Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Tuesday, May 5 COVID-19 emergency
Today is the first time Giving Tuesday has taken place in may. Normally reserved for the day following Cyber Monday after the American Thanksgiving long weekend marks the start of the Christmas shopping season, Giving Tuesday has been a way to give back to the community and charities that are always so in need.

This special Giving Tuesday is an emergency response to COVID-19 and is a call for all Canadians to help where they can.

One way to give, and receive help locally is at the cinema located at 171 Speers Rd. where the Porch Food Bank is always open. There's an assortment of books, games and seeds that need a home, as pictured here.

While this is the first Giving Tuesday in May, Hand Hygiene Day is always celebrated May 5. This year, the theme is " SAVE LIVES: Clean your hands", a mantra we've all been living for the last couple of months.

Whether we're washing our hands or helping those in need, we're all in this together and the sense of community spirit I'm seeing amongst us is inspiring. For more inspiration of how far we've come during the COVID-19 pandemic, please scroll to the end of this email for the current timeline.

Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • Why some people keep testing positive for coronavirus
  • Scientists create antibody that defeats coronavirus in lab
  • Cycling in Oakville
  • Water sports during the pandemic
  • Personal protective equipment still needed
  • Shop Downtown Oakville for Mother's Day
  • Congratulations to local robotics teams
  • Ontario expands virtual mental health services
  • Limited contact tracing could slow Ontario's re-opening
  • How COVID-19 gets into care homes, then hits health-care workers
  • Bank of Montreal hints at the new workplace
  • Millions for agriculture, food industries
  • Quebec school boards provide a glimpse of the new normal in classrooms
  • Canadians accidentally poisoning themselves while cleaning for COVID-19
  • 'Murder hornets’ unlikely to spread across Canada, expert says
  • WHO urges countries to investigate early COVID19 cases
  • Pfizer administers experimental vaccines
  • Coronavirus model projects nearly double its last estimate of U.S. deaths
  • U.K. COVID-19 death toll makes it deadliest coronavirus outbreak in Europe
  • Trustworthy Canadians
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Oakville & Halton:
COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton have increased by 4 cases from 478 cases yesterday to  482  with 2   more confirmed case in Oakville, from 162 to  164 . There were also 3   recoveries in Oakville from 134 to  137

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, Ontario’s regional health units are reporting a total of 19,296 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 1,439 deaths.

The deaths total represent a very large jump from the same time Monday morning, however, the size of that increase can be attributed partly to a change in case reporting in Toronto that led to a larger than normal reported increase there in the evening. That came after the city did not put out an update Sunday afternoon, and instead released nearly two days’ worth of data Monday.

As of 10:45 a.m. ET, Canada had 61,159 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. Provinces and territories listed 26,304 of those as either recovered or resolved. The COVID-19-related death toll in Canada is 3,981, plus two known deaths of Canadians abroad.

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said no matter where they are, all Canadians will need to reconcile living with COVID-19. That means continued physical distancing, frequent handwashing and covering coughs with elbows.

"And, although we'll be getting out of our homes more and more, it will be vitally important that at the slightest sign of symptoms, we stay home to save lives," Tam said.

Visit for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map.

Why some people keep testing positive for coronavirus
With studies showing that asymptomatic patients can transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus, understanding how the virus leaves the body is among the most urgent mysteries facing researchers as governments in the United States and across the world begin to reopen their economies.

Although studies show that the average recovery time from COVID-19 is two weeks, and nearly all patients are virus-free within a month, “less than 1% to 2%, for reasons that we do not know, continue to shed virus after that,” said  Hsu Li Yang,  a physician specializing in infectious diseases at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore.

In recent weeks, China and South Korea have reported that some patients who had recovered from COVID-19 tested positive again in follow-up visits. In extreme cases, patients in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began late last year, reportedly tested positive 70 days after recovery.

Scientists create antibody that defeats coronavirus in lab
Scientists created a monoclonal antibody that can defeat the new coronavirus in the lab, an early but promising step in efforts to find treatments and curb the pandemic’s spread.

The experimental antibody has neutralized the virus in cell cultures. While that’s early in the drug development process -- before animal research and human trials -- the antibody may help prevent or treat Covid-19 and related diseases in the future, either alone or in a drug combination, according to a  study  published Monday in the journal Nature Communications.

Cycling in Oakville
We have been hearing some concerns and questions about cyclists using sidewalks. Cyclists under 11 years old and their parents/guardians are allowed to ride on sidewalks according to our Traffic by-law. While we have always had cycling on sidewalks, there are more people out walking, running and cycling in their neighbourhoods as a result of COVID-19, that will continue with the nicer weather.

You will notice “no cycling on sidewalks” signs in the BIA areas where, due to space and due to volume of pedestrians, we do not want cycling on the sidewalks. Children should dismount and walk their bikes or use a bike rack while visiting downtown, we are not encouraging them to ride on the street.
Water sports during the pandemic
For those looking to kayak or paddle board during the pandemic, the province’s Emergency Order 52/20 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and the town’s Physical Distancing by-law and Parks by-law are in effect. There are a couple of factors that must considered:

  • Water cannot be accessed from town property that is closed
  • Two metre distance must be applied, except for persons who reside together
  • Social gatherings of more than five people are prohibited, unless the gathering is of members of a single household
Personal protective equipment still needed
The Halton Chambers of Commerce have created a personal protective equipment (PPE) portal. The site includes a list of the most urgently needed supplies and forms for donating, requesting supplies and for volunteers.

Shop Downtown Oakville for Mother’s Day
Plan the perfect day for mom while social distancing. Whether it's an at-home spa day, brunch or afternoon tea, a fun activity like paint-at-home pottery, or a thoughtful gift like cozy lounge wear or beautiful flowers, there are plenty of ways you can show appreciation for the moms in your life this Mother's Day.

Congratulations to local robotics teams
Congratulations to Oakville's three robotics teams, Orbit 1360 - Orbit Robotics Oakville Community FIRST Robotics Team, 1334 - Oakville Trafalgar Red Devils and SWAT 771 - St. Mildred’s Women Advancing Technology.

All three teams won prestigious Chairman’s Awards for competing at District events this season.
Ontario expands virtual mental health services
Starting today, the Ontario government is expanding virtual mental health services to help thousands of Ontarians experiencing anxiety and depression, including frontline health care workers, during the COVID-19 outbreak. These Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) programs were developed in partnership with MindBeacon and Morneau Shepell and will be provided at no out-of-pocket costs to Ontarians across the province.
As part of the government's  $12 million commitment  to mental health during COVID-19, the emergency funding is helping mental health agencies hire and train more staff, purchase the necessary equipment and technology they need to help patients, and support the creation and enhancement of virtual and online supports for mental health services including:

  • Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT): Clients can self-refer to programs through the various service providers listed and be guided through their client journey to find the appropriate supports they need. Online iCBT is supported by therapists and available in English and French.
  • Supports for frontline health care workers: Online iCBT is available to frontline health care workers experiencing anxiety, burnout or post-traumatic stress disorder. Those requiring intensive levels of care could be referred to virtual face-to-face care, as well as weekly online peer discussion groups and access to confidential support from a clinician.
  • Virtual mental health support services: These include BounceBack telephone coaching and workbooks, and Kids Help Phone for children and youth.

Why limited contact tracing could slow Ontario's plan to end COVID-19 restrictions
Experts say it's important to have a solid contact tracing system in place to keep the spread of COVID-19 in check once restrictions are loosened. The theory is that tracing helps contain the spread by warning everyone who was in contact with an infected person that they are at risk of having the virus, reducing the likelihood that they infect others.

How close is the Province to meeting the target of approximately 90 per cent of new COVID-19 contacts being reached by local public health officials within one day? Read the full story.
How COVID-19 gets into care homes, then hits health-care workers
Provincial data shows that 16 per cent of all coronavirus cases are health care workers.

A Toronto nurse explains how COVID-19 has been getting into long term care facilities and hitting the health care workers there.

Bank of Montreal hints at new workplace
Bank of Montreal anticipates that as much as 80 per cent of its staff — or about 36,000 employees — may adopt new flexible arrangements that blend working from home with going into the office even after the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.

The virus prompted the bank to make a sweeping reappraisal of workplace policies, according to Mona Malone, chief human resources officer. She said the lender expects that 30 per cent to 80 per cent of employees may continue to work from home at least some of the time. The Toronto-based bank employed about 45,000 people as of Jan. 31.

“We’ve been able to maintain continuity of banking services with far more people working outside the office than we ever thought possible,” Malone said Monday in an interview. “We thought it was critical that we were in the office to make something happen, and what we’ve proven through this is that’s actually not the case.”

Chief Executive Officer Darryl White has said “a 2.0 version” of the workplace may include the blended home-and-office arrangements, as big employers worldwide reconfigure offices and routines. Malone said Canadian and U.S. branch employees have “by and large” been going into work during the crisis along with a “small amount” of technology and operations employees, while 95 per cent of those in office towers have been working from home.
Millions for agriculture, food industries
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday unveiled a $252-million support plan for the agri-food industry. 

The announcement included a range of initiatives, including support for food producers, funding for processors and a program to purchase surplus supply.

The prime minister said $77 million of the funding will go to measures to keep workers in food processing safe with protective equipment and by supporting physical distancing in workplaces.

Quebec school boards provide a glimpse of the new normal in classrooms
Students will remain in their classroom and in their assigned personal space for the school day, other than going out for a physically distanced recess. Some classes will be held in school libraries or science labs to keep groups of children small and separated. There will be no physical education, music, drama or art classes.

Quebec school boards are providing a glimpse of what a return to school will look like as the province becomes the first in Canada to reopen classrooms to students as early as next week.

Canadians accidentally poisoning themselves while cleaning to prevent COVID-19
here's been a jump in the number of cleaner and disinfectant-related accidental poisonings since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as Canadians try to keep themselves and their homes virus-free.

According to Health Canada, February and March combined showed a 58 per cent increase from the same period a year earlier in reported exposures related to cleaning products, bleaches, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and chlorine and chloramine gases. 

'Murder hornets’ unlikely to spread across Canada, expert says
The Asian giant hornet, dubbed the “murder hornet,” was recently  spotted on multiple beekeeping grounds in the state of Washington,  wreaking havoc on dozens of honeybee nests.

According to experts, the hornet — nearly the size of a small matchbox — uses a stinger shaped like a shark fin to decimate the hives, decapitating the bees and removing their thoraxes to feed to their young.

Though the hornets feast primarily on bees, they will attack other species (read: us) if provoked by using a stinger long enough to drive through beekeeping suits.

The Japanese government reports that the hornets kill roughly 30 to 40 people every year.
The hornet has been spotted in Canada before.

In March, officials in B.C. warned residents of the winter-hibernating hornets appearing in the spring and summer  after some were discovered in White Rock, B.C.,  in 2019.
But the hornets are unlikely to spread throughout Canada, says Sheila Colla, a professor of biology at York University.

“It is extremely unlikely that the Asian hornet would be in Toronto this summer, as there have only been two records in the U.S.,” Colla said. “I think we can breathe easy on that one.”

WHO urges countries to investigate early  COVID19  cases
A French hospital that retested old samples from pneumonia patients discovered it treated a man who had The virus as early as Dec 27, a month before the French government confirmed its first cases.

Pfizer administers experimental vaccines
Pfizer Inc. has administered the first U.S. patients with its experimental vaccines to fight the disease caused by the coronavirus, part of a bid to shave years off of the typical time it takes to develop a new inoculation.

The trials are being conducted at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the drugmaker said Tuesday.“The short, less than four-month time-frame in which we’ve been able to move from preclinical studies to human testing is extraordinary,” Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said in a statement.

Preclinical studies are what companies do in animals or in the lab before they test vaccines in humans. Drugmakers have been working with regulators to compress development times to stop the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 3.5 million people globally and killed more than 250,000.

New York-based Pfizer is working with BioNTech SE of Germany. The companies started testing the inoculations in patients in Germany in late April. Vaccine trials normally start by looking at safety, but in order to hasten the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, the drugmakers are looking at both safety and the immune-system response from the experimental shots.

Coronavirus model projects 134,000 deaths in US, nearly double its last estimate
An influential coronavirus model often cited by the White House is now forecasting that 134,000 people will die of Covid-19 in the United States, nearly double its previous prediction.

The model, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, had predicted 72,433 deaths as of Monday morning.

Relatedly, a Trump administration model projects a rise in coronavirus cases and deaths in the weeks ahead, up to about 3,000 daily deaths in the US by June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times. Over the past week, about 2,000 people died daily in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The sharp increases in the two models are tied to relaxed social distancing and increased mobility in the US. States across the country -- including Florida, Colorado, Indiana, Nebraska and South Carolina -- have eased restrictions in an attempt to revive a sputtering economy and calm restless residents.

U.K. COVID-19 death toll surpasses 32,000, making it deadliest coronavirus outbreak in Europe

British media reported Tuesday that more than  32,000 Britons  have now died from the virus, about a third of them believed to be in long-term care homes. 

That number, which is based on data from the Office for National Statistics, the National Records of Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency and exceeds the official  Department of Health toll  of 28,734, far surpasses what government scientists called their "best case scenario" of 20,000 COVID-19 deaths. 

Britain has overtaken Italy, where around  29,000 people  have died of COVID-19, as the country with the deadliest outbreak in Europe.

Trustworthy Canadians

Not only are Canadians considered to be the friendliest North Americans, they may also be more trustworthy, according to a new poll.

Just for fun:
Oakville jigsaw puzzles now available

Looking for something to do during lockdown? Try an Oakville jigsaw puzzle!
Oakville Youth Week goes virtual
Every year, Oakville celebrates  National Youth Week  with FREE activities, learning opportunities and events for youth ages 11-19. This year, the event goes virtual
Follow the  Oakville Youth Instagram , like the  Oakville Youth Facebook  page or follow on Twitter  @OakvilleYouth  for more information.

Share your photos using #OakvilleYouth.

Questions about Youth Week? Email
United Way virtual campaign

Friday, May 8, 2020
12:00-12:30 P.M.
Attire is comfortable, sneakers and track pants welcomed!

ALS walk

The virtual edition of the Walk to End ALS event will take place on June 21st.
ALS partner, Brain Canada, is offering a dollar for dollar match of up to $1 million to invest in promising ALS research.

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

Kerr Street Mission: 905-845-7485 or donate online at

The Salvation Army Oakville: Donate online
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. 

May 6 at 2 p.m. - Lemonwood Cashmere 
May 13 at 7 p.m. - Hot Yoga and Pilates 
May 20 at 7 p.m. - Fred Astaire Dance Studio 
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