Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Friday, May 29 COVID-19 emergency
Today, the province announced an increased testing program that will make testing available to more people in more locations across the province. For details about Oakville’s testing location at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, please see image below.

Please continue to respect the testing parameters, wider as they may be, by first visiting the Province’s dedicated COVID-19 website for who should be tested.

As we head into another nice spring weekend, let’s also remember the physical distancing rules. Our enforcement staff report that most calls are for those not respecting the physical distancing regulations and gathering with more than five people, other than people within the same household.

Oakville’s case counts have been low this week and we hope to keep it that way. See details on those, as well as for the province and country, below.


And finally, as promised, the explanation for last week’s brain teaser.

The two questions in our brain teaser last weekend were:

1) Would you prefer an 80 per cent chance of getting $4,000 or a guaranteed gain of $3,000?

2) Would you prefer an 80 per cent chance of losing $4,000 or a guaranteed loss of $3,000?

A much-repeated study found around the world there is an interesting contradiction in how people answer these two questions.

Most people choose the guaranteed $3,000.

And most people pick the chance of losing $4,000 which you could view as the opposite to their answer to the question about gain.

Makes you think, as a good brain teaser should.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • COVID-19 deaths per million
  • Cases going down but still not the time to see grandparents
  • New Brunswick setback should be cautious warning to other provinces
  • Is wearing a mask really necessary?
  • Town of Oakville news
  • Town cancels summer programming
  • Checking in with CHCH TV
  • Lobbying for local restaurants
  • Government roles during the pandemic
  • HEN Canada summer job positions
  • What's happening on Lakeshore Road
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Ontario opens COVID-19 testing across the province
  • Support for small business tenants and landlords now available
  • Premier Ford considering regional reopening
  • OPSEU helped Premier dodge bullet in long-term care crisis
  • Ontario's strict rules for reopening dental clinics differ from other provinces
  • Federal Government Announcements
  • Additional funding for health, economic, and social support for Indigenous peoples and communities
  • PM speaks with First Ministers
  • Federal workers ready to take up contact tracing
  • Deal on child care support said to be close
  • Alberta to distribute free non-medical masks
  • Some Turkish mosques reopen
  • Swiss soccer league to restart
  • In other COVID-related news
  • Parents afraid of return to business as usual
  • Only 4 in 10 Canadians can feasibly work from home
  • Canadian companies creating jobs in response to COVID-19
  • Will face shields replace masks?
  • Housing correction to come
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COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton increased by 7 from 628 to 635 (with 2 pending confirmed cases) with 2 new confirmed cases in Oakville, from 209 to 211.

There was 1 reported recovery in Oakville, from 191 to 192 and 9 recoveries in Halton Region from 555 to 564 . Oakville now has 19 active cases.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, Ontario’s regional health units are reported a total of 28,544 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,272 deaths. That's an increase of 391 new confirmed and probable cases reported since the same time Thursday morning. The province also reported 826 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19, including 129 in intensive care with 100 on a ventilator.

For the second day in a row, Ontario says its testing labs have hit the provincial target of completing more than 16,000 tests a day.

As of 12:20 p.m. ET Friday, Canada had 89,386 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 47,454 of them 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
Cases going down, but experts urge against visiting grandparents during pandemic
Grandparents have been waiting for months for public health officials to relax restrictions on visits from their grandchildren during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They'll have to wait a little longer before that can safely happen.
As society slowly begins to reopen and provinces introduce new rules for family gatherings, health experts say now's not the time to start visiting our most at-risk sector of the population.


New Brunswick setback shows caution needed when reopening, Tam says
The COVID-19 cluster that has forced New Brunswick to roll back some reopening measures is an example of the caution needed as jurisdictions across the country ease restrictions, Canada's top doctor said Thursday.

Is wearing a mask really necessary?
In this Municipal World podcast Rob Shirkey discusses the necessity of wearing a mask.

Oakville
Town of Oakville news
Oakville cancels summer Recreation and Culture programs, planning underway for modified programs
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all previously scheduled Recreation and Culture programming, including summer camps for July and August, are cancelled. Subject to provincial approval to proceed, the Town of Oakville is considering opportunities to offer a modified 2020 summer program that will align with any new provincial and regional public health and safety guidelines.

Refunds will be automatically processed by the town. New program registration details will be announced as soon as the province removes restrictions and facilities can safely reopen.
Based on direction from provincial and local health authorities, the Town of Oakville hopes to offer a scaled-back camp experience for children aged 4 to 12 at select community centres.

These camps will incorporate strict public health measures designed to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 with smaller group sizes to allow for physical distancing. Staff is currently recommending reduced staff-to-camper ratios, dedicated camp leaders to guide activity transitions, and enhanced cleaning and screening procedures.

At this time, all summer registered and drop-in programming for seniors, adults, youth, children, preschool, camps and aquatics are cancelled until the town has provincial approval to safely reintroduce programs. Close-contact and team activities such as sports leagues and Learn to Swim lessons will not be offered this summer. Information will be shared by email with all registered participants including refund information.

Once the new summer camp option is formalized, details will be shared with the public. Please note that if summer camp can be offered, spaces will be extremely limited.

Checking in with CHCH TV
On my weekly check in with CHCH Morning Live we discussed how Oakville is doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch now
Lobbying for local restaurants
Today I wrote to the Attorney General on behalf of Oakville’s Economic Task Force and the foodservice industry in Oakville to request urgent action to ensure the safe re-introduction of patio service for restaurants in Ontario, particularly that the Province and the AGCO should prepare now for the anticipated demand for patio applications by updating its policies and processes. 

Read the full letter by clicking the image.


HEN Canada Summer Jobs positions
What's happening on Lakeshore Road
For the next few weeks, work will become dependent on the availability of materials. As a result, some areas of Lakeshore Road and adjacent side streets will be used to store materials. This reflects efforts to obtain materials and have them delivered to the site when they become available so that if in the event of supply chain disruption, impacts on construction timing can be minimized.

To date, the supply chain in Ontario has not been affected. Quebec suppliers closed operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 24. It is important to note this is a fluid situation, with the project team continually looking for ways to reduce the risk to project timing, while keeping works and the public safe.

Opening date for Allan Street intersection extended to June 1
The Allan Street intersection work includes the installation of a large water chamber, watermain, sewer work and catch basins. 

While non-essential businesses remain closed and there is less vehicle traffic, we are able to advance additional works in the Allan Street intersection, including the new curbs, road base and base course asphalt. Extending the closure now eliminates the need for a second closure of the intersection, resulting in less disruption during the summer.

Ontario
Provincial Government announcements
Ontario opens COVID-19 testing across the province
As the province carefully and gradually reopens the economy, the Ontario government is implementing the next phase of its COVID-19 testing strategy to detect and quickly stop the spread of the virus. Testing will now be available to more people in more locations across the province.

Today, Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, released the next phase of the province's COVID-19 testing plan,  Protecting Ontarians Through Enhanced Testing , which includes three branches of testing:
  1. Assessment Centre Testing: expanding who gets tested to now include asymptomatic individuals concerned about exposure and continued routine symptomatic testing at assessment centres.
  2. Targeted Campaigns: detecting and containing cases by expanding asymptomatic surveillance for vulnerable populations, including in long-term care homes and other shared living spaces like shelters and group homes, as well as targeted testing of workplaces in priority sectors which work with priority populations and where it may be difficult to physically distance.
  3. Outbreak Management: testing to ensure rapid and agile response capacity for outbreak management, including in specific neighbourhoods and regions or at hospitals, institutions and workplaces.

Together, these branches of testing will support Ontario regions' extensive efforts to reduce the rate of transmission, also known as instantaneous reproduction number, or Rt.
To help enable increased access to routine symptomatic testing, people will no longer need a referral to go to any of the more than 130 assessment centres across Ontario. Information about the assessment centres is now easily accessible on  Ontario's dedicated COVID-19 website .
Support for small business tenants and landlords now available
All commercial landlords in Ontario can now apply for rental assistance to help their small business tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative will keep more small businesses in operation and more people employed as the province gradually and safely restarts the economy.

The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, has launched the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The province is committing $241 million to the program, which will provide more than $900 million in support for small businesses across Ontario during this difficult time. To find out how much rent support you may be eligible for, visit  Ontario.ca/rentassistance .

Premier Ford considering regional reopening
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he's considering a regional, phased approach to reopening the province amid the COVID-19 pandemic an option he had previously resisted.


OPSEU helped Premier dodge bullet in long-term care crisis
In a statement from OPSEU, President Warren (Smokey) Thomas addresses claims from Premier Doug Ford that OPSEU blocked government inspectors from visiting long-term care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario's strict rules for reopening dental clinics differ from other provinces
The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario  has issued a list of 48 recommendations  for reopening. Among those recommendations: mandating that staff wear PPE on top of their scrubs; keeping rooms vacant for anywhere from eight minutes to nearly three-and-a-half hours between patients, depending on the procedure; and installing floor-to-ceiling walls and doors that effectively seal off treatment rooms.

Canada
Federal Government announcements
Additional funding for health, economic, and social support for Indigenous peoples and communities
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced new funding to provide critical support to Indigenous families and communities during this crisis, based on needs that have been identified. The funding includes:

  • $285.1 million to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities. The investment will fund community-led responses to the pandemic, and provide targeted increases in primary health care resources for First Nations communities. In case of outbreaks, this funding can be drawn upon to provide surge capacity and additional support for community-based services in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. 
  • $270 million to supplement the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program to address increased demand on the program, which will help individuals and families meet their essential living expenses. It will also help hire additional staff to better serve First Nations communities and connect individuals to other government programs.
  • $44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelters, which will help protect and support Indigenous women and girls experiencing and fleeing violence. This funding will help build 10 shelters in First Nations communities on reserve across the country, and two in the territories, to support Indigenous women and children. The government will also provide $40.8 million to support operational costs for these new shelters over the first five years, and $10.2 million annually ongoing. We are also announcing $1 million a year ongoing, starting this year, to support engagement with Métis leaders and service providers on shelter provision and community-led violence prevention projects for Métis women, girls, and LGBTQ and two-spirit people.
Last night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland held their eleventh call with premiers to discuss the evolving COVID-19 situation.

The leaders discussed the collaborative efforts by federal, provincial, and territorial partners to combat the pandemic and protect the health, safety, and economic well-being of all Canadians as well as the recent reports by the Canadian Armed Forces on long-term care facilities in Ontario and Quebec, and agreed to take action to improve care for seniors.

First Ministers were briefed on the work being done by the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, which will coordinate country-wide blood test surveys to tell us how widely the virus has spread in Canada and provide reliable estimates of potential immunity and vulnerabilities in Canadian populations.

The Prime Minister updated premiers on the Federal Government’s ongoing work to procure critical personal protective equipment, and successful efforts to ramp-up the made-in-Canada supply. He also discussed how the Federal Government is working with each jurisdiction, including on border measures and a collaborative national approach to testing and contact tracing. 

The Prime Minister spoke to premiers about his commitment to ensure every worker has access to ten days of paid sick leave a year, and asked premiers about how the Federal Government could further assist them to reopen their economies. First Ministers agreed that reopening the economy is a complex and difficult process, and that having the appropriate supports in place to protect the health and safety of all Canadians is critical. 

Thousands of federal workers ready to take up contact-tracing duties if there’s a COVID-19 surge
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.

Deal on child care support said to be 'very close'
The federal government is on the verge of signing a bilateral agreement with the provinces to help support child care services across the country as parents begin to head back to work amid economic reopening.
The bilateral contract will extend the government’s previous three-year arrangement that expired in March and will see $400 million go to the provinces on a per capita basis in 2020-21.
Alberta to distribute free non-medical masks
Alberta has ordered 20 million non-medical masks and plans to distribute them to residents offering up to  four masks per person at no cost .  The masks will be distributed at certain drive-thru restaurants that have partnered with the province.

International
Some Turkish mosques reopen
Worshippers in Turkey have  held their first communal Friday  prayers in 74 days after the government reopened some mosques as part of its plans to relax measures in place to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Prayers were held in the courtyards of selected mosques, to minimize the risk of infection.
Authorities distributed masks at the entrance to the mosques, sprayed hand sanitizers, and checked temperatures.

Worshippers were asked to bring their own prayer rugs, but some mosques offered disposable paper rugs which were placed 1.5 metres apart.

The partial opening of the mosques follows a slowdown in the confirmed COVID-19 infections and deaths in the country.

Swiss soccer league to restart
The Swiss soccer league will restart on June 20 in empty stadiums.

The league says the 20 clubs in the top two divisions have voted 17-2 in favour of resuming. There was one abstention.

The league has been shut down since February because of the coronavirus pandemic. There are 13 rounds left in the top division and the league wants to complete the season on Aug. 2.

In other COVID-related news:
Parents afraid of returning to pre-pandemic ‘business as usual’
Once schools reopen ‘every day, we’ll worry that she will bring it home to her grandmother’

Only 4 in 10 Canadians can feasibly perform their job from home, StatCan says
New data released by Statistics Canada reveals that only four in 10 Canadians hold jobs that can be reasonably performed remotely, as the pandemic continues to shutter many Canadians indoors.

Canadian companies are creating new jobs because of COVID-19
For more and more businesses, reopening involves creating entirely new jobs meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Whether these are workers dedicated to taking customers’ temperatures, sanitizing store equipment or controlling crowds, it’s possible that the demand for these types of tasks could continue to rise if a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 isn’t found.

New Normal: Will face shields replace masks?
Face shields – clear sheets of plastic that cover from the forehead down past the chin – overcome virtually all the cons posed by masks, while having the added benefit of covering the eyes. So could they be the next go-to accessory in a COVID-19 world as stay-at-home restrictions are eased?

Housing correction to come
Canada's national housing agency says the number of new homes being built and sold will remain below the levels they were at before COVID-19 until 2022 at least, and prices won't get back to where they were for another two years either.
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

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