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Office of the Mayor and Council update
March 1, 2021


 

Halton Region Vaccination Update: Online booking system for residents 80 years of age and older set to launch Wednesday


This afternoon Halton Region announced that our online booking system for residents 80 years of age and older is set to launch on Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Halton residents 80 years of age and older can call 311 if they require booking support. Please only call 311 if you are unable to book online to ensure those residents requiring support can be assisted. 

To support residents 80 years of age and older who require transportation, Halton Region has been working with Specialized Local Municipal Transit service providers and Private Transportation (taxi) services to ensure residents can conveniently request and arrange free transportation to and from Regional clinics if required.

My newsletter will continue to have the latest information on our vaccination rollout, please share the subscription link with friends and family.

Let's continue to follow the public health guidelines to wash and sanitize your hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, maintain a physical distance of two-metres from anyone outside your household and wear a mask when you can’t and where mandated.

When you do have to go out, don’t forget my three Cs of COVID-caution: Avoid crowded places, closed spaces and prolonged close-contact.


--

 
The Regional Municipality of Halton
For Immediate Release
March 1, 2021
 

Halton’s online booking system for residents 80 years of age and older set to launch Wednesday


Starting Wednesday March 3, Halton residents who are 80 years of age and older can book their appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic.
“Getting our most vulnerable residents vaccinated as quickly as possible is our top priority”, said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Our clinics are ready and our online booking system is set to open for appointment bookings on March 3. Our ability to vaccinate our community is dependent on supply from the Federal Government and direction from the Province on who to prioritize for vaccination. Thank you to our incredible Halton Region staff for all of the hard work behind the scenes to get us ready for this important milestone in our program. We will continue to expand our vaccination program as more supply becomes available.”

To support residents 80 years of age and older who require transportation, Halton Region has been working with Specialized Local Municipal Transit service providers and Private Transportation (taxi) services to ensure residents can conveniently request and arrange free transportation to and from Regional clinics if required.

“Vaccinating those most at risk of complications from COVID-19 is critical,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “If you know someone who is 80 years of age or older and may need assistance accessing information or booking their online appointment, please reach out to them to assist. While we continue to vaccinate priority groups, I am urging everyone to keep staying home except for essential purposes, avoiding social gatherings and preparing to be vaccinated when it is your turn.”

Quick Facts:
  • On Wednesday March 3, eligible Halton residents, who are 80 years of age or older, or someone on their behalf, will be able to go online to book an appointment via halton.ca/COVIDvaccines or Halton’s COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic webpage.
  • Halton residents can call 311 if they require booking support. Please only call 311 if you are unable to book online to ensure those residents requiring support can be assisted.
  • There will be appointments available to book for every resident who is 80 years of age and older during March and April. All appointments are contingent on the availability of vaccine supply.
  • Residents who are not currently 80 years of age and older, please do not call 311 or visit the online booking system to ensure eligible residents have access.
  • Appointments will be available for clinic sites in the City of Burlington, Town of Oakville, Town of Milton and Town of Halton Hills. Free transportation options will be available for all eligible residents if required. Halton’s Vaccination Clinics are not open to the public and are available by appointment. There will be no walk-in appointments.
Halton continues to vaccinate priority populations as identified by the Province and with vaccine supplies currently available. As of Friday, February 26, 28,622 doses have been administered in Halton to priority populations. Mobile teams of Public Health and Paramedic Services staff 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 and adults receiving chronic home care.
To get the latest information on Halton Region’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program including who is currently eligible, transportation options and how to book an appointment, please visit halton.ca/COVIDvaccines. Halton Region’s website is being updated as the program progresses, and residents are asked to check this page regularly for the latest information.
 
The Regional Municipality of Halton serves 580,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.
 
 
While COVID-19 has interrupted regular International Women’s Day programs, the Women of Halton Action Movement (WHAM) have pivoted, turning the annual Dinner Party fundraising event into the “Un” Dinner Party – a virtual occasion that still celebrates the power, strength and accomplishments of women on Monday, March 8.

In Halton, your support strengthens women through SAVIS (Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services), helping local survivors of violence on their journey from crisis to confidence. Internationally, CW4WAfghan (Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan) works to advance education for Afghan women and their families. 
 
The group is already 80 per cent towards reaching the goal of raising $50,000 for these worthy causes and you can help – and every donation will receive a tax receipt for the full amount.
 
Purchase a “ticket” https://www.thedinnerpartyiwd.ca/donation
Become a sponsor https://www.thedinnerpartyiwd.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Sponsorship-agreement-form-fillable.pdf

To learn more about this event and other IWD events happening in Oakville and Halton this March, please tune in to my Cogeco show, Oakville Matters, Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. when I’ll be joined by Councillor Beth Robertson who has been on the WHAM committee for several years, Town and Regional Councillor Pavan Parmar who has planned a third annual IWD event that I host with her jointly and Jassy Hundal, director, Resource Development at United Way Halton & Hamilton to discuss the many IWD events the United Way is involved in this year.
 

To see today’s updated COVID-19 statistics for Oakville from Halton’s Public Health Unit CLICK HERE
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Halton COVID case counts

There are currently 80 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 +35 from 9181 to 9216, with +12 new confirmed cases in Oakville from 2898 to 2900.

There were +9 new reported recoveries in Oakville, from 2854 to 2863 and +25 new recoveries in Halton from 9038 to 9063.

Ontario is reporting 1,023 new cases today, bringing the total to 301,839. Of those, 284,283 are resolved with 6,986 deaths. Currently there are 659 patients in hospital, 280 of whom are in ICU with 175 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 866,503 cases of COVID-19 and 21,994 deaths. 813,778 Canadians have recovered from COVID-19.

As of this morning, more than 114.240 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 64.494 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 2.533 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 Monday at 10:07 am CST, more than 
1,911,043 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada.

Oakville & Halton

Oakville Transit Update - Kids 12 and under ride FREE on Oakville Transit 

 

The Town of Oakville is making it more convenient and affordable for families to travel throughout the community. Beginning Monday, March 1, 2021, Oakville Transit will offer fare-free travel for kids aged 12 and under.
 
This pilot program aims to promote a healthier and more engaged community. The program provides additional value to residents when travelling by transit by eliminating financial barriers for residents wishing to travel with children and creating a seamless travel experience.

Customers may be asked to provide proof of age for any of the concession categories (child, youth, senior) before they board. Oakville Transit encourages all riders to obtain a PRESTO card and tap when they board. This helps to identify the correct concession of the customer, and is the best form of contactless payment. When a child uses the PRESTO card, the ride will be recorded as a $0 fare.

Learn more: http://ow.ly/MpKw50DqlA2

Oakville Fire warns residents to stay off all frozen bodies of water as temperatures rise 

 
 

With spring nearing, many are looking forward to warmer temperatures and enjoying the outdoors. The Oakville Fire department is reminding residents to stay off all bodies of water that appear to be frozen, as changing weather can cause rapid and significant changes to ice conditions.
 
Sunlight and solar radiation travelling through clear ice can cause the water below to warm and melt from the bottom up. When water is flowing above or below the ice surface, such as the inflows to storm management ponds, it will weaken, creating unstable and dangerous conditions.
 
"Warmer conditions and rain will cause water levels and flows to fluctuate, resulting in changing and unpredictable ice thickness,” Oakville Fire Chief Paul Boissonneault. “Once ice starts to deteriorate, as it already has this year, the thickness is no longer an indication of its strength. Ice can be a foot thick in some areas, and extremely thin in others. With milder temperatures in the forecast, please communicate this important safety message to your children and exercise caution around all frozen bodies of water. Be safe. Stay off the ice.”
 
Stormwater management ponds play an important role in our environment and are not suitable for recreational activities at any time of the year. Please never skate, walk or toboggan on these ponds. If you see someone fall through ice, please call 9-1-1 immediately. 
 
To learn more about ice safety, watch this informative video from Chief Paul Boissonneault.


 
Throughout the town, there are many safe and fun outdoor winter activities for the entire family to enjoy. Please visit our winter recreation page for a full list of activities.
 
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
 
 

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Town of Oakville - Keep catch basins clear


As temperatures rise and snow begins to melt it’s important to keep catch basins clear so water can drain from the roads.

If you see significant ponding on the roadway edge, please contact Service Oakville at 905-845-6601. We may need to tend to our roadside catch basins.


 

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Oakville Beaver - Jump in cases of highly-contagious U.K. variant of COVID-19

Halton Region Public Health is now reporting 13 variant cases of COVID-19, at least 12 of which are the highly-contagious U.K. variant.

The 13 cases is up from eight just two days ago.

Of the 13 variant cases, seven are in Milton, three are in Halton Hills, two are in Burlington and one is in Oakville.

Read the full story.


 
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Oakville News - ZONTA installs yellow rose display in Towne Square

As part of this year's International Women's Day social media campaign, the community is encouraged to identify the women in their life who have had a positive impact, using the hashtag #ZontaRose.



Read the full story.

 
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Vaccine update from Oakville MP, 
Minister Anita Anand



Health Canada has authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in Canada as well as the Serum Institute of India’s version, CoviShield.

We have secured 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through our contracts. We have also secured 2 million additional doses through an agreement with Verity Pharmaceuticals Canada and the Serum Institute of India. Deliveries will begin in the coming days. 

We remain on track to receive 6.5 million Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines by the end of March and 107.9 million vaccines by September. Once the vaccines arrive in Canada, the provinces and territories are responsible for the rollout and deployment. 

In all, this means more people will be vaccinated, and sooner. We will have enough vaccines by the end of September 2021 for every Canadian who wants to be vaccinated. 

Read newsletter.
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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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African Caribbean Council of Halton's Black History Month Celebration

Oakville BHM Proclamation and Celebration "The Black Family"

Ontario

Government of Ontario Announcements

Ontario Increases Support for Transit Across the Province

TORONTO - The Ontario government is providing $150 million in additional funding to help municipal transit systems address the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is in addition to the $2 billion previously committed by Ontario and the federal government through the Safe Restart Agreement to help municipalities continue to deliver critical transit services. During the peak of the pandemic, ridership dropped up to 90% of normal levels for some of Ontario's transit systems, which resulted in significant financial impacts for municipalities.

"We heard from municipalities and we are responding to their need for more support as COVID-19 continues to result in lost revenue and additional costs for transit systems," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. "Transit operators have done an incredible job keeping transit operating during this challenging time, and this support will help ensure there is reliable transportation for people to get to work or pick up essential items." 

The additional $150 million in provincial funding means that there is a total of $650 million in funding still available to municipalities up to December 31, 2021, with extensions to December 2022 granted on a case-by-case basis. In addition, Ontario is calling on the federal government to match the additional funding announced today to help ensure municipal financial needs continue to be met.

As part of the Safe Restart Agreement funding, municipalities need to work with the province to explore options to ensure local transit is safe, sustainable, affordable and integrated, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

To support this work, Ontario is allowing municipalities to use Safe Restart Agreement funding towards new initiatives to make it easier and more affordable to travel between different transit systems, like adding capacity for on-demand microtransit and increasing fare and service integration across the region.

"We are committed to supporting our municipal partners in their mission to build back transit ridership when we come out of this pandemic," said Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA) Kinga Surma. "We recognize there's an opportunity now to work with our partners to ensure transit is safe, sustainable and affordable, both during COVID-19 and as we begin to recover."

"Access to transit is essential to help frontline workers get where they need to go. We thank the province for its continued support as transit systems face challenges due to COVID-19 over the past year and into 2021," said Kelly Paleczny, chair of the Ontario Public Transit Association. "This ongoing funding from the province will help keep transit a reliable option now and in the future."

"Workers, seniors, students, and people living with disabilities rely on public transit every day. It's critical it remains a safe and sustainable option for travel both during and after COVID-19," said Marco D'Angelo, president of the Canadian Urban Transit Association. "With this support from the province, municipalities can continue to operate transit today while also looking towards the future of transit and how we can work together to make it more convenient and sustainable."

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Ontario Keeping Seniors Safe and Socially Connected during COVID-19

TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $14.3 million in 2020-21 to support nearly 300 Seniors Active Living Centres. These programs will deliver new virtual initiatives to help keep seniors safe and socially connected as they continue to self-isolate due to COVID-19.

"Given the fact that many seniors have had to self-isolate during COVID-19, it is important that we look to programs that will keep them safe and connected," said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. "Our government's investment in Seniors Active Living Centres will help older adults stay virtually engaged with their friends, family and communities while combatting social isolation during the pandemic."

This year's investment will focus on virtual programs such as teleconferences, online videos, one-on-one phone calls to help seniors stay connected from home, and support projects such as:

  • Seniors' Centre Without Walls to create interactive telephone-based group programming for socially isolated seniors and people with disabilities
  • Virtual physical fitness programming
  • Online craft programs and delivery of pre-made craft kits to seniors
  • Meal programs ranging from curbside pick up to door-to-door deliveries
  • Online educational programs such as tax clinics, technology assistance, health and wellness, and COVID-19 information

This year's ongoing funding has supported the application of safety control measures against the spread of COVID-19, and provided more remote and virtual programming. These programs have also provided safe in-person programming when the local public health unit said it was safe to do so.

The government is committed to the safety and well-being of Ontario's older adults. Seniors Active Living Centre programs are a key initiative to help older adults stay healthy, active and socially connected within their own communities. 

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Doug Ford overrode Ontario’s top doctor on COVID-19 tests, overwhelming system

Premier Doug Ford overrode the advice of his government’s medical experts in opening up COVID-19 testing to all Ontarians in the spring, a decision that overwhelmed the province’s antiquated lab system and led to critical backlogs in the long-term care sector.

The revelation is contained in Health Minister Christine Elliott’s testimony to an independent commission examining the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Ontario’s long-term care homes.

The experts – Chief Medical Officer of Health David Williams; Vanessa Allen, Public Health Ontario’s chief of microbiology and laboratory science; and Jennie Johnstone, chair of the province’s panel on testing strategy – said allowing anyone to get tested for COVID-19 was not advisable because it would add to already lengthy turnaround times for processing results.

Despite the warning, Mr. Ford announced on May 24 that anyone without symptoms who feared they had been exposed to COVID-19 could get a test. Prior to then, only high-risk groups, including health care workers and residents in nursing homes, could get tested.

Ms. Elliott was asked why the government ignored the panel’s advice when, according to her own diary presented at the commission, she was well aware that the province does not have a well-connected lab system that could deal with large volumes of tests.

Read the full story.

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Long-term care minister was 'ahead' of top public health doctor on COVID-19: commission

Ontario's long-term care minister was aware of the dangers the novel coronavirus posed to the sector long before it was declared a global pandemic, a newly released transcript from the province's commission on the matter reveals.

The transcript of the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission's interview with Merrilee Fullerton and her deputy shows the pair advocated for stronger measures than what the government was willing to put in place, earlier than they were willing to act.

That's particularly true of Fullerton, a long-time family doctor.

"You were ahead of the chief medical officer of health in many respects, from your notes anyway," John Callaghan, the commission lawyer questioning Fullerton, told her.

For instance, Fullerton's notes from the time suggest she was concerned about asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes as early as Feb. 5, 2020.

That possibility wasn't publicly acknowledged by the government until much later.

Read the fully story.

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Municipalities will get another $150M in Safe Restart funding to cover public transit losses due to COVID-19

The Ford government says that it will provide municipalities with an additional $150 million in funding to help public transit systems that are continuing to lose millions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money is part of the second phase of the federal Safe Restart program and will be applied to losses that occurred between Oct.1 and the end of this month.

A total of $660 million was set aside to help Ontario’s municipal transit system as part of the first wave of federal Safe Restart funding and the TTC received nearly two-thirds of that - $404 million.

Assuming the same formula is applied, the TTC could expect to receive another $90 million from this disbursement of funds. The Ford government, however, is calling on the federal government to match the funding.

Read the fully story.

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Will Ontario’s summer camps be allowed to open? Here’s how they're trying to make it happen

After last year’s cancellation of summer camps amid the first wave of COVID-19, the Ontario Camps Association began working with health experts on a new slate of protocols to keep children and counsellors safe. That package has now been submitted to the province for review.

The plan’s proposals include cohorts of kids and counsellors from the same cabins sticking together and avoiding contacts with others, more outdoor dining, and counsellors not being able to leave the camps on their days off. Plus the usual testing, mask wearing, hand washing, physical distancing and frequent cleaning.

“There’s a lot of moving parts to this,” said Jack Goodman, owner of Camp New Moon on Lake of Bays, near Huntsville, who is chairing the camp association’s COVID-19 task force and preparing a “field guide” of practical tips for hundreds of camp operators.

He is well aware a third wave could sink the whole thing, crushing the hopes of housebound, shack-wacky kids and parents after what will be more than a year of online learning and working from home.

Read the full story.

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Canada

Government of Canada Announcements

Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on March 1, 2021 

COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll-out in priority vaccination programs across Canada and last week Health Canada authorized two more safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for use in Canada. The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, and the Serum Institute of India’s version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, are the third and fourth COVID-19 vaccines and the first viral vector-based vaccines authorised for use in Canada. Today Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is updating its recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines to include recommendations on the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for optimal public health benefit. Although measures of efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 cannot be directly compared across different COVID-19 vaccines, it is important to stress that all COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada, regardless of differences in efficacy against symptomatic disease, will contribute to reducing severe COVID-19 illness and death in Canada. The authorization of additional vaccines provides further tools to fight this pandemic as quickly as possible, and will provide more supply to the market. In addition, different vaccines have different advantages. NACI is assessing the time period between the first and second doses of authorized COVID-19 vaccines to allow as many people as possible to be vaccinated while not compromising effectiveness. NACI is considering evidence from recent scientific studies and will provide their recommendations this week. The science of COVID-19 vaccination continues to evolve and expert advice is being adapted accordingly to maximize the benefits of authorized vaccines to protect the health of Canadians.

As COVID-19 activity continues in Canada, we are tracking a range of epidemiological indicators to monitor where the disease is most active, where it is spreading and how it is impacting the health of Canadians and public health, laboratory and healthcare capacity. The following is the latest summary on national numbers and trends, and the actions we all need to be taking to maintain COVID-19 at manageable levels across the country. Due to reduced reporting over the weekend, national seven-day averages have not been updated in today’s statement. These data are still being collected and analysed. I will provide the latest numbers during my remarks tomorrow.

 Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 866,503 cases of COVID-19, including 21,994 deaths reported in Canada; these cumulative numbers tell us about the overall burden of COVID-19 illness to date. They also tell us, together with results of serological studies, that the vast majority of Canadians remain susceptible to COVID-19.

Although COVID-19 activity had been declining nationally from mid-January through mid-February, daily case counts have since levelled off and are now showing a moderate increase. As well, the emergence and spread of certain SARS-CoV-2 virus variants is an additional cause for concern. The number of cases involving the more contagious B.1.1.7 variant of concern continues to increase, with the highest numbers to date being reported from Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec, respectively. As of February 28th, a total of 1,254 variants of concern have been reported across Canada, including 1,152 B.1.1.7 variants, 99 B.1.351 variants and 3 P.1 variant.

Although it is normal for variants to emerge as viruses continuously evolve, some variants are considered “variants of concern” because they spread more easily, cause more severe illness, or current vaccines may be less effective against them. As cases and outbreaks associated with more contagious variants, in particular the B.1.1.7 variant, are continuing to increase in Canada, we need to maintain the strictest vigilance in our public health measures and individual practices. This will help to prevent rapidly spreading variants from taking hold and making the epidemic much more difficult to control. Likewise, over the coming weeks and months it will be important to maintain a high degree of caution and not ease restrictions too fast or too soon. 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.

Currently, there are 30,731 active cases across the country. The latest national-level data show a 7-day average of 2,960 new cases daily (Feb 19-25). Following the decrease in COVID-19 activity over many weeks, severe outcomes continue to decline as expected for these lagging indicators. Provincial and territorial data indicate that an average of 2,269 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day during the most recent 7-day period (Feb 19-25), including 564 of whom were being treated in intensive care units. During the same period, there were an average of 52 COVID-19-related deaths reported daily.

Surveillance data support that combined community-based measures and collective efforts of Canadians can slow the spread of COVID-19. However, recent increases in COVID-19 disease activity across several jurisdictions are a reminder that that strong measures must be kept in place in order to prevent resurgence. With still elevated daily case counts and outbreaks in high-risk populations and communities, including hospitals and long term care homes, correctional facilities, congregate living settings, Indigenous communities, and more remote areas of the country, there is persistent risk for rapid reacceleration. This is particularly concerning in areas of the country where more contagious virus variants are spreading. These factors underscore the importance of enhanced public health measures where needed and maintaining strict adherence to individual precautions.

A range of public health measures are already in place across Canada as we continue our collective effort to interrupt the spread of the virus, including limiting the spread of more contagious variants, while we buy critical time for vaccine programs to ramp up. Canadians are urged to remain vigilant, continue following local public health advice, and consistently maintain individual practices that keep us and our families safer: stay home/self-isolate if you have any symptomsthink about the risks and reduce non-essential activities and outings to a minimum, avoid all non-essential travel, and maintain individual protective practices of physical distancinghand, cough and surface hygiene and wearing a well-fitted and properly worn face mask as appropriate (including in shared spaces, indoors or outdoors, with people from outside of your immediate household).

Aiming to have the fewest interactions with the fewest number of people, for the shortest time, at the greatest distance possible is a simple rule that we can all apply to help limit the spread of COVID-19, while vaccine programs expand to protect all Canadians. 

Canadians can also go the extra mile by sharing credible information on COVID-19 risks and prevention practices and measures to reduce COVID-19 in communities and by downloading the COVID Alert app to break the cycle of infection and help limit the spread of COVID-19. Read my backgrounder to access more COVID-19 Information and Resources on ways to reduce the risks and protect yourself and others, including information on COVID-19 vaccination

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Canada hopeful 1st doses of AstraZeneca vaccine could arrive as early as Wednesday

The federal government hopes to start receiving doses of AstraZeneca’s recently approved COVID-19 vaccine this week as the flood of shots that flowed into Canada from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna last week partially subsides.

Health Canada announced on Friday that it had approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, the third COVID-19 shot to have received regulatory approval since the start of the pandemic.

Canada has ordered 24 million doses of the vaccine, with the majority to be delivered from the United States between April and September.

But two million jabs have been ordered from the Serum Institute of India, and Verity Pharmaceuticals, which is facilitating the institute’s application in Canada, has said the first 500,000 would reach Canadian shores this week.

Read the full story

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Worried about COVID-19, Canadians revamping plans to avoid retirement homes. But can they afford it?

The pandemic and its disproportionate toll on long-term care homes and other congregate living centres has prompted many Canadians to reconsider their retirement plans, and few of them know whether they have enough saved.

In a recent survey by IG Wealth Management, 63 per cent of respondents said they would now prefer to spend their retirement in their own home, rather than in a retirement facility. The same survey found 88 per cent of working respondents were unsure about the amount of money they needed to ensure their monthly expenses are covered during retirement.

Debbie Gilbert, a Toronto-based certified professional consultant on aging, said people’s approach to planning for retirement and their opinions of retirement homes have been changed by COVID-19.

Read the full story

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What Trudeau said about vaccines, Saudi Arabia and Keystone XL on NBC's Meet the Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commended U.S. President Joe Biden on getting the United States to re-engage with its allies during a wide-ranging interview on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that touched on everything from COVID-19 vaccines, Saudi Arabia and the Keystone XL pipeline.

"I think certainly there were things that were more challenging under the previous administration in terms of moving the dial in the right direction on the international stage," 

Here are some of the other key moments from Trudeau's Meet the Press appearance.

Read the full story

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International news

Fauci urges Americans to get any of the three COVID-19 vaccines available

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease official, said on Sunday he would take the newly approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, as he encouraged Americans to accept any of the three approved shots.

“All three of them are really quite good, and people should take the one that’s most available to them. If you go to a place and you have J&J, and that’s the one that’s available now, I would take it,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The U.S. government authorized Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, making it the third to be available in the country following ones from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Both of those vaccines require two doses and need to be shipped frozen. The J&J vaccine can be shipped and stored at normal refrigerator temperatures.

Read the full story

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More than 20 million in Britain get first COVID-19 vaccine dose

More than 20 million people across the United Kingdom have now received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot, data showed on Sunday as the country made more progress with Europe’s fastest vaccination programme.
 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the milestone represented “a huge national achievement and he paid testament to the country’s health, workers, volunteers and armed forces.

“I urge everyone to get the jab when called,” Johnson said. “Every jab makes a difference in our battle against COVID.”

Read the full story

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India's Modi gets COVID-19 vaccination as chaotic expansion of vaccine drive begins

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was vaccinated against COVID-19 Monday, but a glitch in an online booking system meant thousands were turned away from hospitals across the country.

India's 11.1 million coronavirus case total is topped only by the United States.

The government -- which has set an ambitious target of vaccinating 300 million people by the end of June -- has opened up the jabs to all over-60s and any over-45s with serious illnesses.

Since the vaccination drive launched in January, only 14 million people have had jabs, mainly health workers and security forces.

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In other COVID news

The pandemic is helping us relearn the lost habit of walking

Something like six million years ago, early humans began to walk on two legs. Around two million years ago, they became fully bipedal, with long thigh bones that allowed them to take big strides and cover great distances. Anthropologists believe this may have helped them thrive in the broad grasslands of East Africa. With their hands now free, they could pick fruit and carry food, tools or infants.

Ever since, we have been a walking species. To walk is to be human. Yet over the past few generations, many of us have lost the habit. First the horse, then the horse and carriage and finally the motor vehicle gave us a way to get around without the bother of putting one foot in front of the other.

The cult of the car made walking look almost quaint. In rich countries, at least, walking was for suckers. Four wheels good, two legs bad. Cities built to ease the flow of traffic became hostile environments for pedestrians. Today, those who own cars often make even short trips by automobile. In his 2015 book, Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act, Dan Rubinstein writes that 40 years ago, two-thirds of North American children got to school on foot or by bicycle. Today, just one third do.

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In Quest for Herd Immunity, Giant Vaccination Sites Proliferate – NY Times

With the nation’s coronavirus vaccine supply expected to swell over the next few months, states and cities are rushing to open mass vaccination sites capable of injecting thousands of shots a day into the arms of Americans, an approach the Biden administration has seized on as crucial for reaching herd immunity in a nation of 330 million.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has joined in too: It recently helped open seven mega-sites in California, New York and Texas, relying on active-duty troops to staff them and planning many more. Some mass sites, including at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and State Farm Stadium in suburban Phoenix, aim to inject at least 12,000 people a day once supply ramps up; the one in Phoenix already operates around the clock.

The sites are one sign of growing momentum toward vaccinating every willing American adult. Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine won emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, and both Moderna and Pfizer have promised much larger weekly shipments of vaccines by early spring. In addition to using mass sites, President Biden wants pharmaciescommunity clinics that serve the poor and mobile vaccination units to play major roles in increasing the vaccination rate.

With only about 9 percent of adults fully vaccinated to date, the kind of scale mass sites provide may be essential as more and more people become eligible for the vaccines and as more infectious variants of the virus proliferate in the United States.

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Here is how Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine differs from Pfizer’s and Moderna’s.

A third effective weapon was added to America’s arsenal against the coronavirus on Saturday when the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for a vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson.

The company said it would start shipping millions of doses early this week, and would provide the United States with 100 million doses by the end of June. Together with 600 million doses of the nation’s first two authorized vaccines, made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, that are due to be delivered over the next four months, that ought to be enough to cover every American adult who wants to be vaccinated.

The new vaccine differs markedly from the two already in use in the United States. Here is how they compare.

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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!
United Way Women United campaign runs through March

In honour of International Women’s Day, United Way Halton & Hamilton is hosting a month full of events. Visit https://www.uwhh.ca/womenunited/
 
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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