As we head into the weekend, I wanted to provide you with some important updates. With some restrictions starting to be eased, it is now more important than ever to follow guidelines provided by the Provincial Emergency Order and Ottawa Public Health. We are still in a state of emergency, and we must mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in order to further protect our community. If we do not all act together by wearing non-medical masks, practicing physical distancing, and washing our hands, we will erase the progress we have worked so hard to achieve. We all have a responsibility to do everything we can to build on our progress and keep healthy.
Kanata North Update
- Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Menstrottawa’s Aislynn, Izzy, and Jerra from Cedar Ridge High School. The team is working hard to combat Period Poverty in Ottawa. Since the pandemic hit, they have been working to make care packages for women and children at Chrysalis House. The team has been in contact with the women at Chrysalis House to better understand their needs and preferences and have been able to deliver diapers and menstrual products. It’s great to see our future leaders modifying their business plan to suit these unprecedented times. Thank you Izzy, Aislynn and Jerra for your hard work and thoughtfulness. Our future is bright!
- Yesterday, two Kanata companies, Cliniconex and CareWorx Fully Managed, came together to share their first virtual concert, Moments for Care. The goal of this was to show solidarity and spread joy and peace to Senior Care Homes’ residents and staff. You can watch the concert recording here.
- Anyone needing help with groceries, errands or masks please fill out this form on my website. I’d like to extend a big thank you to all the volunteers helping with grocery shopping and sewing masks for those that need them in our community.
- Join me in posting a #MaskSelfie. Wearing a cloth mask is recommended whenever it’s impossible to maintain a distance of 2 metres as it helps protect others around you. Show your support that we are all in this together by posting a selfie today!
City of Ottawa/Ottawa Public Health (OPH) Update
Here are the latest updates from the City of Ottawa and OPH:
- Today, OPH reported 17 new cases and tragically nine deaths. This brings the cumulative total of cases to 1,885 and 220 deaths.
- Earlier this week, the city announced that major events will be cancelled until August 31st. While this is unfortunate, this will better protect residents in our city. Large events make it impossible to practice physical distancing.
- To help businesses reopen safely, the City of Ottawa, in consultation with Ottawa Public Health, has developed a reopening toolkit. The toolkit provides guidance on preparing your workplace, employees, and operations to resume while ensuring physical distancing, and also provides links to official resources such as public health signage, sector-specific guidelines, and government financial assistance programs. Information and resources will be updated regularly on the website as guidance from the Government of Ontario and Ottawa Public Health continues to evolve. You can find the toolkit here.
- Ottawa Public Health has launched a new map that displays the rate of COVID-19 infection in residents by ward. It is important to note that these maps do not show “COVID-19 hot spots” and do not represent areas that are at lower or higher risk to contract the virus. The map is based on where residents with confirmed COVID-19 live. These maps are not intended to assist with service delivery planning, recovery efforts, or requests for additional services at a neighbourhood level, but instead as a way of sharing information for interest.
- Once OPH is notified of a positive COVID-19 case, they notify the individual within 24 hours and begin case tracing. OPH is now seeing that on average individuals who have contracted the virus have five or less close contacts and are usually household members. Before physical distancing measures were put into effect, OPH was notifying approximately 15 to 20 close contacts per case. OPH will continue to work hard to trace cases in order to prevent further outbreaks. This shows how critical physical distancing is and how your actions make a real and important difference in our fight against COVID-19.
- Dr. Vera Etches is recommending that residents wear masks when maintaining a physical distance of two meters is impossible. OPH has provided recommendations in how to properly wear a mask:
- Wash your hands immediately before putting the mask on, immediately before adjusting it, immediately before taking it off, and immediately after taking it off. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to wash your hands.
- Make sure your mask completely and comfortably covers the nose and mouth without gaping and allows for easy breathing.
- Make sure your mask is secured to your head with ties or ear loops without the need to adjust frequently.
- If your mask has pleats, ensure that the pleats on the outer side are facing down.
- If your mask has a metal strip over the nose, pinch it to ensure a closer fit over your nose.
- Replace the mask as soon as it becomes damp or dirty, or if it has shrunk after washing and drying.
- Do not share your mask with others, even within your own household.
- Some masks are made and fit differently. Learn how to wear your mask.
Here are the latest updates from the Government of Ontario:
- To help obtain more supplies that frontline workers need, the Ontario Government has announced that they are working with Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX) to provide non-medical manufacturing companies free support as they pivot the production to provide essential supplies and equipment to health care facilities during COVID-19. Companies that have received funding through the Ontario Together Fund or a Purchase Order with the Province of Ontario can access MIX members’ medical advisory services.
- The Provincial Government is now recommending face coverings when physical distancing cannot be maintained. The Ministry of Health released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings, including:
- Wear your face covering safely and snugly to cover your nose and mouth, without any gaps. Ensure your face covering is made of at least two layers of tightly woven material and can be cleaned multiple times without losing its shape.
- Medical masks, such as surgical and N95 masks, should be reserved for use by health care workers, those providing direct care, first responders and individuals who are ill and must leave their home for essential reasons such as seeking medical care, picking up medication or groceries.
- Face coverings should not be placed on or used by children under the age of two; anyone who has trouble breathing, and anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance.
- The Provincial Government has announced the first phase of research project to fight COVID-19. Through the Rapid Research Fund, the Ontario Government has committed to funding 15 proposals that were submitted. These funds will be used to help with costs associated with licensing and commercialization, including patenting. Many of Ontario’s research hospitals, universities, colleges, and research institutes, are leading Canada with their ground-breaking COVID-19 research projects. Eleven of the 22 clinical trials that are being led by these institutions have already secured the necessary approvals by Health Canada to advance potential vaccines and therapeutics.
- The Ontario Government is further supporting post-secondary students through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for the 2020-21 school year. Through the pandemic the Provincial Government will provide a six-month temporary deferral of OSAP loan payments and interest accrual on OSAP loans from March 30 to September 30, 2020 to support OSAP borrowers in good standing.
- As part of COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020, the Provincial Government announced that they will be permitting Ontario corporations to conduct virtual meetings and defer certain annual meetings in specified circumstances. In addition, they will permanently allow the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of documents, electronic signatures on documents, and electronic filing of documents.
- To help laid off and unemployed hospitality workers get back to work, the province is investing in Ontario’s first Virtual Action Centre. The new Ontario Tools Grant will provide an investment of $2.5 million in 2020-21 and $7.5 million in 2021-22 and ongoing. This will help new eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers. The funding amounts will be distributed as follows:
- $1,000 for those in motive power sector trades.
- $600 for those in construction and industrial sector trades.
- $400 for those in service sector trades.
- To be eligible for the new grant, apprentices must have:
- Completed level 1 training on or after April 1, 2020.
- An active registered training agreement.
- Been registered as an apprentice for at least 12 months.
- In addition, the government is also forgiving more than $10 million in outstanding loans owed by apprentices for tool purchases made at the beginning of their careers.
- To support workers in the hospitality industry, the government is also investing nearly $2 million to open a Virtual Action Centre in partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75. This virtual job training resource will provide unemployed workers with access to a wide range of services and supports online and over the phone, including:
- Stress management and mental health resources through video conferencing.
- Immediate health and safety online training for workers who return to work at designated quarantined sites.
- Technical skills online training.
- Online training to upgrade English language and digital skills.
- Peer group facilitation and employment preparation through videoconferencing.
Here are the latest updates from the Government of Canada:
- Earlier this week, the Federal Government announced that application documents and updated criteria for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses are now available, and that the program will be opened for applications beginning on May 25. This program will provide property owners the opportunity to help small businesses by providing forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners, who in turn will give a rent reduction of at least 75 per cent for April and May (retroactive), and June, to their small business tenants. Applications will be accepted through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website beginning on May 25, and application documents can be accessed now.
- The Government of Canada announced supports for Indigenous peoples living in urban centres and off the reserve. Yesterday, Prime Minister Trudeau, announced funding of $75 million for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve. This investment will support more community-based projects that address the critical needs of Indigenous populations during this crisis, including food security, mental health support services, and sanitation and protective equipment. Funding for projects are expected to be released in the coming weeks.
- Today, Prime Minister Trudeau outlined what needs to happen in order for the economy to reopen:
- Firstly, testing capacity needs to continue to increase so that new cases identified can isolate. The Federal Government is working with provinces and territories to expand testing by procuring things like reagents and swabs.
- Secondly, contact tracing must be accelerated. Once a case has been confirmed health officials must get in touch with close contacts to be sure they monitor themselves for symptoms and self-isolate.
- Thirdly, data collected must be shared across all provinces and territories. This will help track the spread of the virus, adapt our response accordingly, and save lives.
Thank you for continuing to do your part Kanata North! Please do not make unnecessary trips from home this weekend. Stay home as much as you can and enjoy the beautiful weather. Stay safe.