COVID-19 UPDATE FOR MAY 26, 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.
- Tune in - Council Meeting Tomorrow
- Reminder: You don’t need to have symptoms to be tested for COVID-19
- Military report on conditions in Ontario LTC homes
- Have your say: how schools should reopen in September
- FAQ: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance
- FAQ: Seniors and the CERB
- Scam alert: Seniors
- GM making 10 million face masks
- Ottawa Opens Emergency Cooling Centres during Heat Warning
Tune in - Council Meeting Tomorrow
- You can watch tomorrow’s City Council meeting online starting at 10 am on the Ottawa City Council YouTube page. The meeting will also be broadcast live on RogersTV Cable 22 and live streamed on the RogersTV Website.
- Council will vote on the expansion of the urban boundary. Find out more in my statement HERE.
- Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health will provide an update on COVID-19.
- The meeting's agenda is here.
Reminder: You don’t need to have symptoms to be tested for COVID-19
- Anyone who would like to be tested for COVID-19 can now present for testing.
- Even if you’re not showing symptoms, you can go for testing at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre or the COVID-19 Care Clinics:
- Ottawa’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre is located at Brewer Arena. It is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., seven days a week.
- Ottawa’s two COVID Care Clinics are located at 595 Moodie Drive and 1485 Heron Road. The clinics are open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- More information: http://OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus
- Here is the latest update from Dr. Vera Etches
MILITARY REPORT ON CONDITIONS IN ONTARIO LTC HOMES
- Last month, Canadian soldiers were sent to five Ontario long-term care homes to help with severe COVID-19 outbreaks.
- The Canadian Armed Forces has released a report shedding light on the conditions of homes.
- The report revealed very serious issues, including not only that there were staffing shortages and lack of personal protective equipment, but also that there were bug infestations, old food trays stacked inside resident rooms and that patients were observed “crying for help with staff not responding.”
- Premier Ford has promised “justice for these residents and their families” and announced that the government has launched a full investigation into the allegations, including an investigation by Ontario’s Chief Coroner.
- Premier Ford said: “The reports they provided us were heartbreaking, they were horrific, it's shocking that this can happen here in Canada.”
- Prime Minister Trudeau said the report made him feel angry and called it “deeply disturbing.”
- Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland called the report “truly heart-wrenching”.
- More than 1,500 long-term care residents in Ontario have died after contracting COVID-19 as well as six health-care workers.
- Ontario government news release
Have your say: how schools should reopen in September
- The Ontario Ministry of Education is asking for advice on how schools should be operated in September, when they are expected to reopen.
- The public can send email comments about the ministry’s “Framework for Continued Learning” document, which sketches out tentative plans.
- Education Minister Stephen Lecce has suggested schools will be different in September; there are likely to be rules on physical distancing, which could mean smaller classes, fewer students on each school bus, kids kept apart at recess and perhaps the use of masks or other personal protective equipment.
- You can provide a written submission with your input, ideas or data by sending an email to: EDU.firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to:
- include your name and the name of your organization
- use “Ontario’s Plan to Reopen Schools” in the subject line
- attach your submission as a PDF or Word document
FAQ: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance
- Applications are now open for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA).
- The program offers forgivable loans to landlords so they can lower the rent for small business tenants impacted by COVID-19.
- Get answers to all your questions related to the CECRA – including whether you are eligible – with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s new Q+A.
- Learn more: here
FAQ: Seniors and the CERB
- Are you a senior who earns income from employment or self-employment?
- If you stopped working due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), even if you collect a pension.
- For more information click here
Scam alert: Seniors
- SCAM ALERT! Seniors eligible for Old Age Security or the Guaranteed Income Supplement: do NOT give your personal/banking info to anyone claiming to be from Service Canada and offering to sign you up for the one-time special payment. You do not need to apply for this payment.
- More info: here
Deal with GM for 10 million face masks
- Prime Minister Trudeau announced today that Canada has signed a contract with General Motors to make 10 million face masks.
- “As we speak employees are making these masks,” said Trudeau. “For the auto workers in Oshawa, Ontario, this contract will support good, well-paying jobs in an industry that has faced tough times.”
- Trudeau also announced a deal with an Ontario company to produce 10,000 ventilators, and that work is ongoing to procure testing materials.
- The Prime Minister also announced that more help is coming for the agriculture and food industries hit hard by the pandemic. He mentioned that the funding will be made available for up to 700 youth jobs in the sector. We’ll provide updates as they become available.
Ottawa Opens Emergency Cooling Centres during Heat Warning
A heat warning has been issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada for the City of Ottawa for May 26 to May 28. Heat warnings mean extra precautions need to be taken by everyone.
It will be important to think ahead and plan for ways to stay cool. Ottawa Public Health has information on how to Beat the Heat this summer. Heat illnesses are preventable. Residents are encouraged to stay cool at home using tips below such as cool showers and fans or air conditioning during the heat warning.
The City of Ottawa has set up four emergency cooling centres to provide relief from the heat to residents in need. Residents should bring a cloth mask with them to the cooling centres if they have one. Emergency cooling centres will be open Tuesday, May 26 from 3 pm to 7 pm, and will operate on Wednesday, May 27 and Thursday May 28 from 11 am to 7 pm. The emergency cooling centres are located at the following City facilities:
- Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre: 102 Greenview Avenue
- Hunt Club Riverside Park Community Centre: 3320 Paul Anka Drive
- Sandy Hill Community Centre: 250 Somerset Street East
- St-Laurent Complex: 525 Coté Street
Protect Yourself and Help Others during Hot Weather
- Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Avoid heavy outdoor activity
- Take cool baths and showers as often as needed or soak hands and/or feet in cool water.
- Cool off in an air-conditioned space when available
- Cool off in the shade or at a park or greenspace. See ottawa.ca/parks for locations and check the guidelines for use.
- Keep your home cool by closing blinds and curtains on any windows facing the sun
- Open windows at night once the outdoor air is cooler than the indoor air; close windows in the morning before hotter air comes in
- Use fans at night to help exhaust warm indoor air and bring in cool outdoor air
- Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you are taking medications as some can make it harder to control body temperature.
- Stay connected with people in your community who have a difficult time coping with hot weather and those who live alone. Check on them regularly.
- Masks do become more uncomfortable in hot temperatures, but they will still work to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Please visit the Ottawa Public Health website for information about masks and heat.
- Contact Telehealth Ontario by calling 1-866-797-0000 for free medical advice. If it is a medical emergency call 9-1-1 immediately.