Kanata North COVID-19 Update April 17

Good evening Kanata North,  

We have now surpassed one month since physical distancing was implemented in our city and I’m so proud of how our community has rallied together during this challenging timeI want to give a special shout out to all parents. As a mom of three I know firsthand that this has not been easy. Some days are harder than others. Today was particularly hard in my household. Let’s hope tomorrow is a bit easier. Kids are struggling alongside us, missing their friends, and wanting life to get back to normal. 

Sadly 7 people died in Ottawa in the last 24 hours from COVID-19. This is a striking reminder that we need to keep our kids home. We need to stay home. 

I hope that everyone has safe and healthy weekend. Here is the latest information regarding the COVID-19 situation. My next update will be on Monday unless anything urgent comes up that you need to know about. 

Kanata North Update: 

  • Next week is Earth Day! I know that our community cares for our environment and loves the many greenspaces that Kanata North has to offer. I have teamed up with Envirocentre to host a virtual Earth Day event this coming Wednesday at 3 p.m. We will be talking to kids and adults about the environment and all that we can do to reduce the impact we have. This will be an interactive and lively discussion and I encourage you to tune in.   
  • It is amazing how many small businesses we have right here in our community. Why not support one this weekend by ordering takeout or delivery for the whole family? Here’s your guide on what’s open in our community.  
  • I know many of you do grocery shopping during the weekends. Here are a few helpful tips: 
    • Please remember to be responsible by following these OPH recommendations while grocery shoppingIt’s not just about you but everyone around you.  
    • If you need assistance, please don’t risk your health, it’s okay to ask for help. We have over 200 volunteers signed up who are ready to help. Please reach out if you need help.  
    • Some grocery stores have special hours for the vulnerable, here’s your guide on where to shop.  

City of Ottawa/Ottawa Public Health Update: 

  • TodayOPH reported 50 new cases and tragically seven additional deaths. This brings the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 728 and 21 deaths. The large amount of cases may be contributed to the increase in testing. Testing is just one important part of what is being done to contain COVID-19. This is a striking reminder of the importance of physical distancing and how crucial it is that we all follow the experts advice   
  • There is some encouraging news: 42 per cent of confirmed cases have been resolved, and hospitalizations and ICU admissions are down slightly. You can read the special statement for today from Dr. Etches, Medical Officer of Health, here 
  • OPH continues to work closely with the healthcare teams, especially the Long-Term Care Homes (LTC). Strike teams have been created to implement the guidance provided by the ProvinceOPH Public Health Nurses and Public Health Inspectors have been assigned to facilities to provide additional support in outbreak management.   
  • Following the Provincial guidance, OPH is focused on the following three areas: 
    • 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 Ontario’s 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. 
  • In addition to now allowing for testing of some asymptomatic residents and staff in long-term care and retirement homes experiencing an outbreak, the Province added a list of less common COVID-19 symptoms to the testing criteria and has again increased the categories of people eligible for testing. 
  • While doing spring cleaning, please remember to hold your large or bulky items for garbage pickup for a future date and limit your leaf and yard waste to 2-3 bags per week. This will help our waste collectors focus on this essential service. You can find out more information regarding spring cleaning during COVID-19 here 

Provincial Update 

Here are the latest updates from the Province that you should know about.  

  • In order to meet the educational needs of students throughout the pandemic, the Ontario government has partnered with Rogers Communications to purchase iPads, pre-equipped with free Rogers LTE wireless data. Apple is providing on-going support to teachers, parents and students, with a collection of resources to support learning and working from home. This week, Ontario school boards began distributing iPads to students who don’t have either the technology or the internet they need to access the Learn at Home program. 
  • The Ontario Government is adopting a variety of flexibility in staffing options to ensure frontline services can continue to be delivered in priority areas. The emergency measures issued to further protect vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak include: 
    • Restricting retirement home employees from working in more than one retirement home, long-term care home, or health care setting, with compliance required by April 22, 2020. 
    • Providing Local Health Integration Networks with the ability to direct home care service provider organizations to safely reassign frontline staff to areas where they are most needed, including home and community care settings, long-term care homes, supportive housing, retirement homes, and hospitals 
    • Providing municipalities and District Social Service Administration Boards with the flexibility to offer reassignments to certain staff to where there is local need during the outbreak, including childcare, by-law enforcement, and public health services. 
  • To ensure more essential workers can get care for their children, the Ontario government is expanding the list of workers eligible to receive emergency childcare. The additional frontline workers who can now access emergency childcare services include: 
    • Staff working in developmental services, victim services, violence against women services, anti-human trafficking services, and child welfare services (children’s aid societies) and in children’s residential settings. 
    • Additional staff identified by the Ministry of the Solicitor General, including: 
      • First Nations constables. 
      • Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management fire investigators. 
      • Select critical staff in community corrections, such as probation, and parole officers. 
      • Contractors in institutional corrections services. 
      • Frontline staff at the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit. 
      • Critical staff at the Centre of Forensic Sciences. 
      • Critical staff operating the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre. 
      • Staff working in shelters (e.g., serving homeless populations). 
      • Power workers. 
      • Pharmaceutical and medical supplies and device manufacturing workers. 
      • Non-municipal water and waste-water employees. 
      • Federally employed staff including Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers, and Canada Post employees. 

Federal Update 

The Federal government has provided these updates today regarding COVID-19: 

  • The Government of Canada announced new actions to protect jobs and provide more support to businesses and organizations dealing with the economic impacts of COVID-19. Over $1.7 billion will go towards new measures, including: 
    • $675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access Canada’s Regional Development Agencies. 
    • $287 million to support rural businesses and communities, providing them with much-needed access to capital through the Community Futures Network. 
    • $500 million to establish a COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations to help address the financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors so they can continue to support artists and athletes. This measure is consistent with the government’s other existing COVID-19 support measures for wages and fixed costs for organizations. 
    • $250 million to assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access existing COVID-19 business support, through the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program. 
    • $20.1 million in support for Futurpreneur Canada to continue to support young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19. The funding will allow Futurpreneur Canada to provide payment relief for its clients for up to 12 months. 
  • The Canadian government is also investing in new measures to support sectors that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. To support Canadians working in the energy sector, the Government of Canada will: 
    • Provide up to $1.72 billion, including funding to the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia, and the Alberta Orphan Well Association, to clean up orphan or inactive oil and gas wells – creating thousands of jobs and having lasting environmental benefits. 
    • Provide up to $750 million to create a new proposed Emissions Reduction Fund to reduce emissions in Canada’s oil and gas sector, with a focus on methane. This fund will provide primarily repayable contributions to conventional and offshore oil and gas firms to support their investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Of this amount, $75 million will be allocated to the offshore sector. 
    • Expand eligibility for the new Business Credit Availability Program announced on March 13, 2020, to help Canadian businesses get the financing they need during this period of uncertainty. The support will be available to medium-sized businesses with larger financing needs, beginning with companies in Canada’s energy sector, to help them maintain operations and keep their employees on the job. 

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.   

Stay home. 

Stay healthy.