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Office of the Mayor and Council update
May 7, 2021


 

Encouraging vaccine developments mark start of Mother's Day weekend

 
 

As Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Theresa Tam said today, there have been “a number of important developments on the vaccine front, including the announcement of significant increases in vaccine supplies starting this month.”

I'm pleased at Dr. Tam's good news, but I am concerned that the number of people who understand we are under a Provincial Stay At Home Order is too low. Our hospital's COVID-19 load is too high and our case numbers are not showing enough improvement to relax our guard yet.

To date, 222,676 doses have been administered in Halton with 43 per cent of Halton’s population having received at least their first dose and booking for eligible groups opened today with a schedule that continues to add more all month long. In the past 24-hours a record 144,724 doses were administered in Ontario. Almost 15 million doses have been administered, providing almost 42 per cent of Canadian adults with a first dose of protection.

More good news is that Health Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for safe and effective prevention of COVID-19 in children aged 12 to 15 years.

All of this encouraging news does not mean we can let our guards down yet, particularly as we head into Mother’s Day weekend – a time when we’re once again asked to stay home and not gather with family. It’s important to continue to follow all of the public health measures and stay-at-home order for the safety of everyone.

This means we should:

  • Only go out for essentials
  • Stay home if unwell
  • Wash and sanitize hands frequently
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Keep a distance of at least two-metres from anyone outside our household
  • Wear a mask when distance can’t be maintained, even outside, and where mandated
  • Book a vaccination appointment when eligible
You have my very best wishes for a happy Mother’s Day.

Please keep well, stay safe, and let me know of any chance to help by emailing mayor@oakville.ca.

 

Halton’s Medical Officer of Health issues instructions to help businesses respond to COVID-19 workplace outbreaks

 
Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health has issued instructions to businesses to help them respond quickly and effectively to the risk of a workplace outbreak. These actions will help owners and operators protect their staff, patrons and the community. These include specific actions to take:
  • if aware that a worker at their workplace has COVID-19;
  • if aware that two or more workers have COVID-19 within the past 14 days; and
  • to protect all workers from COVID-19.
These additional requirements are being issued as Halton continues to see cases of COVID-19 among those who cannot work from home and more workplace outbreaks. With COVID-19 Variants of Concern circulating in the community it is prudent to take a conservative approach to cases involving workplace and community exposures.

The instructions are effective Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. They supplement existing requirements from the Province and Halton Region Public Health officials.

To read Dr. Meghani’s instructions to businesses(PDF file) and for more information and guidance, please visit halton.ca/COVID19.

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves 595,000 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.

IESO launches public engagement on phasing-out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants

 

Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is launching a public engagement process on how Ontario can reduce its greenhouse gas pollution by phasing out its gas-fired power plants. This is your chance to tell the IESO that we need to phase out gas by 2030 to help our climate and clear our air.

Ontario was a world leader in phasing out dirty coal power. Now much of the world is racing to catch up and may soon pass us. With jurisdictions from the United States to the UK embracing the goal of zero carbon power systems, Ontario will be left behind if it sticks with its plan to use more gas, not less, to replace power from aging nuclear reactors. We simply can’t afford to lose approximately 40 per cent of the climate pollution reductions we achieved by phasing out coal if we want to make climate progress.

The IESO is encouraging all interested citizens to participate in its engagement through public webinars and written feedback.
 
Help keep building momentum for a 2030 gas plant phase-out by sending a message to the IESO right now. Click here to send your letter.

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 240 Active Cases in Oakville and 41 COVID-19 patients being cared for at OTMH (this number includes transfers from facilities outside of Halton Region).
 
Confirmed cases in Oakville increased by +38 from 4,835 to 4,873.
Confirmed cases in Halton increased by +129 from 15,311 to 15,440.
 
There were +33 new reported recoveries in Oakville from 4,704 to 4,737.
There were +143   new reported recoveries in Halton from 14,758 to 14,901. 

Ontario is reporting 3,166 new cases today, bringing the total to 486,223. Of those, 444,342 are resolved with 8,236 deaths. Currently there are 1,924 patients in hospital, 858 of whom are in ICU with 611 of those on ventilators.

Comparing Halton to GTHA - Case Numbers

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 reported 1,269,701 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 80,416 considered active. A tally of deaths stood at 24,515.

As of early Friday morning, 156.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 3.2 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 Friday at 9:09 am CST, more than 15,182,710 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada.

Oakville & Halton

Town of Oakville Announcements

Spring is coyote denning season


Coyotes often become more active in the spring because it is denning and pupping season for them.

A den/pups have been identified in the area of Trafalgar and Glenashton. Please do not approach.
Learn more
 

Top

Oakville Chamber and Town partner to
distribute self-screening kits for SME’s

 
 
The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Oakville have joined forces to provide free self-screening kits to small and medium-sized businesses who employ up to 150 employees within the Town of Oakville.
 
The goal of the program is to identify asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, at home, and throughout the community.
 
Employers are required to appoint a representative who will be responsible for supervising the self-screening process. Appointed supervisors are required to attend the initial pick-up, in order to receive video training on testing supervision and safe disposal guidelines.
 
The kits will be available for pick-up by appointment only, at the former post office located at 193 Church St. in Oakville. 
 
The site will open on Tuesday, May 11th and operate weekly Tuesday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Learn more and order now
Top

Halton Region's 2020 Economic Review provides insight into COVID-19 effects on the local economy

 
 
On March 24, Halton Region Economic Development released the 2020 Economic Review. The report provides an overview of economic and business conditions across Halton in 2020, including development and real estate activity and Halton-related business successes. While the full economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still being determined, the 2020 Economic Review illustrates some of the preliminary effects on the region’s economy.
 
The 2020 Economic Review is available for download on the Invest Halton Resource page on halton.ca.
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Ontario

Government of Ontario Announcements

Ontario Supports Families, Businesses and Workers during COVID-19


Provincial Assistance Critical in the Wake of Recent Job Numbers

Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued the following statement in response to today’s monthly employment release by Statistics Canada:

"Employment in Ontario decreased by 152,700 in April. Driven by new, more contagious variants, the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create unprecedented challenges for individuals, families and businesses across the province. These job numbers serve as a stark reminder that as we continue to do everything possible to support Ontarians, there is much work ahead of us.

We are not through the pandemic crisis and last month’s numbers remind us how important it is to stay focused on our plan to protect the health of Ontarians and their jobs. But we can see light at the end of the tunnel.

As of May 6, more than 5.8 million vaccine doses have been administered across the province, and the percentage of people in Ontario who have received first doses is rising dramatically as vaccine supply increases. The 2021 Budget provides more than $1 billion to support the administration, distribution and rollout of Ontario’s COVID‑19 vaccination campaign.

In addition to investments totalling $16.3 billion to protect people's health, the Ontario government is providing $23.3 billion to protect the economy through this pandemic and beyond. We must continue working together and building a solid foundation to help Ontario emerge from this pandemic and position our economy for job creation and long‑term prosperity. This includes unprecedented support for families, workers and Ontario’s small businesses. Ontario's COVID-19 action plan support now totals $51 billion.

Our government will continue to take the necessary steps to defeat this virus. With more vaccines being distributed and the record investments in Ontario’s 2021 Budget, we will emerge from this battle with COVID-19 stronger than ever before.”
Top

Ontario Expands COVID-19 Rapid Testing Across Province


Rapid testing to help keep workers safe in small and medium-sized businesses
 
The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, has launched the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative for small and medium-sized businesses across the province.

The COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative will provide free rapid antigen tests for employees of small and medium-sized businesses through participating local chambers of commerce and other organizations. The program will screen for asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace that might otherwise be missed, helping to keep workers and their families safe and businesses open.
This initiative has quickly garnered significant interest with chambers of commerce across the province. More than 760,000 rapid test kits have already shipped to 28 chambers and more than 50 others have expressed interest in participating.

“With the success of the StaySafe Rapid Testing Pilot in Waterloo Region, expanding rapid testing to small and medium-sized businesses across the province will help keep people working and safe,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Adding rapid antigen testing to the arsenal of protections for small and medium-sized businesses, especially in regions with hot spots, is one more important step towards keeping businesses open and economic recovery."

“The rollout of the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative through local chambers of commerce will make rapid tests accessible for more employees of small and medium-sized businesses," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. "This initiative is providing Ontario’s hardworking business owners with more tools to prevent outbreaks and will ensure their employees can stay on the job with the best protection possible."

“Our government’s top priority is protecting the health and safety of all Ontarians. As we continue to vaccinate more Ontarians, testing remains a key component of Ontario’s pandemic response,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “By supporting the use of rapid antigen tests by more businesses, our government is helping to provide an additional layer of protection for workers and their families.”

Ontario has already begun delivering rapid testing kits through the Provincial Antigen Screening Program to workplaces for asymptomatic staff in key sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing, the supply chain, mining, construction and food processing. As of April 30, about 7.6 million rapid antigen tests had been sent through the program to nearly 1,500 workplaces. This includes nearly 200 essential industry sites, most of them in hot spot areas.

The COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative builds upon the success of this existing program and delivers tests into the hands of small and medium-sized businesses across the province.
Making COVID-19 rapid tests accessible to all small and medium-sized businesses is part of a greater strategy to decrease the impact of COVID-19 on the people of Ontario and the economy. This includes stay-at-home measures, paid sick days, education campaigns on how to stay safe, significant testing and tracing capacity, and a robust vaccination distribution plan to make sure that every Ontarian who wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated.

 

Top

Head of science table says it is 'not too late' to prevent more variants from spreading in Ontario


The head of Ontario’s science advisory table says that authorities were too late in introducing measures to prevent the B.1.1.7 variant from spreading in Canada and must not repeat that mistake again.
Read the full story

Top

Ease Ontario’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order too soon and we risk a fourth wave, top doctor says

 

With two weeks left under Ontario’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order, health experts say it’s too soon for Premier Doug Ford to ease restrictions, warning a spike in cases from Mother’s Day gatherings could breathe new life into the third wave.
Read the full story

Top

Ontario vowed to investigate horrific deaths in long-term care. Now it says that didn't happen.



Nearly one year ago, as the first detailed picture emerged of the true scale of the horror faced by residents of Ontario's long-term care system during the pandemic, a visibly emotional Premier Doug Ford vowed his government would conduct a full investigation. Now it turns out that didn't happen
Read the full story
Top

Ontario promised aid for small businesses. Months later, many are still waiting for help to come



After a devastating year for small businesses, many in Toronto have yet to receive financial aid promised by the provincial government nearly four months ago. The money was intended to help ease the burden of pandemic lockdowns.
Read the full story
Top

Ontario’s official count of COVID ICU patients is missing dozens of cases, hiding the true scale of the crisis in hospitals

 

As the third wave crests in Ontario, physicians warn the daily tally of COVID-19 patients in ICUs is an undercount of the true number receiving critical care for the virus.
Read the full story
Top

‘It’s irresponsible’: Ford government minister under fire for claims about vaccine efficacy

 

Ontario’s small business minister is under fire after wading into the debate over vaccine efficacy — and potentially shaking public confidence — to bolster Premier Doug Ford’s push for a federal crackdown on international and interprovincial travellers bringing COVID-19 into the province.
Read the full story
Top

The top doctor who ordered some of the strictest COVID-19 measures in Ontario shares why

 

As the medical officer of health for a region in Ontario hard-hit by the pandemic, Dr. Lawrence Loh has spent more than a year making difficult decisions and enacting strict measures in a quest to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Read the full story
Top

Canada

Government of Canada Announcements

Prime Minister announces additional support for equitable access to new COVID-19 medical solutions


 
The global COVID‑19 pandemic is a threat that we can only beat by working together. With the rapid spread of COVID-19 variants, it’s more important than ever for all countries to do their part to finish the fight against this virus, so we can build back better for everyone.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced additional funding for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. This $375 million contribution will help develop, produce, and distribute diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines to low-and-middle-income countries.

Today’s announcement builds on the work that Canada has been doing to support vulnerable countries through this crisis, including by providing access to vaccines, tests, and treatments. Since the start of this crisis, we have committed more than $2.5 billion to support the global COVID-19 response.

We cannot beat the COVID-19 virus here at home unless we beat it everywhere around the world. Canada will continue to work with our partners through the G7, the G20, and other international organizations to beat the pandemic, support vulnerable countries, and build a stronger and more resilient world. Only together can will we tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.  

Top

Government of Canada increases access to COVID-19 rapid testing for workers

 

Increasing rapid antigen testing will help identify people not showing symptoms of infection who may be carrying COVID-19 into workplaces and communities

Testing and screening, in combination with personal public health measures and vaccination, are important tools to protect Canadians and help limit the spread of COVID-19. Some studies suggest that up to 50% of COVID-19 transmission could be caused by people without symptoms. Testing and screening are important tools to help reduce the risk of outbreaks, quickly identify and isolate cases, and limit spreading in workplaces and the community.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, are encouraging businesses and organizations to apply for free rapid tests for workplace screening projects. Workplace screening is another layer of protection for workers, the people they serve and their communities from COVID-19. Across the country, these rapid tests have already helped to identify and stop the transmission of over 11,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

This initiative builds on previous successful rapid testing projects supported by the Government of Canada, including through the Creative Destruction Lab Rapid Screening Consortium. Through these projects, we have directly provided more than 1 million rapid tests to screen more than 100,000 close-contact employees across Canada in 58 organizations including Air Canada, Canadian Blood Services, McCain Foods Canada, Sobeys and Teck Resources.
Rapid tests will be available to employers through:
  • Shoppers Drug Mart locations in COVID-19 hot spots in Ontario for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
  • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce will enable local chambers to distribute rapid tests to smaller organizations, based on the successful StaySafe Rapid Testing Program in Waterloo Region;
  • Non-profit, charitable and Indigenous community organizations can pre-register now to access rapid tests through the Canadian Red Cross;
  • Since April, larger organizations with close-contact employees have been able to request rapid tests directly through a new federal portal; and
  • More federal workplaces where workers are at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 can launch workplace screening programs using rapid tests.

These actions respond to the expert recommendations from the Testing and Screening Expert Panel’s first report, and the Industry Advisory Roundtable on COVID-19 Testing, Screening, Tracing and Data Management.

Today’s announcement provides an additional support to communities, building on their current public health efforts. The Government of Canada will continue to secure supply and provide rapid tests to provinces and territories for use in long-term care facilities, schools, close-contact workplaces and businesses. 

Top

More than 650,000 AstraZeneca doses to arrive in the 'coming weeks': Fortin

 

After a week of competing messages about the usefulness of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the federal government confirmed today it will continue to procure the product — and that well over a million doses are expected to arrive between now and the end of June.
Read the full story
 

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Canadians might be vaccinated ‘sooner than originally anticipated,’ officials say

 

Canadians could be getting their COVID-19 vaccines “sooner than originally anticipated,” federal officials said Thursday.

To date, more than 41 per cent of Canadian adults have received at least one vaccine dose, according to deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo.
Read the full story

Top

Canada agrees to take part in WTO talks to waive patent protections on vaccines


Canada will indeed take part in the World Trade Organization talks to explore waiving the global rules that protect vaccine trade secrets, International Trade Minister Mary Ng said Thursday.
Read the full story

Top

Front-line medical workers call for vaccine prioritization as many remain with one dose

 

Emergency room doctors and nurses in Canada are growing increasingly frustrated that many of them have yet to receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Read the full story

Top

Manitoba launches COVID-19 paid sick leave program, offers up to 5 days off

 

Manitoba has created a new paid sick leave program for employees who have to miss work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Brian Pallister announced the program Friday morning at the Manitoba Legislative Building.
Read the full story

Top

International news

Top Democrat tells Biden administration: Get to work reopening border with Canada



There's new political muscle in the United States pushing for a return to more regular travel between Canada and the United States after more than a year of pandemic-related disruptions. The top member of the U.S. Senate has written to members of the Biden administration making several demands regarding the border.
Read the full story

Top

Variant first found in India appears more transmissible, British researchers say


Scientists have recommended that one version of the variant first found in India, known as B.1.617.2, is designated a "variant of concern."
Read the full story

 

Top

Modi faces growing pressure to lock down India as COVID-19 crisis devastates country


Many medical experts and critics have suggested a lockdown is the only option as the virus rages in cities and towns, with hospitals forced to turn patients away.
Read the full story

Top

In other COVID news

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine effective at preventing severe outcomes from 2 variants: studies

 
Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine was found to be extremely effective at preventing severe outcomes — like hospitalization and death — caused by more transmissible or vaccine-resistant variants, according to two recently-published studies.
Read the full story
Top

When will we stop working from home?

 
From accountants to computer programmers, from professors to admin assistants, millions of non-essential workers have been doing their jobs from home since the early days of the pandemic.
But with vaccinations spreading among Canadians many may now wonder — when will I stop working from home?
Read the full story
Top

One-third of patients still experience COVID-19's impact on their lungs a year after hospitalization

 

One-third of studied individuals who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 still experienced the aftermath of the virus on their lungs a year after they were discharged, new research shows.
Read the full story
Top

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

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