Kanata North COVID-19 Update October 9

Good evening Kanata North,  

Today is a tough day. A tough day for many of our neighbours in our community who are finding out that their workplaces will have to close tomorrow. A tough day for all the business owners who have struggled to get by and are hanging on by their fingertips. Right now, this certainly feels very overwhelming but just like we did during the first wave of the pandemic, I know we can, and we will get through this together. I have seen our community pull together and be incredibly resilient to the many challenges we have faced. Together we can get back on track. I know there’s a lot of information out there and confusion, here are the facts: 

  • COVID-19 infections are continuing to grow at alarming rates. These rates are unsustainable and have put a significant strain on our healthcare system.   
  • It takes time for people who are infected to develop symptoms, and then test positive and receive the results. This means that the cases you are seeing now are from several days ago, meaning that the current situation is more serious. 
  • Hospitalizations continue to increase at alarming rates. We currently have 34 people in hospital and 8 people in the ICU. This may appear to be a low number of individuals. However, hospitalizations and ICU numbers are not good indicators of the current situation. It takes time for individuals to get sick enough to required hospitalization. A continued increase in hospitalizations will result in impacts on other areas of health, for example a delay in cancer surgeries.  
  • Ottawa Public Health information shows there has been an increase in the rate of infections for all age groups with COVID-19. Populations who are most vulnerable are being put at an even higher risk. 
  • Data shows that most COVID-19 infections occur in situations that bring people together and where individuals are not able to continuously wear masks or maintain physical distancing 

Today, the Province announced the following temporary measures for the next 28 days to help slow the spread of COVID-19 to put our community back on track:  

  • Reducing limits for all social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained. The two limits may not be combined for an indoor-outdoor event.  
  • Prohibiting indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and food court areas in malls. 
  • Closing of:  
    • Indoor gyms and fitness centres (i.e., exercise classes and weight and exercise rooms). 
    • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments. 
    • Indoor cinemas. 
    • Performing arts centres and venues. 
    • Spectator areas in racing venues. 
    • Interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, etc. 
    • Prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service (e.g. makeup application, beard trimming). 
    • Prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service (e.g. makeup application, beard trimming). 
  • Reducing the capacity limits for:  
    • Tour and guide services to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. 
    • Real estate open houses to 10 people indoors, where physical distancing can be maintained. 
    • In-person teaching and instruction (e.g. cooking class) to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, with exemptions for schools, child care centres, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, private career colleges, the Ontario Police College, etc. 
    • Meeting and event spaces to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. 
    • Limiting team sports to training sessions (no games or scrimmages). 
  • Wedding receptions scheduled for this weekend may proceed under existing public health rules. Effective Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., updated public health measures will apply to wedding receptions, including new gathering limits of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors at event spaces.

More importantly, in addition to the guidance above, the Province is now recommending that we limit trips outside of home, except for essential purposes only such as work where it is not possible to work from home, school, grocery shopping, medical appointments, and outdoor physical activity. In addition, travel to other regions in the province, especially from higher transmission to lower transmission areas, should only be for essential purposes. If you are an individual that is part of a priority population that may be particularly susceptible to an infection of COVID-19, please remember that your community is here to help you. We have hundreds of volunteers ready to help. Sign up here.

To be clear, schools, child care centres, and places of worship will remain open in these communities and must continue to follow the public health measures in place. Before-school and after-school programs will also be exempt from these new restrictions.

For business owners who have questions or concerns I would encourage you to reach out to the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. Help is available Monday to Sunday from 8:30am to 5:00pm.  

I can imagine this was not an easy decision for the Province to make. However, I support this difficult decision for the overall health and safety of our community. I however know this is going to be very challenging for our local businesses. I urge everyone to do your shopping locally, you can find some information on shopping local here.  

Additionally, the Federal Government has announced a combination of new and previously introduced supports for businesses and workers. This includes the rent relief program and wage subsidy. I will provide updates as I have them.   

I know this situation is going to be very difficult on all of us, especially during holidays like Thanksgiving. Its okay to admit that this will take a toll on our mental health and you may need support to get through this. Here are some resources that are available in our community:  

Additionally, the Province Chief Medical Officer of Health and the City’s Medical Officer of Health are urging that we limit social gatherings to those within our household. I ask that you take this seriously. If we collectively do our part, we can get back on track. 

I know these times are uncertain and many of us are anxious about what lays ahead. If we all come together like we have done in the past and work together and collectively do our part, we can get back on track and slow the spread of COVID-19. I know our community can do this, just like we did before.  

Happy Thanksgiving! Stay well and stay healthy.