Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Monday, May 25 COVID-19 emergency
Today I salute Paramedics as we celebrate Paramedic Services Week. These frontline workers are always an important and integral part of the health and safety of our community and this year even more so. here in Halton a designated team has been trained to do coronavirus testing in retirement and long-term care facilities and they've been meticulously and safely testing all residents to help flatten the curve. Thank you to our entire paramedic services team for all you do.

Once again today testing is amongst the hottest COVID topics. Mixed messaging from the Province has people unsure if they should be self-isolating, going for tests or if they will even be granted a test.

Today in Council, a resolution on expanded COVID-19 testing capacity in Ontario was unanimously passed by Town Council. The resolution, which welcomed Premier Ford's remarks yesterday encouraging Ontarians without symptoms who may have been exposed to COVID-19 to get tested at a provincial assessment centre, supports efforts by the Province of Ontario and the Region of Halton to implement mass COVID-19 testing and contact tracing and called for the Province of Ontario’s new testing strategy to include financial support for local public health units, adequate resources for testing and contact tracing, testing targets and benchmarks.

As we progress through the COVID-19 pandemic I encourage you to see how far we've come, and take a look at what's ahead, by scrolling to the end of this email for an updated timeline.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • COVI-19 deaths per million
  • Our current approach to COVID-19 won't work as well for a second wave
  • Town of Oakville news
  • Town takes measured approach to reopen services and programs
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Hospitals Assume Management of Two Long-Term Care Homes
  • Volunteers and Small Businesses Step Up to Help Those in Need
  • Ford makes public plea to 'please go get tested'
  • Ontario to maintain group size restrictions
  • Why hasn't Doug Ford instituted a ban on evictions to save small businesses?
  • Let the commercial rent relief applications begin...we hope
  • Federal Government announcements
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance now open for applications
  • Hotline provides small businesses in need with financial planning advice amid COVID-19
  • Essential workers exempt from mandatory self-isolation
  • Trudeau says government looking at both short- and long-term sick leave options
  • Canadian Business Resiliency Network launches Small Business Relief Fund
  • In other news
  • Ford Assembly Plant resumes production
  • Feeling overwhelmed by lockdown decisions
  • Rethinking sick day policies
  • Toronto forced to contemplate service cuts without federal, provincial funding
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COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton increased by 13 over the weekend from 606 to 619 (including 1 pending) with 2 new confirmed cases in Oakville from 202 Friday to 204.

There were 7 reported recoveries in Oakville, from 170 to 178 . That leaves just 26 active cases in Oakville.

Oakville's community transmission rate holds stead at 31 per cent as pictured below.
Provincial health officials  logged 404 new cases of the novel coronavirus  and 29 more deaths on Monday, bringing the total number of patients in Ontario to 25,904, including 2,102 deaths and 19,698 recoveries. This was the fifth day in a row that Ontario’s new cases have been more than 400.

According to Friday’s epidemiologic summary, eight of Ontario’s deceased COVID-19 patients were between the ages of 20 and 39. There have been no deaths recorded in people 19 years of age or younger. Eighty-five of all deceased patients in the province were between the ages of 40 and 59 and 544 people were between the ages of 60 and 79. People 80 years of age or older continue to be the hardest hit age group with 1,465.

There are currently 859 people infected with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals. Of those patients, 148 of them are being treated in the intensive care unit.

According to the province, there have been 295 outbreaks of the disease at long-term care homes, 123 at retirement homes and 82 at hospitals.

In Ontario, 4,415 health-care workers have become infected with COVID-19.

There are 85,103 confirmed cases of COVID-19 that have been reported in Canada with 6,453 deaths. 44,219 or 52 per cent of cases have recovered.
Visit https://art-bd.shinyapps.io/covid19canada/ for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map
COVID-19 deaths per million
Our current approach to COVID-19 won’t work as well for a second wave. We must prepare now
Since the crisis erupted, leaders have focused on preparing for an outbreak and on managing emergency events as they transpired. Some have even considered how to recalibrate once the crisis is over.

But the problem is that not nearly enough attention has been given to where many jurisdictions are now, which we call “Stage 3” – the prolonged in-between phase after the escalation and emergency periods but before the pandemic is resolved.

Halton and Oakville news:
Town takes measured approach to reopen services and programs  
Today at Council I shared the COVID-19 Recovery Program, Strategy and Framework, which serves as a guiding document for detailed plans being developed to support reopening and recovery.
 
This framework will help us navigate how Oakville moves forward and recovers from the impacts of COVID-19 in a way that is safe and efficient. Work is underway and staff teams are already engaged in recovery planning to ensure the town is prepared to restore services and respond to community needs as we move beyond the crisis stage while maintaining the health and safety of our staff and our community.
 
On April 27, the Province announced a three-stage gradual approach (Select Opening, Further Opening and Full Opening) to reopening Ontario, with appropriate measures in place to ensure public and worker safety. The town’s approach to responsibly reopen services aligns with the Province. Oakville’s Recovery Framework takes a coordinated and systematic approach to reintroducing services to the community with four key principles driving each individual “Return to Service” plan:
 
  • Safety – the town will follow the federal, provincial and regional health and safety guidelines to protect staff and the public before authorizing the return of a service.
  • Speed – the town will review a number of criteria needed to return a service as quickly as possible.
  • Benefit – the town will assess how returning a service will support the community’s overall economic recovery and if the service will benefit a wide range of users.
  • Betterment – where possible, the town will take the opportunity to review how to deliver a service differently to support efficiency or financial sustainability.
 
The town is well positioned to respond to changes in provincial emergency orders to allow services to resume and amenities to reopen. The following highlights some of the town’s recovery actions already taken to date:
  • Launched comprehensive online processes to allow building and development projects to advance during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Reopened town community gardens under strict health and safety protocols.
  • Reopened park greenspace to expanded use beyond pass-through with provincial emergency order restrictions remaining in place.
  • Reopened cemeteries to visitors under provincial regulations.
  • Reopened marinas to boat owners to begin personal boat preparations
  • Reopened Bronte public boat ramp. Oakville Harbour public boat ramp to reopen in June once stored boats and docks are moved and in the water.
  • Reopened all town-owned leash-free dog parks and their parking lots as well as park amenities such as picnic tables, benches, tennis courts, pickleball courts, skateboard parks, waterfront park parking lots, and publicaly-accessible sports fields (for individual use)
  • Reopening basketball courts this week (week of May 25)
  • Resumed intake of marriage licence applications by appointment only.
  •  
While staff continue to proactively assess what services can safely resume and when, and what new protocols need to be in place, the town wants to remind residents that emergency measures, as well as health and safety protocols imposed by the province, the region and the town, are still in place.
Ontario
Provincial Government announcements
Hospitals Assume Management of Two Long-Term Care Homes
The Ministry of Long-Term Care has issued Mandatory Management Orders appointing local hospitals to temporarily manage two long-term care homes for 90 days. Southlake Regional Health Centre will temporarily manage River Glen Haven Nursing Home in Sutton and Humber River Hospital will temporarily manage Downsview Long Term Care in North York. The orders may be extended beyond the 90 days, if necessary.

Despite receiving hospital support for weeks, these homes have been unable to contain the spread of COVID-19. By taking these steps the government is enabling a rigorous management structure to help contain the spread of the disease and assist in returning these homes to normal operations.

"Our government is using every tool available to keep Ontarians safe, especially our most vulnerable people during this unprecedented time," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. "I am confident that the talented staff at these hospitals and long-term care homes will work together to contain COVID-19 and move beyond the crisis."

The Ministry of Long-Term Care will continue to make decisions on which long-term care homes may require additional management support on a case-by-case basis. The province is working with its health partners in addressing challenges in the long-term care sector by involving hospitals in deploying Infection Prevention and Control teams to homes, continued staff and resident testing, addressing personal protective equipment supply issues, and redeploying hospital staff to help with critical staffing shortages in long-term care homes.
Volunteers and Small Businesses Step Up to Help Those in Need
Ontario's volunteers and small businesses are rising to the challenge and helping seniors and other vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak. Thousands of people are generously giving their time and resources to make and deliver food, run errands, and check in on those who are self-isolating.

On April 9, the Provincial Government announced it was investing $100,000 in its partnership with  SPARK Ontario  to support Ontario’s first bilingual volunteer hub connecting volunteers with community organizations that support vulnerable Ontarians.

Volunteers are supporting seniors, people with disabilities and others in need as they stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak with food delivery, shopping for supplies, running errands, providing remote mental health and crisis support, and tutoring kids. Volunteers are also mentoring seniors on technology to ensure they are connected online, as well as providing mental health support to both seniors and people with disabilities by writing letters and poems.

The Provincial Government has partnered with the Older Adults Centres Association of Ontario to help implement the Seniors Centres Without Walls model of programming, where isolated seniors can participate in group programs over the phone. As of April 30, 2020, 35 programs have begun running in their communities.
Ford makes public plea to 'go get tested' after province misses target 7th straight day
Ontario Premier Doug Ford made a public plea on Sunday, asking people to "please go get a test" — even if they are asymptomatic — after the province fell short of its testing target for the seventh day in a row. 

"I am here to ask for your help today," Ford said on Sunday. "If you feel you need a test, you'll be able to get a test. So please don't wait." 

Ford touted the province's efforts to ramp up testing capacity at hospitals. He said Ontario has opened 129 COVID-19 assessment centres.

Ontario to maintain group size restrictions 
A recent uptick in positive cases and large group gatherings means Ontario will maintain some COVID-19 restrictions longer than initially planned.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province had been considering allowing groups of more than five people to gather in the near future, but those plans have temporarily been put aside.

Why hasn't Doug Ford instituted a ban on evictions to save small businesses?
Jon Shell: When the federal government first announced its intention to provide the CECRA rent relief program on Apr. 16, it provided much needed hope. But that hope has faded.

Let the commercial rent relief applications begin...we hope
Many small businesses have been anxiously awaiting today’s program going online.

Read Pattie Lovett-Reid’s take on it here
Canada
Federal Government announcements
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance now open for applications
Applications are now being accepted for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses.
Over the course of the program, property owners will reduce rent by at least 75 per cent for the months of April and May (retroactive), and June, for their small business tenants. CECRA will cover 50 per cent of the rent, with the tenant paying up to 25 per cent and the property owner forgiving at least 25 per cent.

Applying for CECRA makes financial sense for property owners, as their success depends on the success of their tenants. If a tenant declares bankruptcy and is evicted, the property owner receives zero rental income and faces additional costs while they search for new tenants. With this program, property owners will continue to receive income, and small business tenants will receive the help they need to recover and come back after the pandemic.

Ontario property owners can submit their applications according to the following timetable:
  • Tuesday, May 26: Property owners with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program.
  • Wednesday, May 27: All other property owners in Ontario.
  • Friday, May 29: All property owners across Canada.

Hotline provides small businesses in need with financial planning advice amid COVID-19
The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, today announced that the Federal Government will support the launch of a four-week hotline service called the Business Resilience Service.

This service will help entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of financial planning advice, particularly those who may not have access to an accountant. The service will also be open to not-for-profit organizations and charities.

The hotline is a national, bilingual service operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. As of today, small business owners with pressing financial needs can call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Essential workers exempt from mandatory self-isolation
 As more workplaces open, essential travel is expected to increase.

If you are returning to or entering Canada for essential work and have no COVID-19 symptoms, you may not need to self-isolate. Individuals are asked to monitor their health for 14 days after each entry and follow local public health guidance.
Trudeau says government looking at both short- and long-term sick leave options
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is talking to the provinces about bringing in 10 days of paid sick leave — a key condition from the NDP before supporting the Liberals' plan to further suspend the House of Commons during the coronoavirus pandemic. 

Canadian Business Resiliency Network launches Small Business Relief Fund
Today, the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) has announced the Small Business Relief Fund. It is a national initiative to provide small Canadian businesses with $10,000 grants to help in their COVID-19 recovery efforts. These grants are made possible by Salesforce. 

Applications for this grant opportunity will open June 1, 2020 and close June 12, 2020. 
Any business considering applying must hold a valid membership with a Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trade or any other business association that is a member of the CBRN.

In other COVID-related news:
Ford’s Oakville Assembly Plant resumed production today

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about your decisions as lockdown lifts you’re not alone

Going to work sick used to be a sign of loyalty, now companies need to rethink their policies
John Tory says Toronto is forced to contemplate devastating service cuts without federal, provincial funding

Upcoming events:
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  Space: Mars  and Thursday is  Hour of Code . Limited spaces.  Register

Wednesday, May 27 • 3 pm
Our Virtual Adult Book Club meets every Wednesday!
Join us on  Zoom  (Meeting ID: 940 1697 2667 | Password: 032097) or call 1-647-558-0588.  Details

Thursday, May 28  •  11 am
Join the Newcomer Information Center to learn all you need to know about the Canadian tax system.
Join us on  Zoom  (Meeting ID: 919 7683 7490) or call 1-647-558-0588. Password will be emailed to registrants.  Register

Thursday, May 28  •  11 am
Let's Talk About Books, Movies & More: British Fiction
This week, we'll discuss our favourite books, movies and more that relate to  British Fiction . "Let's Talk About" are weekly, virtual sessions that explore different themes in arts, culture and literature.
Join us on  Zoom  (Meeting ID: 958 1311 7884 | Password: 015050) or call 1-647-558-0588.  Details

Friday, May 29 • 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

Friday, May 29 • 1 pm
Jack Talk  -  A Virtual Mental Health Talk
Check out the  Virtual Jack Talk  hosted by Jack.org and then join us on Zoom at 1 pm for a discussion with  C MHA Halton and the Halton Community Services Directory who will be highlighting local youth resources that are available.  Register

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 .

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