COVID-19 UPDATE FOR MAY 28, 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.
- 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral program
- Regulated health professionals – like dentists – can reopen if approved by governing bodies
- TOMORROW: Virtual town hall for Ottawa businesses
- Important tips on how to use parks safely
- National Accessibility Week
- New report sheds light on weapons-carrying among youth
2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral program
- On May 14, the City of Ottawa started issuing the 2020 Final Property Tax bills with a due date of June 18, 2020.
- The City is offering a 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral program to assist qualifying residents and businesses that have an assessed property value of up to $7.5 million.
- The program extends the final property tax deadline (June 18) to Friday, October 30.
- You can apply here
Regulated health professionals – like dentists – can reopen if approved by governing bodies
- Ontario’s regulated health professionals can reopen their offices, but only if each profession gets the go-ahead and receives guidelines from each respective governing authority.
- Dentists, optometrists, massage therapists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians and denturists are some of the professions included. The full list of regulated health-care providers is available here.
- “Health regulatory colleges are now in the process of developing guidance to ensure high-quality and safe clinical care that must be met before services can resume,” said a spokesperson for Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott yesterday afternoon.
- We’ll share more information as it becomes available.
TOMORROW: Virtual town hall for Ottawa businesses
- Ottawa’s business community is working together in support of the local economy to address the challenges of COVID-19.
- Join us Friday, May 29, at 1 pm for a virtual town hall on Ottawa's economic recovery planning and join in the discussion!
- Details here
Important tips on how to use parks safely
- We’ve started enjoying a bit more freedom in our parks since some of the regulations were relaxed – giving families the chance to enjoy time outdoors. But we must keep mindful and respectful of others so we all stay safe.
- In this stage of the pandemic, our best lines of defence is physical distancing – keeping at least two metres away from people outside our immediate household.
- This is the reason why the Province still prohibits gatherings of more than five people.
- This is also why using some park amenities, like sports fields and courts, comes with limitations.
- Other amenities, like play equipment and splash pads, continue to be prohibited entirely.
- Over the past week, we’ve seen pictures from many Canadian and American beaches and parks where people have responded to the relaxed restrictions with reckless abandon – ignoring physical distancing measures.
- With a virus that has an exponential contagion rate, this type of behaviour can have a rippling effect. This type of behaviour can halt any positive movement towards lifting more social and economic restrictions that are currently in place.
- Click here for the city’s simple park-use etiquette that will ensure a safe and healthy park experience for everyone
National Accessibility Week May 31st to June 6th
The Mayor has proclaimed today AccessAbility Day in the City of Ottawa. Many members of City Council, our Senior Leadership Team and staff, and the community attend this event each year, We celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities and the City of Ottawa's commitment to accessibility for all residents. Many look forward to this celebration each year.
A video of the proclamation can be found at:
YouTube (ENGLISH) https://youtu.be/5sCYFz_gBo4
YouTube (FRENCH) https://youtu.be/sIUUlQ-zPgM
New report sheds light on weapons-carrying among youth
- Crime Prevention Ottawa (CPO) has released the report, “Perspectives on Weapons-Carrying Among Ottawa Youth Ages 14-21.” CPO commissioned the research in 2019 as part of the Ottawa Street Violence and Gang Strategy.
- More than 50 youth and 16 adults participated in focus groups and interviews prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The report reveals what kinds of weapons youth carry, where and why, as well as potential solutions.
Knives are most popular among youth
- Participants identified knives as the weapon of choice, mostly because they are inexpensive and easily accessed.
- Youth reported that guns are not easy to access.
- Other weapons include brass knuckles, tasers, and improvised weapons such as screwdrivers and metal water bottles.
Self-expression outweighs self-defence as a motivator
- Self-defence is one reason that youth (particularly girls) may carry weapons. But most participants said that the primary reason was to express and empower themselves, especially among peers and on social media.
Potential solutions to weapons-carrying
The youth involved in the research recommended solutions to address the problem, including:
- Peer mentorship
- Community policing
- Social services
- Support of educators
- Ethnic and religious community support
- Support for parents and families
The report is available to download on our website.