Kanata North COVID-19 Update March 31

Good evening Kanata North neighbours, 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rapidly evolve, I know it can provoke feelings of fear and anxiety. Please continue to check in on friends, family, and neighbours (while practicing physically distancing) during these uncertain times. Staying home can be a challenge but it is critically important. 

Kanata North Update 

  • How have you been spending time at home these past few weeks? My family has been busy improving our ping pong skills, baking treats, exercising, and completing projects around the house. Inspire your neighbours by sharing what youre doing using #KickCovidtotheCurb. 
  • Coronavirus can easily be killed on hard surfaces when using the appropriate disinfectants. The Government of Canada has shared a complete list of disinfectants that meet Health Canada’s requirements. For your quick reference, I have created a list on my website of the products that are generally available in our local stores. Please note that stocks in stores may vary. 
  • Curious what is happening in the Kanata North tech park? What companies are there and why does it matter? Join me tomorrow at 1 p.m. on Facebook Live as I speak with Jamie Petten from the Kanata North Business Association. Grab the kids and post your questions in the comments. We will do our best to answer them! Tune in here. 
  • Does the empty parking lots and closed stores at the Kanata Centrum worry youDo you wonder how you can support these businesses? I will be live on Facebook this Thursday morning at 10 a.m. with Lauri Moussa, the Executive Director of the Kanata Central Business Improvement Area.  Join me to learn how the BIA is supporting our small businesses and what you can do to help. 
  • I encourage you to join your community in stepping out on to your porches or balconies on Wednesday evenings starting at 6:30 p.m. Open your front door or windows. Bring out your pots and pans, horns, bells, and whistles to make some community noise and cheer loud so all the essential workers in Ottawa can hear how much we appreciate them! This is a citywide initiative. Let’s make some noise Kanata North and show our appreciation for all essential workers in our city.  

 Ottawa Public Health Update/City of Ottawa Update 

  • Ottawa Public Health reported that there are now 144 confirmed cases and sadly three deaths. 20 of those cases are currently hospitalized and six of them are in intensive care units.  
  • We now have outbreaks in four long-term care or seniors retirement homes. Within senior homes, outbreaks are classified when one person, resident or staff, has a confirmed case of COVID-19. 
  • Residents are encouraged to report gatherings of more than 5 people to By-Law officers. People breaking the emergency public health measure can face fines and jail time. Please call 3-1-1 should you witness any of the following:  
    • Gatherings of five or more individuals.  
    • People congregating in parks or using park facilities or equipment.   
    • Restaurants that continue to offer dine in services.   
    • Non-essential retail businesses that are continuing to operate. 
    • Please stay home if you have just returned from a trip or do not feel well. If you have server symptoms, call 9-1-1 
    • Wash your hands often. 
    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. 
    • Keep 2 metres away from people when you are out in public.  

Provincial Government Update 

  • The Province has announced that they have extended the Declaration of Emergency order which will now remain in place until April 13. Residents are urged to continue to stay at home and limit trips for essential services only. When in public please be sure to practice physical distancing to limit your exposure to COVID-19. 
  • Public schools will remain closed to teachers until Friday, May 1, 2020, and to students until Monday, May 4, 2020. As these dates come closer, this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice. The closure may be extended if necessary, to protect the health and safety of students, families, and staff. The Provincial Government has committed to making necessary adjustments for graduating students to ensure they succeed and can access post-secondary institutions. 
  • Private schools, licensed childcare centres, and EarlyON programs will also remain closed until April 13, according to the Declaration of Emergency, which only allows closures to be extended for one 14-day period at a time. Select centres designated to support frontline health care workers and first responders will remain open. 
  • The second phase of Learn at Home was launched today to support students and teachers during the school closures. Developed in conjunction with education partners, the government is establishing clarity for parents, enhancing education supports, and creating opportunities for teachers and educators to connect with students. Students will be provided guidelines of what schoolwork to focus on, reconnect with teachers and school staff, and receive final report cards.    
  • The second phase of Learn at Home features a new set of expectations for the education community, including: 
    • Reconnecting students with teachers and other school staff, including mental health workers; 
    • Re-establishing teacher-led learning by grade groupings as follows: 
      • Kindergarten-Grade 3: five hours of work per student/week (focus on literacy and math) 
      • Grades 4-6: five hours of work per student/week (focus on literacy, math, science and social studies) 
      • Grades 7-8: 10 hours of work per student/week (focus on math, literacy, science and social studies) 
      • Grades 9-12: three hours of work per course per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students (focus on achieving credits/completion/graduation) 
    • Leveraging digital resources and identifying alternative forms of teacher-student connectivity, such as phone and mail; 
    • Developing a program of training for educators to support them in virtual learning delivery; 
    • Requiring final report cards for all students; 
    • Prioritizing and supporting students on track to graduate; 
    • Distributing laptops and/or devices from schools as needed, while observing public health direction; 
    • Maintaining a responsive posture for health care and community partner requests; and 
    • Establishing formal COVID-19 working groups with education sector unions to work together, share ideas and to find solutions in the support of students. 
  • The Ontario Government has finalized an agreement with eCampusOntario to make digital learning supports available to postsecondary institutions. These interim learning supports will help ensure post-secondary students can complete their academic year by providing publicly assisted colleges and universities with the technology they need to conduct year-end assessments. 

 Federal Government Update 

  • Today the Federal Government announced they are investing $2 billion to purchase protective personal equipment, including things like more masks and face shields, gowns, ventilators, test kitsswabs, and hand sanitizer. 
  • Since the outbreak, many businesses have put their hand up and asked us what they can do to help. As a result, the Federal Government launched Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to Fight COVID-19 to ensure that we can quickly produce, here in Canada, the things we need to prevent the spread of the virus. 
  • Since its launch, more than 2,900 Canadian companies have offered their expertise and capacity to meet the country’s need for personal protective equipment and critical health supplies. 
  • Procurement contracts have been signed with three Canadian companies to make medical supplies such as ventilators, surgical masks, and test kits.  

I know the continued uncertainty is hard for all of us to deal with. Today’s announcement on the continued school closures for April will be difficult for parents, myself included. Nevertheless, I’m asking you all to try and stay positive. Let’s be thankful for the positive things in our lives and not dwell on the hard things. 

Please continue to reach out with your concerns, questions, and suggestions.   

We are in this together Kanata North.
Stay home.
Stay healthy.