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Office of the Mayor and Council update
February 23, 2021


 

Oakville is prepared to support Halton Region’s vaccination sites

    


Today, Halton Region Public Health announced that Oakville’s site for vaccination for prioritized populations will be at St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre, 1280 Dundas St. West. Upon opening, the four clinics across Halton will first serve priority populations identified by the Province, beginning with adults 80 years of age and older. In Phase 2, older adults, beginning with those 79 years of age and decreasing in five-year increments over the course of the vaccine rollout will be among the next priority group.

Information on clinic openings and how to book an appointment will be available when the amount of vaccines is confirmed. The public and current priority populations will be notified through a variety of print and digital channels when the booking system is ready and more details are confirmed.

The provincial government has also suggested that individuals may be contacted by their family doctors when they are eligible for vaccination, but details on this plan have not yet been made available. Plans to assist those in need of transportation to the sites are also underway and will be communicated as soon as it is finalized.

Ready to open, the vaccination clinic sites located in each municipality were selected based on the ability to maintain health and safety measures, accessibility and amenities. The clinics are not yet open to the general public.

These clinics are in addition to Halton’s mobile teams vaccinating residents in long-term care and retirement homes, Halton Healthcare’s clinic for health care workers at OTMH and the ongoing preparations to eventually provide vaccine to the rest of the community.

Locally in Oakville, our goal is to provide ongoing support to the Region in its efforts to administer as much vaccine as the Province can supply. Regional Chair Gary Carr captured this sentiment at our last Regional Council Meeting: “We are geared up to do more vaccinations than we are planning to receive from the Federal Government and the Provincial government prioritizing.”
 
Here are some numbers for us to consider:
 
  • According to the 2016 census profile of Oakville, in Oakville, there were 28,170 residents out of 193,832 who were 65 years and over. Within that group of 27,170 there were 7,699 seniors who were 80 years and older. While these numbers have certainly changed since 2016, it is a good starting point when we consider the scale of the rollout. 
  • The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are approved for those who are 16 years and older (Pfizer) and 18 years and older (Moderna). In the 2016 census there were 36,710 residents aged 0 to 14 years out of 193,832. 
  • As of Friday, February 19, 2021: 23,934 doses have been administered in Halton to long-term care and retirement residents, staff who administer congregate living for seniors and frontline healthcare staff.
The most accurate and updated vaccine information will be available through Halton Public Health at halton.ca/COVIDvaccines and Halton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Meghani, is asking residents to use this site in preparation for their vaccination and residents are asked to assist those 80 years of age and older to ensure they are receiving the information relevant to them.

As we await the opening of these sites and edge closer to mass vaccination, we must continue to follow all public health advice to keep ourselves and each other safe. Only go out for essentials and stay home if you’re unwell, cover coughs and sneezes, wash and sanitize you hands frequently, maintain a distance from anyone outside your household and wear a mask when you can’t and where mandated. When you do go out, follow my three Cs of COVID-caution: Avoid crowded places, closed spaces and prolonged close-contact.

The government is rolling out a three-phase distribution plan to ensure Ontario is prepared to receive, store and administer COVID-19covid 19 vaccines as soon as they are available. It focuses first on vulnerable populations that are at greatest risk of COVID-19covid 19 and severe illness and those who care for them.

Town of Oakville supports vaccination site selected by Halton Region


The Town of Oakville is pleased to learn that Halton Region has readied vaccination clinics for priority populations in preparation to vaccinate residents, pending more COVID-19 vaccine supply.

One clinic in each municipality was selected based on the ability to maintain health and safety measures, accessibility and amenities. In Oakville, the site is St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre, 1280 Dundas Street West.  This is an initial location and other clinics may be identified as required. The clinics are not yet open to the general public. The clinics will first serve priority populations identified by the Province, beginning with adults 80 years of age and older. The Region’s ability to get these sites operational is dependent on supply from the Federal Government.

“Halton is ready, and that is good news for our residents in our fight against COVID-19,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “The Town of Oakville also remains ready to assist with vaccination sites, should they be required. Our goal is to provide ongoing support to the Region in its efforts to administer as much vaccine as the government can supply.”

Halton Region will share more information including clinic openings and how to book an appointment when the amount of vaccines is confirmed.

In Ontario, the provision of COVID-19 vaccinations is a coordinated effort between the Federal Government, the Province of Ontario, local public health units and hospitals. The Federal Government is responsible for approving, acquiring and distributing vaccines to the provinces and territories. The Provincial Government determines where the doses will go, who will receive it and when as part of its three-phase implementation plan. Halton Region Public Health is responsible for the distribution and administration of the vaccines at a regional level and is working closely with its partners, including Oakville, to roll out the vaccine as quickly and equitably as possible.

For more details, read Halton Region’s news release. To get the latest information on Halton Region’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program, visit halton.ca/COVIDvaccines

To see today’s updated COVID-19 statistics for Oakville from Halton’s Public Health Unit CLICK HERE
Town of Oakville - Snow Clearing Information


Our Snow Clearing Information Line (905-815-5999) is in place to provide information for residents on current winter control operations.

For more information: https://www.oakville.ca/residents/snow-clearing.html
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Halton COVID case counts

There are currently 59 Active Cases in Oakville and 6 COVID-19 patients being cared for at OTMH (this number includes transfers from facilities outside of Halton Region).

Confirmed cases in Halton increased by +31 from 8968 to 8999, with +8 new confirmed cases in Oakville from 2819 to 2827.

There were +12 new reported recoveries in Oakville, from 2797 to 2809 and +28 new recoveries in Halton from 8750 to 8878.

There was 1 death reported in Milton (36 in total). The updated total for Halton Region is now 191.

Ontario is reporting 975 new cases today, bringing the total to 295,119. Of those, 277,939 are resolved with 6,884 deaths. Currently there are 718 patients in hospital, 280 of whom are in ICU with 186 of those on ventilators.

Source: Public Health Ontario
Halton COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard
The indicators are based on the Ontario Public Health Unit Core Indicators for COVID-19 Monitoring, with targets adapted to the local Halton context and population. Together the indicators are intended to provide an overall snapshot of current local data on the COVID-19 pandemic, to keep the community informed and assist with local decision-making.

Canada COVID case counts

As of this morning, Canada had recorded more than 849,517 cases of COVID-19 and 21,723 deaths. 796,630 Canadians have recovered from COVID-19.

As of this morning, more than 111.890 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 63.133 million of those cases considered recovered or resolved, according to a COVID-19 case tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 2.478 million.

COVID-19 vaccine tracker

Halton's COVID-19 vaccination program

COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario

Source: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario

As of Tuesday at 12:45 pm CST, more than 
1,586,275 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada.

Oakville & Halton

2021 Property Tax Deferral Program Available for Eligible Oakville Property Owners 

 

Eligible property owners can apply to defer tax payments until December 15, 2021

Recognizing the financial hardship that some property owners are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Town Council approved a 2021 Property Tax Deferral program for eligible Oakville property owners.

The application-based program will allow residential and business property owners who are experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 to apply to defer their property tax payments in 2021. As of January 1, 2021, all regular property tax billings, collections, application fees and charges have resumed to the normal schedule, including late payment charges. If eligible resident or business property owners experiencing financial hardship need more time to pay their property taxes, they can apply to the deferral program to have their payments deferred to December 15, 2021.

“The town recognizes this has been a difficult time for many of our taxpayers and we are doing what we can to alleviate some of the financial pressures some families and business owners are facing right now due to the pandemic. We want to support our property owners by deferring taxes for those who need it most,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

To be eligible for the 2021 Property Tax Deferral program, property owners will need to attest on the application a COVID-related reason for their financial hardship such as extreme revenue loss, loss of employment, business closure, prolonged suspension of pay, insolvency and/or bankruptcy. Additionally, eligible property owners cannot have any tax arrears (property tax debt) prior to March 1, 2020, and must pay taxes directly to the Town of Oakville and not through a mortgage company.

“In 2020, Council offered tax deferrals for residents and businesses who continue to experience financial difficulties. We learned that most tax payers continued to pay on time while some had difficulties,” said Nancy Sully, commissioner of Corporate Services. “With the December 15 deadline in place, eligible property owners can decide when and how to make their tax payments throughout the year.”

For those who are eligible for the program, the total taxes billed for 2021 would need to be paid by December 15, 2021. Applicants will still be able to make property tax payments at any time during the year against the balance of taxes owing depending on their own financial situation. It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure their 2021 property taxes are paid in full by December 15.

If property owners owe taxes from 2020 or previous years, late payment fees will be applied to the balance until paid in full. Late payment charges on deferred 2021 taxes would not be applied until after December 15, 2021.

Online applications will be available later this week on the town’s website.

For more information read the 2021 COVID-19 Property Tax Assistance staff report – item 9 on the February 22, 2021 Council meeting agenda.

For more information, please visit oakvilletransit.ca.


 
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Halton Region readying vaccination clinics for priority populations in preparation for more vaccine supply



 

Halton Region is ready to open our vaccination clinics for prioritized populations once vaccine supplies are secured by the Federal Government.

“Halton Region staff have been working tirelessly to ensure we are prepared to vaccinate our residents, starting first with our most vulnerable populations,” said Halton Regional Chair, Gary Carr. “Like other regions, our ability to get these sites operational is dependent on supply from the Federal Government. These clinics are in addition to our mobile teams vaccinating residents in long-term care and retirement homes, Halton Healthcare’s clinic for health care workers and our ongoing preparations to eventually provide vaccine to the rest of our community. I cannot thank our Public Health, Paramedic Services, Hospital teams and staff working behind the scenes enough for their dedication to get us ready.”

Clinics are located in each municipality and have been selected based on the ability to maintain health and safety measures, accessibility and amenities.

  1. Gellert Community Centre, 10241 Eighth Line, Georgetown(Google Map link)
  2. St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre, 1280 Dundas Street West, Oakville(Google Map link)
  3. Compass Point Bible Church, 1500 Kerns Road, Burlington(Google Map link)
  4. Milton Centre for the Arts, 1010 Main Street East, Milton(Google Map link)

These are initial locations and other clinics may be identified as required.

“The preparation of these clinics is an important milestone in our work to vaccinate those most at risk of becoming very sick with COVID-19,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “I encourage everyone to get the vaccine when it is your turn, and in the meantime, prepare yourself and your family by reviewing credible information on the vaccines on halton.ca.”

Quick Clinic Facts:

  • The clinics are not yet open to the general public. The clinics will first serve priority populations identified by the Province(external link), beginning with adults 80 years of age and older.
  • Information on clinic openings and how to book an appointment will be available when the amount of vaccines is confirmed. The public and current priority populations will be notified through a variety of print and digital channels when the booking system is ready and more details are confirmed.
  • Planning is also underway to provide additional supports such as transportation for residents who require them. More information will be provided as those details are confirmed.

As of Friday, February 19, 23,934 doses have been administered in Halton to priority populations. Mobile teams of Public Health and Paramedic Services continue to administer vaccinations to long-term care and retirement home residents. Halton Healthcare continues to operate the COVID-19 Vaccination Centre at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital for prioritized health care workers, essential caregivers and staff of long-term care and retirement homes.

To get the latest information on Halton Region’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program, please visit halton.ca/COVIDvaccines. This page is updated as the situation evolves, and residents are asked to check this page regularly for the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines.

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 YourTV Halton - History of Black Firefighters

Black firefighters have had a long uphill battle to be permitted to help their communities in times of emergency.
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Join Town and Regional Councillor Pavan Parmar and I virtually for the 3rd annual "Women Who Inspire" International Women's Day event on March 11, 2021, from 7 - 8 p.m.

As we celebrate the role of women making real and positive change, we invite you to hear from Oakville MP and Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand. A scholar, lawyer, researcher, and mother of four, Minister Anand has held one of our country’s most instrumental roles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please register here.
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Canadian Caribbean Association - Black History Month 2021: Our Legacy Guides Our Future



The Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton partners with community organizations like the Town of Oakville, Sheridan College, and Halton Regional Police Service to deliver a highly engaging kickoff event  involving the performing and visual arts, initiating a month of cultural and educational activities in celebration of Black History throughout February. 

More information available at: https://www.ccah.ca/bhm2021.html

Information on Black History Month programming in the Town of Oakville here.



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Taking A Stand Matters - Black History Matters


Host Richard Pinnock invites the Honourable Jean Augustine - this year's recipient of the Maclean's Lifetime Achievement Award - to discuss why Black History Matters.
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Ontario

Government of Ontario Announcements

Ontario Supports the Greenbelt Foundation

TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $12 million over the next three years to support the Greenbelt Foundation's ongoing work to protect, promote and improve the Greenbelt in the Golden Horseshoe region. The projects delivered through this funding will focus on planting trees to increase natural cover, enhancing recreational opportunities for people to experience nature, and maintaining and enhancing green infrastructure and climate resilience.

"The Greenbelt is an important part of our province consisting of farmland, forests, wetlands and watersheds, it is a natural treasure," said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. "It's important to support the ongoing work of the Greenbelt Foundation so it can protect and enhance this vital area - for the benefit of Ontarians today and for future generations."

The investment will enable the Greenbelt Foundation to continue its work by offering grants, supporting research, and providing information, knowledge and awareness about the Greenbelt. The funding will support the delivery of four key programs:

  • Funding for projects and activities such as native tree, shrub and other vegetation plantings to increase natural cover, along with projects that create opportunities to experience the Greenbelt.  
  • Research to improve knowledge and understanding of the Greenbelt and its benefits.
  • Developing partnerships with community groups and organizations to help support projects that protect and restore the Greenbelt.
  • Public outreach to increase knowledge, awareness and understanding of the Greenbelt, and its social, rural economic and recreational opportunities.

"The Greenbelt Foundation welcomes funding from the Government of Ontario and will invest in projects, programs, and outreach initiatives that encourage people to engage with, experience, and enjoy everything the Greenbelt region has to offer," said Edward McDonnell, CEO, Greenbelt Foundation. "We look forward to working with the Province and our partners to build on previous work and successes and ensure the Greenbelt's natural and agricultural landscapes remain protected and continue to support thriving communities and rural economies."

Protecting the Greenbelt for future generations, protecting and recovering our natural spaces and species, and supporting conservation efforts to preserve Ontario's rich biodiversity are key commitments in the government's Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.

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Details on how to register for a COVID-19 vaccine coming soon, Ontario health minister says

Ontarians should expect details very soon on how they will be able to register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Health Minister Christine Elliott says.

During question period at Queen's Park on Tuesday, Elliott said all 34 public health units have submitted individual plans to the province's vaccine task force to distribute and administer doses.

Those who wish to receive a vaccine will have the option to set up an appointment either through an online portal, a telephone booking system or through their family doctor, depending on which public health unit they live in. 

"So this is going to be specific and clear to the people," Elliott said, adding that a finalized plan will be ready "within a very short time."

Read the full story.

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Frustration grows among seniors and caregivers over Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Phase One of Ontario's inoculation plan included seniors in long-term care homes, but not those living in the general community. If Meister lived in another province he could have been vaccinated by now, but Ontario deemed seniors living in the community to be a lower priority than essential workers — that is, until the province changed course just last week.

Now, Ontario says seniors aged 80 and above will get vaccinated next, before essential workers, but the wait will still be at least a few weeks.

Rick Hillier, chair of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force, said last week that a website and telephone hotline will be available at the beginning of March where seniors can make appointments to get their vaccine near their homes. There are about 500,000 seniors above 80 years of age living in the community in Ontario, and the province hopes to vaccinate at least 100,000 in March.

The province has said logistics for how these seniors will be vaccinated are still being worked out, but that some seniors could expect to hear from their primary care physicians at the beginning of March.

Read the full story.

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Ontario is expanding asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in schools. Here's what you need to know

Asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 in schools is ramping up across Ontario, following a directive from Education Minister Stephen Lecce earlier this month.  

In this expansion of an earlier testing pilot effort in the fall, the province is calling for larger school boards to test at least five per cent of their elementary and secondary students weekly, with a goal of reaching about two per cent of the student population in the province. The campaign began with schools in areas such as Ottawa, Toronto, Peel and York Region over the past few weeks. 

We asked experts to explain what's behind this push, what's been blocking families from testing and how the new variants factor into this initiative.

Read the fully story.

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Ontario residents return to usual hydro rates as stay-at-home order is lifted in most of province

An emergency order providing Ontario residents with a less expensive, fixed off-peak hydro rate is set to expire at midnight.

The provision was put in place on Jan. 1 as a response to a provincewide lockdown order that forced businesses and restaurants to close. The rates were extended as the government further issued a stay-at-home order across Ontario, which encouraged everyone to work from their place of residence if possible and to only leave for essential reasons.

Under this plan, Ontario households were charged the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour instead of the regular time-of-use rates or fixed tiered rate.

On Monday, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines said the emergency measure allowing customers to enjoy around-the-clock off-peak electricity rates would not be extended.

Read the full story.
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Canada

Government of Canada Announcements

Remarks from the Chief Public Health Officer on COVID-19, February 23, 2021 

There have been 849,517 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 21,723 deaths. Disease activity and severe outcomes continue to decline nationally and there are now just over 31,000 active cases across the country. Over the past week, on average, about 2,900 new cases and 54 deaths were reported daily. In our hospitals, under 2,400 people with COVID-19 were being treated each day, including about 530 in critical care. There are now over 849 variant of concern cases, including 780 B.1.1.7, 39 B.1.351 and 1 P.1 variants.

Overall we are still doing well, but things could change rapidly as we have seen recently in Newfoundland and Labrador, where highly contagious variants of concern took hold when public health measures were less stringent.

Provincial public health authorities, knew something was different when cases escalated over a matter of days, even before laboratory evidence confirmed the presence of the B.1.1.7 variant. There are also international examples – from the United Kingdom and Ireland – where an exponential trajectory occurred following the emergence and rapid predominance of the B.1.1.7 variant of concern. These areas had public health measures in place, but they proved insufficient to control the spread of a highly contagious variant.

Achieving the best-case scenario with highly transmissible variants in our midst requires us to continue being vigilant. Any easing of public health measures must be done slowly with enhanced testing, screening, and genomic analysis to detect variants of concern. In particular, there must be sufficient contact tracing capacity and supports for effective isolation given, increased transmissibility of variants of concern.

As we head into the spring, vaccination efforts will continue to ramp up, bringing us closer to widespread and lasting control. Recently, we have seen some very encouraging early reports of high vaccine effectiveness among long term care home residents and health care workers in Canada. This gives us hope that those at highest risk of severe outcomes or exposure are benefiting from priority vaccination. Until vaccine access expands to protect all Canadians, our best means of control continues to be our collective effort to slow the spread through enhanced public health measures combined with individual prevention practices. Controlling COVID-19 may not be easy, but WE are stronger.

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The Canada Revenue Agency is here to help Canadians through a tax season like no other

Over the past year, Canadians have faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many have had to adapt to changes at work and at home. The Government of Canada understands how difficult this situation continues to be and is taking measures to support Canadians through it.

February 22 marks the official launch of the 2021 Tax Season and individuals can now file their 2020 income tax and benefit return. Filling a return is essential to ensure individuals and families continue to receive the benefits and credits they deserve.

Due to the extraordinary conditions we have all faced over the last year, this tax season will be unlike any other. For the millions of Canadians accessing the Government of Canada’s emergency and recovery benefits to make ends meet over the last year, the numerous essential workers who are keeping the economy afloat, and the countless people who are doing their part by limiting their interactions with others, the Government of Canada will continue to support you.

In this spirit, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has taken steps to accommodate those who need extra assistance when filing their taxes this year. For example, the CRA is:

  • Adding more call centre agents and extending call hours to give taxpayers more time to have their tax and benefit questions answered;
  • Providing a targeted interest relief for Canadians who received COVID-19 related income support benefits, giving them more time and flexibility to pay if they have an amount owing;
  • Expanding payment arrangement parameters to provide Canadians more time and flexibility to repay a tax debt—those who are in difficult financial situations who find themselves owing money can call a CRA agent for help, toll-free at 1-888-863-8657 between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern time, Monday to Friday (except holidays);
  • Helping employees cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by making the deduction for home office expenses more accessible and easier to claim;
  • Supporting community organizations who offer free virtual tax help to individuals with modest income and a simple tax situation through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP);
  • Offering a new pilot program to offer grants to CVITP and Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program (IVATP) clinics to help them with the costs of running community tax clinics;
  • Offering a Liaison Officer service that provides free personalized virtual visits by phone or videoconference to small business owners and self-employed individuals to help them understand their tax obligations.

The CRA knows that Canadians expect a secure, easy, convenient, and fair tax system. While individuals and families continue to feel the effects of the pandemic, the CRA is committed to putting people first.

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Canada will receive its largest COVID-19 vaccine shipment to date this week

Canada is poised to receive a record number of COVID-19 vaccine doses this week thanks to scheduled deliveries from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, as the country looks to speed up its vaccination efforts.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it expects more than 640,000 shots from the pharmaceutical giants this week, which would represent the largest number of deliveries in a single week.

The previous record was set last week when Pfizer and BioNTech delivered more than 400,000 doses of their vaccine following a month-long lull while they expanded a production plant in Europe.

The two companies will ship more than 475,000 shots this week before scaling back slightly to 445,000 doses per week as they look to fulfil their commitment to deliver 4 million jabs by the end of March.

Read the full story

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Mass vaccinations not only factor in Canada's reopening timeline: Tam

Canada’s chief public health officer says the timing of when Canada will return to some state of normalcy is not solely dependent on the country achieving mass vaccination.

Weighing in on U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statements that England will move to lift all COVID-19 restrictions by June 21, Dr. Theresa Tam said Canada’s reopening timelines rely on a variety of factors.

She said while vaccinations generally play a "key role," other indicators include "the actual epidemic curve in terms of where it’s moving, the rates of serious outcomes including ICU admissions, hospitalizations and deaths...and you also want the public health capacity for testing, tracing, contact tracing all to be in place."

"You can’t put an absolute date on one of these things, but having everybody get the vaccine is a massive step towards returning to a more normal life," said Tam during a Tuesday press conference.

Read the full story

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New variants mean more vaccination needed for herd immunity: Health Canada

With new coronavirus variants gaining a foothold in Canada, the percentage of vaccinated Canadians required to achieve herd immunity is increasing, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser said on Monday.

That’s because the B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the U.K., and the B.1.351 variant, first discovered in South Africa, are believed to be more infectious than the original strain.

As the virus gets better at spreading, our vaccination rates will have to be even higher to make sure those who can’t get a jab can still be kept safe, Dr. Supriya Sharma told the House of Commons health committee on Monday.

“Herd immunity is the number of people that need to have immunity to protect people that are within the herd that do not have immunity…when we were first looking at (COVID-19), I think we were looking at estimates of around 60 to 70 per cent that we would require being vaccinated (to achieve herd immunity),” Sharma explained.

Read the full story

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Quebecers 80 and older will get COVID-19 vaccine starting next week

The province's COVID-19 vaccination campaign is finally ramping up, with Quebecers 80 and older in the general population able to get shots as early as next week.

People between 70 and 79 who live in the Montreal area will also be able to get the shots, Radio-Canada has learned.

Premier François Legault is expected to make the announcement during Tuesday afternoon's COVID-19 briefing from Montreal's Olympic Stadium.

The Olympic Stadium's Atrium is currently being turned into a massive vaccination site.

The province's first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Quebec on Dec. 14, and the inoculation campaign has since focused on residents in long-term care homes, private seniors homes as well as health-care workers. 

So far, more than 350,000 Quebecers have received shots, accounting for less than four per cent of the population.

Read the full story

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International news

Biden calls 500,000 death toll a 'heartbreaking milestone'

President Joe Biden has addressed the nation as the US marks 500,000 deaths from Covid-19, the highest toll of any country in the world.

"As a nation, we can't accept such a cruel fate. We have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow," he said.

The president and vice-president, and their spouses, then observed a moment of silence outside the White House during a candle-lighting ceremony.

More than 28.1 million Americans have been infected - another global record.

"Today I ask all Americans to remember. Remember those we lost and remember those we left behind," President Biden said, calling for Americans to fight Covid together.

Read the full story

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Roadmap out of lockdown: Almost all restrictions could be lifted by June 21, Boris Johnson announces

England is on a "one way road to freedom", Boris Johnson has said as he revealed his four-step route out of lockdown, which could see all aspects of society reopened by June 21.

The prime minister, laying out his roadmap out of lockdown, said he hopes to fully reopen the country and remove all limits on social contact within months, so long as the battle against coronavirus continues to go to plan.

He told a Downing Street press conference that the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations had "shifted the odds in our favour", allowing for a gradual reopening of society.

Nightclubs could be permitted to reopen on June 21 under Mr Johnson's plan, having been shut since the first lockdown in March 2020. Outdoor hospitality including pubs could reopen as early as April 12, with indoor hospitality opening no earlier than May 17.

Read the full story

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Pfizer to ship 13 million COVID-19 vaccine doses per week to U.S. by mid-March, says executive

Pfizer Inc expects to deliver more than 13 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine per week to the United States by the middle of March, more than doubling its shipments from early February, a top Pfizer executive said in prepared testimony ahead of a Tuesday congressional hearing.

Pfizer has shipped around 40 million doses to locations across the United States so far and is on track to deliver 120 million doses of its two-dose regimen by the end of March, said John Young, Pfizer’s chief business officer.

He added that Pfizer is also prepared to provide a total of 300 million shots to the United States by the end of July and has raised global production expectations for 2021 to at least 2 billion doses.

Read the full story

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In other COVID news

The Most Likely Timeline for Life to Return to Normal

 

The end of the coronavirus pandemic is on the horizon at last, but the timeline for actually getting there feels like it shifts daily, with updates about viral variants, vaccine logistics, and other important variables seeming to push back the finish line or scoot it forward. When will we be able to finally live our lives again?

Pandemics are hard to predict accurately, but we have enough information to make some confident guesses. A useful way to think about what’s ahead is to go season by season. In short: Life this spring will not be substantially different from the past year; summer could, miraculously, be close to normal; and next fall and winter could bring either continued improvement or a moderate backslide, followed by a near-certain return to something like pre-pandemic life.

 Read the full story.

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How Good Is the Israeli Pfizer Vaccine News?

Sam Fazeli, a Bloomberg Opinion contributor who covers the pharmaceutical industry for Bloomberg Intelligence, answered questions about preliminary research from Israel indicating that the Pfizer-BioNTech SE Covid-19 vaccine is highly effective not just in preventing disease but also in curbing the spread of coronavirus infections. 

The news out of Israel sounds very good. Is it as encouraging as it seems?

The holy grail of vaccination is to supress infections. When this happens at a 100% level, it’s called sterilizing immunity and means the virus just cannot infect you. The second-best thing — and what the vast majority of vaccines used against infectious diseases actually do, including the ones approved for Covid-19 — is to prevent disease and, more importantly, serious disease. We now have a claim that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine also prevented infections with the Sars-Cov-2 virus by close to 90%. While this does sound encouraging, there are some serious caveats that need to be taken into account before we get too excited and risk causing harm.

Read the full story

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Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines very effective after one dose, Scottish study suggests

A study of the COVID-19 vaccination program in Scotland has found that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines reduced hospitalization by up to 94 per cent after a single dose.

The study, released Monday by scientists at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde, examined hospitalization rates among more than 1.1 million Scots who received one shot of either vaccine between Dec. 8 and Feb. 15.

The researchers examined the effectiveness of the vaccines after one week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks and longer. The highest protection came after four weeks. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine lowered the risk of hospitalization by 85 per cent while the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab reduced it by 94 per cent.

“We are over all very, very impressed with both these vaccines. Both are performing incredibly well,” said Aziz Sheikh, professor of primary care research and development at the University of Edinburgh. “We now have national evidence, across an entire country, that vaccination provides protection against COVID-19 hospitalizations.”

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Food Banks experiencing record demand


Oakville's food banks are in record-breaking demand. If you can donate anything, please do. Your help is needed.

Fareshare Food Bank Oakville:
905-847-3988
oakvillefoodbank@gmail.com

Kerr Street Mission
905-845-7485
kerrstreet.com

The Salvation Army Oakville
salvationarmy.ca

 


Oakville Meals on Wheels continues to operate 


During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakville Meals on Wheels continues to operate under increased safety measures.
Learn more 

Oakville Fare Share Food Bank new hours

The demand for service at the Oakville Fare Share Food Bank have almost doubled over the last nine months and as a result, hours will increase to serve everyone.

The new hours are:
Monday 9.30 am to 2.30 p.m.
Thursday 2 to 7 p.m.

This is an increase of two hours per week and will continue until at least the end of February 

Upcoming events



 
 
What do you think about home energy upgrades?
 
The Halton Environmental Network (HEN) has identified that changes in our homes can help us play our part to combat climate change.
We’d like to know more about what you’ve done, or might do, in your home to support local climate action. 
Take HEN's three-minute survey now!
Share the survey with your family, friends, and colleagues!
Have your say on new $5 bill

Sign the petition to have Terry Fox as the finalist for the next great Canadian to be honoured and featured on the back of the newly proposed $5 bank note.

Help save Glen Abbey

https://www.saveglenabbey.ca/help/

The Town of Oakville faces a number of issues. Learn about some of the hottest topics and how they might affect you.

Glen Abbey
Downtown
Amazon
Milton Hub
Lakeshore Erosion
Regional Official Plan Review
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