I hope you have been able to spend some time outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather we are having. More than ever, I encourage you to support local as we see more of our favourite local shops, restaurants, and hair salons reopening. I know this is exciting to be able to grow our social circle and have more flexibility. However, it is more important now than ever that we continue to be diligent and follow the strict health and safety guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We are still in the midst of the pandemic, and we must continue to work together to build on the important progress we have made. The last few months have shown that we can get through this together.
Kanata North Updates
- As the weather gets nicer and more people are out exploring our Kanata North community, I want to remind everyone again to practice physical distancing while on our paths. I encourage you to share this information with your children as they get outside for fresh air.
- Anyone needing assistance 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 dedicated volunteers helping others in our community by getting groceries, sewing masks, and other errands.
City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health Updates (OPH)
Here are the latest updates from the City of Ottawa and OPH:
- Today, OPH reported six new cases and tragically two new deaths. This brings the cumulative total of cases to 2,036 and 260 deaths.
- The city will begin to enforce parking in excess of posted time limits, including 15-minute, one-hour, two-hour, three-hour and six-hour zones starting on Monday, June 29. Officers will begin to issue tickets on Monday, July 6.
- OPH is sharing additional information regarding safely wearing a mask. A cloth mask is recommended when physical distancing is impossible. When buying or making a cloth mask you should look for masks that are made with:
- Two or three layers of tightly woven but breathable cloth such as cotton, flannel or quilting cotton.
- No seams over the mouth and nose through which air may leak.
- Horizontal pleats to help fit a variety of faces.
Here are the latest updates from the Ontario government:
- To ensure access to healthy meals and snacks for school-age children throughout the pandemic, the provincial government is investing $1 million into the Student Nutrition Program. Over the past few months, the program has pivoted to include new local approaches to meal delivery, including distributing grocery gift cards or farm vouchers, delivering food boxes, meal kits or frozen meals and supporting food banks to provide nutritious items to families with school-age children.
- The Government of Ontario has announced additional measures to better protect workers in the agri-food sector through the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is expanding the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program and committing up to $15 million to enhance health and safety measures on farms and in food processing facilities. This program will help farmers purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and implement workplace modifications through cost-sharing funding. Some of the measures already approved through this program include purchases of PPE, temporary housing for ill workers, building physical barriers for worker separation, enhanced hand washing facilities and a tent rental to expand eating space.
- As the supply of drugs and medications has stabilized in the province, the Ontario government has lifted the recommended 30-day supply limit for dispensing Ontario Drug Benefit program medications. Ontario Drug Benefit recipients can now return to filling up to 100-day supply at a time from their pharmacy or dispensing physician, when appropriate.
- Due to positive public health trends, the Ontario Government has issued the following guidance on weddings and funeral ceremonies:
- If the ceremony portion of the wedding or funeral is indoors it may only have 30 per cent capacity of the venue.
- If the ceremony portion of the wedding or funeral is outdoors it may only have up to 50 attendees.
- The reception part of the ceremony can only have up to 10 individuals regardless if it is outdoors or indoors.
- Practice physical distancing from people who are not from the same household or their established 10-person social circle.
- You can find more information here.
- More regions will be entering into Stage 2 of reopening the province on Friday, June 19. Based on the advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local medical officers, these regions are able to reopen due to positive trends of key public health indicators at the local level, including lower transmission of COVID-19, sufficient hospital health system capacity, local public health capacity to assist with rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing provincially. There are still some regions that will remain in Stage 1.
- To ensure the province is prepared for the future, the Ontario government is providing CSA Group Testing & Certification Inc. with $526,200 from the Ontario Together Fund to increase capacity for testing and certifying personal protective equipment (PPE). CSA Group Testing & Certification Inc. tests, inspects and certifies products to ensure they are in compliance with safety, environmental, and operating performance standards.
- The Ontario government is proposing a regulatory change to mandate the reporting of data on race, income, language, and household size for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, based on requests by community leaders and public health experts. This will help ensure the province has a more complete picture of the outbreak. Should these proposed changes pass, individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 infection will be asked additional questions including information about their race, income, languages spoken, and household size. Individuals can choose not to answer any or all of these questions.
- The Ontario government, in partnership with Science North and the Ontario Science Centre, is creating additional educational content for students and teachers during the school closures. Up to $1.5 million will be invested by the government to create made-in-Ontario videos and resources to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning. The resources will align with the four science strands in the curriculum and will help students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. All resources will be accessible and available in both English and French and will include:
- Professional development videos for educators.
- Virtual and at-home hands-on STEM activities for students.
- Activities and student worksheets which can be printed.
- The Ontario government has released a new general guide for employers, which will help them develop a safety plan to better protect workers, customers and clients. The new downloadable toolkit offers tips on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more people get back on the job during Stage 2 of the reopening of the province. The guide will include information on the use of face coverings, as well as applying controls in the workplace. The government’s first general workplace guide is accompanied by a template that employers can fill in to develop their own unique COVID-19 safety plan. The materials will help employers:
- Identify the risks for transmitting the virus through person-to-person contact and actions such as touching faces with hands that have been contaminated by contact with surfaces and objects.
- Determine what controls are needed to help mitigate risk.
- Create a workplace safety plan based on the identified risks and appropriate controls specific to the employer’s workplace.
- Implement the plan in the workplace, and review and update it as the situation evolves.
- Communicate the actions being taken to workers and other people entering the workplace.
Here are the latest updates from the Canadian government:
- Today the Prime Minister announced that the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended for an additional eight weeks to support Canadians who have not returned to work. The government will continue to incentivize returning to work if possible, through the Job Bank, Canada’s national employment service that offers tools to help with job searches. Over the next few weeks, the government will monitor international best practices, the economy, and the progression of the virus and, if needed, make necessary changes to the program so more people can have the support they need. To ensure Canadians continue to be supported, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Employment Insurance (EI), are working effectively to help Canadians get back on their feet.
- Yesterday, the Canadian government opened applications for the Surplus Food Rescue program. This program will benefit both farmers and families in need. The program will help buy products that farmers and fishers can’t sell to communities that need it.
- Yesterday, Canada helped launch the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence. As part of this initiative, the Government of Quebec has set up a centre of expertise in Montreal, which will be one of the partnership’s two global hubs.
- To ensure Canadians and Americans stay safe, the Canadian and American government have agreed to extend the border closure by an additional 30 days until July 21, 2020.
Please reach out should you need anything.