Kanata North COVID-19 March 20 Update

Good evening Kanata North, 

We made it to Friday, and we are one week into doing our part in flattening the curve. Thank you to everyone for practicing social distancing, we must keep going. Since the start of this year, I have been hosting virtual community meetings. The next one will be this coming Monday at 7pm and you can access it on my Facebook page. I will be sharing an overview of what you need to know with respect to COVID-19 in our city and our community. You can submit your questions online in the comments sections and we will try and get you answers as quickly as we can. For those that do not have Facebook, the video will also be posted on my website.  

Kanata North Update 

  • Kanata North is ready to help if you are in isolation. If you need assistance through this time, your neighbours have signed up to support you. They are willing to do groceries, walk your pet, or pick up medication. Sign up now for assistance. 
  • Please enjoy the outdoors responsibly, by always maintaining social distancing of two meters or more, especially when taking kids to the play structures. As a moof three, I know firsthand how hard it is to keep kids from play structures. However, we still need to do our important part in flattening the curve. 
  • Are you looking to support local businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic? The Kanata North Business Association has set up a webpage for those interested in buying gift cards to use them in the future. Share with your friends to support local!  
  • #KickCovidtotheCurb – During the pandemic it is important to stay informed, but also to take time to stay active and take care of your mental health. Share the activities (big or small) you are doing while social distancing by using #KickCovidtotheCurbHelp inspire your neighbours to try new activities! 

Ottawa Public Health Update 

  • There are now 19 COVID-19 cases in Ottawa. This number will continue to increase as more test results come backThis is why social distancing is so important. For more information, please visit this website.  
  • Ottawa Public Health remains the best source for all COVID-19 updates. Please visit their website for up-to-date information. For example, there’s an excellent frequently asked questions page with a lot information that you can find here or if you’re a business you can go to this website 
  • There is a lot of misinformation that is circling that can cause anxiety. Click here for credible and accurate sources of information.   
  • Fraud notice: Unfortunately, there are reports of calls being made to residents posing as Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and asking for credit card information. Please note that OPH (or any health unit) will not ask you for credit card information. Do not give your credit card information out. I encourage you to report it to Ottawa Police Services.    
  • I know many of you will be returning from international travel back to our community. If this is you, this guide by OPH is essential reading. There’s no reason to not follow OPH instructions. We must all do our part.   
  • If you’ve recently tested positive or are in the process of being tested for COVID-19, please read this guide.  
  • If you’ve been instructed to self-isolate and are unsure what to do, please read this guide.  

City of Ottawa Update 

  • Human Services Task Force: The city is working hard to ensure we are responsive to the emerging needs of the community and has established a Human Services Task Force. The task force will:
    •  Plan how to provide food, housing, shelter, and psychosocial supports in future scenarios. 
    • Coordinate information, service changes and emerging needs. 
    • Resolve issues, service gaps, and community concerns. 
  • Property Tax Information: To help small businesses and residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, city staff have recommended an interim property tax payment grace period and new 2020 property tax deferral. You can apply for these programs online via email. Details of the program and eligibility is available on ottawa.ca. 
  • Grace period for interim property tax payment 
    • Late payment penalty will not be applied to the interim property taxes. The March 19 deadline will extend to April 15, 2020.  
    • Property owners who are enrolled in the pre-authorization debit plan are not affected by the grace period; it requires no action on their part. 
  • New 2020 Interim Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program 
    • To assist small businesses and residents through the uncertainty of the financial impact COVID-19 is having, a new 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral program is being developed. This will assist those affected with an assessed property value of up to $2.5 million. The program will extend the interim property and final property tax deadlines of March 19 and June 18, respectively, to Friday, October 30, 2020. 
    • To qualify, an account would need to have been paid up-to-date before the interim tax installment. 
    • The application and more details on the program and other qualifying criteria will be available on ottawa.ca after it has been approved by Council on March 25. 
  • Water service disconnections suspended: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city will not disconnect any water services due to non-payment until further notice. 
  • Existing deferral and grant programs: In addition to the COVID-19 program, the city has existing deferral and grant programs that will remain in place. 

Provincial Government Update 

  • The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) will waive the three-month waiting period so that anyone who requires care can receive coverage. Additionally, the province will cover the cost of COVID-19 services for uninsured people who do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage. Together, these measures will ensure that no one will be discouraged from seeking screening or treatment for COVID-19 for financial reasons. 
  • Earlier today, the Provincial Government announced that they will be launching a Learn at Home program to help students continue to learn while their schools remain closed. The website will offer quick and easy access to learning tools for students and parents. Work is under way to provide students who do not have access to computers to provide necessary technology. Should the schools remained closed for longer than the two weeks after March Break, Stage 2 of the Learning at Home Program will launch.  

Federal Government Update 

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve rapidly, and the government is mobilizing Canadian businesses and manufacturers to help fight the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of all Canadians. 

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19, which will create pathways to deploy resources to domestic manufacturers and businesses so they can help during this critical time. 

The Plan introduces new measures to directly support these businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against COVID-19. These products could include critical health and safety supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment, sanitization products, diagnostic and testing products, and disease tracking technology. 

The Plan builds on the Government of Canada’s more than $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund and the support that has been provided to our health care system since the beginning of the outbreak. It focuses on domestic capacity building, innovative solutions, and procurement of essential supplies. It will: 

  • Build the industrial capability needed to manufacture critical supplies at scale in Canada. This will be done either by re-tooling the manufacturing lines of existing Canadian businesses or rapidly scaling up the production of others that already produce these products. 
  • Refocus Canada’s existing industrial and innovation programs, by adding to their mandate a requirement that they prioritize the fight against COVID-19. This includes: 
    • The Strategic Innovation Fund to deliver direct support to Canadian companies for large-scale projects. 
    • National Research Council of Canada to expedite research and development with small and medium-sized enterprises. 
    • Innovation Superclusters to tap into a national network of 1,800 members, and Innovative Solutions Canada to help companies commercialize products more quickly. 
  • Deliver direct support to key Canadian companies that are working on large-scale and later-stage research and development projects aimed, in the immediate term, at producing countermeasures to COVID-19.
  • Challenge innovative companies to develop research-based solutions, technologies, and products that can address a variety of COVID-19 issues.
  • Source equipment needed to support Canada’s response to COVID-19 here in Canada. The Government of Canada will use existing supply arrangements and innovative, flexible procurement approaches. It is also reaching out to suppliers to identify and purchase equipment, supplies, and services needed for Canada’s response to COVID-19. With a view to longer-term support, the Government of Canada will ensure procurement flexibility to support innovation and build domestic manufacturing capacity to supply critical health supplies to Canadians. 

These measures are part of a larger strategy the Government of Canada is implementing to protect Canadians and prevent the spread of the virus. This strategy prioritizes the health and safety of Canadians, ensures the capacity of our health care system, and mitigates the economic impacts on Canadians and Canadian businesses. 

Have a good evening Kanata North! Stay home and stay healthy. 

As a community, you continue to amaze me! Your kindness and community spirit are amazing. Please keep checking in (by phone or at a safe distance) with neighbours and friends who may be vulnerable, overwhelmed, lonely or in need of help. Please reach out if you need anything. We have a small army of volunteers ready and willing to assist those who are in need. 

Stay healthy Kanata North!

Jenna Sudds