Tomorrow, we will commence the second stage of reopening our Province, I want to say how proud I am of our city. We have done a phenomenal job of following the guidelines from health officials and have been able to limit the spread of the virus. With that said, we need to be diligent as we enter the second stage. As more businesses open, we must continue to follow the guidelines from Ottawa Public Health and the Province to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our cases down. We’re all in this together, Kanata North, it is up to us to make informed decisions to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Kanata North Updates
- Due to COVID-19, the Phase 4 Richarson Ridge development was put on hold. This week, they will resume blasting until mid-July. Vibration monitors are still set up and will be monitored during operations.
- Today, I had the opportunity to virtually chair the Seniors Roundtable meeting. Dr. Vera Etches joined to discuss COVID-19 and seniors. It is always a pleasure to work with group as we aim to assist seniors through and after the pandemic.
- Ottawa Public Health continues to advise residents to wear a mask if you are unable to maintain 2 metres from others when you are out in the community. It is also mandatory to wear a mask on public transit starting Monday. If you need a mask, please complete the form here. We are fortunate to have some incredible volunteers making masks for our community and I am happy to be able to deliver them to those needing them.
- As many of you know, the Kanata North Mosquito Program is in full swing. The contractor, GDG, shared amazing footage of the aerial treatments done by drone. I encourage you to take a look at the work behind the program. Additionally, it is important to remember that the program is meant to reduce the mosquito population by 80 percent. Therefore, there will still be mosquitoes, but there should be less.
City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health Updates (OPH)
Here are the latest updates from the City of Ottawa and OPH:
- OPH has launched a new COVID-19 dashboard that displays the latest information on COVID-19 in Ottawa, including local monitoring and data that informs re-opening decisions. The dashboard is split into three sections:
- Case and Outbreak Summary.
- Outbreak Locations with Case Counts.
- Core indicators for COVID-19 monitoring.
- The city in collaboration with OPH has released a Business Reopening Toolkit. It is intended to provide guidance to businesses to prepare for safe reopening and includes resources and tips for specific sectors based on direction from the Province of Ontario.
- Due to COVID–19, a number of the city’s Household Hazardous Waste Depots were cancelled. In replacement, the city will have three extended depots. The first six-day depot will start on June 22. The city, in consultation with Ottawa Public Health, has reviewed safety precautions to protect the health and safety of residents and staff. Residents are encouraged to visit on their regular waste-collection day, to help limit traffic and make the process more manageable for staff. More details regarding future depot dates will be released soon. Find more information here.
- Based on the guidance from the province, the City of Ottawa, working closely with OPH, has created a reopening plan for city services and facilities. The city will implement a phased approach to safely reopen services. To safeguard public health, the city will focus on:
- Facility retrofits to facilitate physical distancing and safe workplace conditions for city employees.
- Staffing and service delivery changes to limit crowd sizes and promote online services for residents.
- Providing city employees with appropriate personal protective and preventative measures.
- Health screening of employees and the public.
- Frequent and thorough cleaning all city facilities.
- Communicating updates to employees and residents as the situation evolves
- Recommending residents to wear masks while on city property when physical distancing isn’t possible.
- Requiring masks on public transit.
- OPH conducted a survey in March that looked at perceptions and practices in Ottawa during the COVID-19 response. They recently completed a second wave of questions for the public about mask use, hand hygiene and physical distancing practices. The majority of residents in our city reported to wearing masks when outside of their home, washing their hands before eating, and maintaining a distance of 2 metres from others in the community when indoors. This is positive news, as these measures will prevent transmission of COVID–19 in our community. This valuable information allows OPH staff to be better equipped to work with the community to provide supports where needed.
- Dr. Vera Etches shared an update regarding entering stage 2 of reopening the economy. While the province is allowing residents to now gather in groups of 10 or less, physical distancing is still required when meeting with people outside your household to limit transmission of COVID-19. It is still recommended that limiting your number of close contacts to the same small group of people as much as possible will add to our ability to keep the level of COVID-19 transmission under control. Dr. Etches shares that she is confident we can enter Stage 2 with ongoing care. Cases, hospitalizations, and outbreaks have all decreased. Hospital capacity is positive. We are on target with contacting cases and their follow up. Testing volume is up and the percentage of tests that are positive is down.
- While we are entering the second stage of reopening the city, it is important that we remember to follow the strict health and safety guidelines. Be COVIDWise:
- Wear a mask.
- Isolate when sick (and seek testing if you have symptoms).
- Stay two metres apart from others.
- Exercise proper hand hygiene.
- Please be mindful that starting on Monday, June 15, all riders and staff must wear a mask while in or on the transit system.
Here are the latest updates from the Ontario government:
- As the Ontario government continues to open the province, child care centres and home care providers will be able to reopen with strict safety and operational requirements in place, similar to the safety guidelines required for emergency child care centres. Starting yesterday, staff were able to re-enter centres to begin preparations for reopening. When these operators have met all the strict guidelines for reopening, they will be permitted to reopen. Centres will be required to adopt specific rules, including:
- Cohorting: putting children and staff in groups of 10 or less day over day.
- COVID-19 response plan: all child care settings will be required to have a plan in place if a child, parent or staff member is exposed to COVID-19.
- Screening: all staff and children must be screened prior to entry to the child care setting. Anyone feeling unwell must stay home.
- Daily attendance records: child care settings must keep daily records of all attendees in order to support contact tracing.
- Cleaning: child care settings must be thoroughly cleaned before opening and frequently thereafter.
- No visitors: only essential visitors are permitted entry into the child care setting.
- Implementing drop-off and pick-up protocols in a way that facilitates physical distancing.
- Starting July, limited in-person education is made available for post-secondary students who were unable to graduate due to COVID-19 closures. Students in essential, frontline, and high labour market demand areas, such as nursing, personal support workers, engineering, and other critical professions, will be allowed to go back. In September, all students will have the opportunity to attend postsecondary education through virtual learning, in-class instruction, or hybrid formats.
- As part of the Ontario’s Stage 2 reopening plan, additional facilities and services will be open at provincial parks in certain regions beginning on June 12. Over the next couple of weeks, Ontario Parks will start opening campgrounds, washrooms and drinking water, along with roofed accommodations, park store and rental operations, visitor centres, and sports fields. However, it is important that residents check which facilities are open before heading out. The recreational activities and facilities that will be opening soon at provincial parks in areas entering Stage 2 are:
- On June 12, beaches at Ontario Parks will begin opening to the public as maintenance and water testing are completed.
- On June 15, campers enrolled in this year’s Ontario Parks’ Seasonal Campsite Program will have access to their site.
- On June 22, all other campgrounds in regions entering Stage 2 will gradually open at provincial parks, along with washrooms, water taps and trailer sanitation stations.
- Roofed accommodations, park store and rental operations, visitor centers, and sports fields will be phased in over the next several weeks.
- Facilities such as showers, laundry, group camping, picnic shelter rentals and swimming pools will remain closed for the rest of the 2020 season.
- Based on the advice from the chief medical officer, the Ontario government has announced that starting June 18th, loved ones will be permitted to access long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other residential care settings. Retirement homes will resume indoor and outdoor visits in designated areas or resident suites when physical distancing can be maintained. Other residential care settings will be able to allow outdoor visits of two people at a time. Physical distancing and masks will be required for all visits. This approach will ensure the health and safety of residents, staff and visitors. Long-term care and retirement homes, as well as other residential care settings, must meet the following conditions before they welcome visitors:
- Homes must not be in outbreak.
- Homes must have an established process for communicating visitor protocol and the associated safety procedures.
- Homes must maintain the highest infection prevention and control standards.
- To help small businesses reach more customers virtually, the Ontario government partnered with the federal government has created a new Digital Main Street platform. In this $57 million program, up to 22,900 Ontario businesses will have the ability to create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students. Through to the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three programs to support their digital transformation:
- shopHERE powered by Google will leverage Ontario’s strengths by hiring highly skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity to do so themselves. The goal will be to help small businesses compete and grow online and help them recover as quickly as possible following COVID-19.
- Digital Main Street Grant will help main street small businesses be digitally more effective. Through a $2,500 grant administered by the Ontario BIA Association, small businesses will be able to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. Municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) can apply for a Digital Service Squad grant, which will allow them to establish teams to provide personalized, one-on-one support.
- Future-Proofing Main Street will provide specialized and in-depth digital transformation services and support that helps existing main-street firms adapt to changes in their sector and thrive in the new economy. By leveraging teams of digital marketing professionals and talented students, these firms will be able to create new online business models, develop and implement digital and e-commerce marketing strategies, and maximize digital tools, platforms, and content.
Here are the latest updates from the Canadian government:
- Earlier this week, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the Canadian government is committed to obtaining more PPE. On the weekend, a ship carrying 160,000 litres of hand sanitizer arrived in Vancouver and seven more ships with hand sanitizer are expected to arrive in the coming days. Close to one million face shields and more than seven million pairs of gloves are on their way to the provinces and territories.
- In April, the Canadian government invited residents to submit proposals for made-in-Canada prototypes that will help current and future outbreaks of COVID-19 and similar public health emergencies. They received over 550 proposals in only two weeks. The selected prototypes will soon begin testing, and innovators will be able to work with the government to scale up production.
- Yesterday, the government of Canada announced that it is partnering with the private sector, including the Business Council of Canada, on their POST Promise program. This initiative will invite businesses to commit to five key public health measures to protect customers and employees.
- Due to the unique challenges Indigenous businesses have been facing through the pandemic, the Canadian government is investing an additional $133 million to support Indigenous businesses, protect jobs, and help communities. $117 million of this funding will help small and community-owned Indigenous businesses, while $16 million will support Indigenous businesses in the tourism industry, a sector that supports thousands of jobs across the country.
Take care Kanata North. Please reach out anytime with any questions or concerns.