Kanata North COVID-19 Update May 19

Good evening Kanata North, 

I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend. My family and I took advantage of the nice weather we were fortunate to get by spending lots of time outdoors. With the beautiful forecast we are expecting, I am happy to see further park restrictions being eased as of todayHowever, please remember that we must continue to follow the guidelines provided by Ottawa Public Health: maintaining a physical distance of two metres from others, washing hands regularly, and monitoring your health for symptoms. Although we are seeing positive signs of flattening the curve, we are still in the midst of a pandemic. The work we have put in thus far has made it possible to ease these restrictions, we must continue to work hard to stop the spread of COVID-19 to be able to build on this progress.  

Kanata North Update 

  • Over the weekend, the provincial government permitted golf courses to reopen. Unfortunately, this means that public access at the Kanata Golf and Country Club (ClubLink), including cutting through the golf course is not allowed until the end of the season. This is a normal practise throughout the golf season. 
  • The Kanata Farmers Market will open again this Saturday, May 25th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, operations have pivoted to keep staff and shoppers safe. Residents are now invited to order online and pick up at the market. You can see a full list of vendors and place your orders here. 
  • The uOttawa Maker Mobile has pivoted their operations by offering free online STEM workshops for families. In addition, the uOttawa Maker Mobile team is offering a free Online Scratch Coding club for kids in grade 3 to 6. Through their online Google Classroom platform, participants will receive two coding challenges per week. The club will run for 3 weeks, proving 6 challenges for children. New groups will start on Tuesdays. 

City of Ottawa/Ottawa Public Health (OPH) Update 

Here are the latest updates from the City of Ottawa and OPH: 

  • Today, OPH reported 22 new cases and tragically one death. This brings the cumulative total of cases to 1,824 and 202 deaths. 
  • In response to the province’s announcement to open outdoor recreational facilities, the City of Ottawa will implement stage-one reopeningsThis means that the following park features are now open: 
    • Baseball diamonds 
    • Soccer fields 
    • Frisbee golf locations 
    • Tennis courts, platform tennis, table tennis 
    • Pickleball courts 
    • Basketball courts,  
    • BMX parks and skate parks, 
    • Off-leash dog areas
    • benches, picnic areas and shelters are also open.  
  • Provincial Orders remain in effect prohibiting the use of play structures, swings, slides, splash and spray pads, public swimming pools, wading pools and exercise equipment.  
  • While restrictions are being eased, residents must follow the guidelines from Ottawa Public Health. 
    • Groups larger than 5 are prohibited 
    • Residents must maintain a physical distance of two metres
    • Wash your hands regularly 
    • Stay home if you are not feeling well.  
    • While benches and picnic tables are permitted, please note that they will not be sanitized regularly, residents should wash or sanitize their hands after use. 
  • Last week, the OPH announced that all residents who are showing COVID-19 symptoms can get tested. Residents can get tested at the Assessment Centre and both Care Clinics. Dr. Vera Etches shared that even if you think you can manage your symptoms at home, you should still get tested. This information will help OPH find more cases to stop the transmission; it helps to detect cases more quickly, understand where transmission is occurring in the community, investigate the source, and identify outbreaks earlier.  
  • OPH is sharing guidance for businesses that are permitted to reopen. Pre-employment testing is currently not required for employees to return to work. Employees are encouraged to self-screen before each shift. Employees with symptoms of infection consistent with COVID19 should not go to work. You can find the province’s self-assessment tool here. 
  • The city’s Human Needs Task Force is seeking non-medical masks for Ottawa’s most vulnerable. Those who are willing to donate can email donations@ottawa.ca to set up a drop-off appointment. The Human Needs Task Force is looking for: 
    • Masks made of at least two layers of tightly woven fabric that is breathable, like cotton sheets, quilters cotton and flannel. 
    • Masks with pockets or slots for replaceable filters. 
    • Masks used to cover other masks or respirators to prolong their use. 

Provincial Update 

Here are the latest updates from the Government of Ontario: 

  • The government of Ontario announced that schools will remain closed for the duration of the school year. The government is planning for the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year. All students who were on track to graduate from secondary school before the initial school closure order was made in March will be able to graduate, and all students will receive report cards. Later this year, the government will share plans to strengthen learning and safety protocols for students and staff to return to in-person classes for the 2020-21 school year. 
  • The government of Ontario is planning for the gradual reopening of child care, and the opening of summer day camps subject to the continuing progress in trends of key public health indicators. Should public health indicators continue to improve, summer day camps, both indoor and outdoor, may be permitted in July and August of this year with strict health and safety guidelines. Overnight camps will not be permitted to operate in the summer of 2020. 
  • Today, based on the advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario Government extended all the emergency orders currently in force until at least May 29, 2020. This will include closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery only, restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters. You can see the complete list of essential businesses here. 
  • The province officially enters the first stage of its Framework for Reopening the Province today. Some outdoor recreational amenities, including sports facilities and multi-use fields, off-leash dog areas, and outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in parks and recreational areas, are permitted to open. However, outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, fitness equipment, public swimming pools, and splash pads will remain closed until later stages of the province’s reopening plan. 
  • Today, the Government of Ontario further committed to improving the long-term care home system. The government will review the long-term care system to get a better understanding of the impacts and responses to the COVID-19 outbreak by launching an independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system beginning in September. Details, including terms of reference, membership, leadership of the commission and reporting timelines, are currently being worked on. The goal of this is to have guidance on how to improve the long-term care system and better protect residents and staff from any future outbreaks. 
  • The government has also approved an exemption to the emergency order related to gatherings to allow Ontarians to attend drive-in religious gatherings, under certain conditions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The conditions include keeping vehicles two metres or more apart, only members of the same household can be in one vehicle, people will not be able to leave their vehicles, and no more than five people can conduct the service at one time from outside a motor vehicle. 

Federal Update 

Here are the latest updates from the Government of Canada: 

  • Today, the Prime Minister announced the various research and development for COVID-19 that are happening in Canada. This includes the first Canadian clinical trials, approved by Health Canada, for a potential COVID-19 vaccine at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University. The National Research Council of Canada will be working with the manufacturer so that if these vaccine trials are successful, we can produce and distribute in Canada. To ensure the researchers and research institutions are able to continue their work, the Canadian government is investing $450 million. 
  • To better support community organizations through the pandemic, the federal government has launched the Emergency Community Support Fund with a budget of $350 million. Most of the funds will be distributed through United Way Centraide, the Community Foundations of Canada and the Red Cross. This fund will assist with: 
    • Increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications. 
    • Scaling up help lines that provide information and support. 
    • Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits. 
    • Providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response. 
    • Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet. 
  • The Canada Child Benefit will be boosted to help parents through COVID-19. Parents can expect to receive $300 more per child in May. Starting on July 20, they will increase the Canada Child Benefit once again for the upcoming year as the cost of living increases. 
  • Women business owners face unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many operate smaller businesses and have liquidity problems. Others operate in sectors that are crippled by COVID-19 such as hotels, restaurants, and retail sales. To better support women during the crisis, the Government will inject $15 million into the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. 
  • To better support owner-operated small businesses, the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is expanding the eligibility. The changes to the CEBA will allow more Canadian small businesses to access interest free loans that will help cover operating costs during a period when revenues have been reduced, due to the pandemic. The new expanded qualifications include allowing small businesses that have the following to apply:
    • A business operating account at a participating financial institution. 
    • A Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. 
    • Eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance. 

Please continue to reach out should you need anything.