Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Thursday, May 28 COVID-19 emergency
While the City of Toronto accounts for the most new COVID-19 cases in the province today, followed by Peel Region, here in Oakville we have just 18 active cases, which is proof that we’re doing our part in crushing the curve.

For the first time, Toronto has also released a “hot spot” map, showing which communities are most affected by COVID-19.

And as the GTA faces the still very real issue of COVID-19, in much of the rest of the province we’ve prepared our healthcare systems to handle the virus, which was the goal of lockdown at the onset. So, even should our numbers increase as we continue to reopen, we can handle it.

With that being said, I encourage you to please maintain physical distancing, don’t gather in groups outside of those in your household, wash your hands and wear a non-medical face mask when you’re out, if you can safely do so.

There’s been much talk about mandatory masks in the town and I prefer a lighter handed approach in which you do so by consent, not order. We know enough about coronavirus now to know that it’s spread even by those who don’t show symptoms. Wearing a non-medical mask won’t protect you from others, but it’s a sign of respect that you are protecting others. I regularly wear mine, even in situations where I know I can physically distance, for that very reason.

To hear more on this topic, as well as community cleanup initiatives, the reopening of washrooms and other town goings-on, you can watch this week's episode of Oakville Matters below.

Also below, read about how Ontario's public health units are protecting the regions, new openings in town and what you really need to know about hand sanitizer. And of course, scroll to the end of this email for the updated timeline of the COVID-19 emergency in our community and beyond.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • COVID-19 deaths per million
  • Ontario public health units acting to protect their regions
  • Toronto map shows hot spots for first time
  • Local issues addressed on Oakville Matters
  • Town of Oakville news
  • Final property tax installment
  • Basketball courts reopened
  • Misinformation surrounding hand sanitizer circulating
  • A note on washrooms
  • Municipalities still in need of government aid packages
  • YMCA of Oakville cancels summer camps
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Ontario Takes Further Action to Protect Seniors and Staff in Long-Term Care Homes during COVID-19 Outbreak
  • Ontario allows dozens of health-care providers, including dentists, to reopen
  • Ontario issues special orders to approve developers' plans and quash opposition
  • Federal Government Announcements
  • Governments and international organizations come together to address economic challenges and sustainability
  • PM wants employers to re-hire
  • Coronavirus milestones reached
  • In other COVID-related news
  • Everything you need to know about face masks
  • COVID-19 numbers Ontario is using to reopen the economy provide inaccurate picture of spread
  • Which workers are being hardest hit during lockdown?
  • The World Is Still Far From Herd Immunity for Coronavirus
  • Empire State of Green
  • Oakville couple stays connected through song
  • The shape of Canada's economy
  • What we know about Ontario's long-term care homes now
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COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton increased by 5 from 623 to 628 (with 2 pending confirmed cases) with 1 new confirmed case in Oakville, from 208 to 209.

There were 5 reported recoveries in Oakville, from 186 to 191 and 8 recoveries in Halton Region from 548 to 555

That leaves just 18 active cases in Oakville and 73 in Halton Region.

Oakville's community transmission rate has increased from 31 per cent in the last surveillance report to 32 per cent today, as pictured below.
As of 11 a.m. Thursday, Ontario’s regional health units are reported a total of 28,153 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,248 deaths. That’s 330 new confirmed and probable cases since Wednesday.

The growth in new infections across Ontario has not been felt equally in the province. The daily count of new cases has been falling outside of the GTA over the last two weeks. The Thursday-morning tally includes the 152 new cases Toronto and 82 more in Peel Region reported Wednesday afternoon.

For the first time in 11 days, Ontario says its testing labs have hit the provincial target of completing more than 16,000 tests a day.

According to  the province’s morning update , the labs completed 17,625 tests Wednesday, up about 2,000 from the previous day. Ontario last hit the 16,000-test target on May 16.

The provincial data also revealed another day with high demand for testing at the province’s assessment centres. About 17,500 newly collected samples were added to provincial testing queues, the second day in a row well above the target. 

There are 87,902 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Canada with 6,799 deaths. 46,478 or 53% 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
Ontario’s public health units acting to protect their regions 
On Wednesday, Ontario’s 34 public health units, in the face of an inflexible approach and insufficient leadership amid  a pandemic , decided to  take some control  for themselves.

“It’s a mutiny,” says Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto, and the medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Sinai-University Health Network. “They’re actually outlining a strategy. That’s pretty amazing. That’s unbelievable. It’s a mutiny. Wow.

“I’m going to say great for them, like about bloody time. The real issue is going to be whether the province agrees to this or not.”
Toronto breaks down geographic spread of COVID-19, showing local hot spots in detail for first time
Toronto has unveiled detailed, geographic information about the spread of the novel coronavirus, marking the first time such data has been made available in Ontario during the pandemic.

Local issues addressed on Oakville Matters
This week Councillors Tom Adams and Beth Robertson join me on Oakville Matters to discuss the town's hottest topics, including park amenities and community clean up.
Oakville
Town of Oakville news
Final property tax installment extended

On Monday, Town Council approved to extend the 2020 final tax installment due dates to August 25 and October 26 for all property owners and further, Council approved waiving penalty and interest on all outstanding property tax for the remainder of the 2020 tax year, until the first working day in January 2021.

This means property taxes for 2020 are due as prescribed; however, those who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic can see relief by having the ability to make payment within the 2020 tax year, without penalty.

Property owners who opted out of the town’s pre-authorized payment plans (PAP) will be able to opt-in by filling out a reapplication form before the cut off on June 15 for the 2020 taxation year. Final tax bills will be mailed during the week of July 6. All NSF charges will be waived until 2021.

To improve the property tax payment process and ensure safety measures for the public and staff, we will no longer accept cash payments for property tax.



Basketball courts reopen

Town staff completed the reopening of basketball courts earlier this week, which included installation of nets at our 17 locations. With this reopening, the community is reminded to follow safety protocols when engaging in this sport. Check the website and signs at park facilities for safety reminders.



Misinformation on hand sanitizer circulating

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, personal use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer has received considerable attention as one method of helping to prevent the spread of the virus. Hand sanitizer has also received much attention recently through both traditional and social media, with claims that containers of hand sanitizer will catch fire or spontaneously combust if left in a hot vehicle. 

Engineers with the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) Investigations Services have looked into this concern and advise that the rate of vapour leakage from a personal container of hand sanitizer left in a hot vehicle would not result in sufficient vapour density to fall within flammable limits in air. This supports information posted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that says it is not unsafe to leave hand sanitizer in a hot vehicle. This article can be viewed at the following link: https://community.nfpa.org/community/nfpa-today/blog/2020/05/22/can-handsanitizer-spontaneously-combust 

OFM engineers do urge that containers should be kept in an upright position and properly sealed to avoid spillage. As an added precaution, containers of hand sanitizers left in a vehicle should be kept out of direct sunlight to avoid leakage from over-pressurization of the container. People should be reminded that these products are flammable, and it is imperative that they read and follow directions and warnings on the labels. 


A note on washrooms

Town staff are currently working on a plan to safely reopen washrooms while following public health guidelines and provincial orders. Watch this space for an update soon.

According to provincial guidelines, reopening washrooms at retail outlets is at the discretion of each individual business. With this in mind and as outings can take longer these days with physical distancing measures in place it’s best to plan ahead and remember that advice from when we were children, always use the washroom before you leave the house.
Municipalities still in need of government aid packages
Some municipalities fear t hey are stuck in the middle of a lingering standoff  between the federal and Ontario governments over an aid package for hard-hit civic services, as an urgent request for financial help goes unanswered.

Cam Guthrie, the mayor of Guelph who also serves as the chairman of the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario, said municipalities across the province issued the urgent plea to the province and federal government a month ago about the dire financial situations they find themselves in.


YMCA of Oakville cancels summer camps
After careful consideration YMCA Oakville has cancelled 2020 summer camp programs. The decision was made now to give families and staff as much notice as possible. All families who have paid camp fees will receive a full refund. Details at http:// ymcaofoakville.org
Ontario
Provincial Government announcements
Ontario Takes Further Action to Protect Seniors and Staff in Long-Term Care Homes during COVID-19 Outbreak
To further protect seniors and staff in long-term care homes, the Ontario government announced today that it is extending the mandate of the Incident Management System Long-Term Care Table. This table is composed of health care professionals who make immediate decisions to deal with issues related to staffing levels, infection management and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 April, an Incident Management System (IMS) structure was established to coordinate operational support to long-term care homes. The IMS table meets daily to organize efforts across multiple providers and government to make rapid decisions that support long-term care homes in need. Homes identified for support are those struggling to control outbreaks, complete infection prevention and control assessments, ensure appropriate staffing levels, have access to personal protective equipment (PPE), and complete the testing of all long-term care home residents and staff.

Under IMS leadership, Ontario has seen the following improvements to long-term care homes affected by COVID-19 outbreaks:
  • Since May 1, increased the number of low-risk green homes from 356 to 547 homes, representing 87.4% of all long-term care homes.
  • Since May 1, reduced the number of high-risk red homes from 35 to 19, a 54.3% improvement.
  • As of May 27, 37 hospitals had deployed teams into 59 yellow homes and 19 red homes.
  • Completed testing of long-term care resident and staff, with a second round of testing already underway.
  • Number of COVID-19 positive tests in long-term care homes decreased from 12.5% to 7.5%.
  • As of May 28, 129 out of 626 long-term care homes are in active outbreak, from a high of 190 on May 18.
  • 164 outbreaks have been resolved.
Ontario allows dozens of health-care providers, including dentists, to reopen
Ontario is allowing over two dozen health-care providers, including dentists and massage therapists, to return to work immediately once health and safety guidelines are in place.

Dentists, optometrists, massage therapists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians and denturists are some of the professions included on the list released Wednesday. 

Canada
Federal Government announcements
Governments and international organizations come together to address economic challenges and sustainability
Instead of holding his daily briefing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instead chaired a high-level event on financing solutions related to COVID-19.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, and the Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, will convene world leaders and international organizations today in a joint initiative to sharpen and accelerate our global response to the significant economic and human impacts of COVID-19, and advance concrete solutions to the development emergency.

This pandemic requires a large-scale, coordinated, comprehensive multilateral response to support countries in need, enabling them to recover better for more prosperous, resilient and inclusive economies and societies.

With more than 50 Heads of State and Government participating, the High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond is the most inclusive gathering of countries to focus on the socio-economic recovery and financing needs from the pandemic. We must continue to coordinate these efforts to avoid a devastating impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.
PM wants employers to re-hire
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau implores Canadian businesses to re-hire their employees, noting that while the COVID-19 pandemic turned lives “upside down,” seeing as many Canadians back to work as possible will be key to Canada’s economic recovery.

International
Coronavirus milestones reached
The U.S. surpassed a jarring milestone Wednesday in the coronavirus pandemic:  100,000 deaths .

That number is the best estimate and most assuredly an undercount. But it represents the stark reality that more Americans have died from the virus than from the Vietnam and Korea wars combined.

Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 5.6 million people and killed over 350,000, with the U.S. having the most confirmed cases and deaths by far, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Europe has recorded about 170,000 deaths, while the U.S. reached more than 100,000 in less than four months.

At the end March, the United States eclipsed China with 3,500 deaths. Now, the U.S. has not only the highest death total, but the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world, making up more than 30 per cent of the global total.
In other COVID-related news:
Everything you need to know about face masks
COVID-19 numbers Ontario is using to reopen the economy provide inaccurate picture of disease’s spread, Star analysis shows
Which workers are being hit hardest by the COVID-19 lockdown?
The World Is Still Far From Herd Immunity for Coronavirus
Empire State of Green
Oakville man separated from wife during pandemic stays connected through song
David Rock and his wife Lois celebrated 62 years of marriage apart because of COVID-19. He remained in his retirement living centre while she was in her long-term care home next door. But music kept them connected on their special day.

Here's what kind of shape Canada's economy will be in coming out of COVID-19
Experts use letter shapes to describe different scenarios of how economies bounce back

What we know about the Ontario long-term care homes in the military's scathing report
Here's what we know about the long-term care homes listed in the Canadian Armed Forces report, what's been happening there, and what management is being done to fix the situation.
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
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