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Office of the Mayor and Council update
May 4, 2021


 

PM says getting vaccinated will help us get through pandemic as quickly as possible
 

 
Our Prime Minister offered a clear message to Canadians today: Get vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible.

"On a personal level, I am extremely pleased that I got the AstraZeneca vaccine a number of weeks ago," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. "It was extremely important to me to be able to protect my loved ones, to protect my family and to do my part, to ensure that all Canadians get through this as quickly as possible. And that's the reality. We all want to get through this pandemic as quickly as possible. And that means all of us getting vaccinated as quickly as possible." 

As supply has become more stable, Halton Region Public Health was able to yesterday open vaccine bookings to more residents and announced further expansion set to roll out over the coming weeks, including those 40+ who cannot work from home becoming eligible to book as of tomorrow, Wednesday, May 5.

In the meantime, pharmacies continue to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone born in 1981 or earlier. We heard from Halton’s Associate Medical Officers of Health in recent weeks that we should not vaccine “shop” and that the best vaccine is the first one offered to you.

Today, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam confirmed this, saying: "But again, I'll reiterate from our chief medical officers that the AstraZeneca vaccine deployed in the middle of a third wave has saved lives and prevented serious illnesses," she said.

Ontario’s health minister, Christine Elliott, said that in the first two hours of provincial-wide booking yesterday more than 73,000 appointments were booked, which is encouraging news. As we wait for more Ontarians to be eligible for their first dose and for others to receive their second, we must all follow all public health guidelines:
  • Only leave home for essentials
  • Stay home if you’re unwell
  • Wash and sanitize hands frequently
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Keep a distance of at least two metres from anyone outside your household
  • Wear a mask when distance can’t be maintained, even outside, and where mandated
  • Book your COVID-19 vaccine when you’re eligible for one
Please keep well, stay safe, and let me know of any chance to help by emailing mayor@oakville.ca.

Regional Chair Gary Carr: Taking care of your mental health and well-being


This week is the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week. It reminds all Canadians to take care of their mental health, and to reach out for help and resources when they need it. This year’s theme is #GetReal about how you feel, name it, don’t numb it, reminding everyone to focus on how naming, expressing, and dealing with our emotions is important for our mental health. Many of us may be feeling uncertain and worried about different aspects of our lives, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. During times like these, it is very important to take care of our mental health and well-being and to remember we are not alone.

Good mental health isn’t about being happy all the time. In fact, a mentally healthy life includes the full range of human emotions—even the uncomfortable ones like sadness, fear and anger. It’s okay not to be okay, but if you are struggling or feeling overwhelmed, reach out to a loved one or health professional for support.
The Halton Region branch of the CMHA is a great resource that offers free telephone counselling and other mental health and addiction supports to help you support a friend or family member. To find out how these services may help you and your family, please visit the CMHA’s website. I also encourage you to visit our Mental Health webpage for a list of other agencies for people of all ages that provide their services online or over the phone.

Here are some tips to support your mental health during COVID-19:
  • Stay informed: It is good to stay updated on COVID-19 but avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of the virus. Periodically check the news and recommendations from trusted sites, such as halton.ca/COVID-19 or covid-19.ontario.ca.
  • Structure your daily routine: Be specific about when you will go to bed, get up, exercise, eat, shower, dress, work and clean. Keep your mind focused and busy by controlling what you can.
  • Take care of yourself: Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, practice meditation and get plenty of sleep.
  • Exercise regularly: Exercise is helpful for assisting the body to cope with stress.
  • Keep a daily journal: Write out thoughts and feelings—it’s an excellent way to process them.
  • Stay positive: Look for opportunities that can help you laugh and have a bit of fun. Focus your energy on positive thinking, and practice being grateful for what you have.
  • Make daily social connections: Set times for when you will phone, text, email or video chat with people you care about.
  • Seek support when you need it: Regularly reach out to loved ones or call a mental health professional in the community if you need help.

Halton Region is also continuing to work with community partners to enhance access to mental health supports for children and youth through our Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (CSWB). Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK) and Halton’s core service providers of child and youth mental health services have established a new model of access and system navigation to make it easier for children, youth and their families to connect to the programs and services best suited to meet their needs. To learn more about this important work, please visit the CSWB webpage.

Please continue to take care of yourself and your loved ones and to get real about your mental health and well-being—not just during Mental Health Week, but throughout the year. For more information on mental health supports in Halton, please visit halton.ca.

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 228 Active Cases in Oakville and 39 COVID-19 patients being cared for at OTMH (this number includes transfers from facilities outside of Halton Region).
 
Confirmed cases in Oakville increased by + 45 from 4,717 to 4,762 with + 111 new confirmed cases in Halton from 14,955 to 15,066
 
There were + 42 new reported recoveries in Oakville from 4,596 to 4,638 and + 135 new recoveries in Halton from 14,377 to 14,512

Ontario is reporting 2,791new cases today, bringing the total to 476,692. Of those, 432,109 are resolved with 8,143 deaths. Currently there are 2,167 patients in hospital, 886 of whom are in ICU with 609 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 1,246,048 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 82,991 considered active. A tally of deaths stands at 24,367. 

As of early Tuesday morning, more than 153.5 million cases of COVID-19 had been recorded around the world, according to a case-tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The reported 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 Tuesday at 8:34 am CST, more than 14,140,361 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada.

Oakville & Halton

Town of Oakville Announcements

CN right-of-way vegetation control in Oakville between April and October 2021

 

 

CN Rail's annual vegetation control program is designed to risks by managing brush, weeds and other undesirable vegetation along railways. Between the months of April and October, 2021, the rail company will be managing vegetation using both chemical and mechanical methods.

Visit the CN Rail website for more information. 

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Continue to follow health measures, even after vaccination

 
Until enough people are immunized against COVID-19 please continue to follow public health measures. Stick with your household, practice physical distancing when you in public and please continue to wear a mask where required.
Learn more
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Movie production continues in Oakville

 

Movie production returned to Oakville on Monday with crews and actors using Centennial Pool and the pier at the foot of Navy Stree for scenes in an upcoming children's movie.
Read the full story
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New docks on the Mighty Sixteen

 

In August 1827, William Chisholm purchased 986 acres centred on the mouth of the Sixteen Mile Creek. That not very picturesque name came from the fact it was sixteen miles from the inlet along the lake to Hamilton Harbour. By 1828, a harbour had been constructed and the settlement was named Oakville, after the great oak forests that stretched northwards.
Read the full story
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Ontario

Government of Ontario Announcements

Ontario Unveils $2 Billion Plan to Keep Schools Safe and Support Learning Recovery and Renewal


Record-level Support for Mental Health and Learning Recovery Included as Part of a Historic Investment in 2021-22 School Year

The Ontario government is providing more than $2 billion in new supports to advance and protect public education for the 2021-22 school year. The support includes more than $1.6 billion in resources to respond to COVID-19 and an $85.5 million commitment to support learning recovery and renewal in response to the ongoing pandemic.

It also includes a $561 million increase to this year’s Grants for Student Needs, bringing the 2021-22 total GSN investment to $25.6 billion.

“Our government is investing more in public education than any government in Ontario history,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “As we continue to work with the Chief Medical Officer of Health to evaluate the safe resumption of in-class learning, our number-one priority remains safety in the classroom. To deliver on that priority, our government is making more than $1.6 billion available to protect school safety while investing in the long-term success of students with more support for reading, math, mental health, and special education needs.”

While there is important progress being made in the delivery of vaccines, the health and safety of students and staff remains a top priority. In advance of the new school year, the Ontario government is providing a total of more than $1.6 billion in resources to protect schools against COVID-19. Highlights include:
  • $59 million in continued special education, mental heath, well-being and equity supports, the highest ever investment (including an annual $10 million investment as part of the GSN);
  • $35 million in additional technology funding (including an annual $15 million to support technology such as devices for students in the GSN and $20 million in connectivity supports for remote learning technology);
  • $20 million in new funding to support learning recovery and renewal;
  • $29 million for increased costs related to school operations;
  • $66 million for enhanced cleaning protocols and other health and safety measures in student transportation;
  • $86 million for school-focused nurses in public health units and testing;
  • $384 million in temporary COVID-19 staffing supports;
  • Up to $450 million in personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical supplies and equipment, e.g. cleaning supplies provided through the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and the pandemic stockpile; and
  • Up to $508 million for school boards to access up to 2 per cent of reserves to support COVID-related expenses.
The Ontario government is supporting learning recovery and renewal by investing an additional $85.5 million to help students across the province address the effects of learning disruptions as a result of COVID-19. Investments will support reading and math for young learners, student re-engagement, and mental health and well-being supports. These learning recovery and renewal measures will include partnering with School Mental Health Ontario to support educators and enable timely interventions; additional teaching resources including math leads and coaches; and summer learning and special education supports, among other initiatives. These steps will position Ontario as a leading jurisdiction in unveiling a suite of learning recovery initiatives in advance of the next school year.

With an increase in funding of $561 million, $25.6 billion is projected to be provided for the success and well-being of the province’s next generation through the GSN. This historic level of support reflects the third straight year it has increased under the current government, and on a per-student basis is estimated to rise to $12,686, the highest amount ever.

Complementary to the GSN, Ontario’s Priorities and Partnerships Funding (PPF) enables school boards and third parties to undertake important curricular and extra-curricular initiatives that promote student success, development and leadership skills. For the upcoming school year, the PPF will include over $288 million to fund approximately 150 initiatives that include a focus on strengthening math skills, access to mental health supports, anti-racism and support for children with disabilities.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has made unprecedented investments to support student mental health, including over $80 million projected in 2021-22, which is more than four times the investments made in 2017-18. For the 2021-22 school year, Ontario will also be providing school boards with $3.2 billion to support students with special education needs through the GSN – the highest investment recorded in Ontario.

“All students deserve the opportunity to succeed. By continuing to fund vital projects like ours that bring evidence-based resources to every classroom, the provincial government is stepping up to provide better support and learning opportunities for students with disabilities,” said Lawrence Barns, President and CEO of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario. “By resourcing educators to better meet the needs of all students, Ontario is advancing more accessible, caring, inclusive learning in our education system – especially critical as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We are grateful to the government and to the Ministry of Education for continuing to provide critical funds to support the mental health of youth in Ontario – this is vitally important to students,” said Katherine Hay, President and CEO of Kids Help Phone. “Since the beginning of the pandemic we have had 1.2 million connections with youth in Ontario – more than double the previous year. The government’s funding enables us to provide access to more supports for more young people in their time of need – no issue is too big or too small.”

“We are committed to providing schools with the resources they need for a safe and successful 2021-22 school year, because we know all families in Ontario expect their children to be safe in the classroom. This includes a continued emphasis on increased supports for student mental health and other health and safety priorities," said Robin Martin, MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence.

“Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has said that schools have been safe, and with this record investment and continued implementation of the best medical advice, we will keep schools safe as we look ahead to September,” said Minister Lecce. “Our investments can help hire more than 1,000 mental health workers and allow children to have direct access to teacher-led math tutoring.”

The Ministry of Education will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health and the Chief Medical Officer of Health, in addition to consultations with The Hospital for Sick Children and other pediatric institutes, to confirm this summer the final health and safety strategies required for the upcoming school year. This will include updated guidance on requirements such as masking, hand hygiene and screening, as well as other public health protocols to ensure schools remain safe. The intention is to deliver a learning experience as safe and normal as possible, including planning for physical education and extracurriculars.

Healthy people are essential for a healthy economy. With vaccines being distributed, hope is on the horizon. Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy provides the resources necessary to support the battle against COVID-19, building on the government’s record investments to protect health and jobs during the global pandemic.
 
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Ontario Responds to High Vaccination Rates, Modifies Restrictions in Long-Term Care Homes

 

Changes will help improve residents’ quality of life while keeping homes safe
 

Ontario is responding to high levels of COVID-19 vaccination in many long-term care homes by making changes that will help homes safely resume communal dining and social activities. These changes will help improve residents’ quality of life while keeping homes safe.

“Our government puts the safety and well-being of long-term care residents at the heart of everything we do,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “The high vaccination uptake in long-term care homes means we can take further steps towards bringing social interactions back — supporting the mental and emotional well-being of residents while protecting their physical well-being.”

Based on advice from public health experts and in direct response to residents and their families, an updated Directive #3 for Long-Term Care Homes from the Chief Medical Officer of Health was released today, along with a guidance document for long-term care homes. The updated Directive #3 sets out that long-term care homes can now safely resume activities such as communal dining and indoor events and gatherings, with precautions.

Additionally, residents and their caregivers who are fully immunized may choose to have close physical contact beyond what is required for care and supervision, such as hugging.

Once the current provincewide Stay-at-Home order is lifted, further direction allowing social and temporary outings for fully immunized residents will be issued. Under the updated Directive #3, all residents, regardless of their immunization status, can leave their homes on an essential absence, which includes outdoor exercise, buying groceries, or visiting the pharmacy, while the Stay-at-Home order is in place. Essential absences are not permitted when a resident is symptomatic, has been identified as a COVID-19 case or a contact, or as directed by local public health.

All residents continue to be able to leave their long-term care homes for medical absences or compassionate absences at all times.

Homes must provide residents with a medical mask for outings and remind them to maintain appropriate physical distancing and hand hygiene while away from the home.

The province continues to actively monitor COVID-19 activity, particularly in this vulnerable sector, and ensure that the health and safety of residents and staff in this sector remains a top priority, while improving residents’ quality of life.

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Ontario may shorten COVID-19 vaccine interval, looking into mixing 1st and 2nd doses



Health Minister Christine Elliott says the additional supply might allow the province to shorten the four-month interval between the first and second shots.
Read the full story
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Thousands of Ontarians book COVID-19 vaccine appointments within hours of expanded eligibility

 

Ontario’s health minister says the government is pleased to see thousands of people sign up for COVID-19 vaccines on the day eligibility opened to all adults in virus hot spots.

Christine Elliott says more than 73,000 appointments were booked between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. EDT, despite the frustrations described by some social media users.
Read the full story
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Ontario pharmacies facing an 'administrative nightmare' when booking 2nd vaccine doses

 

Pharmacies administering COVID-19 vaccines will be responsible for contacting patients when they become eligible for their 2nd vaccine doses. The lack of a centralized system could make that a complicated and slow process.
Read the full story
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Canada

Over 5,000 air travellers flying to Canada test positive for COVID-19 since February

 


Thus far, COVID-19 variants of interest or concern have been identified in almost one-third of those cases.
Read the full story

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More than 500 air passengers fined for defying hotel quarantine rules after landing in Vancouver and Toronto

 

The federal government has doled out hundreds of fines since Feb. 22 — typically for $3,000 each — to air passengers who refused to quarantine in a designated hotel upon arrival in Canada.
Read the full story

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Garneau to quarantine at COVID-19 hotel after G7 ministers’ meeting in U.K.


``There's no special treatment for Minister Garneau. He will pass through the same process as every Canadian,'' spokeswoman Syrine Khoury said.
Read the full story

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'It'll crash tremendously': Alberta now leads Canada and U.S. in per capita COVID-19 cases

 

Alberta is now reporting the highest number of COVID-19 cases per capita in all of Canada and the United States.

According to CTVNews.ca's tracker, there have been an average of 440.5 daily cases per million people in the last seven days, more than any other province or territory in Canada as well as every U.S. state. Cases had been trending upward since March and continue to climb.
Read the full story

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COVID-19 cases rise in N.W.T. and Nunavut; Iqaluit declares state of emergency

 

Nunavut's capital declared a state of emergency Monday and Yellowknife in the neighbouring N.W.T. closed its schools as news cases of COVID-19 sprang up in both territories.
Iqaluit, a city of about 8,000 people, had 81 of Nunavut's 85 active cases.
Read the full story

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International news

'Horrible' weeks ahead as India's virus catastrophe worsens


COVID-19 infections and deaths are mounting with alarming speed in India with no end in sight to the crisis and a top expert warning that the coming weeks in the country of nearly 1.4 billion people will be 'horrible.'
Read the full story

 

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Florida governor lifts all COVID-19 restrictions

 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday lifted all COVID-19 restrictions in the U.S. state, citing the effectiveness and availability of vaccines, in a move that attracted criticism from Democratic mayors.
Read the full story

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In other COVID news

Not reaching herd immunity by the fall could have dire consequences, U.S. medical expert says

 
Millions of Americans are receiving COVID-19 vaccine doses every day, but one medical expert thinks the nation may not reach herd immunity this year if more people can't be persuaded to get a shot.
Read the full story
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My first shot was AstraZeneca. Can I get Pfizer for a second dose? A U.K. study could give guidance this week

 

With more and more Ontarians approaching eligibility for their second COVID-19 vaccine based on the recommended 16-week gap, many might be wondering: can I take a different vaccine the second time around?

And will it make a difference?
Read the full story 
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When can we stop wearing masks?

 

South of the border, Americans got a new directive from their president last week.
"Starting today, if you're fully vaccinated, and you're outdoors … and not in a big crowd, you no longer need to wear a mask," President Joe Biden said on April 27.
 

While it still recommends masks indoors, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says fully vaccinated Americans can ditch masks when dining outdoors with friends from multiple households and even while attending small outdoor gatherings with vaccinated and unvaccinated people. 
Read the full story

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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

To save green space, control growth. See you at free webinar by Environmental Defence Canada.

-- Halton Council Member and Oakville Mayor Rob Burton

OFFA and Oakville Choral will be giving $5 from each ticket to the Positive Space Network, an Oakville organization that  builds community and creates safer spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ youth ages 6-24 in Halton Region

This event will begin with a performance by Oakville Choral, followed by a screening of the documentary Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine.

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

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