I hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend and got the opportunity to make new memories with family. With the Ontario Government extending the declaration of emergency, it is more important than ever that we continue to stay home. We are seeing the positive benefits of physical distancing, but to have a lasting impact we must continue. We can do this, we are a strong community.
Kanata North Update:
- The beautiful weather is encouraging many to get outdoors for walks and bike rides. The Kanata North Transportation Committee (KNTC), a volunteer-based group that meets monthly to discuss transportation, has created a cycling map for residents to easily explore Kanata North. Please be mindful of keeping a physical distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and others. Should you have any questions or concerns, you can email the committee at email@example.com.
- As many in our community have noticed, last week the Kanata Golf & Country Club posted “No Trespassing” signs on the pathway entrances to the golf course. Under the Provincial Emergency Act, the golf course is required by law to be closed except to conduct necessary maintenance work. Residents are required to stay off the course and the cart paths. Residents may however travel through the golf course on the pathways connecting the community. The same rules apply for city parks. You must stay on the paths, not loiter, and not congregate in groups of more than 5. I appreciate this is very frustrating for the community. However, I ask that you abide by the current regulations.
- As schools remain closed and lessons are being shifted online, the Kiwanis clubs in Eastern Ontario have started a program to provide computers to children that do not have access to technology. Kiwanis Computers for Kids is being led by the Kiwanis Club of Kanata-Stittsville and the Kiwanis Club of Bytown. Please consider donating to help buy computers for children in need.
- I know many of you would like to #ShopLocal during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have created brief lists of local grocery shops and restaurants providing takeout and delivery that can be found on my website. Both the Kanata Central Business Improvement Area and the Kanata North Business Association have created pages for you to support local businesses during this difficult time. I encourage you to support those if you can.
- Earlier today, Councillor Gower and I spoke with Michelle Hurtubise, Executive Director of the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC) to discuss the resources available to support the vulnerable and isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. WOCRC supports all ages and has quickly adapted the way in which they provide their services through the pandemic. You can find a complete list of their operations here. Please reach out if you need assistance during this time. Tune in to watch the entire candid chat here.
- I am accepting donations of masks from the many volunteers that are generously sewing masks and other items. My team and I are working to get these items to those needing them in our community, with priority to seniors’ residences and the elderly. Please reach out with any donations or requests.
- Join me this Thursday at 2 p.m. for a conversation with two representatives of the Kanata Food Cupboard as we talk about some of the great work they do in our community and the supports they offer. You can watch this conversation on Thursday here.
City of Ottawa/Ottawa Public Health Update
Today, the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health provided these updates:
- Ottawa Public Health has shared that to date there are 619 COVID-19 cases, including 33 new cases that have been reported in Ottawa. Tragically, there has been one new death, bringing the total to 12. In total, 15 per cent of cases have been hospitalized, including five per cent in intensive care.
- Ottawa Public Health has updated the criteria for those who should be getting tested for COVID-19. Not everyone needs to get tested and can use the self-assessment tool. You should get tested if you are:
- An essential worker (person working directly with the public) who has COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- A healthcare worker or a household member of a healthcare worker who has COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- A pregnant individual who is in their third trimester and has respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- A returning traveller to Canada who has COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- In close contacts (live with, provided care for, or spent extensive time with) of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 and you have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- Physical distancing can be especially hard for women facing violence and abuse. Today, an online chat and text service was launched for Ottawa women living with violence and abuse. Unsafe Ottawa is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. to provide emotional support, practical advice, and referrals. If you or someone you know needs help, please call or text 613-704-5535.
- Since April 3, By-law and Regulatory Services responded to 1,916 calls pertaining to suspected violations of COVID-19 measures. So far less than 4 percent of calls or 74 calls have resulted in tickets being issued. Please be sure to follow the new guidelines and call 3-1-1 to report 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.
The Ontario Government shared the following updates:
- The Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency for an additional 28 days, until May 12, based on the recommendation from the Chief Medical Officer. This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration of emergency will continue to enforce current orders, including the closure of all non-essential workplaces, outdoor amenities such as parks and recreational areas, public places, bars and restaurants, as well as restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and prohibitions against price-gouging. A full list of emergency orders can be found on the Ontario website.
- Premier Doug Ford announced that the declaration of emergency will also impact school closures that were planned to be closed until May 4th. Online learning will continue to be available for students on the E-Learning Ontario Portal.
- To ensure that patients, frontline health care workers and first responders have the critical equipment and supplies needed to protect themselves, the Ontario Government has obtained more than 13 million surgical masks, 200,000 N95 respirator masks, and 38 ventilators. Same-day deliveries to hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and other facilities to support essential workers are underway. This includes shipments this past weekend of 6.5 million surgical and procedural masks to over 650 providers across the province to protect our frontline workers, patients, and residents.
- The Provincial Government is developing a new health data platform called the Pandemic Threat Response (PANTHR). The new platform will hold secure health data that will allow researchers to better support health system planning and responsiveness, including the immediate need to analyze the current COVID-19 outbreak. The information gathered will allow researchers to help with:
- Increasing detection of COVID-19;
- Discovering risk factors for vulnerable populations;
- Predicting when and where outbreaks may happen;
- Evaluating how preventative and treatment measures are working; and
- Identifying where to allocate equipment and other resources.
- When launched, PANTHR will provide access to de-identified, integrated data on publicly funded administrative health services records, including:
- Physician claims submitted to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP);
- Medical drug claims submitted to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program;
- Discharge summaries of hospital stays and emergency department visits; and
- Claims for home care and long-term care.
Earlier today, the Government of Canada provided these updates:
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that progress has been made on testing for COVID-19. Rapid testing kits are moving forward, including those from Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience, who will be supplying tens of thousands of kits per month, and potentially more as production increases.
- Stricter restrictions are being implemented tonight for those returning to Canada after traveling abroad. Asymptomatic travellers must be able to explain their self-isolation plans. If they are unable, they will be required to self-isolate in a hotel.
- The Government of Canada has allocated $20 million to support critical food inspection to ensure that Canadians will have continued access to safe food. The investment will allow the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to hire, train, and equip additional staff to conduct critical inspection activities, reassign staff from within the Agency to focus on critical services, and work closer with industry and trading partners to minimize supply disruptions during this crisis.
- Over the weekend, Canada received new shipments of personal protective equipment. These new N95 masks are in addition to the more than 820,000 that went to the provinces last week and are being distributed immediately.
- To address the unique needs of the Northern population, the Canadian Government has announced additional support for health, economic, and transportation needs. These measures include:
- Transfer $72.6 million to the governments of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut to support their COVID-19 health and social services preparations and response. This funding will help territories address the critical priorities they identified to minimize the spread of the virus.
- Provide up to $17.3 million to the governments of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut to support northern air carriers. This funding, in partnership with investments by the territorial governments, will ensure the continued supply of food, medical supplies, and other essential goods and services to remote and fly-in communities.
- Provide $15 million in non-repayable support for businesses in the territories to help address the impacts of COVID-19. This support will assist businesses with operating costs not already covered by other Government of Canada measures.
- Provide an additional $25 million to Nutrition North Canada to increase subsidies so families can afford much-needed nutritious food and personal hygiene products.
Thank you for your continued cooperation as we stay home. I am very proud of our community for not only your diligence in staying home as much as possible, but your kindness and compassion for your neighbours and our community.
Keep it up Kanata North!
Stay home. Stay healthy.