It’s hard to believe it is April 15th given the snow we saw in Ottawa today! I spent a few hours today collecting and delivering masks to seniors and the Ruddy Shenkman Hospice. A huge thank you to all residents who are hard at work, sewing and donating these. To date, over 300 handmade masks have been collected and distributed in our community. Truly amazing!
Kanata North Update:
- I am so proud of our Kanata North neighbours! 200 of you have signed up to volunteer to help those in need. This speaks volumes to our strong sense of community here in Kanata North and makes me immensely proud. If you need assistance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including picking up groceries or medication, please sign up.
- 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.
- I have updated the list of important Community Resources that you may need through the pandemic. I encourage you to check it out to see the many resources available to support our community through this difficult time.
- Tomorrow at 2 p.m., join me for a conversation with Kanata Food Cupboard’s Cara-Leigh and Dylan as we talk about some of the great work they do in our community and the supports they offer. You can watch this conversation live here.
- It is so great to see so many Canadian flags flying proudly in our community! Hang your Canadian flag to show solidarity in Canada’s fight against COVID-19. We are all in this together!
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 an additional 24 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Ottawa, bringing the total to 643 cases. Sadly, there has been another reported death, amounting to 13 in total. 14 per cent of cases have been hospitalized, including five per cent in intensive care.
- Both Ottawa Care Clinics are now open, in the West and East ends of the city and have continued to relieve capacity from local Emergency Departments. To date, over 400 people have visited the Care Clinics. Treatment has included chest x-rays and, in a handful of cases, transport to hospital.
- Over 8,000 people have been tested at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at the Brewer Arena. There are also a handful of Assessment Centres within the region such as Hawksebury and Winchester, which are also swabbing.
- The impacts of COVID-19 can be challenging to navigate. It’s ok to not be ok. We are here to help. Ottawa Public Health has created a video that provides tips for taking care of your mental health. I encourage you to check it out and reach out if you need support.
- Staying active through the pandemic is encouraged, however it is important to follow the guidelines provided by OPH when venturing outdoors. OPH has shared additional information that clarifies recommendations for getting outdoors.
The Ontario Government shared the following updates:
- Earlier today, Premier Doug Ford announced the COVID-19 Action Plan: Long-Term Care Homes to better protect Ontario’s most vulnerable. On the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Provincial Government has issued a new emergency order restricting long-term care staff from working in more than one long-term care home, retirement home, or health care setting. The new measures announced to prevent further outbreaks and deaths from COVID-19 in long-term care homes include:
- Aggressive testing, screening, and surveillance: enhancing testing for symptomatic residents and staff and those who have been in contact with persons confirmed to have COVID-19; expanding screening to include more asymptomatic contacts of confirmed cases; and leveraging surveillance tools to enable care providers to move proactively against the disease.
- Managing outbreaks and spread of the disease: supporting long-term care homes with public health and infection control expertise to contain and prevent outbreaks; providing additional training and support for current staff working in outbreak conditions.
- Growing long-term care workforce: redeploying staff from hospitals and home and community care to support the long-term care home workforce and respond to outbreaks, alongside intensive on-going recruitment initiatives.
- The emergency order also instructs long-term care employers to ensure their employees, including registered nurses, registered practical nurses, personal support workers, kitchen and cleaning staff only work in one long-term care home, instead of multiple locations. Long-term care workers who must temporarily give up a job in another care setting are protected from losing their job as they are entitled to an unpaid leave of absence. To help long-term care workers make up these lost wages, the government encourages long-term care employers to offer full-time hours to their part-time employees during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Earlier today, the Government of Canada provided these updates:
- To help more Canadians benefit from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Government of Canada is altering the eligibility criteria to:
- Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
- Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Extend the CERB to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.
- The Canadian Government will be working with the provincial government to boost wages for essential workers making less than $2,500 per month. This new temporary top-up of workers’ salaries is to support the workers that are looking after the most vulnerable throughout the pandemic. More information regarding the details of application and delivery of this measure are expected to be announced shortly.
- The federal government also shared that LuminUltra, a New Brunswick company that has a contract with the government, is increasing production to supply enough COVID-19 test chemicals to meet the weekly demand in all provinces.
- To stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect residents and employees, Parks Canada has extended the closure of parks, facilities and campgrounds until May 31st.
- Tomorrow, the Prime Minister will be speaking with the other G7 leaders about continuing to coordinate a strong and effective global response to this pandemic. More information on the strategy to come.
Please continue to reach out with your questions and concerns. In this new work from home environment it is lovely to hear from you and hear how you are keeping busy and safe during these difficult times. Please continue to stay home. Look out for one another and reach out if you need anything.