Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Updates on COVID-19 emergency
Hospitals across the province are bracing for a surge in COVID-19 cases, and the public should too.

While hospitals are preparing by setting up makeshift emergency rooms, transferring patients to hotels and transforming urgent care centres to coronavirus centres, we should prepare by staying home, following the physical distancing rules when we have to go out for essentials and by mentally knowing a sharp increase in numbers is on the way.

Ontario had 450 new cases Sunday, the Toronto Star reported .

Premier Doug Ford warned of "extremely serious consequences" if Ontario residents don’t stay home, saying that medical supplies are strained at this point.

The difference between the best and worst case scenarios presented by the Ontario government last week - 3,000 to 15,000 deaths - comes down to how well we all do with physical distancing now.



Items in this update:
  • Dogs now covered by the keep your distance by-law
  • Updated essential services list
  • Essential construction
  • Continued closure of town facilities
  • Halton reaches 155 coronavirus cases
  • CERB application opens today
  • Province providing financial assistance to parents
  • Ontario taking steps to keep food on the table
  • Seasonal trailer parks and campgrounds closed
  • Donating to food banks
  • Access to virtual walk-in clinic
  • Masks on their way to Canada
  • Huawei sending millions of masks to Canada
  • Kudos to our paramedics
  • Balancing municipal relief
  • Wearing face masks in public
  • Spring street sweeping underway
  • Canadian survey on business conditions
  • Weeks to months of physical distancing ahead
  • British PM moved to intensive care
  • China reports increase in asymptomatic cases
  • Apple sources 20 million masks
  • New positivity tips
  • Haltech offering virtual office hours
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Dogs now covered by the keep your distance by-law
Last week, f ollowing numerous reports of social gatherings on public property and individuals not maintaining the safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others, I signed the Emergency Physical Distancing By-law.

Today, I amended that By-Law to include the following:

Any person who owns or controls a dog, while the dog is on public property, shall keep the dog on a leash not exceeding two (2.0) metres in length at all time sand shall ensure that the dog does not come within two (2.0) metres of any other person or dog, except for persons and dogs who reside together.

The Province's modelling and scenarios on COVID-19 should be a wake-up call for all of us on the seriousness of this pandemic. This is a step I would prefer not to make but I still receive daily reports of individuals letting their dogs run off-leash and on extendable leashes too close to others. This is another step we can take to try to save lives and flatten the curve.

Individuals not adhering to the physical distancing regulation can be fined a minimum of $750 and maximum of up to $100,000 for each offence, or issued an administrative monetary penalty in the amount of $300.
Updated essential services list
Essential construction service still operating

Essential construction services are still operating and include:
  • New Provincial infrastructure projects including road construction
  • Repair and maintenance of critical infrastructure such as roads. This is intended to ensure we have the ability to move people on our existing roads for health workers to get to work, emergency vehicles, for delivery of goods, and for residents to be able to make those essential trips to the grocery store 
 
The Province has also put in place construction guidelines and have brought on more officers to visit construction site to ensure they are essential and that they are complying with the construction requirements
 
Construction site requirements:
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.
Continued closure of town facilities
Given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and continued need to take action to curb the spread of the virus in our community, the Town of Oakville announced last week that it is cancelling all Spring recreation and culture programs, cancelling sports field and facility rentals until the end of May, and extending the closure of all town facilities.

As a result of these continued closures and the town’s focus on delivering only critical services, the town also announced the difficult decision to temporarily lay off an estimated 800 part-time, casual and temporary staff effective April 6, 2020. These are temporary layoffs and staff will be brought back once recovery efforts begin.

Halton reaches 155 COVID-19 cases
Halton Region Public Health has confirmed 155 cases of COVID-19 in the region as of noon today.

The Provincial Government is reporting 4,347 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario

15,800 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Canada with 258 deaths.

Application for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit
opens today
Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit open today for those who were born in January, February, or March. If you were born later in the year, don’t worry - you’ll be able to apply later this week.

Today, the Canada Revenue Agency has been processing about 1,000 CERB applications per minute.

The Prime Minister has recognized gaps in the criteria, and will announce certain changes coming to the qualification.

Province Providing One-time Financial Assistance During School and Child Care Closures
The Ontario Government announced today a new Support for Families initiative, which offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs.
The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

Ontario Takes Steps to Keep Food on the Table during COVID-19
In order to ensure grocery store shelves remain full and families have food on the table during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Ontario is launching a new web portal, connecting workers with employers looking to fill positions in the agri-food sector. This new online tool will make it easier to match people to essential jobs and training resources throughout the provincial food supply chain.

Apply for agriculture, agri-food and food industry jobs to support the response to the novel coronavirus:
Seasonal trailer parks and campgrounds closed
Seasonal trailer parks and recreational campgrounds are not listed as essential businesses and, as such, are now required to be closed.

The government recognizes Ontario “snowbirds” are returning to Canada earlier than they normally would. In some instances, seasonal trailer parks and campgrounds may have been opened earlier than usual to permit individuals to take up temporary accommodation in their mobile homes, recreational vehicles or trailers. For Ontarians whose only Canadian residence is at one of these seasonal trailer parks or campgrounds, they are permitted to continue their occupancy and complete their mandatory self-isolation as required by the mandatory isolation order made by the federal government under the Quarantine Act which took effect on March 25, 2020.
Donating to food banks
We’ve heard residents may want to provide support to those in need by donating to local food banks.

The  Halton Community Services Directory website  is a database of the social and community services available to residents and includes  a list of food banks/programs in Halton .

There is also a link to this website on the Town's  COVID-19 web page   under Community Resources.
There are a number of Regional food assistance programs for those in need.

Good Neighbour Project   – GTA, has created a volunteer-based task force who are on standby to support vulnerable residents who require delivery assistance for supplies and groceries. Request assistance by calling 1-855-879-1919. Supports may be provided to those who are elderly, persons with disabilities, those who are in self-isolation or a single parent.
 
Food for Life   is delivering packages of food and essential goods to residents with low-incomes who are self-isolating and/or cannot access food through other channels. Residents can phone: 905-635-1106, press 7, or email:    goodfood@foodforlife.ca  . 
 
OakvilleReady and Faith and the Common Good   are offering community-level assistance such as online/phone/text/messenger check-ins, information about what is ‘open’ in the community, and how to use technology to practice safe social distancing. Contact by email:   info@haltonenvironment.ca  , or Twitter/Instagram: @henhere, or Facebook: Halton Environmental Network   http://haltonenvironet.ca  . HEN is engaged with faith-based organizations that may be able to assist with direct service provision such as grocery delivery.
 
Where possible,   Kerr Street Mission   may deliver bags of food to residents who are experiencing symptoms or otherwise at risk. Contact 905-845-7485 or   admin@kerrstreet.com  .
 
For residents looking for meal delivery,   Oakville Meals on Wheels   continues to operate.
Paid and volunteer services for food and errands

Oakville has a number of grocery delivery services available including Instacart, Grocery Gateway, PC Express and Walmart. However, demand for these services is high and as such, some planning is required.

There is also a local group of volunteers offering to shop for others, you can connect with them on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/660691818029469/

There is also a Caremongering group on Facebook that may have members willing to help:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/660691818029469/

Via the Halton Community Services Directory you can find a number of errand running services here:  https://halton.cioc.ca/bresults.asp?STerms=%22Errand+Running%22%2B%22Shopping+Assistance%22&SType=A&CMType=S&CMID=63&OComm=&OCommID=&PBID=&NUM=
Virtual walk-in clinic
Did you know you have access to a virtual walk-in clinic?

Whether you have questions about a potential COVID-19 case, or how to get access to regular medication you need, all Ontarians have access to a 100% OHIP-covered walk-in clinic. Get in touch with a physician through   mdoncall.ca  .  
Masks on their way to Canada
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says that all the masks Canada purchased will be exported from the U.S. after speaking with Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who had been telling reporters that three million masks were stopped at the border this weekend coming up to Canada. Freeland and Ford have been working closely and talk several times a day.


As supplies grow short, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is sending masks to Canada:
Kudos to our paramedics
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, regular life continues, despite the new normal. That means people have health concerns not related to coronavirus and accidents happen.

Our paramedics continue to answer the call in a professional, patient way. Their expertise makes those suffering feel comfortable.

With that being said, please remember to only call 911 in a real emergency.
Balancing municipal relief
The Town of Oakville continues to monitor the economic situation during COVID-19 and how it relates to tax deferrals. Currently, we are offering penalty-free deferrals on the final tax instalment through June 30, 2020. This is in alignment with our municipal partners, Burlington, Halton Hills and Milton.

All municipalities have to balance our ability to provide police, fire, garbage, water, and many other vital services, with our strong desire to provide what relief we can to those who need it. Municipal revenues are taking a hit so big that we know the primary source of financial support for businesses and residents will have to be Canada and Ontario.
Wearing face masks in public
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam recommends wearing a non-medical face mask to help cut down the spread of the novel coronavirus when you can’t ensure proper physical distance from strangers such as when at grocery stores or riding on public transit.

She also warned that people as young as in their mid-20s are dying of COVID-19.

The American Centre for Disease Control had also recommended this following studies that show a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. 

Cloth face coverings should:
  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Spring street sweeping underway
Spring loose leaf has been cancelled, but the town has started street sweeping for the health and safety of our community. Sweeping of primary and secondary roads is underway while, local residential roads will follow next month and into June.
Canadian Survey on Business Conditions
The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions is an opportunity for Canadian business owners to ensure their voices are heard at decision -making tables across the country during this pandemic. Let’s work together to provide the insights needed to move forward. This survey is conducted under the authority of the Statistics Act, which ensures that the information you and your members provide will be kept confidential and used only for statistical and research purposes

Trudeau says weeks, months of distancing measures ahead
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said officials will have a better idea of how long the crisis will last once models and predictions are developed, but success will depend on how fully Canadians practise distancing habits and it could be weeks or months of more.

3-D printing company is mass-producing plastic face shields for health care workers
After some 80 iterations of the mask to get the perfect fit, InkSmith is working from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. to produce face shields, affectionately called “The Canadian Shield” for hospitals.

The masks, which retail for $7, less in bulk, began by making an unapproved face shield for donation to doctors’ offices. Learn more: https://www.inksmith.ca/pages/contact-us

Read the full story
British PM moved to intensive care
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital after his coronavirus symptoms worsened Monday, just a day after he was admitted for what were said to be routing tests.

Read the full story
China reports rise in asymptomatic coronavirus cases
China's National Health Commission said on Monday that 78 new asymptomatic cases had been identified as of the end of Sunday, compared with 47 the day before.

Read the full story
Apple sources 20 million masks
In an effort to support the worldwide fight against COVID-19, Apple has sourced more than 20 million masks through the company's supply chain.

Learn more:
Positivity tips
As the weather warms up and we clean up our yards, some of us may be looking for more to do.

One reader wrote in to let us know of all the additional garbage pick up he'd done in his neighbourhood. We appreciate the community spirt he's showing in this initiative and encourage others to do so too, where appropriate and safely with physical distancing measures in place.
Haltech’s virtual office hours

To ease our minds somewhat during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is helpful to focus on the actions we  can  take, what we  can  control. For example, you may choose to participate in Haltech’s  “virtual office hours”  as a way to connect with other clients and members of the innovation community; or you can have a brainstorming session with advisors about ways to pivot your business given the current situation; even simply reading some “good news” stories can help to inspire you and to refocus your thoughts on positivity and potential.