Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Thursday, June 25 COVID-19 emergency
Following a call with Dr. Hanif Jamal of Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital yesterday, the great one, Wayne Gretzky, sent a message of support and encouragement to Oakville residents.

Receiving this kind of message is not only encouraging but reminds us that this is a global pandemic that affects us all. We thank Mr. Gretzky for his message and I echo the sentiments that the two COVID patients currently being treated at OTMH are in good hands.
Wayne Gretzky sends a message of support to Oakville
It’s clean hands, coughing and sneezing into our elbows, keeping physical distance of two-metres and wearing masks when that’s not possible that will keep others out of our hospital. Following my three Cs of COVID caution will also help. Avoid closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings.

In this report you’ll read more about what researchers are discovering about COVID-19 as well as the financial and social impact it’s had on the world.

As the emergency continues to evolve, please scroll to the end of this email for an updated timeline of what’s happened since the first confirmed case appeared in Canada in January and a look into the future of our recovery from the pandemic.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • How Canada could avoid a second wave of COVID-19
  • Waste water could predict second wave
  • Antibodies from COVID-19 infection only last a few months
  • Swedish expert reconsiders use of face masks
  • Town of Oakville announcements
  • Staff working to resume many services
  • Parks, spray pads, summer camps to open in Burlington
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Ontario helping youth pursue new opportunities
  • Inconsistencies, double standards muddle Ontario's rules for reopening
  • Government of Canada announcements
  • Support for students serving their communities
  • $109 million in COVID-19 research
  • Canadian storytellers explore life in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Study finds Canada's LTC deaths double average of other nations
  • Quebec's ministry of health ending daily updates
  • U.S. on verge of being overwhelmed by COVID-19 resurgence
  • Masks, travel restrictions, testing as virus cases surge
  • Australia reports worst case surge in two months
  • In other COVID-related news
  • Governments ramp up precautions as cases surge
  • Concerns CERB may be a disincentive for workers
  • Nobody died in these nursing homes
  • Majority of work refusal claims being denied
  • Parents scrambling as child care centres reduce capacity
  • New tenant bill could fast track evictions post pandemic
  • No COVID test required to visit nursing homes
  • The cure for the social trauma left by COVID-19
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COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton increased by +2 from 731 to 733 with 0 new confirmed cases in Oakville, total remains at 244.

There were +2 reported recoveries in Oakville, from 249 to 251 and +8 recoveries in Halton Region from 722 to 730 .

There are currently 15 active cases in Oakville and 2 COVID patients being treated at OTMH, a number that includes transfers from other regions.

As pictured below, Oakville’s community transmission rate is holding at 37 per cent.
Ontario reported 189 additional cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the cumulative number in Ontario since the outbreak began in late January to 34,205. About 86.3 per cent of those infections of the novel coronavirus are resolved, the Ministry of Health says. Another 198 cases were marked resolved yesterday. There are currently 2,036 active cases of COVID-19 provincewide with 270 patients in hospital. Those being treated in intensive care units and with ventilators — 69 and 47, respectively — fell to the lowest levels since the province started publicly reporting those figures at the beginning of April.

As of 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Canada had 102,241 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 65,091 of the cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 8,530.
Visit https://art-bd.shinyapps.io/covid19canada/ for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map
COVID-19 deaths per million
How Canada could avoid a second wave of COVID-19
The first wave of COVID-19 is subsiding in Canada, with daily case numbers and hospitalizations falling to rates not seen since the beginning of the pandemic. Experts say the likelihood of a second wave isn't set in stone and we could instead see several smaller waves in the coming months or avoid a second one altogether.

Waste water could predict second wave
In Amsterdam, it appeared weeks before the first case was confirmed.

In the northern Italian cities of Milan and Turin, it was already there in wastewater in December, well before patients started showing up sick in hospitals.

And now in Toronto, researchers at Ryerson University are looking to sewage to track remnants of the virus that causes  COVID-19 , hoping that what we flush down the toilet can help provide an early warning system for a dreaded second wave of the disease. It could even identify spikes in hot spots around the city, they say, and no one can opt out.
Antibodies from COVID-19 infection only last a few months: study
Levels of an antibody found in recovered  COVID-19  patients fell sharply in two to three months after infection for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, according to a Chinese study, raising questions about the length of any immunity against the novel coronavirus.

The scientist behind Sweden’s controversial Covid-19 strategy said he’s willing to reconsider using face masks, after previously seeing little benefit in them.

Oakville and Halton
Town of Oakville announcements
Staff working to resume many services
The town is now well on the way to resuming many services that were either closed or significantly restricted. Staff has been working very hard and their efforts are commendable while we continue to deal with the pandemic and resume service offerings for the community.

Pinery Park, Aspen Forest Park and the south sports field parking lot at Westoak Trails Park will remain closed at this time. These locations have permitted Class A sports fields and playgrounds that are closed, they are mostly walk through sites, and we are having issues with youth congregating after hours. Staff are monitoring these lots and expect them to reopen soon.
Lowville Park, spray pads, summer camps set to open in Burlington, marina closed for 2020
In the next few days, Burlington will open spray pads and Lowville Park. Summer camps and pools are set to follow in July.

Ontario
Provincial Government announcements
Ontario helping youth pursue new opportunities
The Ontario government is investing more than $13 million to support community- driven and youth-led projects to improve the well-being of children, youth, and families facing economic and social barriers. The funding will flow through the 2020 Youth Opportunities Fund, a province-wide initiative that creates opportunities for young people and empowers and supports parents, guardians and caregivers. 

The 2020 Youth Opportunities Fund will provide financial support to 43 community organizations that will benefit youth aged 12 to 25, and their families. Projects receiving funding this year include:
  • Black Moms Connection ― focusing on economic empowerment for Black mothers across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
  • Immigrants francophones d'Afrique pour l'intégration et le développement (IFAPID)― to support newcomers from Francophone African nations to navigate financial systems in Canada.
  • Earthling Art Collective ― to provide development and mentorship opportunities for youth leaving care and the justice system in Thunder Bay.
  • Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment & Training ― to help Indigenous youth in the GTA access employment and training opportunities in the skilled trades.     

The Youth Opportunities Fund provides funding through the following three granting streams:
  • Youth Innovations ― Provides youth facing multiple barriers with the resources they need to design and deliver new and inspiring solutions to issues that matter to them and their communities.
  • Family Innovations ― Invests in local, community-driven groups delivering culturally relevant projects that empower and support parents, guardians and caregivers who face barriers and challenges to child and family wellbeing.
  • System Innovations ― Supports organizations that are strengthening the quality and responsiveness of systems so that they may work better for young people facing multiple barriers.
From masks and social bubbles to gatherings and singing in public, a look at some of the inconsistencies and double standards inside the province's COVID-19 rules.

Canada
Government of Canada announcements
Support for students serving their communities and opportunities to gain paid work experience
Post-secondary students and recent graduates are facing unique and unprecedented challenges because of COVID-19. There are fewer jobs, and many co-op, internship, and community service placements have been cancelled. At the same time, not-for-profits are seeing an increased demand for their services and thousands of Canadians who want to be a part of the solution, which opens up opportunities for students in their communities.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced the launch of the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), which will support post-secondary students and recent graduates as they volunteer to serve in their communities’ COVID-19 response and gain valuable experience at the same time. The CSSG will provide these volunteers with a one-time payment of between $1,000 and $5,000 based on the number of hours they serve. To find not-for-profit organizations looking for help during the pandemic, post-secondary students and recent graduates can use the new I Want to Help platform, which also launched today.
The Government of Canada is also helping young Canadians find paid work placements and get the skills they need to start their careers. These activities include:

  • Supporting an additional 20,000 job placements for post-secondary students in high demand sectors. A new investment of $186 million in the Student Work Placement Program will help more post-secondary students across Canada get paid work experience related to their field of study. This funding is in addition to the $80 million that was announced on April 22, 2020.
  • Creating 10,000 new job placements for young people between the ages of 15 and 30 through the Canada Summer Jobs program. New funding of over $60 million will help expand the current work placement target from 70,000 to 80,000, creating 10,000 more placements for young people aged 15 to 30. The program provides wage subsidies to employers so they can give quality work experience to young Canadians and help Creating 5,000 new internships through Mitacs for college and university students across Canada with small and medium-sized businesses. Funding of $40 million will also help develop partnerships with new industries, and offer internships to students in more areas of study.
  • Increasing funding to the Digital Skills for Youth (DS4Y) program by $40 million to help post-secondary graduates gain professional work experience. DS4Y provides wage subsidy opportunities to help connect young people with small and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profits.
  • Creating over 3,500 new job placements and internships through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. New funding of $34 million, in addition to the over $153 million announced on April 22, will support programs serving high-demand sectors such as health, community services, and information technology, and help other sectors to recover.
  • Providing $6.7 million for the Computers for Schools Plus (CFS+) program. The partnership-based program refurbishes donated surplus computers and electronic devices, and provides them to schools, libraries, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities, and low-income Canadians. It also offers paid, practical work internships for young people, through which they can develop advanced digital skills as well as experience in project management, teamwork, and communications.
  • Creating 5,000 to 10,000 more work-integrated learning opportunities through the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER). The BHER will launch a national challenge for students to develop creative solutions in response to current and future sector needs as defined by Canadian industry. The national student challenge will help connect Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses with the next generation of talent in Canada.

The Canada Student Service Grant and I Want to Help platform are part of the nearly $9 billion in support for post-secondary students and recent graduates announced by the Government of Canada on April 22, 2020. The funding for Mitacs, DS4Y, CFS+, and the Business + Higher Education Roundtable also fall under this funding.
As part of its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Government of Canada is providing support for students who want to make a difference in their communities, while gaining the skills and supports needed for future success whether that be in their studies or in the job market. This support also includes the Canada Emergency Student Benefit , and temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs and Canada Student Grants and Loans programs.
Government of Canada and provincial partners invest more than $109M in COVID-19 research
To continue its efforts to address the health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and around the globe, the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, along with provincial partners, launched a second rapid research funding competition on April 23, 2020.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health, announced the results of that funding competition: an investment of more than $109M over one year in COVID-19 research. This investment will support 139 research teams from across the country that will focus on accelerating the development, testing, and implementation of measures to mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its negative consequences on people, communities, and health systems. For example, researchers will focus on domestic and international clinical trials and scale-up promising existing projects that will increase our understanding of the efficacy and effectiveness of vaccines, therapeutics, and clinical approaches to COVID-19.

The research teams will also evaluate public health management, including containment strategies such as physical distancing and travel restrictions, and study at-risk populations. Their findings will inform decision-making and planning at national and international levels.

This research initiative includes a significant international component. More than a quarter of the 139 research teams will be working in collaboration with researchers in other countries. Many of these collaborations involve researchers in lower and middle-income countries where the greatest need exists for support in the pandemic. By helping curb the virus overseas, these Canadian researchers will contribute to global health while protecting safety at home. 

The Government of Canada is providing the funding for this research through CIHR and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), in partnership with Alberta Innovates (AI), Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), Research Manitoba (RMB), Research Nova Scotia (RNS), Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF), and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF).

Canadian storytellers explore life in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic
As the country and the world face the historic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, production is now under way at the  National Film Board of Canada  on  The Curve , a collection of approximately 30 projects by more than 40 Canadian creators that will give voice to those touched by the pandemic, in communities from west to east and far into the North.
Launching this summer,  The Curve  will explore and share the everyday ups and downs of ordinary Canadians navigating their way through the pandemic, expressed in animation, documentary and digital storytelling formats.

The projects will cover a diverse range of topics: how this crisis has made many Canadians more introspective and meditative, while creating or amplifying social challenges, in both rural realities and urban settings.

Don’t miss the two first projects of  The Curve —available now

Study finds Canada's proportion of LTC deaths double the average of other nations
A new study finds the proportion of Canadian COVID-19 deaths that have occurred in long-term care facilities is about twice the average of rates from other developed nations.
The analysis  released Thursday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information provides a damning snapshot of senior care as of May 25, when LTC residents made up 81 per cent of all reported COVID-19 deaths in the country compared to an average of 42 per cent among all countries studied.
 
Quebec's ministry of health will no longer provide daily updates on COVID-19 cases or deaths
On Wednesday Quebec reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths due to the virus, while the number of related hospitalizations continued to drop.

International news
Experts warn parts of U.S. on verge of being overwhelmed by COVID-19 resurgence
A coronavirus resurgence is wiping out two months of progress in the U.S. and sending infections to dire new levels across the country's South and West, with hospital administrators and health experts warning Wednesday that politicians and a tired-of-being-cooped-up public are letting a disaster unfold.

The U.S. recorded a one-day total of 34,700 new COVID-19 cases, just short of the nation's late-April peak of 36,400, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

While new cases have been declining steadily in early U.S. hotspots such as New York and New Jersey, several other states set single-day case records this week, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma. Some of them also broke hospitalization records, as did North Carolina and South Carolina.

"People got complacent," said Dr. Marc Boom, CEO of the Houston Methodist hospital system. "And it's coming back and biting us, quite frankly."
Masks, travel restrictions, testing continue as virus cases surge in parts of U.S, world
Governments and businesses are ramping up precautions as coronavirus case numbers rise to dire new levels in parts of the U.S. and around the world, potentially wiping out two months of progress.

Australia, once nearly free of coronavirus, reports worst case surge in two months
Desperate to contain the outbreak, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said authorities are beginning a testing blitz across the worst effected suburbs.

In other COVID-related news:
Governments globally ramp up COVID-19 precautions as cases continue to surge
Governments and businesses are ramping up precautions as coronavirus case numbers rise to dire new levels in parts of the U.S. and around the world.

'I can make more money on CERB': More concerns benefit may be a disincentive for workers
Andrew Doyle and Anthony Walsh plan to open La Cervecería Astilleros, a Mexican-influenced brewpub, in August, but hiring staff hasn't been easy.

Nobody died in these nursing homes - what did they do right?
Norma Sullivan is one of the lucky ones. At 91, she's been wheelchair-bound for the last eight years and lives at Chartwell Waterford Long Term Care Residence in Oakville, Ont., one of the  hundreds  of residential care homes in the province and across Canada that eluded a deadly outbreak of COVID-19.

Majority of Canadians' work refusal claims being denied amid COVID-19
As Canadians head back to work after spending months at home, new data suggests that some provinces are seeing more work refusal claims amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, provincial labour authorities say the majority of those claims have been denied because inspectors found no danger to the health, safety or physical well-being of the workers.

Coronavirus forces child-care centres to reduce capacity, leaving parents scrambling
Child-care centres are slowly starting to reopen but operating at reduced capacity because of the coronavirus, meaning some parents may be out of luck for a spot.
New tenant bill could ‘fast track’ evictions post-COVID-19, hearing told
Families visiting nursing homes don’t require proof of COVID test, officials say
The cure for the social trauma left by COVID-19? Finally putting the needs of people first
Upcoming events:
Celebrate Pride
June is Pride Month, and OPL is teaming up with other Halton region libraries to virtually celebrate our 2SLGBTQ+ community!

Share with OPL your artwork, poems, stories or videos that showcase what Pride means to you on Facebook , Twitter or Instagram and tag #OakvilleLibrary and #HaltonPrideExpo.
We're bringing the party to you, eh
The Town of Oakville is excited to bring you a full day of virtual entertainment and activities you can do from the comfort of your home on July 1, 2020.

We invite you to enjoy musical performances, Canada Day themed challenges, a town-wide singing of O Canada, virtual fireworks display, and more!
What's on at the OPL
Visit opl.on.ca for details and registration of these virtual offerings
Tuesdays & Thursdays • 10 am
Family Storytime on Instagram Live
Get moving with stories, songs and fun during Family Storytime! Hosted virtually on Instagram Live. Follow @oakvillelibrary on Instagram .

Tuesdays & Thursdays • 2 pm
Kids Library Club
Join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays as we explore fun activities in the fields of science, technology, art and more! Tuesday's session will be Biodiversity and Thursday is Virtual Tourism . Limited spaces.

Friday, June 26 • 10 am
Virtual Crafty Bees Meetup with The Hive
An informal, weekly craft meetup to share what you’re working on, and gather inspiration from fellow craft enthusiasts.
Join us on  Zoom  (Meeting ID: 936 5905 6875, Password: 756445) or call 1-647 374 4685. 

Friday, June 26 • 1 pm
An Afternoon for Kid Book Lovers
Join our book loving librarians for an hour of book recommendations aimed at school-aged children. We will even have time for a few questions. 

Fridays and Saturdays • 10 am
Family Storytime on YouTube 
Follow OPL on YouTube and enjoy pre-recorded Family Storytime on Fridays and Saturdays at 10 am. Remember to subscribe to our YouTube page so you don't miss out!

Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Staff Book Recommendations on YouTube
Listen to over 100 short book reviews from OPL staff, uploaded weekly on YouTube .

Daily
Virtual Tech Help
Book a virtual one-on-one session for basic technology assistance. Limited sessions.
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