Kanata North COVID-19 March 23 Update

Good evening Kanata North neighbours, 

As we enter the second week of dealing with this new normal, I applaud many of you for stepping up and practicing social distancing. This means staying home as much as possible, having contact only with your close family that you live with, and if you do leave your home maintaining a safe 2metre distance from others. The steps you are taking now are so critical. I know it’s hard, but it could be the difference of life or death for some. 

Kanata North Update 

  • I can’t stress enough the need to stay home. If you have recently returned from international travel, including the United States, please self-isolate. Your community is ready and willing to volunteer to get your groceries and run essential errands for you. Please reach out if you need assistance.  This is so important right now. 
  • Tomorrow, Tuesday evening at 7 p.m., I will be hosting a virtual community meeting on my Facebook page. Please consider tuning in as I provide a community update on COVID-19. For those who are not on Facebook, the video will also be posted on my website.    
  • I am receiving many messages today about groups of teenagers out in the streets and stores socializing. This should not be happening. Parents, please keep your kids home for the benefit of everyone in the community. While they may be young and healthy now, that could change quickly. 
  • How are you keeping busy through this time? I’ve seen some fantastic community building initiatives on social media. From treasure hunts, to word games, to virtual facetimes, and calls with family and friends. Share what you are doing during this time using #KickCovidtotheCurb. 

 Update from Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer 

Today Dr. Etches, Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, spoke of the urgent need to self-isolate and to practice social distancing. With all the news coming in, it might be easy to forget the basics. Here are three things OPH really wants you to read and watch with your family 

I cannot underscore the importance of social distancing and self-isolation. There’s only so much that our health authorities can accomplish. The rest is up to us and we must play our part.   

Province of Ontario Update 

  • To further contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government will order the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves. A full list of businesses that are permitted to stay open will be released tomorrow.  
  • Businesses that can continue operations with employees working remotely, or through other contingency measures, are being given approximately 36 hours to prepare and adapt. Essential services may continue their operations to maintain supply chains and ensure the people of Ontario have access to necessities, including groceries, medicines and other essential products. 
  • The Premier stated today that students will not be returning to school on April 6th and we await further details on that. To assist parents, the province has also launched a Learn At Home portal with resources. 
  • The Ontario government also announced they are providing $200 million in social services relief funding to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. 
  • The Province will be providing municipalities and organizations that administer social services with funding to support them in their response to COVID-19. The funding will help shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities, and non-profits to continue to deliver their critical services, hire additional staff, and find ways to promote social distancing and self-isolation to keep clients safe and healthy. Ontario’s municipal service managers will determine local needs and distribute the funding, ensuring clients are receiving the support they need. 
  • The funding will also help individuals who do not qualify for emergency financial supports under federal programs. The government is putting in place an expanded Emergency Assistance program administered through Ontario Works to cover these individuals’ needs such as food, rent, informal childcare, and services. There will also be discretionary benefits available to those who already receive social assistanceIndividuals can apply online at Ontario.ca/community 

 Federal Government update:  

Today, the Prime Minister talked about the importance of social distancing and self-isolation. Here’s an important excerpt from his speech:  

Additionally, here are some of the highlights that were announced by the Federal Government:  

  • The Government of Canada is supporting our country’s researchers as they do critical work to protect the health and safety of all Canadians, and people around the world, during the COVID-19 outbreak. Today, Prime Minister Trudeau announced support to quickly mobilize Canadian researchers and life sciences companies to support efforts towards countermeasures to combat COVID-19, including potential vaccines and treatments. 
  • The $275 million in funding will be used to advance projects that are already underway by university researchers and others to respond to COVID-19 and ensure domestic supply of potential vaccines.  
  • $192 million in new projects that will be prioritized under the new Strategic Innovation Fund COVID-19 stream to deliver direct support to Canadian companies for large-scale projects.  
  • The Federal Government has also sent a call to action to every university, college, polytechnic, and CEGEP in the country. Their labs have the resources and expertise to be part of this fight. They have asked them to identify equipment they’ve got like masks and ventilators. At the same time, the Federal Government is looking at innovative solutions they can be part of, including 3D printing of medical supplies. 
  • Many institutions have already stepped up, and many more will do the same. If you need more information, please go to buyandsell.gc.ca. We need all hands on deck. 

You may recall that the Federal Government has recalled parliament and legislation will be tabled tomorrow to further implement much needed economic measuresI look forward to seeing how this will help our community and I will share further updates as they become available.  

Thank you Kanata North for your continued commitment to staying home. Thank you for working together to flatten the curve. Please continue to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.