Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Updates on COVID-19 emergency
Today, I, along with Oakville Fire Deputy Chief Andy Glynn delivered a donation of 12,000 face masks to our hospital on behalf of Oakville's sister city, Huai'an, China.

The donation came directly from Huai'an's Mayor Chen Zhinchang who sent the masks to Oakville to be used by frontline healthcare workers at the hospital.

We are grateful for this donation and remind Oakville residents that our hospital is in need of more. Please email OakvilleCommunityDrive@gmail.com if you have personal protective equipment to donate or shallsworth@haltonhealthcare.com to make a monetary donation to our hospital foundation.
Items in this update:
  • Oakville cemeteries now closed
  • Ontario testing not up to capacity
  • COVID cases continue to rise
  • Contact tracing
  • Province connecting workers and employers
  • Wearing non-medical masks
  • Oakville businesses answer the call for PPE
  • HCDSB trustee contact information
  • Changes to the wage subsidy program
  • Summer job program changes
  • Loose leaf collection cancelled
  • Food donations supporting those in need
  • Helping Halton's Help Line
  • Oakville Resiliency Fund
  • Essential construction projects accelerated
  • UNICEF warns of rise in child predators online
  • Canadians held at federal quarantine sites
  • COVID confirmed in Toronto homeless shelter
  • Temporary hospital being planned for Hamilton hotel or convention centre
  • Brampton issues multiple coronavirus physical distancing fines 
  • Everyone can agree, don't litter gloves and masks
  • Emergency Service Dispatchers' Awareness Week
  • Passover and Easter wishes
  • Positivity tips
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Oakville cemeteries now closed
In order to protect residents and ensure physical distancing is maintained to slow the spread of COVID-19, cemeteries are being closed to visitors until further notice. Signage will be installed over the next few days.

If a death has occurred, the town will continue to provide essential plot sales, burial and funeral services (by appointment only) ensuring all individuals are served during this challenging time. To ensure physical distancing, funerals are restricted to no more than 10 people. 

Please call 905-845-6601 to make an appointment or for more information
Ontario testing not up to capacity
Ontario is using less than a quarter of its capacity to test for COVID-19, despite the mounting death toll and calls from experts that more tests need to be done to get an accurate picture of the spread of the virus.

While the province has the capacity to currently complete 13,000 tests per day, according to the health ministry, the testing labs have processed tests for fewer than 4,000 patients a day since Sunday, the Star reports: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/04/06/battling-the-covid-19-pandemic-blindfolded-thats-how-one-expert-sums-up-ontarios-continued-lack-of-testing.html
COVID cases continue to rise
Halton Total cases have increased by 59 from 169 cases yesterday to 228 with 30 more cases in Oakville from 63-93.

There are 17,897 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada, as of 4 a.m., according to data compiled by The Canadian Press. Ontario has 4,726 confirmed, including 153 deaths and 1,802 resolved.
Contact tracing
Watch this video from Dr. Meghani about contact tracing   and the work Public Health does behind the scenes to follow up with close contacts of confirmed cases.

Province connecting workers and employers

The Province is launching  a new online tool  that will help match skilled frontline workers with employers

  • The new Health Workforce Matching Portal will enable health care providers with a range of experience to join the province's response to COVID-19. This includes retired or non-active health care professionals, internationally educated health care professionals, students, and volunteers with health care experience.
  • The Province is also increasing testing, especially in areas that are most vulnerable such as long-term care homes, retirement homes and Indigenous communities.

Wearing non-medical masks: from the Federal Government
Medical masks, including surgical, medical procedure face masks and respirators (like N95 masks), must be kept for health care workers and others providing direct care to COVID-19 patients.

Wearing a non-medical mask (for example a  homemade cloth mask ) in the community has not been proven to protect the person wearing it. Strict hygiene and public health measures, including frequent hand washing and physical (social) distancing, will reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus.

Wearing a non-medical mask is an additional measure you can take to protect others around you, even if you have no symptoms. It can be useful for short periods of time, when physical distancing is not possible in public settings such as when grocery shopping or using public transit.

Wearing a non-medical mask is another way to cover your mouth and nose to prevent your respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces. Just like our recommendation not to cough into your hands (instead, cover your cough with tissues or your sleeve), a mask can reduce the chance that others are coming into contact with your respiratory droplets.

If wearing a non-medical mask makes you feel safer and stops you from touching your nose and mouth, that is also good. But remember not to touch or rub your eyes.
It is important to understand that  non-medical masks have limitations and need to be used safely .

Non-medical masks or facial coverings should  not  be placed on:
  • children under age 2
  • anyone who has trouble breathing
  • anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance

If you choose to use a non-medical face mask:
  • you must wash your hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off (in addition to practising good hand hygiene while wearing it)
  • it should fit well (non-gaping)
  • you should not share it with others

Face masks can become contaminated on the outside, or when touched by your hands. When wearing a mask, take the following precautions to protect yourself:
  • avoid touching your face mask while using it
  • change a cloth mask as soon as it gets damp or soiled
  • put it directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine and then disposed of
  • cloth masks can be laundered with other items using a hot cycle, and then dried thoroughly
  • non-medical masks that cannot be washed should be discarded and replaced as soon as they get damp, soiled or crumpled
  • dispose of masks properly in a lined garbage bin
  • do not leave discarded masks in shopping carts, on the ground, etc.

Non-medical masks alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. You must consistently and strictly adhere to  good hygiene  and  public health measures , including frequent  hand washing  and  physical (social) distancing .”
Oakville businesses answer the call for PPE
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Canada, there is an urgent need to address the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers. The federal and provincial governments have released a call to Canadian companies to provide supplies and innovative solutions to support Canada’s pandemic response.

Oakville businesses are rising to the challenge, dedicating talent and resources to address the national crisis. The following companies have scaled operations, retooled production, and worked in partnership to find innovative solutions to respond to the call:

  • ASTOUND: Created plexiglass screening to protect frontline healthcare workers during patient intake at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. 
  • Ford Motor Company of Canada: Donated 80 N95 masks to Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and 2,900 pairs of Nitrile gloves to Brampton Civic Hospital. Ford has retooled a portion of its Windsor Engine Plant to produce 100,000 plastic protective face shields to be donated to healthcare workers in Ontario and across Canada. Engineers from the Oakville plant are assisting other manufacturers of PPE in Canada and dedicated teams will continue to monitor the COVID-19 impact and explore new solutions.  
  • Promation: Several employees, on their own initiative, began printing face shield frames on their own 3D printers. This evolved into a re-design using mass manufacturing technology to reduce production time. Promation then partnered with a local laser cutting company to manufacture 650 face shield frames per day using 3D printing technology. They are also partnering with University of Waterloo to evaluate face shield visor materials as current materials are being depleted. To meet Canada’s urgent need for ventilators, the company is also working with the University Health Network, Canada’s largest research organization, to design and produce a scalable working ventilator prototype. Promation has mobilized support from industry partners to begin production once the prototype is approved.
  • Virox Technologies Inc.: Scaled operations to produce disinfectant solutions, protocols, and education to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Virox is running production 24/7 to meet demand.

Oakville’s international community has also come forward to provide support. The town’s Chinese Sister City of Huai’an has generously donated 12,000 masks to the Oakville 
Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, delivered by Mayor Burton on April 8, 2020. The town formalized a Sister City agreement with Huai’an in 2015 with a view to promote friendship and economic development. This memo provides an overview of first steps taken by the Oakville business community to work collaboratively to combat COVID-19. Town staff continue to receive offers of support and will provide Council with updates of the local business response to the pandemic. 
HCDSB trustees: Who to call when you see people on school properties
Changes to the wage subsidy program
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided an update on the Government of Canada's 75% Wage Subsidy program:
 
  • A business will now be able to compare their sales to the same month last year OR January and February, 2020. This will help new and growing firms who may not have qualified based on a comparison to 2019. 
  • A business need only demonstrate a 15% reduction in gross revenues for March, 2020. 
  • Charitable and Not-For-Profit organizations may include or exclude government money when calculating their loss
Changes to the summer job program

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also provided an update on the Canada Summer Jobs Program for 2020:
 
  • An increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100% of the provincial minimum hourly wage for each employee
  • An extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
  • Allow employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
  • Allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis

Fare Share Food Bank accepting donations
  As the oldest food bank in Oakville, Fare Share has been providing for the needy since 1987.
 
During the COVID-19 emergency, volunteers are putting in extra hours to full orders and arrange for deliveries for those who could not otherwise take advantage of services.
 
Food donations have dropped off significantly and as such, Fare Share Food Bank is currently relying on cash donations to enable the volunteers to purchase food and distribute it
 
If you’d like to make a donation or use Fare Share’s services, please call 905-847-3988 or email  oakvillefoodbank@gmail.com .
 
Food for Life delivering essential goods throughout Halton
On Monday, March 30, Food for Life launched a program to deliver food and essential goods packages to vulnerable Halton residents who are self-isolating or otherwise unable to access these items. Halton Region provided $24,500 in start-up funding to support the initiative. As of April 7, more than 250 essential goods deliveries have been made to individuals throughout Halton. Referrals are being made from a variety of sources including Access Halton and community programs.

Food for Life also continues to provide weekly food security programming to vulnerable households across 10 HCHC communities. Over this week alone, 560 vulnerable households were assisted and this number continues to grow. Starting soon, fresh, homemade soup will be included with food distribution through  Food for Life’s  Good Soup project In alignment with public health direction and to protect the safety of staff and residents, all food is pre-packaged and delivered door-to-door while maintaining proper physical distancing.
Redirecting Food Donations
The Halton Regional Police Service would like to thank the community for the generous outpouring of support for frontline members. The Service has been inundated with requests from residents to provide officers with gracious offers of food delivery to our stations.  

Although the gesture is greatly appreciated, measures to reduce the risk of virus exposure and transmission remain in place, which includes limiting attendance at stations. Recognizing that local food banks are in need of donations, it is encouraged that those who have offered their generosity to contact these local food banks to support those causes. 
Helping Halton's Help Line
Distress Centre Halton has been supporting people in our community to better cope with crisis, loneliness, and emotional stress for over 46 years. The past weeks and months have amplified these struggles through increased and enforced isolation, massive disruption of routines, financial uncertainty and fears about personal safety. 

But they need your help. With the postponement of the annual Walk2Talk fundraising event, the crisis line's ability to fundraise is in jeopardy.

Please donate online at https://www.dchalton.ca/donate  
Announcing First Round of Grants from
The Oakville Resiliency Fund
The Oakville Community Foundation has created the Oakville Resiliency Fund to support the local community during this State of Emergency and beyond when it is time to help our charitable sector recover.

Since the WHO declared a pandemic, The Foundation has distributed more than $100,000 in charity grants, but a stronger response was needed as charities’ primary fundraising activities, their events, have all been cancelled. At the same time, charities on the front lines face greater demands for their services.

Together, with Fundholders, local philanthropists, and donors, The OCF raised more than $600,000 to date for both phases of the new Oakville Resiliency Fund. The Foundation will be distributing $400,000 in charity grants for Phase 1 focused on Community Heroes.
Granting is being done in coordination with other granters and with advice from the Halton Region COVID 19 Action Table to ensure critical needs are addressed. Significant grants being distributed to charities on the front lines include: 

  •  $79,000 to support the addition of four new hospital beds including $15,000 for the Oakville Hospital Foundation’s COVID relief fund for hospital staff. 
  •   $50,000 for Food for Life as it is leading the distribution of food to vulnerable people regionally.
  •   $25,000 to Acclaim Health in their service to local seniors, in addition to $10,000 from Fundholders.
  •  An additional $20,000 to Kerr Street Mission over the $22,000 granted by Fundholders directly.
  •  Home Suite Hope and Children’s Aid Foundation are receiving over $20,000 each to support their important transformational programs for single-parent families and youth formerly in care.
Premier Doug Ford, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, announced extended construction hours for essential construction projects, like critical projects in the health care sector, to 24 hours a day, and other measures to keep Ontario workplaces safe.

The Provincial Government will temporarily limit local noise bylaws from applying to these types of essential construction activities beginning April 7, 2020. This will allow for expedited construction on key facilities, such as new hospital builds, expansions, temporary COVID-19 response units or structures, and COVID-19 assessment centres.

UNICEF warns of rise in online child predators
The COVID-19 outbreak has sparked an increase in online child sexual predators that organizations, governments and parents need to take more seriously, says the head of the United Nations children’s agency.
“We’ve got a couple of worrying signs, which is that the online predators are really — they’re multiplying,” Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director, said in a wide-ranging interview with The Canadian Press this week.
With half the planet’s children now out of school because of the pandemic, Fore said that has created new risks for kids who are now spending more time on the internet.
“Because children are online more, they are vulnerable. And often they haven’t been taught about how to think about being online, how to have a video chat and what you do and do not do,” she said.

Canadians held at federal quarantine sites
COVID-19 confirmed in busy Toronto shelter 
Homeless advocates are demanding action following confirmed COVID-19 in a busy Toronto shelter.

Temporary hospital being planned for Hamilton in hotel or convention centre  
Hamilton’s hospitals are working to have more than 1,500 hospital beds ready for a  potential surge  of patients.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is looking to have roughly 550 beds available. To get to this number of beds, the organizations have to set up a temporary hospital that would have roughly 300 HHS patients and 150 from St. Joseph’s.

The preference is a hotel and convention centre — as opposed to tents or arenas — because they have laundry, food services, rooms and large open spaces. Talks are currently underway to secure a location.

Brampton issues multiple coronavirus physical distancing fines
A business, soccer players and car wash loiterers are among the latest to receive fines under the city's week-old bylaw

Don't litter gloves, masks
Mayor Burton declares April 5-11 Emergency Service Dispatchers' & 9-1-1 Awareness Week
PROCLAMATION
EMERGENCY SERVICE DISPATCHERS’ & 9-1-1 AWARENESS WEEK April 5-11, 2020

WHEREAS, Emergency Service Dispatchers are the lifeline for people in distress.

WHEREAS, Emergency dispatchers and call takers are often referred to as the ‘first first responders’.

WHEREAS, 9-1-1 is an important lifeline to police, fire and paramedics when immediate action is required.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rob Burton, Mayor of the Town of Oakville, feel that, particularly during this COVID-19 emergency, each citizen would welcome the opportunity to recognize Emergency Service Dispatchers for the work they do and DO HEREBY PROCLAIM APRIL 5-11, 2020 as Emergency Service Dispatchers’ & 9-1-1 Awareness Week in the Town of Oakville.
Passover and Easter greetings
Today marks the start of Passover and this weekend is Easter. It will be a different holiday for all of us this year but I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday no matter how or where you celebrate this year.
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.
Positivity tip
An Oakville resident has suggested playing a Thank You placard/card in front of your homes to show solidarity to essential staff including doctors, nurses and other medical staff, transit drivers, postal workers, police, fire, grocery store employees, waste collectors and more. This is intended to show appreciation for them and all the work they’re doing to keep us all going during the COVID-19 crisis.

Other Oakville neighbourhoods are writing messages in chalk on sidewalks and tying blue ribbons on trees.

Please send us your photos of how you’re showing frontline workers your support and we’ll share in our next update.