Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Friday, May 22 COVID-19 emergency
In today's top news you'll read about the Class Order Halton Region's Medical Officer of Health has implemented. It took effect at midnight and is aimed to protect the health and safety of our community.

As we head into what's looking like a beautiful spring weekend I once again encourage you to keep that health and safety in mind. More amenities here in town are open, read about those below, but don't forget we are still under an emergency declaration in which we're ordered to not gather in groups of more than five and to stay two metres apart for those not in our household.

As Avis Favro noted on CTV news today: There are still 961 people in hospital with COVID-19. 151 are in ICU. 120 are on ventilators. The disease is not gone, despite our ability to cope with it better.

Until then please scroll to the end of this email to see where we've come from and where we are headed in the COVID-19 emergency.
Items in this update:



  • Halton Region issues Class Order
  • COVID case counts
  • National counts
  • Deaths per million around the globe and close to home
  • Testing talk
  • Federal Government promises testing assistance
  • Doug Ford promises new COVID-19 testing plan
  • Ontario should start testing asymptomatic people for COVID-19
  • Could the public be to blame for the lack of coronavirus testing?
  • Town of Oakville news
  • Town of Oakville to resume intake of marriage licence applications by appointment only
  • Community clean up to resume
  • A reminder of what’s open, what will open soon, and what’s closed
  • Canada cities and towns are confident Trudeau will send financial help
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Ontario Helps People Impacted by COVID-19 Get Back to Work
  • Ontario Makes it Easier to Conduct Business during COVID-19
  • Ontario can’t say where more than two-thirds of COVID-19 cases originate on any given day
  • Ontario needs to speed up contact tracing
  • Poloz rejects ‘dire’ forecasts, says economy will rebound quickly
  • Canada reopening without knowing where Canadians are getting COVID-19
  • China abandons economic figures, signals grim future for workers
  • Other COVID-related news
  • British researchers aim to immunize more than 10,000
  • Drug touted by Trump tied to increase risk of death in COVID-19 patients
  • Ontario PC caucus pushes for restaurant patio expansion
  • Opinion: We are infectious disease experts. It’s time to lift COVID-19 lockdowns
  • U.S. planning massive coronavirus vaccine testing effort to meet deadline

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Top news:
Halton Region issues Class Order
This chart from CBC News highlights the uptick in COVID-19 cases since the provincial reopening began. Halton Region Public Health has identified the need to protect the community as more people leave their homes, and get out more in the community. As a result, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani has issued a class order under section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), which came into effect as of midnight today.

This order will help ensure that everyone who needs to comply with Public Health direction to self-isolate does so, to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19. It will applies to people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, who have been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for the test results, have symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days, are the close contact of any of these people, or are the parent or person with the responsibilities of a parent of someone under 16 years of age who fits into any of these categories of people.

As restrictions begin to loosen at the provincial and local levels, more people will be out in the community. It is more important than ever to ensure that those who need to self-isolate do so, for the protection of everyone. The class order provides a legal tool to help Public Health help the community. This tool will be especially important for people who have symptoms of COVID-19 but have not had direct contact with Public Health staff. It will give them clear direction about what they need to do (and for how long), and will communicate the critical importance of complying with these directions.

While the vast majority of people who have or may have COVID-19, as well as their close contacts, have been compliant with instructions from public health authorities to self-isolate, there are individuals who do not take these measures seriously enough or whose life circumstances make it difficult to comply. Halton Region Public Health is available to provide support to those who need assistance. However, this class order is a legal tool to help us ensure that everyone who needs to self-isolate, complies with that direction.
COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton increased by 11 from at 595 to 606 (including 1 pending) with 3 new confirmed cases in Oakville from 199 to 202.

There was 1 reported recovery in Oakville, from 170 to 171 . That leaves 31 active cases in Oakville.
As of 11 a.m. Friday, the health units had reported a total of 25,826 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,091 deaths.

The total of 415 new confirmed and probable cases reported since the same time Thursday was once again up from recent daily averages, another sign a province-wide decline in infections since has slowed, or even reversed in recent days. There were 23 deaths reported.

There are now 81,765 confirmed cases with 6,180 deaths in Canada. 41,986 cases have recovered, this represents 51 per cent of cases

Visit https://art-bd.shinyapps.io/covid19canada/ for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map
Deaths per million around the globe and close to home
Testing:
Federal Government promises testing assistance
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government  will fund provinces’ efforts  to test people for COVID-19, track the contacts of those who test positive, and help different jurisdictions share data.

Trudeau says the measures are essential because COVID-19 remains a serious health threat and the economy can’t fully recover until Canadians are confident that the novel coronavirus will be contained anywhere new it breaks out.

He says federal contact-tracers are helping public health authorities in Ontario and are ready to make thousands more calls a day when any province asks.
Doug Ford promises new COVID-19 testing plan as more people come up positive
Frustrated yet again with continuing shortfalls in Ontario’s COVID-19 testing, Premier Doug Ford is promising a new plan next week aimed at workers on-the-job and people without symptoms.

Click the image to read the full story.
Ontario should start testing asymptomatic people for COVID-19, infectious disease expert says
Ontario’s decision not to test asymptomatic people for COVID-19 infections is a policy that the province should consider changing and soon, a Toronto-based infectious disease specialist tells CP24.

The provincial government recently announced that it would be opening up testing to all people experiencing symptoms of the virus, a directive Dr. Isaac Bogoch suggests is long overdue.

Could the public be to blame for the lack of coronavirus testing in Ontario?
The Ontario government has been under fire for not reaching its daily benchmark for  coronavirus  testing often enough, but health officials have now hinted that the public may also share the blame.

Halton and Oakville news:
Town of Oakville to resume intake of marriage licence applications by appointment only
In an effort to gradually bring back services to our community in a safe and responsible way, the town will resume its marriage licence application process at Town Hall, with health and safety protocols, and some restrictions in place. Licences will be issued by appointment only, with only one applicant permitted to attend the appointment.

Starting Monday, May 25, soon-to-be newlyweds can contact the Clerk’s department and make arrangements to obtain a marriage licence in person. Appointments will be available in limited capacity on Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information about the town’s marriage licence application intake service, and to submit an appointment request, visit oakville.ca .
Community clean up to resume
With the appropriate precautions and adherence to social distancing requirements and congregation limits, our enthusiastic community groups can restart their efforts to assist in the annual spring clean up.

Booking Pick Up of Supplies
Starting on Monday, May 25, 2020, a group representative or a Ward Councillor on behalf of a group(s) can contact Mike Viles, Parks and Open Space at mike.viles@oakville.ca to place an order for gloves and bags and book an appointment for curbside or in person pick-up at Town Hall. The pick up will be scheduled Monday – Friday 10:00- 2:00. In the email, the representative needs to specify the following:

  • Number and size of gloves;
  • Number of bags; and
  • Pick up option- curbside or in Town Hall at the screening table.


Arrangements for Bag Pick-Up
The group representative will contact Mike Viles at mike.viles@oakville.ca within 24 hours of completing the clean up to advise of the boulevard location including intersection and/or street where the bags have been placed. We ask for cooperation on the 24 hour deadline to minimize the possibility of other garbage being dumped there as well.

We really appreciate the community efforts to make our community beautiful and safe, never more so than this year. Every effort has impact. Many thanks on behalf of the Parks and Open Space team.
A reminder of what’s open, what will open soon, and what’s closed
Town staff have diligently been working to completed reopening of more outdoor amenities. Now open are:
  • All town-owned leash-free dog parks and their parking lots.
  • Parking lots at popular waterfront parks: Tannery and Waterworks Park; Gairloch Gardens; Coronation Park and South Shell Park.
  • Busby canoe and kayak launch ramp.
  • Publicly accessible multi-use sport-fields (areas not locked and enclosed with fencing) are open to individuals and for casual play.
  • Skateboard parks.
  • Tennis and pickleball courts. With the exception of Trafalgar Park which will open early next week; and William Rose and Fowley Park(s) parks which are under construction by developers.
  • Park greenspaces, community gardens, town-owned cemeteries, boat storage facilities, the Bronte public boat launch ramp, and canoe and kayak launches in Bronte and Coronation Park.
  • Picnic tables and benches are opening this week. Basketball courts are being prepared to open late next week.

Please note own public washrooms remain closed at this time.
Canada cities and towns are confident that Justin Trudeau will send financial help
There’s been no firm promises of financial aid yet but municipal and transit officials are optimistic that Ottawa and the provinces will ride to the rescue to stave off ruinous cuts.

Click the image to read the full story
Ontario
Provincial Government announcements
The province is investing in Ontario's first Virtual Action Centre, an online counselling and training portal, to support laid off and unemployed hospitality workers, and is helping apprentices by providing grants to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools.

The government is providing an Ontario Tools Grant of $2.5 million in 2020-21 and $7.5 million in 2021-22 and ongoing. This will help new eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers. The funding amounts will be distributed as follows:
  • $1,000 for those in motive power sector trades;
  • $600 for those in construction and industrial sector trades;
  • $400 for those in service sector trades.

To be eligible for the new grant, apprentices must have:
  • completed level 1 training on or after April 1, 2020;
  • an active registered training agreement; and
  • been registered as an apprentice for at least 12 months.

The government is also forgiving more than $10 million in outstanding loans owed by apprentices for tool purchases made at the beginning of their careers. The Loans for Tools Program allowed thousands of new apprentices to buy tools, equipment, clothing, manuals and code books required for their trade. About 19,000 apprentices who participated in the program owed, on average, $495.

The government is also investing nearly $2 million to open a Virtual Action Centre in partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75. This virtual job training resource will provide up to 7,000 unemployed workers in the hospitality sector with access to a wide range of services and supports online and over the phone, including:
  • Stress management and mental health resources through video conferencing;
  • Immediate health and safety online training for workers who return to work at designated quarantined sites;
  • Technical skills online training;
  • Online training to upgrade English language and digital skills;
  • Peer group facilitation and employment preparation through videoconferencing.

UNITE HERE will operate the Virtual Action Centre. UNITE HERE is a union that represents workers in hotels, restaurants, racetracks and casinos, laundry and food service companies, airport concessions and apparel, textile and general manufacturing and distribution centers.
Ontario Makes it Easier to Conduct Business during COVID-19
The Provincial Government is permitting Ontario corporations to conduct virtual meetings and to defer certain annual meetings in specified circumstances and is allowing the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of documents, electronic signatures on documents, and electronic filing of documents. These changes are part of  COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act , 2020.

Additionally, the  COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act , 2020 will permanently allow the Ministry to accept copies of documents signed by electronic signature, providing greater flexibility to businesses moving forward.

Ontario can’t say where more than two-thirds of COVID-19 cases originate on any given day
As Ontario begins to reopen and works to contain the spread of  COVID-19 , one aspect of the fight has proved troublingly evasive.

On any given day in the past month, the province hasn’t been able to account for the source of exposure for more than two-thirds of reported cases of the virus. This is because the cases are due to community spread — where the source has been determined to be “unknown” — or they are still being investigated by local public health units.

Ontario’s difficulty in tracking down this information stands in sharp contrast to other provinces, namely British Columbia and Alberta, which have been able to follow the virus better, contain it and ease lockdowns faster.

Ontario needs to speed up contact tracing
As the medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital, Dr. Michael Warner has treated dozens of patients hardest hit by the illness. So many, in fact, that he now feels confident diagnosing them without waiting for their swab results.

But as the weeks have passed in this pandemic, with Ontario now reopening various businesses, the Toronto physician has grown concerned people who've been in contact with COVID-positive individuals aren't hearing from public health officials in a timely fashion.

Canada
Poloz rejects ‘dire’ forecasts, says economy will rebound quickly
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz believes Canada’s economy remains on track for a healthy recovery this year from the COVID-19 crisis, despite the steady flow of discouraging economic headlines in recent weeks.
Canada is reopening without knowing where Canadians are getting COVID-19
Canada is emerging from months of lockdown, but key questions remain unanswered about where Canadians are getting infected with COVID-19 and why case levels remain high in our hardest-hit provinces.

Ontario and Quebec have seen their rate of new cases plateau in recent weeks, still in the hundreds each day, and have little information on the source of infection or what effect reopening will have. 

The paradox of prevention  
By avoiding the worst, we remain vulnerable to future waves of disease.

Click the image to read the full story
International:
China abandons economic figures, signals grim future for workers
China has paid a steep price for the pandemic that began within its borders, and it’s now abandoning specific economic targets for the coming year, providing the strongest signal yet that government planners don’t expect economic difficulties to ease any time soon.

Click the image to read the story.
In other COVID-related news:
Coronavirus ‘does not spread easily’ by touching surfaces or objects, CDC now says. But it still ‘may be possible’
British researchers aim to immunize more than 10,000

Drug touted by Trump tied to increase risk of death in COVID-19 patients, study finds

Ontario PC caucus pushes for restaurant patio expansion

Opinion: We are infectious disease experts. It’s time to lift COVID-19 lockdowns

U.S. planning massive coronavirus vaccine testing effort to meet year-end deadline

Upcoming events:
Run4Lighthouse ‘5kAnyWay’  
Celebrate community during these difficult times.

Join the virtual  Run4Lighthouse ‘5kAnyWay’  – walk, run, bike, swim, dress up…be creative! Nominate others to join the challenge and help raise essential funds to meet the growing needs for grief support. Complete the challenge between now and June 10th, register today at  www.run4lh.com!
The MS Walk has gone virtual, join Sunday, May 24 as #WeChallengeMS.

Walking and being part of the MS Walk is an annual tradition for many, and this MS Awareness Month is no different. On Sunday, May 24, #WeChallengeMS together and turn your ordinary walk into an extraordinary action.

Rally together as the MS community and create positive change through the first ever virtual MS Walk.
Walk to end ALS
The virtual edition of the Walk to End ALS event will take place June 21. ALS partner, Brain Canada, is offering a dollar for dollar match of up to $1 million to invest in promising ALS research.

What's on at the OPL
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 is all about  Storytelling  (wait list only) and Thursday will be a special  Show and Tell with Journey the Support Dog , in partnership with Halton Regional Police Services. Limited spaces.  Register


Wednesday, May 20 • 3 pm
Adult Book Club: Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
Our Virtual Adult Book Club meets every Wednesday!
Join us on  Zoom  (Meeting ID: 925 2252 2308 | Password: 003324) or call 1-647-558-0588.  Details


Thursday, May 21 • 11 am
Let’s Talk About ... Books, Movies and More: Travel
This week, we'll discuss our favourite books, movies, podcasts, and more that relate to travel! "Let's Talk About" are weekly, virtual sessions that explore different themes in arts, culture and literature.
Join us on  Zoom  (Meeting ID: 941 1022 3092 | Password: 009506) or call 1-647-558-0588.  Details


Thursday, May 21 • 12:30 pm
Small Business Meetup
Connect with others in the Oakville small business community and share your experience with running a business during this time. 
Join us on  Zoom  (Meeting ID: 969 6022 2539) or call 1-647-374-4685.  Details


Friday, May 22 • 10 am
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: 940 3637 9535, Password: Hive) or call 1-647-558-0588.  Details


Fridays and Saturdays • 10 am
Family Storytime on YouTube 
Follow  OPL on YouTube  and enjoy Family Storytime, both live and pre-recorded. On Fridays, we host Live storytimes and on Saturdays, we upload new, pre-recorded stories — both at 10 am, and by OPL staff. 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 .


Tuesdays
Stories by Phone
Pre-recorded adult and children's stories now easily accessible by calling 905-815-2041.


Daily
Virtual Tech Help
Book a virtual one-on-one session for basic technology assistance. Limited sessions.  Register  
Note:  Dates and times are subject to change without notice. Visit  opl.ca/programs  for up-to-date information.
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.

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. 

Schedule
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