Latest update on City actions concerning COVID-19, the Novel Coronavirus.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is continually monitoring and assessing the situation in Ottawa and continues to follow the lead of the Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and the Public Health Agency of Canada in responding to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), with a focus on keeping the people of Ottawa well.
The public health sector is very aware of the strain that the pandemic will place on communities and the healthcare sector and OPH will work closely with local hospitals and health care to monitor and detect any cases of COVID-19 in the community.
Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health noted: "I want to assure residents of Ottawa that we have been preparing for the presence of COVID-19 in Ottawa and continue to work in close collaboration with our healthcare partners locally, provincially and federally. I urge residents to follow Ottawa Public Health’s recommendations to help reduce the spread of all types of germs that are present in our community."
To respond to the COVID-19, the City will take the following measures:
Closures and cancellations
Based on the latest recommendations from the Ministry of Health, effective Monday, March 16, the following will be closed or cancelled for three weeks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- All City-managed recreation centres, cultural facilities and community centres
- All City programming including March break camps and fitness classes
- All City in-person public consultations (online consultations will continue)
- All Ottawa Public Library locations
- All public events at City Hall
- All large public gatherings of more than 250 people organized by the City.
These cancellations and closures will be in effect until April 5, and we will be reassessing the situation closer to that date.
We will be limiting the number of non-essential Committee meetings that take place at this time, as well as the extent of legislative items that are brought forward should meetings need to go ahead.
At this time, City services at City Hall, Mary Pitt Centre and all City Client Service Centres will remain open to continue to serve our residents.
OPH will continue to conduct the necessary follow-up with any potential close contacts of cases identified in Ottawa with the goal of breaking transmission in our community.
OPH is actively considering the appropriate time to implement stronger measures related to self-distancing, among other approaches.
OPH continues to encourage residents to take the necessary steps to protect themselves by:
- Washing their hands often with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
- Avoiding hand-to-face contact - particularly their eyes, nose, and mouth - unless they have just washed their hands;
- Covering their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their arm, not their hands;
- Staying home if they are ill; and
- Maintaining a distance of about 2 meters or more if they encounter someone who is ill or who appears to be ill.
What to do if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19
COVID-19 can cause very mild to severe illness consisting of fever, and/or cough, other upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and difficulty breathing (shortness of breath).
If your symptoms are MILD:
Stay home, self-isolate and contact your manager
Call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or your health care provider
Call your health care provider or a walk-in clinic prior to visiting them in person
If your symptoms are SEVERE:
Contact your health care provider first (if available)
If you cannot reach your health care provider, go to the hospital emergency department and pay attention to special signage
If you have any further questions about COVID-19 you can talk with your health care provider or call 613-580-6744 to speak to a public health nurse.
Help slow the spread of COVID-19
If you are travelling anywhere outside of Canada including the United States and ALL cruises in the coming weeks, you should be aware that there are health risks when you travel. The current recommendation from the Public Health Agency of Canada is NOT to book cruises if possible. The
Check your destination before you leave to know the risks and to be prepared. Upon returning, check the latest guidance for those who have travelled outside Canada.
Ottawa Public Health continues to encourage people to connect with trusted sources for coronavirus information.
Residents and community leaders should visit and refer people to OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus to ensure they are accessing factual, reliable and up-to-date information along with:
Other credible sources of information include:
Ontario Ministry of Health
Health Canada / Public Health Agency of Canada
COVID-19 Assessment Centre
Proactive measures that Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is taking include partnering with The Ottawa Hospital and CHEO to open a COVID-19 Assessment Centre. The arena will be used exclusively for the purpose of COVID-19 assessments and testing.
The first COVID-19 Assessment Centre opened March 13 at 12 pm at the Brewer Arena, located at 151 Brewer Way. The facility will be open from 9 am to 8 pm, daily. Additional COVID-19 Assessment Centres may open later as needed.
The centre will be operated in collaboration with The Ottawa Hospital and CHEO, serving the larger public health needs of Ottawa. It will provide assessment and testing for children and adults.
The Assessment Centre is for individuals who have:
1. Returned from international travel AND are displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19, including:
- fever and/or
- new or worsening cough
2. Had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days AND are displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19, including:
- fever and/or
- new or worsening cough
Do not bring well children or other healthy members of the community (e.g. friends, neighbours, drivers) into the Assessment Centre.
The only residents using the arena will be those seeking assessments. This will ensure there is no cross-contact between facility users and those who are requesting assessments. There is no risk to the surrounding community.