Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Tuesday, May 26 COVID-19 emergency
Today's biggest news comes from Ontario's long-term care facilities, which have been exposed, thanks to a report from the Canadian military, for their lack of care.

Hundreds of Canadian Armed Forces have been helping at some of the province's hardest-hit care facilities for weeks, with more than two-dozen contracting coronavirus during their service, before today's report was released.

The details are horrific. Doug Ford says it's the most difficult thing he's had to read as the Premier and Justin Trudeau says the report left him saddened and infuriated.

At one home, the military reported “significant” fecal contamination in resident rooms, cockroach infestations, residents not being bathed for weeks, and some crying out for help for more than two hours.

Residents at another home were bed-bound for weeks, with a “significant” number having pressure ulcers. Due to severe staffing issues, “most” residents were not receiving three meals a day, the report alleges.

Premier Doug Ford said police will be asked to look at coroner’s reports on nursing home deaths in case criminal charges are warranted. 

No doubt thousands of families will now be even more concerned about the care of their loved ones as a result of the report that is indeed a wake-up call for how we care for our elderly and most vulnerable citizens.

You can read more about what the Province will be doing as a result below.

This report feels like a setback in the COVID-19 pandemic journey, but as a reminder of how far we've come, and where we are headed in the recovery in the weeks to come, please scroll to the end of this email for a detailed timeline.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • COVID-19 deaths per million
  • Testing in Halton
  • WHO warns first wave isn't over
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Ontario takes action to investigate worst hit long-term care homes
  • Ontario won't specify COVID-19 'hotspots'
  • Better testing, tracing needed
  • Federal Government Announcements
  • PM to address economic devastation caused by COVID-19 in meeting
  • DND launches a call to innovative thinkers
  • Government of Canada enhances Youth Employment and Skills Program
  • PM announces mask contract, PPE on the way
  • MP Anita Anand makes testing announcement
  • Ottawa to endorse single contact tracing app
  • COVID-19 disinformation being spread by Russia, China
  • U.S. drugmaker unveils coronavirus treatment plan
  • Other COVID-related news
  • Social distancing vs. social bubbles
  • Can you get COVID-19 through the ventilation in your home?
  • Slow return for Canada's dental offices as pandemic restrictions ease
  • How the pandemic impacted post-secondary students’ work placements
  • Ways to cope with kids home for another three months
  • How to safely shop
  • Can you spread coronavirus by handling store merchandise?
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COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton increased by  from 619 to  623  (including 2 pending) with  new confirmed cases in Oakville from 204 to  208.
 
There were 5 reported recoveries in Oakville, from 178 to  183 . That leaves just 25 active cases in Oakville.
Ontario reported  287 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday , bringing the province's total to 26,191, with 19,958 considered recovered or resolved.

As of 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Canada had 86,614 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 45,259 of those considered 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
Testing in Halton
To schedule a COVID-19 test at a Priority Testing and Assessment Centre, please call 905-203-7963 for an appointment.
 
For your safety, walk-ins are not accepted and an appointment must be made to help with scheduling.
WHO warns that first wave of coronavirus pandemic not over
As Brazil and India struggle with surging coronavirus cases, a top health expert is warning that the world is still very much in the middle of the outbreak, dampening hopes for a speedy global economic rebound and renewed international travel.

"Right now, we're not in the second wave. We're right in the middle of the first wave globally," said Dr. Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization's executive director.

"We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up."

Ontario
Provincial Government announcements
Ontario takes action to investigate worst hit long-term care homes
Today, the Ontario government outlined key findings from the Canadian Armed Forces report on the five long-term care homes at which the military has been assisting. The report details serious concerns around infection prevention, safety, staffing and level of care. The report also indicates that these five homes are beginning to stabilize with the support of the armed forces.

"The health and safety of the residents and staff in our long-term care homes is our number one priority. It is clear the long-term care system in Ontario must be fixed," said Premier Ford. "The report from the Canadian Armed Forces on these five long-term care homes is extremely troubling. Our government will take immediate action to investigate the concerns raised by the Canadian Armed Forces to ensure the safety of our residents in these five long-term care homes and in homes across the province."

On April 22, the Ontario government formally requested assistance from the federal government in the form of the Canadian Armed Forces to support five long-term care homes that were in crisis. These homes were amongst the hardest hit in Ontario with COVID-19 outbreaks and had significant challenges that could not be rectified through various efforts. Those challenges included: staffing, infection prevention and control, resident safety, food preparation and janitorial services.

On May 10, the Canadian Armed Forces reported 15 out of 20 categories being in high-risk. As of May 25, based on the Canadian Armed Forces assessment, 13 of these 15 categories were no longer considered high-risk.
The Ontario government is once again calling on the federal government and the Canadian Armed Forces to extend their current mission for at least an additional 30 days.

"Thank you to the brave women and men in our Canadian Armed Forces who have helped immensely to stabilize our hardest hit long-term care homes," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. "We are continuing to take action to ensure our most vulnerable people living in our long-term care homes receive safe and quality care."

The government has already begun an active investigation based on the Canadian Armed Forces report. To date, one death has been referred to the Office of the Chief Coroner for investigation. In addition to continued regular inspections, the Ministry of Long-Term Care Inspections Branch will immediately investigate specific critical incidents referred to in the report.

In addition, the government recently announced it will be launching an independent commission into Ontario's long-term care system beginning in September. The government also continues to work with hospital partners to assist long-term care homes across the province with clinical, infection prevention and control, and other supports.
Ontario won't specify COVID-19 'hotspots'
Premier Doug Ford is pleading with people who live in Ontario’s COVID-19 “hotspots” to get tested for the virus — but officials won’t specify which neighbourhoods have been hardest hit.

Better COVID-19 testing and tracing needed
Ontario Premier Doug Ford seems to rule out “two tier” reopening plans for different parts of Ontario.

Canada
Federal Government announcements
PM to address economic devastation caused by COVID-19 in meeting
The Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and Andrew Holness of Canada and Jamaica, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a special high-level meeting on 28 May to advance concrete solutions to the development emergency caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic.

The Event, which will be virtual, will open with a High-Level Segment in which Heads of State and Government will express their commitment to decisively facilitate global solutions to address the global economic crisis and its effects on the most vulnerable.

A High-Level Panel of leaders from international institutions will discuss the challenges and opportunities to act quickly on the six issues:

  1. The need to expand liquidity in the global economy and maintain financial stability to safeguard development gains. 
  2. The need to address debt vulnerabilities for all developing countries to save lives and livelihoods for billions of people around the world. 
  3. The need to create a space in which private sector creditors can proactively engage in effective and timely solutions.
  4. Prerequisites for enhancing external finance for inclusive growth and creating jobs, including lowering the transactions costs of remittances.
  5. Measures to expand fiscal space and foster domestic resource mobilization by preventing illicit financial flows.
  6. Ensuring a sustainable and inclusive recovery by aligning recovery policies with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Following the Panel, the High-Level Response Segment among Heads of State and Government, and partners will continue.
DND launches a call to innovative thinkers
As part of the Federal Government’s commitment to refocus existing innovation programs to support the fight against the spread of COVID-19, the Department of National Defence (DND) announced the first of a series of calls for innovations aimed at addressing some of the key challenges Canada is facing.

With an initial commitment of $15M, the first three challenges focus on:
  • Viable and effective processes and methods for safely and rapidly decontaminating enclosed work environments (e.g., buildings and modes of transportation) containing sensitive equipment;
  • Innovative material and designs to aid in decontamination of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), operational clothing and equipment for personnel responding to events involving biological hazards; and
  • Data gathering solutions to support the early detection and community-based monitoring of outbreaks of contagious diseases.

These challenges were determined by multi-departmental panels led by the National Research Council of Canada as part of the COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program.
Government of Canada enhances Youth Employment and Skills Program
Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $9.2 million to enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) and fund up to 700 new positions for youth in the agriculture industry.

This additional funding will help the agriculture industry attract Canadian youth, ages 15 to 30, to their organizations to assist with labour shortages brought on by the pandemic. This program aims to provide youth, and particularly youth facing barriers to employment, with job experience in agriculture that will provide career-related work experience.
Trudeau announces mask contract, PPE on the way
Trudeau announces contract with GM to make 10 million masks to battle COVID-19. More new ventilators are also coming, the prime minister said. As of May 19, data posted by Public Services and Procurement Canada showed only a fraction of the millions of gloves, masks, face shields, ventilators and litres of hand sanitizer ordered by the federal government had so far been received.

MP Anita Anand makes testing announcement
Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement today announced a contract has been signed in New Brunswick to produce re-agents that would allow us to complete 500,000 test a week until March 2021.
Ottawa is working with domestic suppliers with capacity who have 3D printers to print for swabs and swab sterilizations and working closely with Health Canada in the area of rapid testing and serological testing to build a base supply.
Ottawa to endorse single contract tracing app
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's hoping Canada will adopt just one contact tracing app to encourage use across the country in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

International
COVID-19 disinformation spread by Russia, China
Russia and China are driving an online wave of disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, say experts.

Some of the disinformation circulating online amounts to conspiracy theories about the origins of the virus — claims that it was invented in a lab or brought to China by U.S. soldiers, for example.

Some of it involves false reports that experts say could end up harming people — the claim that handwashing doesn't help to prevent the spread of COVID-19, for example, or that the virus doesn't affect smokers.

U.S. drugmaker unveils coronavirus treatment plan
Merck & Co. moved to bolster the global fight against the coronavirus, unveiling development plans for a pill to the treat the infection and two vaccines to prevent it.

The U.S. drugmaker bought rights to develop a promising antiviral discovered at Emory University and will work with partners to advance candidate vaccines based on the technology behind Ebola and measles immunizations, according to statements on Tuesday.
In other COVID-related news:
Social distancing vs. social bubbles
Why some provinces are choosing bubbles over distance and how long we’ll have to wait to find out how last weekend’s mass gathering at Trinity Bellwoods Park.


Can you get COVID-19 through the ventilation in your home?
Whether someone can contract the virus through the air is one question that keeps cropping up, especially among those living in multi-unit dwellings concerned about the possibility of getting sick through shared air ducts and ventilation systems.


Slow return for Canada's dental offices as pandemic restrictions ease
As dental offices start to reopen across the country, they are concerned about having sufficient protective gear and protocols to safely see patients, and seeing enough of them so they can keep the office running.

 
How the pandemic impacted post-secondary students’ work placements
Co-op placements, internships, practicums and residencies are valuable forms of work experience for post-secondary students in Canada. But for this year’s students, COVID-19 has put a halt to many of these opportunities.

 
Ways to cope with kids home for another three months
For many families used to being partially occupied with homeschooling these last two months, the coming summer may prove extra challenging without that structure.


How to safely shop
As more retailers across Canada are given the green light by provincial governments to reopen, shoppers are being urged to protect themselves and those around them against COVID-19 by continuing to follow public health guidelines.


Can you spread coronavirus by handling store merchandise?
Are masks required? Can you try things on? A look at the guidelines — or lack thereof — for retailers as stores begin to reopen in Ontario.
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