Kanata North COVID-19 Update May 8

Good evening Kanata North, 

As we head into the weekend, I wanted to remind everyone that we are at risk of a resurgence of COVID-19.  We are not out of the woods yet. We must remain diligent by continuing to follow the advice of Ottawa Public Health. Please stay home as much as you can. Visit with friends and family virtually, and practice physical distancing when you must leave your home.  

I also wanted to wish all the Moms in our community a very Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you are able to enjoy your day, however you decide to celebrate it.  

Kanata North Update: 

  • Many local Kanata North businesses are offering special Mother’s Day services to help you celebrate. You can find a list of special services on my website. I will continue to keep the list updated with your feedback. Happy Mother’s Day to all the incredible moms throughout our community.  I hope you are all spoiled with love by your families. 
  • I know many of you have questions regarding city park restrictions. On Wednesday, Mayor Watson announced that residents are now permitted to have more access to parks. While equipment, structures, and sports fields are still prohibited, residents can now use greenspaces to relax, exercise, and enjoy the fresh air. You must follow the recommendations provided by the Provincial emergency order and OPH. I have created visual maps of each Kanata North park to show the areas that are off limits. You can find the visuals here. 
  • Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of hosting a live discussion with Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Vera Etches and President & CEO of Queensway Carleton Hospital, Dr. Andrew Falconer for a live COVID-19 discussion. Both doctor’s answered many of your questions and provided great recommendations to navigate the pandemic. If you missed it, you can watch it here or on my website.  

City of Ottawa/Ottawa Public Health Update (OPH): 

These are the latest updates from the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health: 

  • Today, OPH has reported 24 new cases in Ottawa and tragically 7 deaths. To date, there have been 1,603 cases, including 148 deaths. There are 23 ongoing outbreaks in Ottawa institutions.  
  • The Human Needs Task Force has been hard at work supporting the city’s most vulnerable through COVID-19. Today, the city announced $3 million to 73 non-profits to help address immediate needs through the pandemic. Funded by the federal and provincial governments, the Social Services Relief Fund will help 40 homelessness service providers and residential services homes. Additionally, it will provide funding to 33 community agencies that provide essential servicessupports for at-risk residents, and equity-seeking groups. These organizations support the Indigenous community, isolated seniors, mental health, food security, day programs, community houses, community hubs, residential services homes, supportive housing, and emergency shelters. 
  • The gradual easing of the pandemic restrictions will present new challenges to our business community. Last month, I directed city staff to utilize the Innovation Pilot Program to challenge our business community to help accelerate Ottawa’s ability to get the workforce back to work using technology innovations. Until May 20, the Innovation Pilot Program – Recovery Stream will be accepting proposals in many sectors, including health, tourism, festivals and events, restaurants, retail, construction, transportation, and food supply. Apply now to help our city’s economy. 
  • Mayor Watson will be hosting another virtual town hall to discuss the city’s response to COVID-19 on May 14th at 3 p.m. You can watch on the City of Ottawa’s Youtube channel, on RogersTV Cable 22, or on rogerstv.com. Call in to 613-233-1979 (passcode 5490123#) during the discussion with your questions for the panel. 
  • Starting Monday, May 11ththe city will launch a Park Ambassador Program to further educate residents about the restrictions when visiting city parks. You can expect to see red vested or green shirt city staff at approximately 40 different sites for a few hours each. The staff will be located at a combination of the large parks that have been gathering places (Britannia, Petrie, Andrew Haydon, etc.) as well as local district parks and neighbourhood parks.  

Provincial Update: 

Here are the latest updates from the provincial government: 

  • The Ontario Government has released their plan to resume scheduled surgeries and procedures, while maintaining capacity to respond to COVID-19. Timelines will vary for each hospital and be conditional on approval by regional oversight tables involved with planning and coordinating Ontario’s response to COVID-19. Criteria must be met before hospitals can resume scheduled surgeries, including ensuring that the hospital and its region have the following: 
    • A stable number of COVID-19 cases. 
    • A stable supply of personal protective equipment.
    • A stable supply of medications. 
    • An adequate capacity of inpatient and intensive care unit beds. 
    • An adequate capacity of health human resources. 
    • The availability of post-acute care outside the hospital that would be required to support patients after discharge. 
  • On a weekly basis, hospitals must assess whether there is adequate staffing, equipment and other resources to resume scheduled care. The framework also sets out the criteria for prioritizing surgeries such as: 
    • A patient’s condition. 
    • The type of procedure a patient requires and whether options for non-operative treatments exist. 
    • The associated risks of delaying a patient’s surgery.  
    • The resources required in terms of personal protective equipment, medications, intensive care unit beds, and other care requirements needed after an operation. 
  • Today, Premier Ford shared information regarding ongoing preparations for reopening the economy. Starting today, garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases on Saturday.  On Monday, non-essential retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery. 
  • The new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA) will support small businesses and ensure that once the emergency orders are lifted, they are prepared to open. The province is investing $241 million of the total $900 million to the program with contributions from the federal government. 
  • Through the $10 billion funded in Ontario’s Action Plan to combat COVID-19, the Ontario Government will support people and businesses improve cashflow by providing a five-month penalty and interest-free period to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes, deferring the upcoming quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax, and providing up to $1.9 billion in financial relief by allowing employers to defer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments for up to six months. 
  • The provincial government announced that professional sport training facilities will be permitted to reopen, as long as the respective sports leagues strictly follow the health and safety protocols. 

Federal Update: 

The following are the latest updates from the Canadian government: 

  • Yesterday, the federal government announced that all essential workers in Canada will receive wage top-ups. The provinces and territories will confirm their plans and determine which workers are eligible for support and how much they will receive. The Government of Canada will provide up to $3 billion in support to increase the wages of low-income essential workers. 
  • To better support Canadian’s through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will extend beyond June to help Canadians as the economy re-opens. The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy is in place to help businesses keep their employees. You can apply for it here. 
  • To help sectors that have been hit especially hard, the Canadian government has created a new Industry Strategy Council. This Council will take a deeper dive into how the pandemic is affecting specific sectors, and how to best support them. Expertise from the Economic Strategy Tables will be leveraged to set up the first mandate, as well as looking to new industry leaders. 

Thank you for doing your part through the COVID-19 pandemic; to the frontline workers risking their health to keep us safe, all of the essential workers who continue to provide us with the necessities, and those who are staying home to stop the spread. We will get through this by working together.