Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Wednesday, May 27 COVID-19 emergency
On Monday afternoon Town Council unanimously passed a motion to implement the Commercial Recovery Initiative that will permit commercial services outdoors, including expanded patio service when the Provincial order is lifted; along with other measures to help local businesses. The measures in the Commercial Recovery Initiative will support the town-wide reopening of commercial businesses in a practical manner that supports the safety of the community, employees and members of the public.

Town Council and Oakville’s Economic Task Force are working proactively to identify opportunities to support small businesses and restaurants. Converting available outdoor space to allow customers to shop or dine, while following proper physical distancing, will restore confidence in in-person shopping and dining when the provincial order allows restaurants to restore their full services.

In line with recommendations from our local BIAs, the Town will also be waiving the municipal portion of patio and bistro application fees. We know restaurants have been among the hardest hit as a result of the emergency order relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and we will continue to do everything we can to support our local restaurants who are an essential part of our community and local economy.

I will also be writing to the Province to request that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission start processing applications in anticipation of provincial restrictions being lifted, streamline its application process and waive any provincial fees for restaurants and small businesses.

This is just one of the initiatives, I, Town Council, Town Staff and my Economic Task Force have been working on as we plan recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Scroll to the end of this email to see an updated timeline of all our initiatives and more.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • COVID-19 deaths per million
  • Public Health Officers sign off on thresholds
  • COVID-19 in Ontario is now primarily a Toronto-area problem, figures show
  • Dangerous blood clots pose a perplexing coronavirus threat
  • Town of Oakville news
  • Splash pads, pools remain closed
  • Summer programming under review
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Ontario extends emergency orders
  • Ontario taking over management of some Ontario homes, Military to stay on
  • Ontario issues special orders to approve developers' plans and quash opposition
  • Federal Government Announcements
  • PM to address economic devastation caused by COVID-19 in meeting
  • PM to discuss long-term care facilities with premiers
  • Hybrid House of Commons sittings begins today
  • Health Canada announces another step to accelerate access to health products for COVID-19
  • With zero COVID deaths, Vietnam sets the standard in the COVID-19 fight
  • Spike in South Korea virus cases shows perils of reopening
  • In other COVID-related news
  • nearly a quarter of Canadian manufacturers now making COVID-19 safety supplies
  • Signs Ontario testing numbers could be on the rise
  • Editorial: Toronto Star, other properties, to change hands
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COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton remain at 623 (with 2 pending confirmed cases). With 0 new confirmed cases in Oakville, total remains at 208.

There were 3 reported recoveries in Oakville, from 183 to 186 and 16 recoveries in Halton Region. 

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Ontario’s regional health units are reported a total of 27,823 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,193 deaths.

There are now 86,939 cases in Canada, including 6,671 deaths. 45,766 or 53% of cases have now recovered.
Visit https://art-bd.shinyapps.io/covid19canada/ for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map
COVID-19 deaths per million
Public Health Officers sign off on thresholds
Later this week Ontario’s medical officers of health will announce a set of specific data-based thresholds signed off by all 34 medical officers of health in the province. It will provide real benchmarks that medical officers of health can use if they feel the need to slow things down. It is speed limits, and a steering wheel.


Documents obtained by The Globe and Mail show that all the province’s 34 regional medical officers of health have agreed on a list of potential targets for infection rates and other criteria and have submitted their plan to the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, David Williams.
The criteria are much more detailed and specific than the broad strokes the provincial government outlined in its own reopening framework, released last month.

COVID-19 in Ontario is now primarily a Toronto-area problem, figures show
Toronto and its surrounding cities account for a disproportionately high number of Ontario's new cases of COVID-19, according to a CBC News analysis of provincial data on novel coronavirus infections.

In relation to other regions in the GTHA, Halton fairs well when comparing COVID cases and deaths. Information as of May 25.
Dangerous blood clots pose a perplexing coronavirus threat
Blood clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks and dangerous blockages in the legs and lungs are increasingly being found in COVID-19 patients, including some children. Even tiny clots that can damage tissue throughout the body have been seen in hospitalized patients and in autopsies, confounding doctors' understanding of what was once considered mainly a respiratory infection.

Oakville
Town of Oakville news
Splash pads remain closed
With the summer-like weather this week, many residents have been asking when splash pads will reopen. For the past several years, we have opened them on June 7 or 8 so the high temperatures this week have come early. Splash pads are still closed under the province’s emergency order so we are reminding our community that we cannot reopen until the provincial restrictions are lifted.

Pools also remain closed. "As a swimmer, I know how important our pools are to you, and we will be ready to reopen our pools just as soon as the Premier removes his order keeping them closed for safety," Mayor Rob Burton said. "We are proactively consulting public health authorities about pools and COVID-19 to be sure we're prepared."

Summer programming under review
The Town is looking at options for summer programming while waiting for guidelines from the province. Providing this service is very complex and will include extensive provincial safety regulations. As such, we have not cancelled summer programming yet and are going through a thorough service review process so options are ready for new program offerings that consider a multitude of safety and resourcing implications.

Ontario
Provincial Government announcements
Ontario extends emergency orders
The Ontario government continues to protect the health and safety of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak by extending all emergency orders in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Current emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, public swimming pools and outdoor water facilities, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery. Additionally, there continues to be restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules remain in place for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women's shelters.
The following emergency orders have been extended until June 9, 2020:

The following orders have also been extended:

Ontario taking over management of some Ontario homes, Military to stay on
Ontario is taking over management of four of the five long-term care homes that were the subject of a Canadian Armed Forces report that the premier has called “horrific.”

Premier Doug Ford also says the government will be conducting “extremely rigorous” inspections of those homes, as well as 13 others facing challenges managing COVID-19, and will be doing random spot checks across the province.

He says Ontario is fully prepared to pull operating licences and shut down facilities if necessary, or take over management at more homes.

Ford says the province has started the takeover process at Eatonville Care Centre, Hawthorne Place Care Centre, Altamont Care Community, Orchard Villa, as well as Camilla Care Community, which was not in the report, but has seen 61 residents die during a COVID-19 outbreak.

The premier also says he is expediting an independent commission into long-term care and is hopeful it will be established in July.

Ford also said Canadian Armed Forces will stay on till June 12 in five homes. 

Ontario issues special orders to approve developers’ plans and quash opposition
Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has issued a series of special orders to approve a handful of plans from prominent Toronto-area developers and quash any potential opposition, saying the projects are needed to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Known as minister’s zoning orders (MZO), they allow Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark to make a final ruling on how a piece of land is used in the province with no appeals, such as those from citizens or environmental groups before Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Canada
Federal Government announcements
PM to discuss long-term care facilities with premiers
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he plans to discuss conditions in long-term care facilities with Canada’s premiers in light of reports of neglect and abuse of seniors in facilities in Quebec and Ontario.

Trudeau says the immediate priority is ensuring seniors living in these centres are getting proper care as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage.

He said he is open to having conversations about larger changes that might be necessary to improve elder care across Canada, but he does not wish to “short circuit” those conversations with”aggressive proposals” right now.

Everything is on the table as part of those discussions, Trudeau said, but he also stressed that he respects and recognize that provinces have jurisdiction over delivery of long-term care.

Trudeau was reacting to a report from the Canadian Forces that detailed conditions they found in five long-term care homes in Ontario, as well as a similar report released this morning on nursing homes in Quebec.

Hybrid House of Commons sittings begins today
Members of Parliament will make history today as a few dozen of them gather in the House of Commons, where they’ll be joined by the other 300-odd MPs participating via videoconference.

The new hybrid of in-person and virtual proceedings goes into effect today after the NDP  joined forces Tuesday evening with the Liberals to waive normal sittings  of the House of Commons for another four months while the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis.

Health Canada announces another step to accelerate access to health products for COVID-19
As of May 27, 2020, Health Canada has approved 37 clinical trials for potential Covid-19 therapies and vaccines. To accelerate these efforts, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, has authorized the following change for a more flexible process for clinical trials related to Covid-19, without compromising the safety of participants or the reliability of trials’ findings:
  • Allow a wider range of health professionals, such as nurse practitioners, to be involved in running clinical trials. Under current regulations, only physicians and dentists can conduct clinical trials for drugs.
  • Allow a wider range of investigators, such as physicians, to be involved in running clinical trials for medical devices. Under current regulations, only manufacturers can conduct clinical trials for medical devices.
  • Reduce the burden associated with labelling and record-keeping requirements for clinical trials involving drugs that are already marketed for other indications and are being studied to treat Covid-19.
  • Enable multiple-stream clinical trials to continue even when one stream has been stopped.
  • Enable more clinical trials by allowing trials where direct interaction with the participant is not feasible, for example when participants who live in remote locations are unable to travel.

International
Spike in South Korea virus cases shows perils of reopening
As Mediterranean beaches and Las Vegas casinos laid out plans to welcome tourists again, South Korea announced a spike in new infections Wednesday and considered reimposing social distancing restrictions, revealing the setbacks ahead for others on the road to reopening.

With zero pandemic deaths, Vietnam sets the standard for COVID-19 fight
The Vietnamese government cracked down on the coronavirus early with quarantines, contact tracing and savvy social-media campaigns to educate the public. It’s been almost a month since the country’s lockdown lifted, and things are returning to normal.

In other COVID-related news:
From masks to sanitizer, nearly a quarter of Canadian manufacturers now making COVID-19 safety supplies, survey finds

Ontario’s testing numbers have plummeted. There are signs that might be changing

Editorial: Toronto Star, other properties to change hands
As TorStar’s Chair of the Board John Honderich wrote today , it’s time to pass the torch.

The Toronto Star along with the Hamilton Spectator, Waterloo Region Record, St. Catharines Standard, three other dailies, some 70 community papers and a host of digital and special investments are being sold to Toronto entrepreneurs Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett of NordStar Capital.

As a former TorStar employee I recognize the time is right for the change.

In a video on their website, Bitove and Rivett confirm that journalism is more important now than ever. It’s a statement I couldn’t agree with more. The pair have charged former Premier David Peterson with managing the journalistic integrity of the publications and they mention their commitment to community, which I’m hopeful will bode well for community papers, such as the Oakville Beaver here.

As I work on Mayor Burton’s eNewsletter each day, compiling the news that Oakville residents will find most important and other bits that will be interesting and perhaps helpful, I am reminded how important journalism – real journalism – is. There’s too much disinformation and too many people who write stories without all the facts, without the training and experience to relay the information that matters.

Journalism is more important now than ever and I’m hopeful, as my former colleagues are, that this torch is being passed at the right time, to the right people.

Christine Davis
Community Engagement and Communications Coordinator
Office of the Mayor & Council
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 
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.
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