronavirus map , with almost 172,000 deaths. Almost 660,000 have recovered.

The U.S. has almost 789,000 confirmed cases, followed by Spain (more than 204,000), Italy (more than 181,000) and France (more than 156,000).

The U.S. reports that more than 42,000 have died. In Italy, more than 24,000 have died followed by Spain with more than 21,000 deaths.

How governments plan for pandemics
For anyone interested in how governments plan for pandemics, this Maclean's article by Paul Wells is worth the read:

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