COVID-19 UPDATE FOR APRIL 22, 2020
Below you will find today’s updates on the COVID-19 situation.
My team and I are monitoring the situation closely and sharing resources and information here in our daily newsletter, on our COVID-19 Information Hub, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
Our goal is to help you have the latest facts at your fingertips during this challenging time.
- Celebrating Earth Day 2020
- Statement from Dr. Vera Etches
- NEW: Canada Emergency Student Benefit
- NEW: Canada Student Service Grant
- Premier Ford’s update on CFRA
- Military aid coming to five Ontario long-term care homes
- Ontario government wants “proactive” testing of all LTC residents and staff
- International students can work in essential services to fight COVID-19
- Everything you need to know about masks
- Updated guidelines for community partners and service providers
- Trail Waste Facility reopening
- NROCRC Survey
- Ottawa Public Library online learning
Celebrate Earth Day and take action while physical distancing this April
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and is an opportunity to celebrate our planet and the actions we can take to protect it.
We understand these are challenging times, but if you are looking for some ideas on improve the comfort and efficiency of your home this Earth Day, here are a few things you can do while practicing physical distancing.
- Caulk your windows - Caulking your windows and doors reduces your home energy use by blocking air leaks and prevents moisture from getting into the insulation or building envelope
- Caulk and weatherstrip other air leaks - Air leaks can occur at various other locations of your house such as baseboards, attic hatches, ceiling light fixtures, dryer vents and door casings. Sealing the gaps with weatherstripping or caulking is a quick and easy way to prevent heat escaping from your home and reduce your energy use.
- Insulate electrical outlets and switches - Air can leak from your home through electrical outlets and switches which you can seal by installing foam pads (gaskets)
- Insulate your hot water tank - Touch your hot water tank, if it’s warm then insulating it is an easy, inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency and reduce your energy bills.
- Save energy while working from home - Check your computer’s energy saving settings, taking advantage of natural light and unplugging distractions, there are many ways you can be more energy efficient while working from home.
- Redirect your downspout - Adjust your downspout drainage so rainwater flows on to a permeable surface like lawns or garden. To keep your basement dry, make sure drainage occurs at least 2.4m from your foundation.
- Get your rain barrel ready for the season - Make sure your rain barrel is ready to catch rain, ensure the barrel is clear of debris, connected downspouts, and is draining away from your foundation.
- Clear nearby catch basins - Catch basins are the drains on streets that handle excess rain or runoff from melting snow and ice. Keeping them clear of debris (leaves, ice, snow, etc) helps to prevent flooding.
- Buy local - We want to keep Ottawa’s local business community vibrant and resilient. Many of the items you need to complete the basic DIY tasks are available at your local hardware store by curbside pick up. Need tools? Rather than buying new tools, ask around your neighbourhood to see if anyone has any you can borrow. Be sure to clean them thoroughly before and after use and always practice physical distancing.
Statement from Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health
- Dr. Etches provided a statement yesterday afternoon that included updates on the following:
- COVID-19 peak in Ontario vs Ottawa
- Long-term care and retirement home outbreaks
- Case contacting and follow up
- To read Dr. Etches’ statement click here
NEW: Canada Emergency Student Benefit
- Prime Minister Trudeau announced the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) today.
- It will give students $1,250 a month from May to August. The benefit is $1,750 if the student is taking care of someone or has a disability.
- You are eligible if you're a postsecondary student, if you’re going to school in September, or if you graduated in December 2019.
- You can get the benefit if you have a job, as long as you don't make more than $1,000 a month.
- "For a lot of students, the month of May normally marks the start of a summer job. But right now it might be really tough to find something." Prime Minister Trudeau said.
- Payments starts May 1st and will be made through the Canada Revenue Agency.
- The federal government still needs to pass legislation in order to activate the CESB program.
- We expect more details in the days to come.
- Of note, the new Canada Emergency Student Benefit is for post-secondary students who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
NEW: Canada Student Service Grant
- Prime Minister Trudeau also announced today that students who volunteer over the summer will be paid between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the hours they work, through the new Canada Student Service Grant.
- We’ll share more details as they become available.
Premier Ford’s update on CFRA
- Premier Doug Ford says weighing the decision to reopen the economy against the need to keep people safe is a balancing act.
- But he's hopeful the economy can start reopening soon.
- The Premier told CFRA his priority is protecting health and safety above all else.
- "Our biggest fear is a spike again and it comes back for a second wave.”
- The Premier says he's dealing with "two worlds" right now: the general public, which is faring well, and long-term care homes, which are seeing the worst effects of the virus.
- About schools, the Premier wasn't prepared to call off the school year but said schools will likely be among the last things to reopen as restrictions are lifted.
- Education Minister Stephen Lecce will have an update in the next couple days on the province's school in the coming days.
- To listen to the interview click here.
Military aid coming to five Ontario long-term care homes
- To fight COVID-19 in Ontario's long-term care homes, the federal government has offered resources including personnel from the Canadian Armed Forces.
- Ontario will make the formal request today to the federal government for staff from the Canadian Armed Forces to be deployed in five priority long-term care homes.
- The government hasn’t named which five homes will receive military aid.
- Official news release.
Ontario government wants “proactive” testing of all LTC residents and staff
- The Ontario government has asked all public health units (including Ottawa Public Health) to develop a plan for all residents and staff in Ontario’s 630 LTC homes to be tested for COVID-19.
- Up until now, when there was an outbreak in a home (one or more positive case), all staff were tested regardless of whether they have symptoms. Close contacts of a positive case are also tested.
- In a memo to local public health officials yesterday, Ontario's Deputy Minister of Health said that the only way to "understand the current status of COVID-19" in an individual home is to screen asymptomatic residents for the virus.
- Ottawa Public Health is awaiting further details from the province.
- We’ll share more details when we have them.
International students can work in essential services to fight COVID-19
- The Federal Government announced a temporary rule change today.
- Starting immediately, international students are no longer restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours per week, provided they are working in an essential service like health care.
- The government says that international students who are already present in Canada can help meet the challenges of the pandemic.
- For instance, thousands of international students are studying in health- and emergency service-related programs, including many who are nearly fully trained and ready to graduate.
- This will provide health-care facilities with access to additional well-trained workers.
- The temporary rule change will be in place until August 31, 2020.
- Official news release
Everything you need to know about masks
- Ottawa Public Health has compiled all information about masks, including medical masks, N95 respirators and non-medical masks.
- Their FAQs include:
- Who should wear a non-medical mask?
- Who should NOT wear a non-medical mask?
- Will a homemade mask protect me from COVID-19?
- How do I correctly use a non-medical mask if I need to or choose to wear one?
- How do I make a non-medical mask?
- Access the information here
Updated guidelines for community partners and service providers
- Ottawa Public Health has prepared a dedicated page with guidelines for Food Banks, Food Premises, Retail Stores, Multi-Unit Dwellings, and more.
- The page includes:
- Support and encourage behaviours to reduce the spread of germs
- Guidelines for Food Banks, Donation Centres and Volunteers
- Guidance for Delivery and Takeout Services
- Guidance for Grocery Stores and Pharmacies
- Guidance for Multi-Unit Dwellings
- Access the information here
Trail Waste Facility reopening to the public on Thursday, April 23
- Monday to Friday from 7 am to 6 pm. It will also be open on Saturday, April 25 from 7 am to 6 pm, but will be closed on future Saturdays.
- To support physical distancing between customers and staff, there are additional safety measures in place at the facility, including an intercom system, an outdoor payment terminal and signs about physical distancing.
- Please sort materials before bringing them to the facility, as sorting is not permitted on-site due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- If your load is not sorted, like if you have leaf and yard waste, recycling and garbage in one vehicle, it will be considered a mixed load. The rate for mixed loads is $228 per tonne, with a minimum rate of $22.80 for loads less than 100 kilograms.
- Rates and payment methods are listed on the City’s website.
- For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
NROCRC has been busy serving the needs of our catchment's most vulnerable.
We're asking community members to take 3 minutes to do a short survey assessing the needs of our catchment. I have attached the invitation to this email in JPG format. The live link to the survey is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q2DXBV9
We will be happy to share our results of our survey at the end of the month, if this is of interest to you. This information will help our programming, services and outreach to ensure those who are most in need of our services have access.
Thank you in advance!
Ottawa Public Library
Below is some online resources that the Ottawa Public Library has available to residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.