Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Thursday, April 30 COVID-19 emergency
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis Canadians have been struck by another tragedy today. My condolences go out to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in the helicopter crash off the coast of Greece.

Here at home, the province has reached a grim milestone, recording the highest single-day number of deaths since the COVID-19 pandemic began with 89 deaths since yesterday. And in Halton, all eight of the new cases reported are here in Oakville.

We are going to see death rates continue to rise, but these case increases show that we need to hunker down and do better to prevent those fatalities from being ours.

We have come a long way in the COVID-19 journey. At the bottom of this email you'll find a timeline, updated regularly, that shows significant milestones and actions taken from the implementation of the emergency stage and now towards recovery.

As the Premier said in his briefing today, the end is in sight, we can see it, but we need to continue to work together to get there.


Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • Durham Region leads comparable municipalities in confirmed deaths
  • United Way of Halton and Hamilton reviewing funding applications
  • What to do when you can't physically distance
  • No fishing
  • Town of Oakville and OakvilleReady webinar
  • Spring beautification underway
  • Canadian Mental Health Association Halton Branch offering free services
  • Oakville youth week goes virtual
  • Mandatory masks could be part of Toronto’s COVID-19 recovery plan, mayor says
  • Ontario Providing Employers with Workplace Safety Guidelines
  • Government launches app for trucking industry
  • Studies to provide data for when it’s safe to reopen schools
  • Economic clock ticking, survey finds
  • Federal deficit to top more than $200 billion
  • The lives behind the numbers
  • European economy suffers record drop
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Oakville & Halton:
COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton have increased by 8 cases from 448 cases yesterday to  456 . All 8 confirmed cases are in Oakville, from 142 to  150 . There was also  1  recovery in Oakville from 122 to  123 . Halton Hills had 48 recoveries today.

Ontario’s regional health units have reported another 80 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours as the day-over-day trend in new cases of the disease continues to slow down, according to the Star’s latest count.

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, the health units were reporting a total of 17,122 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, now claiming 1,139 lives.

Most of those deaths were reported in Toronto, which announced its largest single-day increase in fatal cases — 42 — Wednesday afternoon.
The number of reported deaths in Ontario spiked to a new daily high Wednesday evening, but it is not clear what role reporting delays may have played in the jump.

The number of people in Ontario hospitals for  COVID-19  continues to rise, reaching 999 — an increase of 25 per cent in less than two weeks. Another 22 patients have been admitted, Ontario’s Ministry of Health reported Thursday as it lifted a freeze on discharging nursing-home residents who have recovered from illnesses back to their lodging.

Nunavut is reporting its first case of COVID-19 and is the last Canadian jurisdiction to report a COVID-19 case.

Canada’s chief public health officer says “things have been a little flat” this week on the COVID-19 epidemic curve, and acknowledges it is making everyone excited about when we are going to be able to get out of our houses. Dr. Theresa Tam cautions that there are still significant challenges in some settings, including long-term care homes.


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

Durham Region leads comparable municipalities in confirmed coronavirus deaths
Durham Region has experienced a higher number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 than other comparable municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton regions, according to statistics posted by local health departments.

As of Tuesday, April 28, Durham had confirmed 100 deaths as being caused by the virus, a number higher than those reported in each of York, Peel, Halton and Niagara regions, and the City of Hamilton. Durham’s population is much lower than York and Peel, and comparable to Hamilton’s, while it is larger than Halton and Niagara, according to census data available online.


United Way of Halton and Hamilton reviewing funding applications
The United Way of Halton and Hamilton has just completed Phase Two of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund process. Applications for the funding from the federal government for seniors are now closed and being reviewed. An announcement of where the approximately $200,000 will be awarded are expected in the next week.

United Way will also be receiving an additional $2 million from the federals government in the coming weeks. This will be allotted into Phase Three of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund process with applications to be opened once funds are received.



What to do when you can't physically distance
If you must go out, there are some things we can all do when 2-metre physical distancing is not possible:
  • When passing someone on a sidewalk, make every effort to step-aside or pass others quickly and courteously.
  • Wait at entrances to laneways, bridges or narrow sidewalks, step into bridge lookout spots or closed storefront doorways to let others pass first.
  • If you are not comfortable passing someone, cross the road when safe to do so or turn and go another route.
  • Wearing a face covering (non-medical mask such as a cloth mask or bandana) is an additional measure you can take to protect those around you.

No fishing
Conservation Halton parks remain closed and as such, no fishing is allowed.
Conservation Halton’s enforcement team is actively patrolling all of their parks and lands with help from Halton Region police and the RCMP. Conservation Halton has recently updated their  website  to specifically advise the community there is no fishing at this time.

Town of Oakville and OakvilleReady webinar
Town staff joined OakvilleReady to host a webinar that showcased some great efforts by Oakville residents and organizations to support each other and protect a sense of community during COVID-19.

Spring beautification underway

Our spring beautification program started this week with flower plantings. Staff gardeners are planting pansies at Towne Square, railing planters on the Rebecca Street bridge, an entry feature bed in Bronte, and a flower bed on Bronte Road at the boardwalk.
Canadian Mental Health Association Halton Branch offering free services
The Canadian Mental Health Association - Halton Region Branch  is offering the following services:

  • Free Call-In Counselling: Call 289-291-5396 and you will be contacted by a counsellor within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.
  • Crisis Support: Call their 24/7 COAST Crisis Line at 1-877-825-9011.
  • Information and Referral: Call 905-315-8664 for information on mental health, addictions, and Halton community support services.
  • BounceBack: Free skill-building phone caching program to help manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress, or worry.


Oakville youth week goes virtual
Every year, Oakville celebrates  National Youth Week  with FREE activities, learning opportunities and events for youth ages 11-19. This year, the event goes virtual
Follow the  Oakville Youth Instagram , like the  Oakville Youth Facebook  page or follow on Twitter  @OakvilleYouth  for more information.

Share your photos using #OakvilleYouth.

Questions about Youth Week? Email  oakvilleyouth@oakville.ca
Downtown Oakville Instagram Live series
On Wednesday, May 6 Downtown Oakville will be launching a weekly Instagram Live Series hosted by different Downtown businesses. The live events will allow you to purchase products, participate in fitness classes, attend workshops, and more!

Follow @oakvilledowntown on Instagram to learn more and tune in. 

Schedule
May 6 at 2 p.m. - Lemonwood Cashmere 
May 13 at 7 p.m. - Hot Yoga and Pilates 
May 20 at 7 p.m. - Fred Astaire Dance Studio 
May 27 at 7 p.m. - Downtown Oakville Live Auction 
June 3 at 2 p.m. - Lakeshore Yoga 
June 10 at 1 p.m. - Makers Mojo 
June 17 at 2 p.m. - Must Boutique 
June 24 at 7 p.m. - Dr. Adrienne, Naturopathic Doctor 

Ontario:
Mandatory masks could be part of Toronto’s COVID-19 recovery plan, mayor says
As Toronto City Council meets virtually for the first time today, Mayor John Tory says that mandatory face masks in some public settings could be part of Toronto’s  COVID-19  recovery plan being discussed by city and public health officials but no decision has been made.

The government safety guidelines released today will provide direction to those working in manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service, and the agricultural sector. These measures build on more than 60 guidelines developed by Ontario's health and safety associations in response to COVID-19 for various sectors such as retail, health care, construction, transportation, police services, firefighters, and transit employees. 

These new sector-specific guidelines feature recommended actions employers can begin to plan for as they prepare to adapt to the new reality during COVID-19, including:

  • Ways to ensure appropriate physical distancing, like eliminating pay-at-the-door options, holding team meetings outdoors, staggering shift times and using ground markings and barriers to manage traffic flow.
  • Changes to the workplace, like installing plexiglass barriers, increasing the air intake on building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to increase air flow, and using boot sanitizing trays.
  • Promoting proper workplace sanitation, providing personal protective equipment, substituting dry dusting with vacuuming, ensuring customer-facing staff are given hand sanitizer, providing a place to dispose of sanitizing wipes, and enforcing handwashing before and after breaks.

In addition, starting this week, 58 new inspectors will join the hundreds of existing provincial labour inspectors on the ground.


Studies to provide data for when it’s safe to reopen schools
Two major ongoing research projects in Canada aim to help answer the many unknowns about COVID-19 and children. Both will help inform policies to determine when it’s safe to reopen schools and daycares.

This week, 250 Toronto families received a package of swabs in the mail. Parents will swab their kids and themselves and send the samples back to be tested for  COVID-19 , and repeat this weekly to help answer urgent questions about the role children play in driving transmission of the coronavirus.

The Ontario government is offering a new free 511 app which will provide truck drivers immediate access to the information they need to stay safe, fed and rested while delivering essential goods across the province during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Ontario 511 app provides images from over 600 cameras and includes up-to-date highway information on construction, collisions and road closures. It also identifies open rest areas and locations throughout the province that offer food and fuel. The app includes an easy to use map view and features a drive mode that provides hands free audio alerts.

Canada:
Economic clock ticking, survey finds
The  Canadian Survey on Business Conditions   (CSBC), a joint effort between Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, provides the most detailed insight yet into the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian businesses.

“The survey is Canada’s first comprehensive view into how our businesses are adapting, managing or, sadly, failing as the COVID-19 shutdown continues. Insights from more than 13,000 businesses bring into focus the time pressures businesses face to avoid closing their doors permanently. At the same time, the survey also shows how quickly the businesses that can are adapting to social distancing and preparing for the re-opening of the economy. The survey will provide critical information for governments as they develop and deliver their programs,” said Trevin Stratton, Chief Economist at the Canadian Chamber.

The CBSC examined issues like the COVID-19’s impact on businesses, how businesses have adapted to the ongoing situation, challenges they continue to face and those they expect as the recovery begins. The survey compiled 13,037 responses and was in market between April 4, 2020 and April 24, 2020. 

Federal deficit to top more than $200 billion
Canada’s chief Parliamentary Budget Officer, Yves Giroux, announced that Canada’s deficit for the year could soar to a record $252 billion from COVID-19 relief spending and economic damage due to the global pandemic.

Giroux’s report also states that the Canadian economy could shrink by 12% and that debt-to-GDP ratio will be pushed to 48.4%. However, the Canadian economy is expected to recover in the second half of the year if lockdown measures are relaxed.

“Once the budgetary measures expire and the economy recovers, the federal debt-to-GDP ratio should stabilize and then start declining under pre-crisis fiscal policy settings. However, should some of the measures be extended or made permanent, the federal debt ratio could keep rising,” stated Giroux.

The PBO added that the Federal government could undertake additional borrowing given its healthy balance sheet prior to the crisis and its access to credit which is available at historically low rates.

The lives behind the numbers
Through this CBC interactive, learn about the lives behind Canada’s first 1,000 COVID-19 deaths.

https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/covid19livesremembered/?fbclid=IwAR3shsEJb41IWvdmx-Zjt5KshDv7cEXQ1g0T47QPS3t1lO_tcFKAamzUfjM
International:
European economy suffers record drop
Amid the pandemic, the European economy shrunk by a record 3.8 per cent in the first quarter as business activity from hotels and restaurants to construction and manufacturing was frozen by shutdowns aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

The drop in the 19-country eurozone was the biggest since statistics began in 1995 and sharper than the plunge in the midst of the global financial crisis in the first quarter of 2009 after the bankruptcy of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

The drop compares to a 4.8 per cent contraction in the U.S. during the first quarter as the shock from the outbreak hits economies around the world.

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  oakvillefoodbank@gmail.com

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

The Salvation Army Oakville: Donate online https://salvationarmy.ca/
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