Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Friday, May 1 COVID-19 emergency
Tonight at 9 p.m. I encourage you to join me in shining a light for Doctor's Day. Celebrated each year on May 1, this day of recognition couldn't be more poignant than it is this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. To participate, shine a light through your window for your appreciation for all Ontario's doctors and tag posts on social media with #DoctorsDay and #ShineALightForThem.

May 1 is also First Responders Day and now is the perfect time to also thank them for their tireless efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we begin what looks like a beautiful weekend I remind you all to please stay home unless you have to go out for essentials. The weather will drive many people to trails and if you must go, please ensure you are properly physically distancing. Don't loiter or gather in groups. Stay in your neighbourhood so as not to overcrowd the popular spots, keep your dogs on leash and if a by-law officer asks you to move on, do the right thing and follow the orders. We don't want this nice weekend to set back all of our efforts thus far, or force the closure of more places for safety.

Once agin the majority of new cases in Halton are in Oakville. We need to hunker down and not waste all the effort we've made thus far.

Much of that effort, including today's announcement by Premier Ford that some businesses will be able to open early next week, is documented in the timeline at the end of this email. Let it be a reminder of how far we've come in this fight and be the motivation you need to stay home.

Another bright spot appeared today. The Moonshine Cafe on Kerr Street started doing take out orders. The Mayoress and I ordered an early supper and played some appropriate music. It was a hint of the good old normal times at Kerr Street's venerable music venue. You can, too, from 4 to 9 from now on ,  just click the menu above.

Cheers! (Safely.)
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • Toronto Star builds interactive map of outbreaks
  • A child's recovery from coronavirus
  • Town seniors' programs
  • Phone A Friend
  • Message in a bottle
  • OPL offerings
  • Garden centres, other businesses allowed to reopen with strict guidelines
  • Staying safe when workers test positive
  • Oakville COVID-19 Business Survey
  • Province issues emergency orders to better manage health care resources
  • Prime Minister Trudeau bans 1,500 types of ‘military-style’ guns
  • Government of Canada introduces new digital initiatives for COVID-19
  • Canada enters recession, C.D. Howe reports
  • Montreal researchers say cases in Canada much higher than we think
  • How COVID-19 could change the way cities look and operate after the lockdowns
  • A cautionary tale from Texas
  • Japanese state of emergency to last another month
  • Pandemic could last two years, report
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Oakville & Halton:
COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton have increased by 5 cases from 456 cases yesterday to  461 . Four of the 5 confirmed new cases are in Oakville, from 150 to  154 . There were also  recoveries in Oakville from 123 to  127 .

As of 11 a.m. Friday, the health units were reporting a total of 17,522 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, up 400 cases or an increase of just 2.3 per cent from the same time Thursday, the lowest 24-hour increase counted.

The province says 1,017 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19, passing 1,000 for the first time after several days of slow growth. The province also says more than 10,825 patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus have now recovered from the disease — nearly two-thirds of the total infected.

Ontario’s regional health units have reported another 52 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours as the daily tally of newly reported fatal cases remains high even as new cases continue to fall in the province.

Ontario is reporting that 16,532 tests were completed Thursday, an increase of 3,604 over a 24 hour period.

Visit for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map.

Toronto Star builds interactive map of outbreaks
The Star has built an interactive map of every COVID-19 outbreak in Ontario based on a database of every publicly available record of outbreaks in an Ontario long-term-care facility, retirement home, hospital or shelter. It includes records from Ontario’s 34 public health units, official data, public statements from facility managers and Star reporting. It will be updated daily.

‘I died and came back’: 12-year-old recovers from virus
In a case of why I worry about children, this 12-year-old didn’t suffer the same symptoms as adults do. Abdominal pain and vomiting prompted her parents to take her to hospital, where she suffered a heart attack and was put on a ventilator. “I died and came back,” she says.

Town seniors' programs

The ‘Phone A Friend’ program was started by Seniors Services staff from Sir John Colborne Centre in response to the early closures of our seniors centres. Over 200 of our isolated Seniors Services members have signed up to receive regular social calls while isolated at home. The schedule of calls is coordinated by staff with a team 50 volunteer friends. Staff and volunteers are equipped with resources to connect the participants with community supports if needed as well as access to supports for themselves. Seniors can request a volunteer who speaks their mother tongue. To date, staff have been very successful in pairing seniors with a bilingual volunteer. While the calls are intended to be social in nature, our callers also act as a support for isolated seniors who have lost loved ones during this difficult time.
To be part of the program, call 905-845-6601 , press 0 and ask to be placed on the call list.
Message in a Bottle program

Staff are coordinating the creation of a small ‘care’ package that will be delivered to 800 vulnerable Oakville residents that are receiving food delivery through Food For Life.
  • Each Message in a Bottle (800 mason jars) will include;
  • A promotion for the town’s Phone-A-Friend Program
  • One of a kind artwork or letter created by a community member and submitted through 
  • Library material promoting outreach and online programs through OPL
  • Physical activity worksheet for seniors
  • Tea and candy treat
  • Non-surgical cloth face mask, sewn by local fibre arts organizations and artists. 
Oakville Public Library Digital Service Offerings

  • Adult Online Book Clubs – 3 weekly zoom sessions highlighting titles available through OPL eBook platforms.
  • Tech Help – Patrons can book one on one time with OPL staff for help over the phone to access the library's resources or basic computer help including video conferencing assistance.
  • Book Talks - Staff Pick Book Recommendations for all ages. Videos available via YouTube.
  • Appy Hour - Videos uploaded to YouTube on how to use all the library's various apps and resources.
  • Author Visits – Videos of exclusive readings and talks with local authors personalized for OPL.
  • Ready to Read - Tips and activities for parents, grandparents and caregivers in short 3-10 minute video clips inspired by the Every Child Ready to Read practices in print and video. Will be available via YouTube Channel as a Playlist.
  • Partner meet-ups. Working with community partners to support virtual meet-ups e.g. a craft meet-up with HIVE and a gardening meet-up with HEN.
The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects.

By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.:
  • Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;
  • Lawn care and landscaping;
  • Additional essential construction projects that include:
  • shipping and logistics;
  • broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
  • any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
  • municipal projects;
  • colleges and universities;
  • child care centres;
  • schools; and
  • site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes;
  • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
  • Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
  • Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.

Staying safe when workers test positive
Thanks to a resident who asked whether, after employees at the grocery store he shops at tested positive for coronavirus, there were any additional precautions he needed to take to stay safe.

Any retail outlets at which employees have tested positive have undergone deep cleaning and sanitizing following the confirmation to make it safe for shoppers an other employees.

However, it’s important to remain vigilant about cleanliness. Wash your hands or use sanitizer as you leave the store, don’t touch your face and remember to clean anything you may have touched while out, including your phone and car keys.

Wearing a non-medical face mask will protect others from you, but not you from them.

Oakville COVID-19 Business Survey
Oakville’s Economic Task Force is conducting a survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the Oakville business community. Survey results will help inform Town priorities and initiatives in support of long term economic recovery planning.
Oakville businesses are invited to participate in this short, five-minute survey, open until Friday, May 15, 2020.  Take the survey  
Province issues emergency orders to better manage health care resources
The Ontario government issued new temporary emergency orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to support the immediate needs of the province's hospitals and health care workers so they can better manage critical health care human resources during COVID-19.

The new temporary emergency orders issued today will:
  • Give hospitals the authority and flexibility to more quickly appoint, re-appoint and grant privileges to medical and other professional staff, in order to address potential surge volumes due to COVID-19. This emergency order will allow for the reduction of administrative processes and better enable hospitals to focus operational resources on providing frontline services.
  • Authorize coroners, registered nurses appointed as coroner investigators, and public health units to access the provincial electronic health record to help reduce demands on clinicians' time related to death investigations, reduce exposure to COVID-19 related death investigations, and improve the ability to monitor the spread of the virus.
  • Allow registered nurses appointed as coroner investigators to complete medical certificates of death instead of a physician or nurse practitioner, giving these medical professionals more time to focus on patient care and helping to ensure t hat medical certificates of death are being completed and sent to funeral directors in a timely manner.

Prime Minister Trudeau announces ban on 1,500 types of ‘military-style’ guns
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is banning a range of assault-style guns, with an order that takes effect immediately.

The cabinet order he described in a Friday-morning announcement doesn’t forbid owning any of 1,500 “military-style” weapons and their variants but it does forbid them to be used and halts the trade in them.

The Federal Government announced two new additions to its suite of virtual tools designed to support the health and wellness of Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • Get Updates on COVID-19 is a web-based email service that provides subscribers with critical information related to the pandemic by directing them to authoritative content on the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 []website.
  • The ArriveCan app has been launched to digitize the information collected about travellers returning to Canada under the current paper form. Travelers can input their 14-day isolation information securely upon arrival, include flight or border crossing details, whether they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, and whether they have quarantine accommodations.
Canada enters recession, C.D. Howe reports
Canada has officially entered a recession due to the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the C.D. Howe Institute’s Business Cycle Council declared Friday.

The council, which acts as an arbiter of business cycle dates in Canada, said the economy peaked in February before the steps taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus brought the economy to a standstill.
There are no hard and fast rules for determining a recession, though a commonly used definition is two consecutive quarters of negative quarter-over-quarter economic growth.

However, the C.D. Howe council defines a recession as a pronounced, persistent, and pervasive decline in aggregate economic activity and it looks at both GDP and employment as its main measures.

Montreal researchers say cases in Canada much higher than we think
Researchers at a Montreal university are estimating that the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus in Canada is much higher than what is being reported. 

In Ontario and Quebec alone, economists at l’Université de Montréal (UdeM) are saying nearly half a million people have the virus – which is about 14 times higher than the official number. 

How COVID-19 could change the way cities look and operate after the lockdowns
Rachel MacCleery, senior vice-president at the Urban Land Institute, a city planning think-tank in Washington, D.C., said that "over the short and long term, certain aspects of city life will shift," from the use of streets and transit to the design of spaces inside buildings. 

Have a look at how things could change. Read the full story
A cautionary tale from Texas
On the eve of reopening, rural Lamar County in Texas experiences an outbreak in a nursing home of at least 65 people. “We don’t know where it’s all spreading,” says one business owner who has shelved her plans of reopening today, underscoring the fragility of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to get Texas back in business faster than many states. 

Japanese state of emergency to last another month
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters Friday that the coronavirus state of emergency that is supposed to end next week will have to be kept in place roughly for another month.

Abe, citing a report by experts on a government task force, said Japanese medical systems are still under severe pressure with the number of confirmed cases far exceeding 10,000, even though Japan has averted explosive infections as in many other countries, and the spread of the infections has somewhat slowed under the ongoing state of emergency.

Japan has more than 14,000 cases, with over 400 deaths, according to the health ministry, though experts say there could be several times more patients.
Pandemic could last two years, report
The coronavirus pandemic is likely to last as long as two years and won’t be controlled until about two-thirds of the world’s population is immune, a group of experts said in a report.

Because of its ability to spread from people who don’t appear to be ill, the virus may be harder to control than influenza, the cause of most pandemics in recent history, according to the report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. People may actually be at their most infectious before symptoms appear, according to the report.

Oakville Youth Week goes virtual
Every year, Oakville celebrates  National Youth Week  with FREE activities, learning opportunities and events for youth ages 11-19. This year, the event goes virtual
Follow the  Oakville Youth Instagram , like the  Oakville Youth Facebook  page or follow on Twitter  @OakvilleYouth  for more information.

Share your photos using #OakvilleYouth.

Questions about Youth Week? Email
United Way virtual campaign

Friday, May 8, 2020
12:00-12:30 P.M.
Attire is comfortable, sneakers and track pants welcomed!

ALS walk

The virtual edition of the Walk to End ALS event will take place on June 21st.
ALS partner, Brain Canada, is offering a dollar for dollar match of up to $1 million to invest in promising ALS research.

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

Kerr Street Mission: 905-845-7485 or donate online at

The Salvation Army Oakville: Donate online
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.

Downtown Oakville Instagram live series
On Wednesday, May 6 Downtown Oakville will be launching a weekly Instagram Live Series hosted by different Downtown businesses. The live events will allow you to purchase products, participate in fitness classes, attend workshops, and more!

Follow @oakvilledowntown on Instagram to learn more and tune in. 

May 6 at 2 p.m. - Lemonwood Cashmere 
May 13 at 7 p.m. - Hot Yoga and Pilates 
May 20 at 7 p.m. - Fred Astaire Dance Studio 
May 27 at 7 p.m. - Downtown Oakville Live Auction 
June 3 at 2 p.m. - Lakeshore Yoga 
June 10 at 1 p.m. - Makers Mojo 
June 17 at 2 p.m. - Must Boutique 
June 24 at 7 p.m. - Dr. Adrienne, Naturopathic Doctor 
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