July 13 Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Halton Region remains in Stage 2
Today Premier Ford announced that most regions in the province would move into Stage 3 of the reopening at the end of the week, but once again Halton is being left behind.
 
It’s disappointing news for those who were hoping that all area businesses could reopen on Friday and reminiscent of the province’s move to Stage 2 just a few weeks ago.

Here in Oakville we’ve crushed the curve. Our case count remains low throughout the Region but our proximity to regions who aren’t doing quite as well has kept us back again. 

The Premier has said we’ll move into Stage 3 “in the future” and hopefully that progression happens as quickly as it did at the last stage to further move us into recovery from the pandemic.

A reminder to those who are apprehensive about complete reopening to limit yourself to what you’re comfortable with. Business will resume but remember that advice from public health can help keep you safe. Wash and sanitize your hands, cover coughs and sneezes, keep a distance and wear a mask. My three Cs of COVID-caution can also help. Avoid closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings.

Moving through recovery is important for businesses and individuals to restart the economy. Take a look back at the pandemic via the updated timeline at the end of this email. It will show you how far we’ve come and where we are headed.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • Genetic detectives begin to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada
  • How coronavirus affects the entire body
  • Coronavirus can be airborne but not how it's typically spread
  • Halton Region announcements
  • Halton Region's AAA credit rating affirmed by S&P Global Ratings
  • Join the Oakville Public Library Community Art Project
  • 'A variety of views' as Oakville bylaw for mandatory masks in enclosed public spaces moves one step closer
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Nearly all businesses and public spaces to reopen in Stage 3
  • Government of Canada announcements
  • National Sentry Program 2020 begins at National War Memorial
  • Federal wage subsidy for businesses to be extended to December
  • Trudeau apologizes for WE Charity involvement
  • The great PPE panic
  • Child sex exploitation on the rise in Canada during pandemic
  • B.C. records biggest one-day jump in COVID-19 cases since May
  • Canada adds health officials at U.S. border crossings to screen for COVID
  • Fuelled by U.S. and Brazil, world sets new record in daily COVID cases
  • Why is there a resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the U.S.?
  • Florida shatters coronavirus records with almost 15,300 new cases
  • South Africa returns to ban on alcohol sales as virus surges
  • Coronavirus surge in Eastern Europe causes new restrictions
  • In other COVID-related news
  • Lessons from a nail salon
  • Why it may be harder to catch COVID-19 from surfaces than we first thought
  • Herd immunity won’t save us from the coronavirus pandemic
  • COVID-19 forces cancellation of Toronto FC match at MLS tournament
  • Three teachers who shared a classroom got coronavirus, and one of them died
  • Parents, trapped: Lack of child care could undermine economic recovery and hurt women, but the solution is expensive
  • Masks mandatory in Quebec's indoor public spaces as of July 18
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COVID case counts
Today’s update includes cases from Saturday and Sunday. The reason for this as reported in the Oakville Beaver is: “These changes were prompted by a review of recent COVID-19 case counts — for example, lower (positive) counts and smaller fluctuations between reports — reviewing practices of other public health units, and by monitoring halton.ca website traffic to the COVID-19 case tables,” said a statement from Halton Public Health to Metroland Media. “Please note that as the cases are not updated on weekends, the ‘change from last update’ can be expected to be higher on Mondays and Tuesdays, as new cases reported on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are captured.”

Total confirmed cases in Halton increased by +6 from 788 to 794 with +3 new confirmed case in Oakville from 260 to 263.

There are currently 0 COVID-19 patients being cared for at OTMH and 13 active cases in Oakville.

There were 0 reported recoveries in Oakville, total remains at 274 and +7 recoveries in Halton Region from 802 to 809
Ontario is reporting 116 new cases of COVID-19 since Sunday, bringing the total to 36,839, 32,663 of which are resolved and 2,722 deaths. There are 104 COVID patients in hospital, 28 of which are in ICU with 20 on a ventilator.

As of today Canada had 107,807 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 71,645 of those as recovered or resolved. 
Visit https://art-bd.shinyapps.io/covid19canada/ for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map
COVID-19 deaths per million
Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada
For the last four months, Canada's public health experts have been racing to stop the spread of COVID-19 by trying to figure out how everyone is getting it, and whom they may have given it to.

But even the best efforts have left doctors stymied about the source of more than one-third of this country's known COVID-19 infections. Not knowing where cases come from makes outbreaks that much harder to stamp out.

Now medical researchers and supercomputers are turning genetics labs into virus detective agencies, looking first to find the novel coronavirus itself within blood samples from thousands of infected patients, and then comparing all of those isolated viruses to each other looking for places they differ.

How coronavirus affects the entire body
Coronavirus damages not only the lungs, but the kidneys, liver, heart, brain and nervous system, skin and gastrointestinal tract, doctors said Friday in a review of reports about Covid-19 patients.

Coronavirus can be airborne, but that’s not how it typically spreads: experts
Experts say doctors have always known that airborne transmission plays a role in the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Oakville and Halton
Halton Region announcements
Halton Region’s AAA credit rating affirmed by S&P Global Ratings
On June 16, 2020, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its top credit rating for Halton Region. Their research summary praises the Region’s strong fiscal policies and budgetary performance while confirming its confidence in Halton’s ability to uphold this standing into the future despite impacts from COVID-19.

“Receiving this AAA Credit Rating from S&P Global Ratings confirms our strong financial position—the result of diligent planning and transparent reporting—which helps us support a high quality of life in Halton,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “This top credit rating will allow us to support ongoing investments in infrastructure while ensuring top value for taxpayer dollars, and we are proud to have earned this distinction for another year.”

Maintaining a top credit rating provides Halton and its Local Municipalities with continued access to the best capital financing rates available, which minimizes long-term infrastructure capital financing costs. As a result, public funds go further when invested in Regional works that help improve essential services in the community, such as road, water and wastewater projects.

S&P’s rating analysis included the following rationale in support of the AAA rating:
  • steady population growth, high income levels, and a broad economy foster stability in the Region’s property tax base despite the negative impact from COVID-19;
  • prudent financial management practices and solid economic base;
  • excellent budget performance and limiting debt issuance; and
  • exceptional liquidity position and satisfactory access to external liquidity for financing needs.

The Region has maintained top credit ratings from S&P Global Ratings (AAA) since 2002 and Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa) since 1989—a successful track record of more than 30 years. Earning this distinction from both agencies each year is a key objective of Halton’s annual  Budget and Business Plan .
Join the Oakville Public Library Community Art Project: Pandemic Stories
Join the OPL community art project and share your stories of change, resilience, joy and isolation, through photographic and written submissions. 

  • How are you celebrating milestones this year, like birthdays and anniversaries?
  • Have you taken up a new hobby while in quarantine?
  • How has the typical day changed for you?

The OPL wants to know how you're dealing during these unusual times.

Please help build the archive of the Oakville community experience through the COVID-19 pandemic.


'A variety of views' as Oakville bylaw for mandatory masks in enclosed public spaces moves one step closer
Despite the “voluntary compliance” urged by Halton Region when it comes to the wearing of masks in enclosed public spaces, the majority of Oakville residents, it appears,  wanted more.

On July 8, town council unanimously voted in favour of a motion put forward by Coun. Tom Adams, requesting staff develop a bylaw making the wearing of non-medical masks mandatory. The bylaw will be considered at a special council meeting on July 16. This meeting, however, becomes redundant in the event the region – which was to hold its own meeting to discuss a similar region-wide bylaw on July 15 – reverses its original recommendation.

Ontario
Provincial Government announcements
Nearly all businesses and public spaces to reopen in Stage 3
The Ontario government announced nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the province's reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place. As Ontario continues down the path to economic recovery, decisions on which regions will enter Stage 3 and when will be made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts and based on trends of key public health indicators.

Details on the Stage 3 reopening framework were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

"Our success in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and getting Ontario to a place where we are ready to reopen most of the province is a testament to the hard work of business owners, individuals and families right across the province," said Premier Ford. "So many have stepped up and played by the rules, demonstrating that we can restart our economy safely and responsibly. Small actions can make a big difference. Now more than ever, we must continue to follow the public health advice to preserve the progress we have made together."

As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario will be increasing gathering limits for those regions entering the next stage to the following:
  • Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
  • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
  • Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.

Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events, such as community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses. A two metre distance must still be maintained at such events.

Regions remaining in Stage 2 will maintain the existing gathering limit of 10. Social circles in all stages at this point will also be kept to a maximum of 10 people province-wide, regardless of stage.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID‑19:
  • Amusement parks and water parks;
  • Buffet-style food services;
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements;
  • Overnight stays at camps for children;
  • Private karaoke rooms;
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports;
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars;
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.

For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, as well as the public health guidance necessary to keep the people of Ontario safe, visit  Ontario.ca/reopen .

The province is committed to working closely and collaboratively with businesses and sectors not yet able to reopen or who are experiencing significant challenges for reopening due to Stage 3 restrictions. These businesses can visit  Ontario.ca/reopen  to work with the government on a reopening proposal that will enable them to safely resume or increase operations. Government and public health officials will review proposals and contact businesses for feedback or clarifications.

"With almost all businesses and services able to resume operations, Stage 3 is a major step forward in our plan to reopen the province," said Minister Phillips. "We have to keep treating each other with respect and acting responsibly to keep up the progress in our fight against COVID-19. Our government will continue working with our partners across Ontario to rebuild our economy so that our province is a place of economic strength and prosperity for every person and family."

The following public health unit regions will be allowed to move into Stage 3 first, on Friday, July 17, 2020:
  • Algoma Public Health
  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

Businesses and municipalities will be permitted to enter Stage 3 based on their region and, as in the previous stages, may choose to take more time before reopening. For a list of regions that will remain in Stage 2, visit  Ontario.ca/reopen .

At the beginning of each week, the province will continue to reassess local trends in public health indicators, including rates of transmission, hospital capacity, progress on testing and contact tracing, to determine if additional public health unit regions can progress to Stage 3. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened or reapplied.

"Having seen a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases as the province safely re-started over 90 per cent of economic activity with Stage 2, we now have the confidence to move certain regions into Stage 3, including expanding the size of gatherings indoors and outdoors," said Minister Elliott. "As we do, it's never been more important for all Ontarians to continue to practise physical distancing and wear a face covering when doing so is a challenge, such as safely visiting a favourite local store. Together, we'll continue to move Ontario forward."

As the province safely and gradually enters Stage 3, child care centres and home child care providers across Ontario will be able to continue to operate with strict safety and operational requirements in place. Beginning on July 27, 2020, child care centres will be permitted to operate with cohorts of 15 children, which is an increase from the current cohort cap of 10. This change will allow parents to return to work, and bring the child care sector to approximately 90 per cent of its operating capacity before the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Providing child care for parents is critical so that, as more Ontarians return to work, they can do so with confidence in knowing that their children are being safely cared for," said Minister Lecce. "Child care is an integral enabler to the continued restart of Ontario's economy, and we remain committed to working to ensure child care remains accessible, affordable and, most importantly, safe as we gradually increase capacity of Ontario's child care sector."

The government, in partnership with health and safety associations, has released over 170 guidance resources at  Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety  to help employers in multiple sectors ― including fitness, restaurant and food services, and the performing arts ― keep spaces safe for workers and customers. Guidance will be available for all spaces permitted to open in Stage 3. As they prepare to reopen, employers are strongly advised to review and implement appropriate measures to help protect their communities.

"As we enter Stage 3 and continue on the path to economic recovery, it is more important than ever that we support business owners and workers," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "That is why we launched the  Workplace PPE Supplier Directory  to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment suppliers so they can keep their employees, customers and clients safe as they resume their operations. By continuing to work together, we will ensure Ontario is prepared and well-supplied for any future challenges."

Based on community needs, some municipalities and local medical officers of health have implemented more restrictions or requirements, such as mandatory face coverings in commercial establishments and all indoor public places. Check your  local public health unit 's or local municipality's website.
Canada
Government of Canada announcements
National Sentry Program 2020 begins at the National War Memorial
Today at 9 a.m. the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) resumed their post at the National War Memorial.

With the mounting of sentries at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Sentry Program reinforces Canada’s commitment to remember and honour Canadians who have contributed to our nation’s long-standing tradition of military excellence to the present day.

In 2020, due to the requirements to limit the spread of COVID-19, the National Sentry Program was delayed from its expected start date of April 9. Today, the program will resume in a progressive, deliberate, and safe manner and continue at a reduced schedule until November 10.

The CAF has been welcomed by the City of Ottawa to begin this low-risk outdoor activity, as an opportunity for residents and possible visitors to feel a sense of normalcy while the City implements the gradual resumption of activities following recent COVID-19 related isolation measures.
Federal wage subsidy for businesses to be extended to December: Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today the federal government is extending the emergency wage subsidy program to December of this year.

PM Trudeau apologizes for WE Charity involvement

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions.

And he says he’s particularly sorry that the delay in the program caused by WE’s eventual decision to withdraw will harm students looking for ways to help in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The great PPE panic: How the pandemic caught Canada with its stockpiles down 
The federal government gives itself credit for swift action in the face of severe supply problems in the early weeks of its pandemic response. But what made that mad scramble for masks, gowns, gloves and other essential products necessary in the first place?

Child sex exploitation is on the rise in Canada during the pandemic
Reports of online sexual exploitation of Canadian children have soared during the COVID-19 pandemic as abusers take advantage of the fact that kids are spending more time online.

B.C. records biggest one-day jump in COVID-19 cases since May
B.C. health officials are reporting the detection of 25 more cases of COVID 19 within the last 24 hours.

Canada adds health officials at U.S. border crossings to screen for COVID-19
As the volume of travellers entering Canada through the U.S. has increased in recent weeks, public health officials are being placed at land borders to bolster screening for COVID-19.

International news
Fuelled by U.S. and Brazil, world sets new record in daily COVID-19 cases
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported another record single-day number of COVID-19 cases on Sunday as the total topped 200,000 for the fourth day in a row.

The United Nations health agency said Sunday afternoon that it had recorded 230,370 cases of the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, narrowly beating the previous record number from two days earlier.

There had not been more than 200,000 cases detected in one day until July 4. However, at least that many cases have been reported on seven of the nine days since then.

Why is there a resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the U.S.?
The U.S. has now notched more than 3.3 million cases. Its infection rate is 10,015 per million, more than triple that of Canada. On Friday, there were 66,627 new cases, more than any country has ever recorded in a single day.

Florida shatters coronavirus records with almost 15,300 new cases
Florida shattered records for any state's single-day recording of new coronavirus cases Sunday, announcing almost 15,300 new cases.

The state added  15,299 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, to its constantly rising total, outpacing New York's previous daily record by more than 3,000.

South Africa returns to ban on alcohol sales as virus surges
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country will immediately return to a ban on the sale of alcohol to reduce the volume of trauma patients so that hospitals have more beds open to treat COVID-19 patients.

Confronted by surging hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, South Africa is also reinstating a night curfew to reduce traffic accidents and made it mandatory for all residents to wear face masks when in public.

Coronavirus surge in Eastern Europe causes new restrictions
Countries in Eastern Europe are facing rising waves of coronavirus infections, leading to new restrictive measures such as the mandatory use of face masks in Croatia and travel bans or quarantines to be imposed by Hungary.

In other COVID-related news:
Lessons from a nail salon: Could cluster busting be a way to avoid future COVID-19 lockdowns in Ontario?
Why it may be harder to catch COVID-19 from surfaces than we first thought
COVID-19 may not transmit as easily on surfaces as was originally thought — and experts say it may be time to shift our focus on how we protect ourselves from infection.

Herd immunity won’t save us from the coronavirus pandemic
Herd immunity against coronavirus would cost many lives, if it doesn't come from a vaccine, experts say.

COVID-19 forces cancellation of Toronto FC match at MLS tournament
Toronto FC's opening match against D.C. United at the MLS is Back Tournament was called off Sunday after one positive and one inconclusive test for COVID-19.

Three teachers who shared a classroom got coronavirus, and one of them died
Three teachers who shared a summer classroom at a school in Arizona all contracted coronavirus last month, leaving one of them dead.
All three teachers wore masks and gloves, used hand sanitizer and socially distanced, but still got sick, according to school officials at the small community in the eastern part of the state.
 
Parents, trapped: Lack of child care could undermine economic recovery and hurt women, but the solution is expensive
Across the country, shortages of space and staff at child care facilities will leave many pupils behind; parents, especially women, who can't work from home will have to choose between taking care of their jobs and their families. Here's what that could mean for the labour force

Masks mandatory in Quebec's indoor public spaces as of July 18
Masks or face-coverings will be mandatory in all indoor public spaces across Quebec, beginning Saturday. That coincides with the start of the province’s two-week construction holiday, when tens of thousands of Quebecers take their summer vacation.
Upcoming events:
Halton Environmental Network is launching Pop-up Clean-ups! The socially distanced clean-ups are a safe and fun way to enjoy the outdoors while making a difference in your community. Not only will you be cleaning up litter, but you’ll be tracking the waste you find. The collected data will empower our community to make informed decisions on how to protect our environment.
 
You can either lead a clean-up or take part in one! Students also have the opportunity to gain volunteer hours for school credit with each clean-up they do. If you are interested, please register   here .  
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 operate

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakville Meals on Wheels continues to operate under increased safety measures. I f you know or are aware of someone who is struggling, call 211 and get help to navigate the network of health, community and social service programs. This service is offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and has interpretation for over 150 languages. And, if you are able, please consider supporting the Meals on Wheels effort by making a donation.

Testing in Oakville
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