Good evening Kanata North,
With COVID-19 still spreading, it is safe to say this will be our new normal for the foreseeable future. That means practicing physical distancing, only going to grocery stores and pharmacies when essential, and working remotely if possible. These are challenging times; however, I know that as a community Kanata North will get through this.
Kanata North Update:
- Earlier this week I virtually met with both the Kanata Central Business Improvement Area (KCBIA) and Kanata North Business Association (KNBA), who are working hard on behalf of our business community. You can read more about my meeting here and learn how both BIAs have set up pages to support local businesses through the uncertain times they are facing. The KCBIA has set up a Shared Employee page for essential businesses looking for temporary employees through the pandemic. The KNBA has set up a website where you can buy gift cards from local businesses for future use. I am committed to continuing to work with our BIAs to identify ways the city and I can work to support our business community.
- Spreading positivity: While practicing physical distancing I have been trying to keep a routine: daily workouts, spending time with family, and working remotely. What have you been doing to keep busy? Share with your neighbours by using #KickCovidtotheCurb.
- Are you self-isolating? If you have been traveling or are feeling unwell, please monitor your symptoms and stay home. Your community is available to help you. Please sign up for the Kanata North assistance program should you need help with groceries, medication pick up, or walking your pets.
- If you are healthy, don’t need to self-isolate, and are able to donate blood I encourage you to do so. Today, I donated at their Carling location. It’s a simple process that takes about an hour to do and it saves lives. There’s an urgent need to donate! Signing up is easy, and you can do so by going to blood.ca and register for an appointment.
Dr. Etches Update:
- Ottawa Public Health remains the best place to get the most up to date information regarding COVID-19. Do not forget to visit their website regularly.
- Moving forward, health organizations will be using the term “physical distancing” instead of “social distancing”. This change is meant to indicate clear messaging to the community that individuals should be practicing physical distance but can still stay connected virtually with their family and friends. While staying connected is encouraged, residents are reminded to do so virtually to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Ottawa Public Health is reporting 25 confirmed cases. Dr. Etches anticipates this number will continue to increase as there is evidence of community spread. The best and most helpful thing you can do is following the physical distancing guidelines.
Starting this week, OC Transpo will be adjusting service levels on routes across the system. Please note the individual start dates for the different modes:
As of Monday, March 30:
- Service will continue to be provided in all neighbourhoods;
- Weekday service will move to Saturday service levels on many routes;
- Many routes, which normally operate only on weekdays, will continue to run but at modified service levels;
- Rural weekly Shopper services will continue as usual;
- The first trip in the morning will be later than usual on many routes;
- Saturday and Sunday service will operate as usual; and,
- Complete schedules and details of changes on specific routes will be available later this week on octranspo.com.
O-Train Line 1, the Confederation Line
As of Friday, March 27:
- On Fridays, service will run until 1:00 a.m., on Saturday morning, an overnight bus service will be available from that time on;
- Otherwise, service start and end times will remain the same;
- Trains will arrive every 6 to 8 minutes at peak periods and every 10 to 16 minutes at other times of the day and on weekends;
- The number of dedicated R1 buses is being reduced to align with changed service levels on Line 1 and,
- Staffing levels of the red-vested O-Train Ambassadors have been scaled back.
O-Train Line 2, the Trillium Line
As of Wednesday, March 25:
- Trains will arrive every 15 minutes at all times;
- Service start and end times will remain the same; and,
- As we have done on our buses and Line 1 trains, to protect the health of our operators and customers, we will be installing tape on Line 2 trains to block the area closest to the operator cab from the rest of the train.
As of Tuesday March 24:
- All trip requests made a day in advance are being accommodated;
- Most trips are being operated with only one customer on board, to allow for social distancing; and,
- Service levels are being managed according to demand.
- The Ontario Government announced a new enhanced self-assessment tool for those who think they have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 or are having symptoms. The tool will advise individuals of next steps to take. You can find it here.
- Today, the Provincial Government announced that they will temporarily reduce hydro rates as residents remain at home throughout the day due to COVID-19. Effective immediately, rates are reduced to off-peak rates at all times. There is no action that you need to take, it has already been implemented.
- The Provincial Government has directed all non-essential businesses to close today at 11:59 p.m. This is being done to further reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Businesses deemed as non-essential are encouraged to continue to operate using different models such as working remotely.
- All essential businesses that remain open are reminded to follow additional health and safety measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Essential services include, but are not limited to grocery stores and pharmacies, telecommunications and IT service providers, essential transportation, and utility and community services. More information can be found here.
- The Ontario Government has also announced new protocols to protect our province’s most vulnerable.
- To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, a temporary order has been implemented to ensure staff, volunteers and residents in long-term care homes continue to remain safe. This temporary order would give long-term care homes the ability to free-up valuable staff, identify staffing priorities, and develop, modify and implement redeployment plans.
- Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has also issued a new directive for long-term care homes that restricts residents from leaving a home for short visits with family and friends. I know this will cause hardship, but these measures must be taken to lower the risk of residents contracting the virus while out and spreading it upon their return.
The Federal Government held its daily updates. The Prime Minister and health officials held a brief update. The Federal Government continues to work with businesses to increase the capacity of healthcare equipment and with airlines to bring Canadians back home. Unfortunately, the House of Commons did not pass the much-needed legislations and negotiations continue. I’m in constant contact with our Member of Parliament, Karen McCrimmon and I know she is hard at work to advocate for our community.
Many thanks to all the essential services employees. Your dedication to our city is admirable, and we would not get through this without you. Again, thank you to all our neighbours for your continued physical distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Please reach out should you have any questions or concerns.