Kanata North COVID-19 Update June 19

I hope you are all able to keep cool through this heat wave. Heat warnings mean we all need to take extra precautions. I encourage you to follow the advice from Ottawa Public Health to stay cool, including visiting a local splash pad, drinking plenty of water, and staying in the shade as much as possibleAs we head into another weekend of COVID-19 Stage 2 of reopening, we must remember that it’s crucial that we follow the health and safety guidelines provided by health officials to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please be mindful that, as the city begins to reopen, there are many adjustments our local businesses will be implementing. Please be patient and look out for each other 

I’d like to wish all families a Happy Father’s Day! I hope you can take some time to enjoy this special day and all the amazing Dads out there. 

Kanata North Updates 

  • I have heard from many residents that they have seen children playing on play structures. I want to remind you that the provincial restrictions on the use of play structures are still in place. Play structures are still closed as they encourage gatherings and are not sanitized. You are permitted to use city parks and fields as long as health and safety guidelines are followed. 
  • This beautiful weather is encouraging for many of us to get outside and cycle through our community. I have been using the map created by Kanata North Transportation Committee to plan my routes. Before heading out, ensure you’re practicing safe cycling, including:
    • Wear helmet.
    • Ensure bike lights are working.
    • Follow rules of the road.
  • Looking for a new spot to take your dog? The City of Ottawa has an interactive map that shows areas designated for dogsincluding off-leash and on-leash parks, and moreYou can explore the map here. 
  • I am proudly wearing my mask when physical distancing is difficult. I encourage you all to wear yours to stop the spread of COVID-19. Inspire your neighbours by sharing a photo of you wearing a mask and using #maskupCanada.


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 no new deaths. This brings the cumulative total of cases to 2,049 and 260 deaths. 
  • The Human Needs Task Force has teamed up with JustFood to create the Seeds and Soil Project. This will support residents in creating vegetable gardens and improve food security in our community. Over 3,000 seeds and soil will be provided to lower income families to help start their gardens. You can find more information here. 
  • Due to COVID-19, there have been changes to city rentals, including: 
    • All city facility indoor events of 100 or more people and outdoor events of 250 or more people will be cancelled for the month of July. The city will consider rentals of indoor spaces on a case-by-case basis, and sports fields can be booked for events for up to 10 people. 
    • All existing arena bookings from July 1 to August 3 have been cancelled. The following organizations may rebook ice time at select arenas to train amateur or professional athletes, in groups of 10 or less: 
      • A national sport organization funded by Sport Canada or a member club of such an organization. 
      • A provincial sport or multi-sport organization recognized by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture or a member club of such an organization.  
      • A professional sport league or a member club of such a league. 
    • All City of Ottawa fitness memberships expiring in July will be cancelled and clients will receive a refund. Memberships expiring after July 31 will be re-evaluated in the future. 
  • The City of Ottawa has launched a program to support the COVID-19 recovery for food vendorsFor the 2020 summer season, food vendors can apply to park their truck/cart in city parks. Applications must be submitted by June 25 to be considered. My team and I worked with city staff to locate three possible park locations for vendors in Kanata North, including: 
    • Beaverbrook Park. 
    • Richcraft Recreation Complex. 
    • Whalen Park.
  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis community members face unique challenges through COVID-19. OPH has launched a web page that highlights COVID-19 resources and includes information developed by Ottawa Public Health, in addition to information from local, provincial and national Indigenous organizations. Several of the resources are available in various Indigenous languages. 

Provincial Updates 

Here are the latest updates from the Ontario government: 

  • To ensure that beef and hog farmers have the support they need through COVID-19, the Federal and Ontario governments are investing up to $10 million in emergency assistance. The funding will help cover the increased costs of feeding market ready cattle and hogs due to COVID-19 related processing delays, while redirecting surplus pork products to help those in need. 
  • On June 17, Premier Ford announced that the emergency orders will be extended until at least June 30 to ensure the government has the necessary tools to safely and gradually open the province. While the emergency order is in effect, the government will continue to review each order on a continued case-by-case basis to determine if they can be lifted or adjusted. A full list of emergency orders can be found on Ontario’s website. 
  • Earlier this week, the provincial government passed the Protecting Small Businesses Act to support small business owners through the pandemic. This will temporarily stop or reverse evictions of commercial tenants and protect them from being locked out or having their assets seized from May 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020. 
  • As patios begin to open and businesses begin to reopen, the Ontario government is encouraging consumers to support local alcohol beverage producers. The government is increasing choice and convenience for consumers by working to expand made-in-Ontario options at the LCBO through increased marketing, converting available shelf space to profile Ontario products, and making more products available for sale, including bag-in-box wine and those made in the province. The government is supporting Ontario’s beverage alcohol sector in many ways, including: 
    • Delaying increases to beer and wine taxes, previously scheduled to take effect in spring 2020. 
    • Temporarily allowing licensed restaurants and bars to sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. 
    • Temporarily allowing licensed restaurants and bars to sell spirits at a lower price with food takeout and delivery orders. 
    • Allowing restaurants and bars to temporarily create or extend outdoor patio spaces to safely accommodate patrons and staff once licensed establishments are permitted to reopen for business. 
    • Making it easier for cideries to sell directly to consumers by temporarily removing the requirement for cideries to have five acres of planted fruit to qualify for an on-site store. 
    • Extending the Ontario Wine and Grape Strategy to 2021-22, providing $7.5 million annually for VQA Support, $4.8 million annually for marketing and promotion, $250,000 for research and $250,000 for benchmarking.  
    • Extending the Small Cidery and Small Distillery Support Program to 2021-22, providing $2.6 million annually to help eligible businesses grow and scale up their operations. 
  • To help students return to school with the tools they need, the Ontario government has announced they will be investing $15 million to purchase classroom computers, and $10 million to hire additional mental health workers. Through consultations with health officials, the government heard about the need for enhanced mental health supports to respond to COVID-19. This new $10 million investment will provide students with unprecedented direct access to regulated mental health professionals and significantly reduce wait times. 
  • The Ontario government is working hard to enhance COVID-19 case and contact management to quickly test, trace, and isolate cases while preparing for any future spikes in case numbers. The government’s enhanced strategy focuses on strengthening and standardizing case and contact management by: 
    • Ensuring that all new cases and their close contacts are identified early, contacted quickly, investigated thoroughly and are followed up daily for up to 14 days. 
    • Supporting public health units with up to 1,700 additional staff from Statistics Canada. 
    • Improving technology tools by modernizing the integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS) through the implementation of a new custom-built COVID-19 case and contact management system. 
  • Ontario is providing updated case and contact management guidance for all public health units to ensure consistency across the province. To continue to ensure cases and their contacts are reached in a timely and effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, public health units will: 
    • Connect with cases and with all individuals who have had close contact with a positive case within 24 hours of being identified. 
    • Direct all close contacts to self-isolate for up to 14 days. 
    • Follow up with close contacts every day for the duration of their self-isolation. 
    • Advise testing of all appropriate close contacts. 
  • The Ontario government partnered with the federal government to launch COVID Alert to notify residents if they have been exposed to the virus in the last 14 days. The app will also provide users with quick access to Ontario’s public health advice and resources, and recommend any necessary actions, such as monitoring for symptoms, self-isolation or appropriate next steps on getting tested. One of the overarching principles is ensuring the privacy and security for all users, which is why the government will leverage BlackBerry volunteer expertise to audit the security and privacy of the application, in addition to the province’s internal security reviews. 
  • Today, the Ontario government shared its safety plan for restarting class for the 2020-2021 school year. In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, this information will provide schools with information that will outline scenarios for how students, teachers and staff can safely return to classrooms in September. The plan also provides choice to parents, enhanced online learning, and additional funding. The decision to return to classroom will be dependent upon the COVID-19 situation.  
  • Boards will be asked to plan for the following three scenarios to be implemented in September, depending on the public health situation at the time: 
    • Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols – Students going to school every day, in classes that reflect standard class size regulations. 
    • Modified school day routine – Based on public health advice, an adapted delivery model has been designed to allow for physical distancing and cohorts of students. Under this model, school boards are asked to maintain a limit of 15 students in a typical classroom at one time and adopt timetabling that would allow for students to remain in contact only with their classmates and a single teacher for as much of the school day as possible. This model would require alternate day or alternate week delivery to a segment of the class at one time. 
    • At home learning – Should the school closure be extended, or some parents choose not to send their child back to school, school boards need to be prepared to offer remote education. Remote education should be delivered online to the greatest extent possible, including the establishment of minimum expectations for students to have direct contact with their teacher at the same time on a regular basis, also known as synchronous learning. Synchronous learning can be used as part of whole class instruction, in smaller groups of students, and/or in a one-on-one context. 

 Federal Updates 

Here are the latest updates from the Canadian government: 

  • On July 8th, our government will be releasing a report that will provide information about our economy through COVID-19. This will show the impacts of the pandemic, how our response compares to other countries, and what we can expect for the months to come. 
  • The Canadian government has announced $500 million in funding through NSERC’s annual Discovery Grants program. This investment will support thousands of Canadian researchers and their groundbreaking work, whether they’re studying viruses, developing AI, or making strides in chemical engineering. 
  • Yesterday, the Prime Minister of Canada announced the upcoming launch of a new nation-wide mobile app to provide notifications of exposure to COVID-19 across Canada, with beta testing to begin in Ontario. The app will help Canadians and public health officials identify and isolate the spread of the virus more quickly, which is an important step toward containing the virus and safely restarting the economy. This app originated in Ontario and incorporates Bluetooth technology provided by Apple and Google to anonymously record instances where users have come into close contact. To protect confidentiality and privacy, the app will not disclose the identity of users. This information will never be shared with any other entity, will not be stored by the app, and will never leave the user’s phone. No personal information is collected by the app, and it does not track the user’s location to ensure the privacy of all Canadians. 
  • Today, the Canadian government announced that they will be creating 500 green jobs and training opportunities for young people in STEM in the energy, forestry, mining, earth sciences, and clean technology sectors. These internships will provide young adults invaluable work experience and the chance to explore careers in the natural resource sector. 

Please reach out should you need anything. Have a great weekend Kanata North, and once again – Happy Father’s Day!    

Stay safe.    

Take care,   

Jenna Sudds