Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Updates on COVID-19 emergency
Town Council and I want you to know Oakville has been and will stay covered under Canada's and Ontario’s and Halton's Public Health Emergency declared a week ago. See item below about how this gives us more power than a municipal declaration of emergency.

  • Public facilities and libraries are closed.
  • Essential staff and 1st responders are on duty.
  • The Town emergency plan was activated a week ago.

Public health officials are guiding us. We work with the governments above us. We each stay in our lane for efficiency.

Your actions make a difference, too. Let the difference you make be a good one.

  • Stay home.
  • Don’t go out unless you have to.
  • Keep your distance if you do.
  • Avoid gatherings of more than 50 (the safest number is one)
  • Look for safe ways to help others.
  • Use phones, email, or video to socialize.
  • Wash your hands frequently and well.

Ask for help if you need it. Email me at mayor@oakville.ca – I will guide you to help.

Your Town Staff and I will keep doing our part with the higher levels of government to keep our community safe.

Please, double check for reliability what you hear or see on social media with the official information on oakville.ca, halton.ca, ontario.ca, and canada.ca, depending on which level of government is responsible.

And, please, do your part, too.

Items in this update:

  • Non-essential workplaces ordered closed by Premier
  • School closure extended beyond April 5
  • Travellers returning to Canada must self isolate
  • Health Minister warns to self-isolate to avoid fines or detention
  • Self-isolation guidelines available from Public Health Ontario
  • Self-monitoring guides come out from Public Health Ontario
  • Governments are working to increase medical supplies
  • Prime Minister considering income supports for Canadians
  • Ontario moves to provide childcare for essential health workers
  • Council meetings begin Wednesday
  • Regional Municipal Council to consider tax measures
  • Town Council meeting with similar agenda soon after
  • Parks closed
  • Oakville parks officially closed
  • Conservation Halton closes parks
  • Town providing essential services
  • Town planning restoration of select services
  • Transit service levels changing
  • Volunteer opportunities available
  • Food banks operating and welcoming donations
  • Community Foundation offers ideas for volunteers
  • Public health emergency declaration stronger than municipal declaration
  • Laundry and dry cleaning services still operating
Premier orders non-essential businesses closed
Today, Premier Doug Ford ordered all non-essential workplaces closed. This order takes effect Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m. and will last for 14 days.

The list of businesses permitted to stay open will be released Tuesday.

Premier Ford, who said the decision was not made lightly, said the government is prepared to extend the order if necessary.

“We will and we must take all steps necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of every Ontarian must come first and that’s why we’re taking these important steps.”

It means: food will remain on the shelves, Ontarians will still have access to medication and essential products, the power will stay on and telecommunications will continue to run.
But it also means that every Ontarian must do their part. If you can, stay home.

Premier Ford also said that students won't be returning to school until beyond April 5 and appealed to anyone returning from abroad that they "must self-isolate".
Health Minister warns of enforcing
social distancing and self isolation
The appeal for self isolation and social distancing now comes with a warning.

If Canadians fail to self-isolate and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of  COVID-19 , governments will force them to, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said on Saturday.



The actual PHO/MOH orders have not changed:
 
Declaration of emergency
A week ago, the province enacted a declaration of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public.
As a result, the following:
  • all bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout and food delivery
  • all facilities providing indoor recreational programs
  • all public libraries
  • all private schools
  • all licensed child care centres
  • all movie cinemas
  • all theatres, including those offering live performances of music, dance and other art forms
  • all concert venues
Additionally, all organized public events of over 50 people are prohibited, including parades, events and communal services within places of worship.
These orders will remain in place until March 31, 2020, when the province will reassess for an extension or end the closures.

Self-isolation guidelines
Stay home, limit visitors, avoid contact, keep your distance...see more at:

Self-monitoring guidelines
Monitor for symptoms, including fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days following exposure. Avoid public spaces.

If you develop these, or other symptoms, self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider.
Governments working to increase medical supplies
Federally, Oakville MP and Minister of Government Services and Procurement advises: “we’ve established a web portal and intake form for suppliers that are able to provide specific, certified products (i.e. N95 masks, gowns, gloves and other PPE) or services (i.e. nursing, food, security) which can be found here: https://buyandsell.gc.ca/calling-all-suppliers-help-canada-combat-covid-19 We’ve also launched a “call to action” to identify Canadian manufacturers ready to help fight COVID-19 by making needed supplies, or who have the potential to rapidly re-tool existing facilities or equipment, or who have skilled workers that could be available to work elsewhere in Canada. The link to that portal is here:   https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/maintaingrowimprovebusiness/manufacturers-needed.html

Ontario has announced a similar initiative, with more information on https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-your-organization-can-help-fight-coronavirus
PM says, "we have not ruled out anything"
On Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, responding to questions about “freeze the economy” measures elsewhere, said, “We have not ruled out anything.”
He added that the $82-billion in federal assistance and tax deferrals announced so far were just a start.

Ontario to provide childcare for essential frontline workers
The Ontario government announced Sunday it will be opening select child care centres across the province to help frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The plan is to exempt certain centres from the order the provincial government gave to close all licensed child care centres under the state of emergency.

The centres are expected to open by the end of this week.
Council meetings resume Wednesday
Tax measures on agenda
On Wednesday, March 25 at 9:30 a.m., Regional Municipal Council will meet to discuss, tax relief and other measures relating to the pubic health emergency.

For the full agenda, click here .

Stream the meeting live at halton.ca

Town Council will meet with a similar agenda soon after.
Municipal and Conservation Area Parks closed
As of Monday, March 23, all Town of Oakville playgrounds are closed for safety and to encourage social distancing. Please do not use them.
On Sunday, Conservation Halton closed all parks. The move was made following near-capacity entrance during this time when we should be social distancing. The parks include: Kelso, Mountsberg, Crawford Lake, Rattlesnake Point, Hilton Falls and Robert Edmondson
Town providing essential services - for now
The town continues to follow the advice provided by Federal and Provincial announcements and the Regional Medical Officer of Health.

As of Monday March 23, Halton confirmed 12 cases of COVID-19 with one new case over the weekend.

The town is working collaboratively with the Region and the Province to coordinate delivery of services and maintain safety. As appropriate public health safety measures can be deployed, the Town will restore select important services now in suspension.

See the Town website, Oakville.ca , for the most up-to-date information.
Transit service levels change
New hours begin Monday, March 23.

Transit will operate Monday to Friday between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. This is a temporary measure in effect until April 6. Transit is consulting with employers providing essential services to tailor transit service that will be effective and efficient.

For schedules, see https://www.oakvilletransit.ca/
Transit safety zones protecting drivers and riders
To keep safe social distancing between operator and passenger as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, we have added a red line on the floor of our buses and blocked off the seats directly behind the operator and the PRESTO unit. Payment is suspended.

We ask that our customers remain behind the red line. Riders are to board the bus from the rear doors.
Looking for ways to help? Here are three:
Food banks seeking donations

Fare Share Food Bank Oakville is open and seeking donations while serving customers with social distancing measures in place. Visit http://www.oakvillefoodbank.com/

Kerr Street Missions has cancelled all programs and shifted the market to a pre-packed model with food distribution moved to the KSM gym. Full details at https://www.kerrstreet.com/covid-19/

The Salvation Army will continue to help those in need. Make a donation safely and easily online at https://salvationarmy.ca/
Caremongers groups form

The goal of this group is to connect providers of goods and services with those who may need them.

The goal of this group is to organize the local community on the grassroots level to ensure vulnerable community members have access to food, housing, healthcare, and other necessities.
OCF pitches ideas to volunteers

OCF contacted many local charities, and will continue to do so weekly, to post what they need most to provide for their clients.

Check their list to connect with the charities directly on ways you can help. Check theocf.org for more.
A public health emergency declaration is stronger
than a municipal declaration of emergency
A Public Health Emergency has been declared by the authorities.

We continue to urge residents to follow the guidelines of the public health authorities to keep us all safe.

An municipal emergency declaration does not provide a Head of Council, nor anyone else in a municipality, with any extraordinary authorities that are not otherwise provided for in law. For example, a Head of Council will not have the authority to order a private business or service to cease operations or to close by having declared an emergency.

It is the Government of Ontario and Region of Halton medical officers of health that have powers for closures and other orders under a Provincial Public Health Emergency. 

That's why the Town of Oakville has not needed to declare a Municipal State of Emergency because a week ago we acquired the greater powers of the public health emergency declaration.  
Laundry and dry cleaning services still operating
Halton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Meghani has confirmed that laundry and dry cleaning services have not been asked to close at this time.

All businesses that are open are asked to ensure staff distances between individuals in the facility.