Kanata North COVID-19 Update April 11

Good evening Kanata North,

I hope everyone is enjoying the Easter weekend and excited for the Easter bunny to come tonight.  I know my girls are excited to see what the Easter Bunny brings.

I continue to be inspired by the kindness displayed by our community. There are some great initiatives popping up and I wanted to share a few today with you:

  • Sewing of handmade masks: A number of volunteers are generously sewing masks and other items. I am happy to accept these donations and have been working to get these items to those needing them in our community.  My first priority has been the Seniors residences and the elderly. Please reach out with any donations or requests.
  • A local mom recently created a new Facebook group set up to assist single moms. As you can appreciate, single moms don’t have the luxury of running errands and getting groceries on their own, when they have young children. You can sign up to be buddy to a single mom or seek assistance in the group here.
  • Volunteers signed up through my website continue to help an average of five individuals or families each day. The gratitude expressed by those receiving this help is amazing. I can’t thank the community enough for their kindness during these difficult times.  Anyone needing assistance with groceries, errands, or other needs can request assistance here.
  • We know the pandemic can be challenging, and we’re here to help. Join Councillor Gower, Michelle Hurtubise, Executive Director of the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC), and myself on April 14th at 11 a.m. as we discuss the resources available to support the vulnerable and isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to register before the meeting starts.  
  • Neighbourhood initiatives: I love seeing the neat ideas popping up, from riddles on park benches, or Easter eggs in front windows. Please continue these great initiatives. I know that many in the community are enjoying them and it brings much needed smiles to people’s faces.

Further, I have received many emails regarding ClubLink’s decision to install “no trespassing” signs at the entrances to the Kanata Golf & Country Club.  I too share your disappointment with this decision. The signage indicates that they have the ability to do so under the emergency regulation that was issued by the Provincial Government. I am currently working with City staff to determine whether the community is still able to “walk-through” using the pathways, similar to the current rules for City parks.  As soon as I have more details I will share with the community.

Ottawa Public Health

These are the latest updates from Ottawa Public Health that you should know.

Number of Cases

  • Today, there are 30 new cases being reported and sadly two new deaths. That brings the total to 524 cases in the community with 14 outbreaks in institutions.
  • The number of people hospitalized and in intensive care changes daily. There are currently 37 people in hospital (four more than yesterday) and 13 of them are in ICU (no change since yesterday).
  • Sadly, 11 people have now died. Of these individuals, 10 were over the age of 65 years and one was 45-64 years old, seven males and four females.

Clarification about testing

  • Ottawa Public Health website has been updated with the latest COVID-19 testing criteria. They continue to update the public with any new changes in testing recommendations that come from the Ontario Ministry of Health. Continuing to expand access to testing is important as this will enable more targeted strategies and relaxation of physical distancing in the futre.
  • If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, reminder for you to use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool to help determine how to seek further care.

Clarification who needs to seek care and where to go

  • We continue to hear that people want more clarity about where to get tested or access health care for COVID-19. The Brewer Arena Assessment Center is the primary location for swabbing people who need to be tested for COVID-19.
  • If you can manage your symptoms at home (e.g. your symptoms are generally mild), be tested if you meet the latest COVID-19 testing criteria, but you may not need to seek further health care.
  • If you have escalating symptoms of respiratory illness, including a fever or worsening cough and flu-like symptoms, and are in need of medical attention, you should go to the COVID-19 Care Clinics.
  • If you are in distress (e.g. significant trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting, or have a significant worsening of any chronic disease symptoms), do not go to the Assessment Centre or a COVID-19 Care clinic. Go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.
  • Anyone with serious illness should never hesitate to go to Emergency Departments. The Ottawa-area hospitals all have capacity to provide emergency service to those who need it and they are using strict infection prevention and control measures.
  • Please continue to visit ottawapublichealth.ca/coronavirus for the latest news and updates.

Provincial Government

These are the latest updates from the Provincial Government that you should know.

    • The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until April 23, 2020. This includes the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings, and the prohibition of price gouging.
    • The province has updated the list of symptoms related to COVID-19, including:
      • a hoarse voice.
      • difficulty swallowing.
      • loss of sense of smell or taste.
      • diarrhea or nausea or vomiting.
    • For seniors, there are additional symptoms including:
      • chills.
      • delirium with no other obvious reason.
      • acute functional decline.
      • increased heart rate and decreased blood pressure.
    • These updated symptoms are in addition to difficulty breathing, fever, cough, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, and runny nose.
    • All Ontarians should stay home unless for essential reasons only, such as accessing health care services, shopping for groceries, picking up medication, walking pets when required, or supporting vulnerable community members with meeting essential needs. If you must leave your home, stay at least two meters apart from others.
    • To stop the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario government is implementing the next phase of its strategy to significantly expand and enhance testing. In addition to the ongoing testing of the general public at any of the 100 assessment centres, now established across the province, Ontario will be proactively testing several priority groups, including:
      • Hospital inpatients.
      • Residents of long-term care and retirement homes.
      • Health care workers, caregivers, care providers, paramedics, and first responders, including police and firefighters.
      • Remote, isolated, rural, and Indigenous communities.
      • Other congregate living centres, including homeless shelters, prisons, and group homes.
      • Specific vulnerable populations, including patients undergoing chemotherapy or hemodialysis and requiring transplants, as well as pregnant persons, newborns and cross-border workers.
      • Other essential workers, as defined by provincial orders.
    • By implementing this strategy, Ontario expects to double the number of tests processed each day to 8,000 by April 15, 2020 and 14,000 by April 29, 2020, at which point overall lab capacity will have been further expanded.
    • This testing strategy follows extensive efforts to expand Ontario’s lab testing capacity, which helped to quickly eliminate a backlog of approximately 10,000 people within less than two weeks. To date, the Province has conducted over 94,000 tests.
    • The province has re-established same-day testing results, which are now conveniently accessible to patients through a new user-friendly online portal. This portal will help ease pressure on public health units and frontline workers, allowing them to focus their efforts on combating COVID-19. The province is also helping to significantly expand the capacity of public health units to conduct contact tracing and case management, both of which are critical to stopping the spread of the virus, by enabling the use of volunteers, including retired nurses and medical students.
    • People who have tested negative for COVID-19 must still follow all precautions, including staying at home except to pick up essential supplies like groceries and prescriptions, and keeping at least two-meters apart from others. While an individual may receive a negative test at a given moment in time, the individual is still able to contract and spread the virus.
    • New measures have also been introduced to address surge capacity in retirement homes, restrict recreational camping on Crown land, and allow the repurposing of existing buildings and temporary structures. All of these actions are based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Federal Government

There were important developments that occurred today from the Federal Government:

  • Today, the House of commons was in session and passed the largest economic measures Canada has seen since World War Two.
  • The bill that was debated and passed by the House of Commons is now before the Senate and once law will operationalize the wage subsidy benefit. This will have positive impact for business and workers.
  • I`ll share more on that in my next update once it has been passed by the Senate.

Have a lovely evening Kanata North and wishing you a Happy Easter to all celebrating tomorrow. I know I will miss having my parents join us for dinner, but we will be changing things up this year. My husband is cooking and we are planning lots of family games to keep us occupied (while eating Easter chocolate of course!). Whatever you do, I am wishing you a lovely day.

I`ll be taking the next few days off and will back with another update on Tuesday.

Stay home.

Stay healthy.

Take care.