July 3 Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Town of Oakville safely returning services
The Town of Oakville is responsibly returning services in line with the Province’s phases and following the guidelines of public health and with that comes an immense amount of work from all departments.

Yesterday, ServiceOakville reopened to customers at Town Hall and Oakville Transit began collecting fares again. Physical distancing protocols are in place. Masks are mandatory on Oakville Transit. And we’re reminding everyone of the importance of washing and sanitizing your hands to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Oakville Public Library continues to offer take-out services and all of our splash pads are now open. Some pools will reopen on Monday, July 13 as CampOak launches, offering modified camps for Oakville residents.

Despite physical town sites being closed, staff have been working from home, others have been redeployed to different departments and as services return so too will staff to their town work spaces. What has remained throughout the entire COVID-19 emergency is staff dedication to their jobs and serving the community. I commend them for their work ethic and look forward to more return of services when it is safe to do so. 

For a look back at the pandemic, please scroll to the end of this email for an updated timeline.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • Metrolinx won't make masks mandatory on GO Transit
  • Town of Oakville announcements
  • South Shell Park construction underway
  • Notice of Public Meeting
  • OTMH resumes non-urgent surgeries
  • Civitan Farmers' Market reopens tomorrow
  • United Way Halton Hamilton reviews past year
  • Oakville woman celebrates 100th birthday virtually
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Ontario supporting restaurants as province safely reopens
  • Canadian Armed Forces depart Ontario long-term care homes
  • Ontario launches online training to promote safe workplaces
  • Teams dispatched to Essex County to help with outbreak
  • Wasaga Beach closing following Canada Day crowds
  • Government of Canada announcements
  • Support for Canada's forest sector economic recovery
  • Support for apprentices to complete their training and find work in skilled trades
  • WE Charity won't manage student grant program
  • Record cases in U.S. heading into Independence Day
  • South Africa Cases surge
  • North Korea maintains high alert despite claims of zero cases
  • In other COVID-related news
  • How to make mask wearing a habit
  • COVID-19 sends Ontario woman on 87-day battle for survival
  • A healthy 30-year-old man went to a bar and ended up on a breathing tube
  • Toronto's COVID-19 divide stretches beyond regional boundaries
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COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton increased by +4 from 758 to 762 with +2 new confirmed cases in Oakville, from 251 to 253 and there are currently 0 COVID-19 patients being cared for at OTMH.

There was +1 reported recovery in Oakville, from 261 to 262 and +2 recoveries in Halton Region from 760 to 762 .

There are currently 14 active cases in Oakville.
Ontario reported 165 additional cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with 31 of the province's 34 public health units confirming five or fewer cases, the Ministry of Health says. Only Toronto and Peel and York regions reported more than five newly confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus, with 87, 23 and 22, respectively. 

As of 6 a.m. Canada had 104,772 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 68,347 of the cases 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
Citing provincial advice, Metrolinx won’t make masks mandatory on GO Transit despite new city rules 
Starting next week, GO Transit vehicles will be one of the few enclosed public spaces in Toronto where residents will not be required to wear a face mask.

Oakville and Halton
Town of Oakville announcements
South Shell Park construction underway
There is a partial closure at Shell Park this month to make enhancements to the South Shell Park shoreline to improve access to the waterfront and the safety of the seawall. This work includes removal of old steel and concrete structures, restoration and expansion of the shoreline, providing formal beach access, pathways and stairs, a lookout area and benches.
The construction work will take place over the next four weeks which is well ahead of the targeted six-week schedule.

In order to safely complete this work, portions of the park (including the parking lot) will be closed until approximately July 31. Trails that run on either side of the beach area will continue to be open.

We are following Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry regulations to protect fish habitat and conduct the shoreline work between critical spring and fall fish spawning periods. A naturalization and tree planting plan is being implemented to replace trees that have been removed, increase canopy cover, add shade, improve biodiversity and provide habitat for migratory birds.

Contact ServiceOakville at service@oakville.ca   or 905-845-6601 with any questions.
Halton Healthcare resumes non-urgent surgeries in hospitals in Oakville, Milton and Georgetown
Halton Healthcare announced that they have started to resume non-urgent surgeries and procedures at the three community hospitals in Milton, Oakville and Georgetown.

Civitan Farmers' Market reopens tomorrow
The Civitan Farmers' Market will officially reopen tomorrow following a months-long delay due to COVID-19. The market, located at Dorval Crossing East, will have COVID restrictions in place.

United Way Halton Hamilton reviews past year
Over the past year, the United Way Halton & Hamilton has addressed multiple crucial problems in its community, from domestic violence and mental illness, to unemployment, homelessness, poverty and hunger.

Oakville woman celebrates 100th birthday virtually
The momentous day may have had to be tweaked to align with Covid-19 health and safety guidelines, but the occasion did not go unmarked.

Instead of being surrounded by her family on the grounds of Chartwell Waterford as she turned 100, Barbara Maguire had to settle for a Zoom party with her son and one of her two daughters.

Provincial Government announcements
The Ontario government is helping restaurant and bar owners reopen and safely serve more customers by issuing a new emergency order and amending another under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which will allow municipalities to quickly pass temporary bylaws for the creation and extension of patios and allow covered outdoor dining areas to serve customers.
This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health to keep the people of Ontario safe as the province continues to recover and resume activities as part of Ontario's Framework for Reopening the Province.

Under the Planning Act, the process to pass temporary use bylaws to create or extend a patio could take several weeks or more. As restaurants are currently only permitted to host dine-in guests on outdoor patios under Stage 2, this exemption under the emergency order will cut red tape and reduce the process time for passing these bylaws to a matter of days.

Municipalities would still be responsible for compliance activities and ensuring proper health and safety practices, like proper physical distancing.

The government also amended an emergency order to clarify that outdoor dining areas can open if they have a roof, canopy, tent, awning or other covering. At least two full sides of the outdoor dining area must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked in any way. If the outdoor dining area has a retractable roof, the roof must be fully open and at least one full side must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked in any way.

Most of Ontario has moved into Stage 2 recovery , except for the Municipality of Leamington and the Town of Kingsville, which remain in Stage 1.
Canadian Armed Forces depart Ontario long-term care homes 
The Ontario government expressed its gratitude to members of the Canadian Armed Forces who went above and beyond the call of duty to temporarily support high-priority long-term care homes during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak. The final team concludes its work today.  

Under Operation LASER, the Canadian Armed Forces deployed teams consisting of nurses, medical technicians and additional personnel. They have been working in Ontario long-term care homes since April providing staffing support and helping with infection prevention and control, and other duties such as cleaning and food preparation.

Over the course of their mission, the Canadian Armed Forces teams supported the following homes: Orchard Villa, Holland Christian Homes Grace Manor, Altamont Care Community, Eatonville Care Centre, Hawthorne Place Care Centre, Downsview Long Term Care, and Woodbridge Vista Care Community.

In May, the Ontario government responded immediately to the findings of the Canadian Armed Forces report . The Ministry of Long-Term Care has been addressing issues around infection control, standards of practice/quality of care, supplies, local practices, communication, staffing and inappropriate behaviour. To-date, the following action has been taken:
  • Each home identified at that time as high-risk has been inspected or has an inspection underway.
  • Inspections at all the Canadian Armed Forces-supported homes have been completed and have since been expanded with inspectors remaining onsite.
  • Temporary management has been appointed at Altamont Care Community, Camilla Care Community, Orchard Villa, Extendicare Guildwood, River Glen Haven, Downsview Long Term Care, Woodbridge Vista Care Community, Forest Heights and Hawthorne Place Care Centre.
  • Each home identified as high-risk has been required to submit a plan to the ministry that details how they are improving care standards.

Additional measures taken to support staff and residents in long-term care homes include emergency funding, regulatory flexibility, staffing support, expanded testing, direction and guidance on outbreak management, infection prevention, and assistance provided by public hospitals to homes in outbreak.

The government recently announced the launch of an independent, non-partisan commission into Ontario's long-term care system beginning in July 2020. Details of the commission are now being finalized, including the terms of reference, membership, leadership of the commission and reporting timelines.
As the province safely and gradually reopens, the Ontario government is investing $3 million to provide free online health and safety training for the first time. These virtual courses will make it easier for job seekers and workers to get essential qualifications, while practising physical distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Up to 100,000 job seekers can now take free online workplace health and safety training through Employment Ontario. There are 10 courses on offer, which include topics such as infection control, conducting health and safety incident investigations, ladder safety, slips, trips and falls prevention, and preventing workplace violence and harassment. Job seekers should contact an Employment Ontario  service provider  in their area to enroll.

In addition, worker and employer members of Joint Health and Safety Committees can now use video conferencing to take training in real-time with  qualified instructors  from training providers approved by Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer. The training includes sessions on how to establish a Health and Safety Committee, resolving health and safety issues, workplace inspections, and accident investigations.

Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer is extending the time for completion of refresher training for more than 8,000 certified committee members whose certification would have expired between February 28 and August 31, 2020. They have until November 30, 2020 to renew their training, which will be easier thanks to new online options.
Teams dispatched to Essex County to help with outbreak
Emergency Management Ontario teams have been dispatched to Essex County to help local officials house, feed and arrange medical care for almost 200 workers who tested positive for COVID-19 at an industrial greenhouse that was effectively  shut down  by the outbreak.

“It’s all hands on deck down there,” Premier Doug Ford said Friday.

The teams are aiding the Red Cross and staff from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit as they try to contain the outbreak at the massive Leamington greenhouse operation that grows tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.
Wasaga Beach closing following Canada Day crowds
The public’s “blatant disregard” for the rules of social distancing has resulted in Wasaga Beach laying out a plan to  shut down the majority of the main beach area by July 9 .

The only access permitted would be three walkways to reach the water, and so the public can access businesses along what was Beach Drive.

Anyone who chooses to flout the new rules by walking on the municipal portion of the beach will also face a hefty fine: $750.

The town’s emergency management coordinator and deputy fire chief, Craig Williams, called the disregard for social distancing and gathering recommendations on Canada Day, and the previous two weekends, “human behaviour at its worst.”

The beach area would be closed to the public by July 9 and “for the foreseeable future.”
The municipal lots would be reduced in capacity by half.

Mayor Nina Bifolchi said while the previous two weekends on the beach had been busy, the crowds on Canada Day “took it to a whole new level.”
Government of Canada announcements
Support for Canada’s forest sector economic recovery 
Canada’s forest sector remains a vital source of jobs for Canadians, providing economic, social and environmental benefits. The sector is leading in innovation through clean technologies, building on a strong foundation that includes a robust, world-class sustainable forest management system.  

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced that the government is launching calls for proposals for the following programs:

These three-year investments will help advance Canada’s bioeconomy while creating and maintaining jobs in Indigenous and rural communities across the country. The application process is now open and organizations are encouraged to apply on  Natural Resources Canada’s website .

Canada's forest sector is an economic driver and major employer of Canadians, including Indigenous people and people in rural and remote communities. The Minister made today’s announcements on the margins of a virtual meeting with his counterparts from the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers. He reiterated the federal government’s commitment to invest in our natural resource sectors, positioning Canada to rebound and emerge from the pandemic even stronger.
Support for apprentices to complete their training and find work in the skilled trades
Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, announced that the Government is investing $40 million over three years in the Union Training and Innovation Program and has launched two calls for proposals. Eligible organizations are encouraged to apply for funding through two streams:

Stream 1: Investments in Training Equipment; and Stream 2: Innovation in Apprenticeship.
Eligible projects will help unions across Canada improve the quality of training through investments in equipment and materials and support innovation and broad-based partnerships to address challenges faced by apprentices. The Program will also help to reduce barriers to participation and success in the trades among under‑represented groups such as women, newcomers, persons with disabilities and visible minorities including Black Canadians. In order to support institutions as they continue to look at alternative delivery methods for future training, the Government encourages projects that allow apprentices and organizations to continue their training online.
With this investment, more apprentices will be able to gain the skills and experience they need to become certified journeypersons.
WE Charity won’t manage student grant program
Youth Minister Bardish Chagger says the WE organization  won’t manage the federal government’s $900-million program  to pay students and fresh graduates for volunteer work this summer.

In a statement this morning, Chagger says it’s a “mutually agreed upon decision.”
Since the charity founded by brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger was announced as the manager of the program last week, the sole-sourced deal has been criticized because of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s close relationship with the group.

Trudeau and Chagger have said repeatedly that the recommendation to use WE for the work came from the public service, not politicians.
International news
Record cases in U.S. heading into Independence Day
After days of record spikes in new COVID-19 cases and hospitals warning they could run out of beds, U.S. President Donald Trump's White House sought to convey that all was well in the battle against the coronavirus and touted efforts to get the U.S. economy moving again.

Coronavirus cases are rising in 37 out of 50 states, with Florida reporting more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the biggest one-day increase in the state since the pandemic started. That followed a spike in the number of cases nationwide to nearly 50,000 on Wednesday, the fourth record rise in infections in the last seven days.

The United States has now reported more than 128,000 coronavirus-related deaths, nearly a quarter of the global total.
South Africa cases surge
South Africa’s reported coronavirus cases are surging.

Its hospitals are now bracing for an onslaught of patients, setting up temporary wards and hoping advances in treatment will help the country’s health facilities from becoming overwhelmed.

The spike comes as the country has allowed businesses to reopen in recent weeks to stave off economic disaster after a strict two-month stay-at-home order worsened already high unemployment and drastically increased hunger.

In Johannesburg, the largest city, health officials said they are considering reimposing some restrictions to try to slow the spread of the virus
North Korea maintains high alert, despite claims of zero COVID cases
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged officials to maintain alertness against the coronavirus, warning that complacency risked “unimaginable and irretrievable crisis,” state media said Friday.

Despite the warning, Kim reaffirmed North Korea’s claim to not have had a single case of COVID-19, telling a ruling party meeting Thursday that the country has “thoroughly prevented the inroad of the malignant virus” despite the worldwide health crisis.

Outsiders widely doubt North Korea escaped the pandemic entirely, given its poor health infrastructure and close trade and travel ties to China, where COVID-19 emerged late last year.
In other COVID-related news:
How to make COVID-19 mask-wearing a habit: Social scientists offer some suggestions
How do you convince people in Canada to wear masks? Experts say mandating, not just recommending it, would go a long way to helping people see them as necessary as wearing seatbelts and driving sober.

COVID-19 sends Ontario woman on 87-day battle for survival
Eighty-seven days after first being admitted to hospital to battle COVID-19, Jessie Jacobs was finally discharged Thursday morning.

A healthy 30-year-old man went to a crowded bar. He ended up in a hospital on a breathing tube
Covid-19 was the last thing on his mind when he went to a crowded bar in Scottsdale, Arizona, Jimmy Flores said.
Two days later, he awoke with a fever of 103 and body sores, Flores told CNN's Erin Burnett. A week later, he was in the hospital, where he was put on a breathing tube during his week stay.
Toronto’s COVID-19 divide stretches beyond regional boundaries
Upcoming events:
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