Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Wednesday, April 29 COVID-19 emergency
My thanks go out to "Superfan" Nav Bhatia, who starting tomorrow, and for the next four Thursdays, will be delivering meals to frontline workers at our hospital.

Nav's trip to OTMH with 150 meals will be followed by delivery of 100 meals to the Milton hospital.
Today the Provincial Government announced that more frontline workers would be eligible for free childcare services during the COVID-19 emergency. I'm pleased to see that employees in the food supply chain, retirement homes, grocery stores and pharmacies, and certain federal employees, including the military, will be offered this service to care for their children while they take care of us.

More help is on the way from the Federal Government for students looking to volunteer during the COVID-19 emergency and I, as part of the Large Urban Mayors C aucus of Ontario, am seeking assistance from the Province as we join the appeal with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to assist with funding to help offset the town's lost revenue.

I appreciate that this pandemic has changed the lives of many Oakville residents and that so many of you are reaching out directly to me for help. With every request, I connect you to the help you need.

I can see in the numbers being reported today, with no new cases in Oakville, that for the most part, you are staying home and only going out for essential purposes. According to public health, Oakville's community transmission rate is just 27 per cent, well below the 40 per cent average of the rest of the region and that number is also encouraging.

Once again I'm asking you to remain diligent in your physical distancing measures so we can continue to hold the line.

Please scroll to the end of this email to see where we've come from and where we are during the COVID emergency.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • Workers catching COVID-19 at a faster rate than residents in Ontario nursing homes
  • What are the Chances That I’ve had COVID-19?
  • Six ways to explore Oakville from home
  • Watch Oakville Matters now
  • Letter calls on province to support conservation authorities
  • Beware of scams
  • More essential workers to quality for free childcare
  • Staff at one Toronto city-run child care centre test positive for COVID-19
  • COVID-19 outbreak declared at SickKids Hospital
  • Additional Student Services Grant announced
  • Canada’s MPs more civil online
  • U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Is Far Higher Than Reported, C.D.C. Data Suggests
  • Worried about virus, US House won’t return - for now
  • How to make a recycle bag blue ribbon
  • A walk in West Oak Trails - we are in this together
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Oakville & Halton:
COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton have increased by 5 cases from 443 cases yesterday to  448  no new confirmed cases in Oakville, holding at  142 . There are 5 new recoveries in Oakville from 117 yesterday to 122 today.
As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Ontario’s regional health units have reported a total 16,655 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 1,059 deaths.

That’s 47 more deaths and 457 new cases since the same time Tuesday. That daily increase in cases — 2.8 per cent since Tuesday morning — is in line with a flattening of daily case growth in the province over the last week.

Earlier Wednesday, the province also reported 977 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19, a number that has slowly grown in recent days. The province also says 9,612 patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus have now recovered from the disease — more than half the total infected.

Ontario health officials say 77 retirement home residents have died from COVID-19 in the province. At the daily medical briefing at Queen's Park, Dr. Barbara Yaffe says 419 residents have tested positive, along with 223 staff with 67 homes having outbreaks.

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

Workers catching COVID-19 at a faster rate than residents in Ontario nursing homes
Nursing-home workers are becoming infected with COVID-19 at twice the rate of the residents they care for, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Ontario government.

The number of active cases in staff at long term care homes jumped by 13 per cent or 156 workers on Tuesday, compared with a rise of 5.6 per cent or 141 in cases involving residents, the Ministry of Long-Term Care said.

What are the Chances That I’ve had COVID-19?
Dr. Andy Thompson explores background population infectivity due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and explains key limitations of current antibody testing technology. He then looks at the possibility that you’ve been infected by SARS-CoV-2.

Six ways to explore Oakville from your home during COVID-19
Courtesy of Visit Oakville

With changes happening rapidly due to COVID-19, we know that many of your travel plans have been postponed. 

As a result, we have put together the ultimate guide to help you continue exploring all the amazing things Oakville has to offer during your time at home. 

1. Take a virtual walk through the Oakville Museum

The Oakville Museum is a premier destination for all things history in Oakville! Though their physical location is currently closed, you can still get your fill of local lore through their  virtual tour . Walk through this historic house and browse exhibits of the past with this online resource. 

2. Explore the Oakville Galleries through digital archives

Delve into the Oakville Galleries’ history of art from 1999 to present day through their online  digital archives ! The Galleries will also be posting step-by-step videos to create at-home masterpieces every Friday at 3 p.m. 

3. Download, stream and search with the Oakville Public Library

The  Oakville Public Library  is the perfect resource for those of you looking to burn through their summer reading lists a little early this year. Download ebooks and audiobooks from their online platform or try streaming a movie or tv show you’ve been meaning to watch. The Oakville Library also hosts digital archives for those looking to learn more about Oakville history. 
They are also offering a lot of  online services  during this time.

4. Stay active with online classes

Don’t let social and physical distancing come between you and your hobbies. There are plenty of Oakville institutions offering  classes online  to keep your body and mind busy.

5. Support local business from your couch

Many of our local businesses have had to shut their doors as a result of COVID-19, but are still offering services online and by delivery. Help keep Oakville businesses thriving by ordering in, making a purchase online or event buying gift cards to use at a later date. We are constantly updating our “ Takeout and Delivery ” and “ Shop Online ” pages to reflect which businesses are offering delivery, takeout and online shopping specials.  *Information is changing very quickly as the situation evolves, so please call each business ahead of time to ensure their offer is still applicable*

6. “Feast” your eyes on our YouTube channel

Already blasted through all the content on your subscribed channels? Check out our  YouTube page  for short features on all of our Talk of the Town Award-winners! Start planning your dining excursions post-COVID-19 with these mouthwatering looks at local restaurants.

Oakville Matters
On this week's episode of Oakville Matters I'm joined by Ward 7 Town Councillor Jasvinder Sandhu, Ward 6 Town Councillor Natalia Lishchyna and Ward 2 Regional and Town Councillor Cathy Duddeck as we address some of Oakville's most frequently asked questions.
Letter calls on province to support conservation authorities
An impressive list of 112 organizations that have penned a letter to the Premier in support of Conservation Authorities.

The letter, sent earlier this week to Premier Doug Ford, call on the Government of Ontario to retain the current mandate of the province’s 36 Conservation Authorities in protecting, restoring and managing the watersheds where 95 percent of Ontarians reside, stating their functions and responsibilities with respect to land use planning and permitting, monitoring, stewardship and education must be maintained.

Conservation Authorities were established in the 1940s in response to concerns expressed by agricultural, environmental and sports groups about the unhealthy state of the province’s lands and waters as a result of poor resource management practices. The combined impacts of drought and deforestation had led to extensive soil loss and flooding, pointing to the need for a regional approach to managing Ontario’s watersheds, for the safety and well-being of communities.

Today, as the letter states, Conservation Authorities provide a much-valued bridge across municipal boundaries to understand and address environmental concerns, such as flooding. Because they operate at the watershed level, they are ideally positioned to encourage science-based collaborative strategies and decision-making.

Beware of scams
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is aware of increasing efforts by scam artists attempting to take advantage of consumer uncertainty during this COVID-19 emergency. The OEB has taken steps to ensure that the power to your home or low-volume small business cannot be disconnected for non-payment by your utility until July 31, 2020. If you receive a message, text or phone call from someone posing as a utility representative and threatening to disconnect your power, do not respond to it - contact your utility directly using the telephone number displayed on your bill. 
More essential workers to quality for free childcare
Today Premier Doug Ford announced that the Ontario government is expanding the list of essential workers who qualify for free childcare during the COVID-19 outbreak. The list has expanded to include employees in the food supply chain, retirement homes, grocery stores and pharmacies, and certain federal employees, including the military.
The expansion of emergency childcare will include an additional 37 daycare centres to the nearly 100 that are currently in operation.
Here is the full list of frontline workers who can receive free childcare:
  • Workers in grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Truck drivers (driver's licence Class A and Class D)
  • Workers in the food supply chain, including food processing
  • Workers in retirement homes
  • Auxiliary workers in health care settings, including cooks and cleaning staff in hospitals and long-term care homes
  • Interpreters and intervenors who support people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) emergency personnel
  • Provincial officers and onsite staff in Ontario courts
  • Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence staff working in Ontario
  • Additional workers supporting public safety and correctional services

A list of emergency child care centres is available on .

Staff at one Toronto city-run child care centre test positive for COVID-19
The City of Toronto says it is temporarily closing down one of its child care centres after three staff members there tested positive for COVID-19.

Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care Centre, near Davenport Road and Bay Street, is one of seven city-run child care centres currently providing child care for the children of essential workers.

Two other staff members at the facility, as well as two children, are currently awaiting test results to see if they also have COVID-19, the city said in a news release late Tuesday night.

The province will also be expanding testing at child-care centres following this outbreak.

COVID-19 outbreak declared at SickKids Hospital
The president and CEO of SickKids Hospital says the facility is officially dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 after an employee and the parents of a patient infected with the virus tested positive for the respiratory illness.

The hospital confirmed  Monday that a teenage patient tested positive  for COVID-19 on Saturday, prompting staff to test all other patients within the same unit.

While those results came back negative, Ronald Cohn, the president and CEO of SickKids, confirmed in a statement that a member of the care team and the patient’s parents have now contracted the virus.

Additional Canada Student Services Grant announced
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government plans to provide between $1,000 and $5,000 for students who volunteer to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Trudeau did not say when the new Canada Student Services Grant will be rolled out, but says specific supports will also be set up for Indigenous students.

Canada’s MPs are a lot more civil online
It turns out that the biggest difference between a virtual Parliament and the real one — judging by its  inaugural session on Tuesday  — is that MPs aren’t constantly being told to shut up.

In all, it was a pleasant change from the usual noisy spectacle of Question Period in the Commons, with an accompanying, upward rise in tone and substance as well. Opposition MPs were genuinely looking for answers about pandemic relief and recovery, and government ministers, for the most part, were trying to oblige.

U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Is Far Higher Than Reported, C.D.C. Data Suggests
Total deaths in seven states that have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic are nearly 50 percent higher than normal for the five weeks from March 8 through April 11, according to  new death statistics  from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is 9,000 more deaths than were reported as of April 11 in official  counts  of deaths from the coronavirus.

The new data is partial and most likely undercounts the recent death toll significantly. But it still illustrates how the coronavirus is causing a surge in deaths in the places it has struck, probably killing more people than the reported statistics capture. These increases belie arguments that the virus is only killing people who would have died anyway from other causes. Instead, the virus has brought a pattern of deaths unlike anything seen in recent years.

Worried about virus, US House won’t return - for now
Facing the stark, startling reality that Congress may not be able to fully resume for a year, House leaders are desperately reaching for work-from-home options after a revolt from the ranks over the health risks of convening during the coronavirus pandemic.

House Democratic leaders abruptly reversed course Tuesday, shelving plans for the chamber’s 400-plus lawmakers to return for work on the next virus aid package after warnings from the Capitol physician that the public health danger was too great. The Senate, with its smaller numbers, still expects to return next Monday.

Read the full story here or here .
How to make a recycle bag blue ribbon
An Oakville resident show us how to make a recyclable blue ribbon that can be placed outside to show support for frontline workers.

A walk in West Oak Trails
"We are in this together" is the title of this video created by an Oakville resident of all the positive messages and beautiful art found on rocks in West Oak Trail.
United Way virtual campaign

Friday, May 8, 2020
12:00-12:30 P.M.
Attire is comfortable, sneakers and track pants welcomed!

ALS walk

The virtual edition of the Walk to End ALS event will take place on June 21st.
ALS partner, Brain Canada, is offering a dollar for dollar match of up to $1 million to invest in promising ALS research.

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
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