I hope you all enjoyed your weekend, spent time with family and connected with loved ones virtually. I know that physical distancing can be difficult as more time passes, but we need to carry on to benefit from the results. As we navigate through the pandemic, I will continue to share these updates with you and hope you find them useful.
Kanata North Update:
- Please note that GDG planned to start aerial treatments today as they have found that the larval development is advancing quickly. The aerial treatment will be performed by helicopter. You can expect more treatments in the coming weeks.
- As more stores and restaurants pivot their operations during the pandemic, I will continue to update the #ShopLocal page on my website. I encourage you to continue to visit this page and support these restaurants and stores through the pandemic.
- I encourage any community member who needs assistance with errands or groceries to please reach out. I would be happy to connect you with a volunteer who is ready and willing to assist those in our community who need the help.
City of Ottawa/Ottawa Public Health Update:
These are the latest updates from City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health (OPH):
- Today, OPH announced 44 new cases and 7 new deaths. This brings the total of cases to 1,154 and 59 deaths in Ottawa. Currently 10% of the cases are hospitalized and there are 22 ongoing outbreaks in institutions.
- Understanding the value of Community Gardens, OPH has worked closely with the provincial government to permit the use of community gardens. OPH will provide advice, recommendations and instructions that gardens must meet in order to operate. I will share the recommendations as they become available.
- OPH remains focused on trying to control and further decrease the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes and retirement homes in Ottawa. You can find the latest information regarding the work that OPH is doing here.
- OPH is actively working with the Province to determine further information and develop local plans to ease the restrictions currently in place. OPH will be examining the new Provincial plan closely and reviewing its own plans over the coming weeks.
The Government of Ontario shared the following updates:
- Today the Province laid out its plan on how it would work to responsibly ease the restrictions that have been in place. This framework involves the following stages:
- Stage 1: For businesses that were ordered to close or restrict operations, opening select workplaces that can immediately modify operations to meet public health guidance. Opening some outdoor spaces like parks and allowing for a greater number of individuals to attend some events. Hospitals would also begin to offer some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries, and other health care services.
- Stage 2: Opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries and additional office and retail workplaces. Some larger public gatherings would be allowed, and more outdoor spaces would open.
- Stage 3: Opening of all workplaces responsibly and further relaxing of restrictions on public gatherings.
- Ontario Public Health officials will carefully monitor each stage for up to four weeks. Allowing them to continuously monitor the evolution of COVID-19 and determine if it is necessary to change course to maintain the safety of residents.
- The Province has not provided a date of when these stages will commence. However, here are some of the factors that the Government will be looking at when determining when it would be most appropriate to start easing restrictions while protecting residents:
- Consistent two to four week decrease in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases.
- Sufficient acute and critical care capacity. This includes access to ventilators and ongoing availability of personal protective equipment.
- Approximately 90 % of new COVID-19 contacts are being reached by local public health officials in one day, in our case this would be OPH.
- Ongoing testing of suspected COVID-19 cases, especially of vulnerable populations to detect outbreaks quickly.
- Ottawa Public Health is working with the city to find out more about what this means for our city. You can find more information here.
- Yesterday, based on the advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario Government announced that schools will remain closed until at least May 31 to keep students, staff and families safe from COVID-19. Online learning will continue while schools are closed through the Learn at Home Portal to ensure students can continue to study at home. The Ontario Government has shared their commitment to have all students complete this year of school.
- The Provincial Government has also extended the closure of Ontario Park operations until May 31 to better protect residents and employees. Reservations for arrivals up to, and including, any further closure extension date will be automatically cancelled, and reservation holders will receive a full refund with no penalty.
- Premier Ford announced that the Ontario government will provide frontline staff with a temporary pay increase to recognize the hard work and dedication of those helping to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic payment increase will provide four dollars per hour worked on top of existing hourly wages. Employees working over 100 hours per month will also receive $250 per month for each of the next four months. Those eligible to receive the payment will be staff working in long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, social services congregate care settings, corrections institutions and youth justice facilities, as well as those providing home and community care, and some staff in hospitals.
- To better support Ontario’s long-term care homes, the Ontario government is introducing new and amending some emergency orders that would allow for the redeployment of staff to ensure they can work where they are needed most during the COVID-19 outbreak. The new and amended emergency orders being introduced will:
- Allow health service providers, including hospitals, to temporarily reassign frontline staff to provide services and supports in long-term care homes. This will help to quickly provide much-needed staffing support to long-term care homes while they continue to fight outbreaks.
- Provide staffing flexibility to service providers and employers in the intervenor services sector, which helps people who have a combined loss of hearing and vision. This will give employers the temporary authority to redirect staff to carry out essential tasks to support and protect people who are deafblind. It will also ensure staffing measures are in place to allow for physical distancing.
- Permit the use of allotment gardens and community gardens across the province. These gardens are an essential source of fresh food for some individuals and families, including those who face food insecurity. Local medical officers of health will provide advice, recommendation, and instructions that the gardens must meet in order to operate, such as physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting commonly used equipment and surfaces.
The Canadian Government shared these updates:
- Employers can now start applying online for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Since 6 a.m. this morning there have been almost 10,000 businesses that have already applied.
- If your business was affected by COVID-19 you may be eligible for up to 75 per cent of your employees’ wages. You can find out if your business is eligible here.
- The Canada Revenue Agency has partnered with financial institutions to ensure money gets deposited as quickly as possible.
- Please remember, you won’t be able to keep both the wage subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rescue Benefit, it’s one or the other, but not both.
- To ensure the resilience of the fish and seafood food system, the Canadian Government has shared how they will be supporting the fish and seafood sector by funding $62.5 million of new assistance to the fish and seafood processing sector. Information about the application system is expected to be released soon. This new Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund will help businesses:
- Access short-term financing to pay for maintenance and inventory costs;
- Add storage capacity for unsold product;
- Comply with new health and safety measures for workers;
- Support new manufacturing/automated technologies to improve productivity and quality of finished seafood products; and,
- Adapt products to respond to changing requirements and new market demands.
Thank you, Kanata North, for continuing to follow the guidelines of the medical officers of health. As the weeks continue to pass, please know that I will continue to share with you the most relevant and timely information available on COVID-19. Please never hesitate to reach out with your concerns, questions or ideas.