Welcome to our COVID-19 update page. Here you can find all the relevant information from Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa related to the Coronavirus. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at Mathieu.Fleury@ottawa.ca or visit www.ottawapublichealth.ca

September 17th

Updates from Ottawa Public Health

COVID-19 Testing

With students returning to classrooms, the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce is closely monitoring COVID-19 case counts, in addition to assessment centre capacity and the community’s testing needs.

Each of Ottawa’s assessment centres and care clinics will remain open this September for children, youth and adults who require a COVID-19 test according to the province’s current testing criteria. Ottawa’s labs and testing locations have also increased staffing levels in anticipation of kids returning to school.

Parents, students and staff must complete the COVID-19 School and Childcare screening tool daily. They must follow the steps recommended by the tool, including staying home and seeking a COVID-19 test if required. 

Ongoing screening is important to keep each other safe this school year. If a child develops new or worsening symptoms or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please visit our website for testing centre locations.

Additional OPH information and resources for parents, caregivers and students are available on our Supporting Schools webpage. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to follow OPH’s Parenting in Ottawa on Facebook and on our website. OPH’s The Linkwebsite is also a great resource for youth and parents of youth in Ottawa.

COVID-19 Vaccinations in Ottawa

The COVID vaccination roll-out and increasing overall vaccination rates to meet or exceed 90% continues to be a top priority for OPH. Work continues to reduce barriers to accessing the vaccine and to bring the vaccine to where people work, live and play, which includes supporting uptake in individuals aged 18-39.

Vaccination coverage among Ottawa residents continues to increase with 81% of Ottawa residents born in 2009 and earlier being fully vaccinated and 88% of those born in 2009 and earlier having received at least one dose. OPH updates the COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and it can be viewed online.

Community clinic locations are accepting drop-ins for first and second doses, no appointments necessary, between 12:45 pm and 7 pm, Tuesday to Friday, and between 9:45 am and 4 pm on Saturdays: 

  • Eva James Community Centre – 65 Stonehaven Drive 
  • Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA, Orléans – 265 Centrum Boulevard 
  • Minto Sports Complex at uOttawa – 801 King Edward Avenue 
  • J.H. Putman Public School – 2051 Bel-Air Drive 

There are other convenient options to get a vaccine: 

Transportation support services are available to assist individuals in getting to and from the vaccination appointment. Those who are unable to leave their home because of a health condition or special needs can call 613-691-5505 and choose option # 2, to request in-home vaccination.

Workplaces, community organizations, places of worship and other groups can request a mobile vaccination team to administer doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on-site, at their own location. This request can be completed online with Ottawa Public Health’s Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Community Clinic Request Form

Proof of Vaccination Requirements

On Wednesday, the Province released regulations and guidancefor businesses and organizations to support the implementation of the new provincial proof of vaccination requirements, which take effect on September 22, 2021. 

In advance of September 22, all Ontarians can print or download their vaccination receipt from the provincial booking portal. Those who need support obtaining a copy of their vaccination receipt, including those who do not have access to a computer or printer, can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

For more information regarding the provincial requirement of proof of vaccination effective September 22, please visit the province’s website.

In addition, Ontario is developing an enhanced vaccine certificate with a unique QR code to make it safer, more secure and convenient to show that you have been vaccinated, when required to do so. The enhanced vaccine certificate and verification app will be available by October 22, 2021. More information will be shared closer to the date of implementation.

These initiatives are being implemented to help increase vaccination rates, protect individuals in higher-risk indoor settings, and keep schools and businesses open.

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for Employers

OPH continues to strongly recommend that Ottawa employers implement workplace vaccination policies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. For further information, please visit OPH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for Employers to access the “Guide on How to Create a Workplace Vaccination Policy.”

Expanded eligibility for third doses 

This week, in response to evolving data around the transmissibility of the Delta variant, the Ontario governmentannounced it is expanding eligibility for third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to additional groups that face the highest risk of serious illness from the virus. This decision aligns with evidence and recommendations provided by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

The province will begin offering third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to additional vulnerable populations:

  • Those undergoing active treatment for solid tumors;
  • Those who are in receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell;
  • Those with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
  • Stage 3 or advanced untreated HIV infection and those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; and
  • Those undergoing active treatment with the following categories of immunosuppressive therapies: anti-B cell therapies (monoclonal antibodies targeting CD19, CD20 and CD22), high-dose systemic corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, or tumor-necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and other biologic agents that are significantly immunosuppressive.

Individuals in these groups can receive their third dose at a recommended interval of eight weeks following their second dose and will be contacted by their specialist or their hospital specialty program when they are eligible to receive the vaccine.

Individuals with questions about their eligibility can contact the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, which is open Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and capable of providing assistance in 300 languages.

A complete two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series provides strong protection against COVID-19 infection and severe outcomes, including against the Delta variant, in the general population. Third doses are being offered to specific high-risk groups to help provide sufficient protection based on a suboptimal or waning immune response to vaccines and increased risk of COVID-19 infection.

Routine and catch-up immunizations

OPH is expanding immunization services offered at its four community vaccination clinics to include routine and catch-up immunizations for eligible children and youth. 

In addition to providing first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines for people born in 2009 or earlier, starting Friday, September 17, the four community clinic locations will offer, by appointment only, publicly funded immunizations for children and youth aged 0-17 years old, including school-based immunizations for students in grades 7 to 12 who did not to receive those vaccines at school.  

Routine vaccinations are an essential health service. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to contact your child’s health care provider or check your child’s online immunization records to verify their immunization status. More information regarding catch-up vaccinations can be found here.

Upcoming Board of Health Meeting

The first Board of Health meeting for Fall 2021 will be taking place next Monday, September 20. The agenda and reports for the meeting have been posted on ottawa.ca and are available for public review. 

Agenda items include: 

  • Chair of the Board of Health Verbal Report
  • Medical Officer of Health Verbal Report
  • Reconcili-ACTION at Ottawa Public Health: A Time to Reflect, Re-Fresh and Reinforce Commitment
  • Ottawa Public Health’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan: Strategic Priority Relating to Mental Health and Substance Use Health
  • Update on Ottawa Public Health Work to Support Schools Through Covid-19 and Beyond
  • Ottawa Public Health Post-Pandemic Recovery Planning
  • Ottawa Public Health’s Strategic Plan for 2019-2022 – Update from Quarter Two of 2021
  • Office of The Auditor General (OAG) 2021 Interim Audit Work Plan and Proposed Audit of the Pandemic Response
  • 2021 Operating and Capital Budget Q2 – Board of Health for the City of Ottawa Health Unit Status Report

Please note the meeting will take place at 3 p.m. by electronic participation and will be live streamed via Youtube.

Routine and catch-up immunizations available at Ottawa Public Health community clinics for eligible children and youth

Ottawa – Ottawa Public Health is expanding immunization services offered at its four community vaccination clinics to include routine and catch-up immunizations for eligible children and youth.

In addition to providing COVID-19 vaccines for people born in 2009 or earlier, starting Friday, September 17, the four community clinic locations will offer, by appointment only, publicly funded immunizations for eligible children and youth aged 0-17 years old. This also includes catch-up school-based immunizations for students in grades 7 to 12 who did not receive vaccines at school during the school year. 

Routine vaccinations are an essential health service. Learn more about which routine vaccines are recommended for babies and toddlers (birth to three years)children age four to 11, and school-based immunizations for youth age 12 to 18.

Contact your child’s health care provider or check your child’s online immunization records for their immunization status. 

Eligibility for child and youth immunizations at community clinics

If your child has a primary health care provider, such as a doctor or nurse practitioner, please contact them for your child’s routine immunizations. However, if your child’s primary health care provider is not currently offering routine immunizations due to COVID-19, or if your child does not have a primary care provider, they are eligible to receive routine immunizations at a community clinic.

The following groups are eligible to receive routine and catch-up school immunizations at Ottawa Public Health community clinics: 

  • Children/youth who are newcomers to Canada  
  • Children/youth without an OHIP card  
  • Children/youth who do not have a primary provider care, such as a doctor or nurse practitioner 
  • Youth in grades 9 to 12 who have not completed their school-based vaccine series normally administered at school in grade 7 (hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV) and meningococcal conjugate vaccine)  
  • Youth in grades 7 or 8 who are unable to attend their school clinic. Information on school clinics is available on Parenting in Ottawa.

School immunization program restarting for students in grades 7 and up 

After a temporary pause to the school-based immunization program during the 2020/2021 school year due to COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health has restarted its publicly funded school immunization program for the 2021/2022 school year to protect students in grades 7 and up from hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), and meningococcal disease. Information on school clinics is available on Parenting in Ottawa.

Book an appointment for routine and catch-up immunizations

If your child is eligible, make an appointment for them to receive their routine immunizations or to get caught up on their immunizations at a community clinic using the Ottawa Public Health immunization online booking system. Drop-ins will not be accepted for these vaccines.

Please stay home and reschedule your child’s appointment if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or are feeling unwell, even if your symptoms are mild.

Community clinic locations and hours

The four community clinics are open between 12:45 pm and 7 pm, Tuesday to Friday, and between 9:45 am and 4 pm on Saturdays and are located at:

  • Eva James Community Centre – 65 Stonehaven Drive
  • Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA, Orléans – 265 Centrum Boulevard
  • Minto Sports Complex at University of Ottawa – 801 King Edward Avenue
  • J.H. Putman Public School – 2051 Bel-Air Drive

For more information, visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca or call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

September 10th

The latest from Ottawa Public Health

Here’s the City’s weekly roundup of information in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s new

September 8th

The COVID vaccination roll-out and increasing overall vaccination rates to meet or exceed 90% continues to be a top priority for OPH. Work continues to reduce barriers to accessing the vaccine and brining the vaccine to where people work, live and play which includes supporting uptake in individuals aged 18-39.  

Since August 2, vaccination rates in Ottawa have increased with individuals obtaining at least one dose from 83% to 86% and two doses from 72% to 80% among eligible residents aged 12 years old and older. The highest increase in full vaccination coverage occurred among four neighbourhoods: Parkwood Hills – Stewart Farm, Vars, Riverview, and Chapman Mills, with each neighbourhood increasing by ten percent. 22 neighbourhoods saw an eight percentage point increase in full vaccination coverage. More information regarding vaccine coverage by neighbourhood can be found on the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study’s website

Work with Partners 

Increasing vaccine uptake for individuals aged 18-39 continues to be a priority. The past two weekends OPH has worked with the Ottawa Redblacks to host a vaccine clinics at their home games and further opportunities are scheduled for this weekend at community events.  

OPH continues to work closely with the city’s four post-secondary institutions to ensure vaccine access for students, staff and the local community. In collaboration with partners at Collège La Cité, the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College and Carleton University, on-campus vaccine clinics are being planned in the following weeks to help provide vaccine access to students, staff and neighbouring communities. As clinics are confirmed they will be added to our website. 

OPH and partners are continuing to collaborate on new opportunities to reach individuals within the 18-39 age group in settings where they live, work and play. 

Vaccination Policies and Workplace Vaccination Policy Guide 

As we learned on Wednesday, the Provincial Vaccine Certification System will apply to the patrons of certain businesses and settings. Ottawa Public Health strongly recommends all Ottawa employers implement workplace vaccination policies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission for employees as well. To support employers, Ottawa Public Health released guidance for how to develop and implement workplace vaccination policies as part of their COVID-19 safety planning. This new Guide on How to Create a Workplace Vaccination Policy for employers provides key considerations for the development and implementation of their own workplace vaccination policies. Ottawa Public Health has used a similar approach for its workplace vaccination policy. The guidance is publicly available on OPH’s website. 

OPH is reviewing the most recent provincial announcement regarding proof of vaccination in public settings and will be providing additional info in the coming days.   

All Ontario residents who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine currently have access to a paper or PDF vaccine receipt that includes all relevant information to prove that they are fully vaccinated. Individuals can provide proof of immunization by downloading or printing their vaccine receipt from the provincial booking portal, or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900. You can also visit a Neighbourhood Vaccination Hub if you don’t have access to a printer – our OPH staff will be happy to help you. 

Vaccine Clinics 

OPH has shifted COVID-19 community clinic capacity to increase vaccination opportunities at the neighbourhood level and meet an increasing demand for the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinics can be quickly scaled up or down to accommodate demands. 

The community clinic locations at Nepean Sportsplex and City Hall have been closed. Beginning Tuesday, September 7, the community clinic locations  will accept drop-ins for first and second doses, no appointments necessary, between 12:45 pm and 7 pm, Tuesday to Friday, and between 9:45 am and 4 pm on Saturdays: 

·        Eva James Community Centre – 65 Stonehaven Drive 

·        Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA, Orléans – 265 Centrum Boulevard 

·        Minto Sports Complex at uOttawa – 801 King Edward Avenue 

·        J.H. Putman Public School – 2051 Bel-Air Drive – newly added clinic location 

There are other convenient options to get a vaccine in your neighbourhood: 

·        Visit one of the 10 neighbourhood vaccination hubs currently offered  

·        Book an appointment with your local pharmacy 

·        Visit a pop-up clinic 

Transportation support services are available to assist in getting to and from your appointment. 

After you have been vaccinated you will receive a confirmation email with proof of vaccination. You can also download a vaccine receipt through Ontario.ca/bookvaccine.  

Workplaces, community organizations, places of worship and other groups can now request a mobile vaccination team to administer doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on-site, at their own location. This can be completed online with Ottawa Public Health’s Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Community Clinic Request Form

The attached Key Information Guide provides an overview of the various vaccine distribution channels and how residents can book an appointment. Please refer to this guide when responding to resident inquiries.  

OPH’s COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard also contains up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Ottawa. For any new questions, please contact OPHStakeholderRelations@ottawa.ca

As vaccination plans continue to evolve, we still continue to encourage residents to sign up for the City’s COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription and follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health websites and social media channels.   

August 29th

August 27th

August 19th

Technical Briefing on COVID-19 in Ottawa

Please find attached Dr. Etches’ presentation from this morning’s technical briefing.

You will be able to find the video recording on OPH’s Youtube channel.

August 18th

Now Eligible: Children born as of 2009

August 13th

Vaccination Hub in our Community

August 11th

I’m happy to be joined today by Board of Health Chair Egli, Ottawa Public Health colleagues and our partners at the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership, the South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre and the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (ONS).

Today we are releasing information that outlines COVID-19 vaccination coverage by neighbourhood in Ottawa. An interactive mapping tool provides a snapshot in time of cumulative percent of individuals aged 12 and over who received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and those who are fully vaccinated, based on geography established by the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study. This is the same neighbourhood approach we used to provide information about people testing positive for COVID-19, testing and per cent positivity rates by neighbourhoods in Ottawa. The vaccination data by neighbourhood will be updated every four weeks.

Ottawa Public Health, the City and health care and community partners use this data to address barriers and inequities in COVID-19 vaccination through responses focused on specific neighbourhoods and populations. Some of this work is accomplished through mobile clinics and Public Health Neighbourhood Vaccine Hubs.

This data, which is now available on the ONS website, has shown us that vaccination coverage is lower in less advantaged neighbourhoods than more advantaged neighbourhoods, which also have some of the largest Black and racialized populations. As we have seen in past reports, the disparity between less and more advantaged neighbourhoods has persisted throughout the pandemic, despite significant efforts by many partners to reorient services to meet the greatest needs.

I want to be very clear about the neighbourhoods where there is lower vaccine uptake: it is not necessarily that people are vaccine hesitant, rather, there are also systemic barriers that prevent access to vaccine information and opportunities for vaccination. For example, residents of these neighbourhoods are more likely to work in jobs where taking paid leave to be vaccinated is difficult or impossible. Other barriers include language, transportation, lack of computer and internet access, need for childcare, or lack of trust in the government agencies, and in the health care system, given previous negative experiences and systemic racism. Some may not have a primary health care provider with whom they can discuss vaccine questions and the factors influencing immunization uptake go beyond just the operation of the healthcare system. Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa continue to work closely with healthcare and community partners like the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership and community health centres across the city to address barriers to vaccination. We are seeing the coverage rates in disadvantaged communities grow as more options are added.

All health system providers have a role in promoting vaccination to their patients and clients proactively and as opportunities arise. Employers in Ottawa can play a significant role by providing time off for employees to get questions answered, to get vaccinated and if they are feeling unwell after getting vaccinated. Additionally, employers can request a mobile clinic come to the workplace. Visit our website for details.

While all communities now have the majority of their eligible populations immunized, we want every single community within Ottawa to be protected against COVID-19 as much as possible, and we are heading towards 90 per cent coverage across our city. We know that a high level of vaccination protection is part of our path to getting safely back to the people and activities that we love, and to protect against more transmissible variants like Delta.

Vaccines save lives. Vaccines ARE saving lives.

And lastly, in addition to ensuring we are fully vaccinated as soon as possible, there are other actions we can all take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including wearing a mask in closed spaces and crowds, maintaining physical distance from others and staying home when sick except to get tested.

Visit our website for more information, and if you still have questions, you can reach out to one of our OPH nurses over the phone at 613-580-6744.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch.

July 30

Update from Ottawa Public Health

Hello. Bonjour. Kwey. 

I want to thank every Ottawa resident who has taken the step to help protect themselves and those around them by getting vaccinated. To date, 83 per cent of people in Ottawa aged 12 and older have received at least one dose and 70 per cent of people aged 12 and older have received two doses. Thank you. Every day, we get a little bit closer to achieving our goal of fully vaccinating 90 per cent of the eligible population in Ottawa.  

Achieving 90 per cent is possible, and we will need to work together as a community. Based on early survey data, we know that the vast majority – about 82 per cent – of people were planning on getting the vaccine once it was available. Less than 10 per cent of people indicated they did not plan on getting the vaccine and about 10 per cent indicated they weren’t sure.  

It has been Ottawa Public Health’s job to ensure that everyone has access to the information they need to make an informed decision about getting a vaccine. This work will continue.  

To get to 90 per cent, OPH is working with partners to address barriers and provide more access to the vaccine to make it as easy as possible for everyone who wants a vaccine to get one. Community clinics continue, and we are now extending the use of mobile clinics, bringing the vaccine to where people work, live, play and pray. Workplaces, community organizations, places of worship and other groups can now request a mobile vaccination team to administer first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on-site, at their own location. Visit ottawapublichealth.ca/COVD19vaccine for more information. 

*** 

It’s hard to believe, but we are just six weeks away from the first day of school for most Ontario schools. Again, I’d like to thank the people of Ottawa for your amazing progress on vaccine uptake, including children and youth aged 12 to 17. If you or your child falls within this age group and has not yet received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, now is the time to do so in order to be fully vaccinated before the start of the school year. 

While we are waiting for more details from the Province on the school reopening plan, we anticipate the return of in-person learning. Keeping schools open has been one of OPH’s top priorities since the beginning of the pandemic. We know that students, their parents, caregivers and educators benefit mentally, socially and developmentally from in-person learning.  

Some families may be feeling uneasy about sending their children or youth back to school. We know that transmission of COVID-19 in schools during this past school year was very low. The public health measures in schools ensured schools were as safe as possible for students and education staff. We also know that rates of COVID-19 in the community are often reflected in schools, meaning the more COVID there is in the community, the greater the likelihood of it appearing in schools. This is why it is so important that we continue to work towards community immunity by getting vaccinated. Children under 12 are not yet eligible to receive a vaccine, so now is the time to rally and help protect our children by getting vaccinated ourselves. Les enfants de moins de 12 ans ne sont pas encore admissibles à recevoir un vaccin. Le moment est donc venu de nous mobiliser et d’aider à protéger nos enfants en nous faisant vacciner. 

*** 

We are closely watching the situation in the UK, Israel and other countries who are currently experiencing a resurgence despite high vaccine uptake. Many people are wondering if another resurgence is inevitable here in Ottawa. We don’t have to follow this trend.  

In addition to ensuring we are fully vaccinated as soon as possible, there are other actions we can all take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including wearing a mask in closed spaces and crowds, maintaining physical distance from others and staying home when sick except to get tested – even if you have had two doses of the vaccine. These are public health measures that will continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and will likely remain in place for some time. 

*** 

If you still have questions about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines, or you simply aren’t sure what you should do, talk to someone: your family physician, a family member or friend who may have been in a similar situation, or an OPH nurse or team member – they are here to listen with compassion and empathy. 

If you were once hesitant and changed your mind about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, share your story with others.  

If you find yourself talking with a friend or loved one who isn’t sure about vaccines, there are ways to do so without judgement: 

· Engage the person and ask open-ended questions like “What can I clarify for you?” instead of simple “yes” or “no” questions. 

· Listen more than you speak. Most people just want a safe space to be heard. 

· Do not belittle, shame, dismiss or judge someone for being hesitant or having questions. 

· And don’t assume the person’s reasons for being hesitant. 

And of course, you can visit our website for more information. In addition to our vaccine page, we recently updated our Community Immunity page which now features even more helpful information on the importance of getting a vaccine, how to talk to others about vaccines, what to do as we continue the journey to community immunity, mental health resources and more.  

Ottawa Public Health is aware that the impacts of the pandemic on the well-being of our community continue to be felt. Our focus is also on plans to stand up and catch up on public health services that promote health (including and beyond vaccination) through partnerships with workplaces, educational institutions, Indigenous service providers, the City of Ottawa and health care providers. 

We’re getting there, Ottawa, and you should be proud. Let’s stay the course. 

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch. 

Dr. Vera Etches 

Ottawa Public Health Updates: 

Colonel By Day Service Impacts 

With the long weekend approaching there will be some schedule changes for OPH services. Please note the changes below. For a full list of impacted City of Ottawa services please visit Ottawa.ca. 

· The Sexual Health Clinic and satellite clinics will be closed. 

·  The Site program office and supervised consumption services at 179 Clarence Street will be closed. The Site mobile van will operate from 5 pm to 11:30 pm. 

· The Ottawa Public Health Information Centre and COVID-19 Information line at 613-580-6744 will be closed on Monday, August 2. 

· The Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Booking line at 613-691-5505 will be open from 8:30 am to 4 pm on Monday, August 2. 

·  Dental clinics will be closed. 

· The Baby Help Line will be closed. 

Visit the OPH COVID-19 Testing Information page for hours of operation and to book appointments at assessment centres and care clinics in Ottawa. The following sites will be open on Monday, August 2 for testing in Ottawa: 

· COVID-19 CHEO Assessment Centre and Kids Come First Care Clinic at Brewer Park Arena (10:30 am to 5:30 pm) 

· COVID-19 Assessment Centre for Adults at Brewer Park Arena (10:30 am to 5:30 pm) 

· COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre on Coventry Road (10 am to 2 pm) 

· North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre (Kemptville) (9 am to 1 pm) 

Fighting health care barriers with the Ottawa Health Team 

The Ottawa Health Team – Équipe Santé Ottawa (OHT – ESO) is one of the Ontario Health Teams that are active in Ottawa. Their work during the pandemic has recently been highlighted by the City of Ottawa. Learn more about their emergency response to the pandemic, the changes made to better support communities, and working towards community immunity by reading and sharing their story on the City of Ottawa’s website

NEW Multilingual Video Content 

In an effort to build vaccine confidence and to decrease language barriers, OPH has asked nine (9) doctors to share their stories and to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in 8 different languages. Please take a moment to view and share these stories – 9 stories and 8 Languages

Shareable links: 

·  Punjabi Dr Ramandeep Chawla: ਕੋਵਿਦ-੧੯ ਵੈਕਸੀਨ ਦੇ ਬਾਰੇ ਵਿਚ ਕੁਛ ਸਵਾਲ ਜਵਾਬ ਤੁਹਾਡੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਦੇਣਗੇ ਅਸਲੀ ਡਾਕਟਰ – YouTube 

· Spanish – Dr Christina Romulus: Doctores de verdad responden a preguntas sobre vacunas contra COVID-19 en vuestro propio idioma. – YouTube 

· Spanish – Dr Miguel Cortel-Leblanc: Doctores de verdad responden a preguntas sobre vacunas contra COVID-19 en vuestro propio idioma. – YouTube 

· Hindi – Dr Karan Sharma: Real Doctors Answer Your COVID-19 Vaccine Questions – Hindi – YouTube 

·  Turkish – Dr Berna Akcakir: Real Doctors Answer Your COVID-19 Vaccine Questions – Turkish – YouTube 

· Arabic – Dr Cherif Ibrahim: :أطباء حقيقيون يجيبون على أسئلتكم حول لقاح كوفيد-۱۹بلغتكم – YouTube 

· French – Dr Andree Michelle Cortel-Leblanc: Des médecins répondent à vos questions concernant les vaccins contre la COVID-19 dans votre langue – YouTube 

· Cantonese – Dr Tracy Wong: 您身邊的醫生用您的語言回答 COVID-19 疫苗問題 – YouTube 

·  Polish – Dr Andrzej Rochowski: Prawdziwi lekarze odpowiadają na pytania dotyczące szczepionki COVID-19 w Twoim języku – YouTube 

Links also available on the following pages: 

Multicultural page: Multilingual Resources for Diverse Communities – Ottawa Public Health 

Arabic portal: COVID-19 Arabic Portal – Ottawa Public Health 

Community Immunity page: Community Immunity – Ottawa Public Health 

July 23

Update from OPH and City of Ottawa partners regarding COVID-19 in the community

Our community has worked hard to get to where we are and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has rolled up their sleeve to get vaccinated. Your efforts are making a difference in our community.    

While we are making significant progress, we need to stay ahead of the virus as we go into the fall. We will continue to monitor the impact of each step we take, which might give COVID-19 more opportunity to spread. We know the Delta variant is more transmissible and is giving rise to substantial resurgences in other countries despite high levels of immunization. OPH will keep an eye on hospitalizations as a key measure of whether the virus is reaching more vulnerable populations. 

Our city has made significant progress on COVID-19 vaccination efforts. To date, over 1,360,000 total doses have been administered in Ottawa. Eighty-three (83) percent of all eligible individuals have at least one dose, and the rate of those fully vaccinated with two doses has been accelerating quickly and stands at 66 percent. We know many people have appointments for their second doses over the upcoming months. We strongly encourage them to rebook their appointment to get their second doses as soon as possible.         

The actions people continue to take (wearing masks indoors and in crowded spaces, physical distancing, limiting close contacts and getting two doses of COVID-19 vaccine) are enabling us to keep COVID-19 levels at a minimum. Please see below an update from OPH and City of Ottawa partners regarding COVID-19 in the community. 

Thank you, 

Dr. Brent Moloughney 

Vaccine Clinics 

The City of Ottawa will be consolidating the number of community clinics to meet demand. Specifically, the following community vaccination clinics will continue to operate as of Wednesday, July 21, 2021:  

·         Eva James Memorial Community Centre  

·         Nepean Sportsplex (Halls A and B)  

·         Ottawa City Hall 

·         Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA 

·         Queensway Carleton Hospital (which will cease operations on July 30, 2021) 

Community clinics provide the resources and scale for mass vaccination. As we proceed with the vaccine roll-out other, more targeted, vaccine delivery channels will be prioritized to reach the remainder of the population. In addition to community clinics, pharmacies and primary care teams, pop-ups and other approaches serving those in priority neighbourhoods will continue to reduce barriers to access. This is in addition to new outreach and delivery approaches, such as the Escapade Music Festival that will have a pop-up clinic, which aims to reach priority age groups.     

Consolidating the number of community clinics now makes sense from a demand perspective and will allow staff and our partners to focus on other service delivery priorities. We will, however, remain vigilant and retain our ability to quickly adjust the number of community clinics, as required.   

Vaccines in Ottawa 

The first and second dose waitlist tool has been updated to reset weekly (not daily), which makes life much easier for those using it! The waitlist lets you sign up for last-minute doses that are available at our community clinics. Sign up here: COVID-19 Vaccine Wait List 

Anyone who has not yet had a first or second dose can now drop in to any City-run community clinic between 10 am and 7 pm or pop-up clinic (while supplies last). No appointment needed. Residents can also drop in at the Queensway Carleton Hospital between 9 am and 3 pm daily. You can find a clinic near you by using the vaccine clinic location tool on OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVID19vaccine.   

OPH continues to work to improve vaccine confidence in Ottawa by highlighting personal experiences from members of the community. A few of our most recent posts are included below for you to share on various social media platforms. 

Instagram: 

EN: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CRZzPegBfcj/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link 

FR: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CRZzg2Rleq8/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link 

TikTok: 

EN: Samantha gets her 2nd dose!!! 🥳👏Watch till the end to hear her share why it is important for her AND others to get vaccinated. (tiktok.com) 

FR: Samantha gets her 2nd dose!!! 🥳👏Watch till the end to hear her share why it is important for her AND others to get vaccinated. (tiktok.com) 

YouTube: 

Dr Dartey’s vaccine story in Ashante Twi: Vaccine Ambassador Stories – Dr. Ralph Dartey (Ashante Twi) – YouTube 

Felicite’s vaccines story in Kinyarwanda: Abakangurambaga b’urukingo rwa COVID-19 – Félicité – YouTube 

Kids 12 and older pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic 

For four days next week, CHEO and other partners of the Kids Come First Health Team – including Roger Neilson House, community pediatricians and numerous family physicians – will provide COVID-19 vaccines to all youth aged 12 to 17 and their families at the Minto Sports Complex on the University of Ottawa campus. CHEO and Kids Come First partners are calling on community members and media to help spread the word.  

This is a dedicated pop-up clinic for youth in the Ottawa and valley region. Any adults who accompany youth to the clinic can also receive a vaccine, but those from ages 12 to 17 years old are the focus. 

No appointment is necessary. Just show up! People will be offered appointment cards onsite on a first-come first-served basis. 

When? July 26-29, 8 am – 8 pm  

Where? University of Ottawa Minto Sports Complex, 801 King Edward, Arena # 2 (free parking and accessible via OC Transpo) 

Who? Children and youth 12 to 17 years old, and adults who accompany them. The current provincially allowed interval between doses is 28 days. 

Please, if you know a youth or teen who needs a COVID-19 vaccine, tell them about this pop-up clinic. 

Vaccine Mixing 

There has been a lot of discussion in the media recently about mixing of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), as well as mixing AstraZeneca and an mRNA vaccine to complete the COVID-19 immunization series. The mRNA vaccines are interchangeable and using different brands to complete a series is not new in the world of vaccines, where this is done when vaccine availability shifts, such as with hepatitis and meningitis vaccines.  

The use of different vaccines to complete the series is based on science, real-world studies, is safe, effective and enables more people to receive their second dose sooner. Receiving a second dose as soon as available is important for improved protection against the delta variant that is now making up the majority of COVID-19 in Ontario. 

COVID Testing at Day Camps  

In an effort to reduce barriers to testing for those who develop symptoms and/or are identified as high-risk contacts, in collaboration with CHEO, OPH is offering take-home COVID-19 tests at City of Ottawa day camps. The test kits are being offered to staff and campers who develop symptoms or are identified as high-risk contacts. Kits can be completed on-site (e.g. in the parking lot) or at home, and can be returned to the camp or to the Brewer Assessment Centre.  

For those with symptoms and who are unable to attend a testing centre, completing a take-home test kit may allow the child to return to camp sooner if the result is negative.  

Kits will be available at approximately 17 day camps, with additional day camps to be added. The first round of day camps were selected based on their size and anticipated barriers to testing among participants. 

COVID Testing in Ottawa 

After a careful review of case counts and demand for COVID-19 testing, the COVID-19 Pop-Up Testing Site at the Vanier Community Service Centre closed its doors at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 22. Vanier residents will continue to have access to local COVID-19 testing through Ottawa’s Community Health Centres (CHCs).  

The Centretown, Somerset West and Sandy Hill CHCs are all located in the downtown core and provide social supports and COVID-19 testing to local residents. Residents can call 613-288-5353 or visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/CovidTesting to find a testing location best suited to their needs. 

Mental Health 

For some communities and families, mental health is never talked about and it can feel embarrassing to bring up. It’s important to know that 1 in 5 Canadians live with a mental health issue and that these are not caused by weakness or poor will-power. When we break an arm or have diabetes, we see a health professional. Mental health also needs attention, care, patience and time. The sooner someone gets help (through diagnosing and treating mental health problems), the sooner they can start getting better and lead a full and positive life. 

Please see below the resources available to Ottawa residents to support mental health and substance use. 

·         If you are in crisis, please immediately contact the Mental Health Crisis Line at 613-722-6914. They are available to speak to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

·         Counselling Connect provides quick access to a free phone or video counselling session. This service is for everyone: children, youth, adults and families in Ottawa and the surrounding area. Please visit their website if you would like to book and appointment. 

·         AccessMHA is for anyone who is 16 years of age or older, living in eastern Ontario, and looking for mental health and/or substance use/addiction services. If you need help and support, and are not sure where to go, reach out and they will connect you to the service you need. 

·         1call1click.ca is a simple way for persons 16 year of age or younger and families to access the right mental health and addiction care, at the right time. 1Call1Click.ca also helps navigate the system for children, youth and families struggling with complex mental health and addiction needs – guiding, problem-solving and managing ongoing care. 

·         For a complete list of resources, please visit www.OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVIDMentalHealth and click here from a printable list Mental Health & COVID-19

Stage 3 

With the Province of Ontario having moved into the third step of its reopening plan on Friday, July 16, the City is gradually expanding many of its in-person services – especially indoor recreation and cultural activities and programs. More information on City programs and services impacted by Stage 3 can be found here.

July 22

Pop-up clinics are now open to all Ottawa residents age 12 and up for 1st and 2nd doses

Effective today, pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be open to anyone age 12 and up for a first or second dose. 

Expanding eligibility will help increase access to COVID-19 vaccines for anyone in Ottawa. Pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics will continue to be planned to reduce barriers in neighbourhoods experiencing lower rates of vaccination. 

More pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics for priority neighbourhoods and youth 12-17 for first and second doses have now been scheduled.  Pop-up clinics will continue while needed. 

Upcoming pop-up clinics:

  • Monday July 26 and Tuesday July 27 – 12:45 to 7:30 pm
    • Canada Science and Technology Museum – 1867 St. Laurent Boulevard
  • Tuesday, July 27 – 12:15 to 7 pm
    • St Joseph’s Adult High School – 330 Lajoie Street 
  • Wednesday, July 28 – 12:15 to 7 pm
    • Canterbury Recreation Complex – 2185 Arch Street 
  • Thursday, July 29 – 12:15 to 7 pm
    • Merivale High School – 1755 Merivale Road
  • Friday July 30 – 12:15 to 7 pm
    • Ahlul-Bayt Islamic School – 3025 Albion Road North
  • Saturday, July 31 – 9:45 am to 4:30 pm
    • Ridgemont High School – 2597 Alta Vista Drive 
  • Sunday, August 1 – 9:45 am to 4:30 pm
    • AMA Community Centre 1216 – Hunt Club Road 

Upcoming youth pop-up clinics (ages 12 to 17 from any neighbourhood and adults who come with them): 

  • July 26, 27, 28 and 29 – 8 am to 8 pm
    • University of Ottawa Minto Sports Complex – 801 King Edward Avenue

Second doses

A second dose can be received at least 28 days after receiving an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer), and at least eight weeks after receiving an AstraZeneca vaccine.

Residents may receive a different second dose mRNA (Moderna or Pfizer) vaccine than their first dose at community clinics. Interchanging vaccines is safe and effective. The priority is to receive two doses of a vaccine to complete the series and be fully protected.

Same-day appointments can only be made in-person no earlier than two hours before the clinic opens, on a first come first served basis, while supply lasts. If there is a waiting period, residents may receive an appointment card with a time to return to the clinic for their vaccine.  

Thanks to the Ottawa Health TeamKids Come First Health Team and other local partners in the community for their support.

Other ways to get vaccinated

  • Residents in priority neighbourhoods may also be eligible for vaccination at the Bruyère Family Medicine Centre. Please visit bruyere.org to review eligibility and access their online booking tool.
  • Drop-ins are now available at select community clinics.
  • Residents can visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine to access the provincial booking system or call the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 am and 8 pm, seven days a week to book an appointment at any of the community clinics in Ottawa.
  • Individuals can complete this form weekly to sign up to receive last minute doses that are available at community clinics. This list resets Saturdays at 11:59 pm. If you still require a vaccine, please register your information each day after this time.
  • You may also be able to book your vaccine appointment at a local pharmacy. Eligible residents should check with the pharmacy directly. 
  • Select primary care teams are also offering vaccines. Contact your physician to learn more.

July 19

Update from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

With key public health and health care indicators continuing to improve and the province wide vaccination rate surpassing the targets outlined in the province’s roadmap, Ontario moved into Step Three at 12:01 a.m. this morning. Step Three focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place. For information on the impacts of the current measures on City services and facilities, visit Ottawa.ca.  

Residents are strongly encouraged to drop in to select community clinics in Ottawa to receive a first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment. While all clinics are offering drop-ins for first doses, second dose drop-ins will only take place at clinics that have enough supply. This will change daily. The list of locations will be updated daily on ottawapublichealth.ca and on the City’s social media accounts. This initiative is especially useful for individuals with second dose appointments in late August through to November, so that they can move up their appointments to July or early August. 

We continue to have numerous appointments available at our community clinics between today and August 15th for all individuals aged 12 and over needing their first dose or accelerated second dose. Additional appointments will be added if needed.  

Vaccines also continue to be available through local pharmacies, primary care teams, the Bruyère vaccine clinic, and other targeted delivery channels, such as ongoing pop-up clinics in priority neighbourhoods. These combined efforts have resulted in the administration of over 1.3 million doses. To date, 82 per cent of Ottawa residents 18 and over have received at least one dose and 62 per cent have received two doses. 

The attached Key Information Guide provides an overview of the various vaccine distribution channels and how residents can book an appointment. Please refer to this guide when responding to resident inquiries. OPH’s COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard also contains up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Ottawa. For any new questions, please contact the Councilor Liaison, which monitors trends in questions to inform future iterations of these resources. 

As vaccination plans are evolving, we continue to encourage residents to sign up for the City’s COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription and follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health websites and social media channels. 

The EOC will continue to provide you with regular updates on the progress of vaccination efforts. 

July 16

This week, we reached another milestone in Ottawa – 60 per cent of people 18 and older have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. On July 14th, OPH recorded 22 active cases with none in hospital. This is very encouraging news!

As of today, July 16th, we move into Stage 3 of the Provincial Re-Opening Plan. Take note of some of the changes to current restrictions:  

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 100 people
  • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 25 people
  • Indoor dining with no limits to the number of patrons per table
  • Retail with capacity limited to ensure physical distancing
  • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings with physical distancing
  • Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities with capacity limits
  • Personal care services with capacity limited to ensure physical distancing
  • Museums, casinos and bingo halls with capacity limits
  • Cinemas, concert, theatres, and other performing arts venues with capacity limits

More Information on Stage 3 is available here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario

As we see more vaccines coming to Ottawa, the City of Ottawa announced that residents who have yet to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can now drop in to any City-run community clinic between 10 am and 7 pm or pop-up clinic while supplies last. No appointment needed. residents can also drop in to select community clinics in Ottawa to receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment.

While all clinics are offering drop-ins for first doses, second dose drop-ins will only take place at clinics that have enough supply. This will change daily. The list of locations will be updated daily on ottawapublichealth.ca and on the City’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

This is a hugely positive step to ensure everyone in our community has easy access to a vaccine.

If you do not yet have your first dose or second dose, please visit one of these clinics to ensure the safety of yourself, your loved ones and our community. 

More information on how to access these community and pop-up clinics here: https://ottawa.ca/en/news/residents-are-encouraged-use-drop-clinics-and-move-late-appointments-achieve-ottawas-two-dose-summer

We’ve made a lot of progress in Ottawa and need to remain vigilant. Get your vaccines, wear a mask and keep your distance.

Let’s make this a two dose summer !

July 14

Special Statement from Dr. Brent Moloughney

This week, we reached another milestone in Ottawa – 60 per cent of people 18 and older have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is encouraging news Ottawa, let’s keep up the momentum. There are plenty of appointments for second doses.  If you haven’t moved up your second dose, don’t delay, please do so today. Let’s make this a two-dose summer for as many Ottawans as possible.

I’m hearing that there are still questions about using mRNA vaccines interchangeably – that is, receiving a different vaccine for your second dose than the one you received for your first dose. For example, receiving Moderna as a second dose after a first dose of Pfizer, or vice versa. I want to reassure you, interchanging vaccines is safe and effective and is not a new practice. Similar vaccines from different manufacturers are used when vaccine supply or public health programs change.  

For example, different vaccine products have been used to complete a vaccine series for influenza, hepatitis A, and others.  Moderna and Pfizer remain interchangeable. For those aged 12-17, we solely give Pfizer for both doses. Receiving two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible is necessary to be fully protected against COVID.  

I also call upon parents, caregivers, youth and young adults – please spread the word to youth aged 12 and older and young adults. It’s easier than ever for anyone in Ottawa to get their first dose if they haven’t already. Anyone who still requires their first dose can walk-in at an Ottawa vaccine clinic to get their shot – no appointment necessary. 

If you have questions about the vaccine, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s website; there’s a lot of great information there, or you can contact your health care provider or OPH to speak with a public health nurse by calling 613-580-6744.  

This Friday, Ottawa along with the rest of Ontario, will move to Step 3 of the Province’s reopening plan. In Step 3, we’ll see a further easing of restrictions. Larger gatherings will be permitted, and   indoor dining and indoor fitness facilities will reopen their doors. Our community has worked hard to reach this next step and I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has rolled up their sleeve to get vaccinated. Your efforts are making a difference in our community.   

While we are making significant progress, we need to stay ahead of the virus as we go into the fall. We will continue to monitor the impact of each step we take which might give COVID-19 more opportunity to spread. We know the Delta variant is more transmissible and is giving rise to resurgences in other countries despite high levels of immunization. Ottawa Public Health will keep an eye on hospitalizations as a key measure of whether the virus is reaching more vulnerable populations.

The actions people continue to take (wearing masks indoors and in crowded spaces, practising physical distancing, limiting close contacts and getting two doses of COVID-19 vaccine) are enabling us to keep COVID-19 levels at a bay. Each day, we are moving one step closer toward community immunity. Let’s stay the course, Ottawa. 

July 12

Priority neighbourhood pop-up clinics scheduled

July 9

Drop-in appointments now available for residents needing first dose

The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health are making it easier for residents who have yet to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone who has not yet had a first dose can now drop in to any City-run community clinic(link is external) between 10 am and 7 pm or pop-up clinic while supplies last(link is external). No appointment needed. Residents can also drop in at the Queensway Carleton Hospital between 9 am and 3 pm daily. You can find a clinic near you by using the vaccine clinic location tool on OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVID19vaccine(link is external).

Residents who have already received their first dose are also reminded to re-book their second dose appointments to an earlier date. All residents who are 12 years old and up can book their second dose as early as 28 days after their first dose.

Those who prefer a scheduled appointment can book a first or second dose appointment by visiting Ontario.ca/bookvaccine(link is external) to access the provincial booking system or call the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 am and 8 pm, seven days a week. You may also be eligible for vaccination at a local pharmacy(link is external), now or at the Bruyère vaccine clinic(link is external).

You can also register daily on the vaccine wait-list tool(link is external) to book last-minute, same-day COVID-19 vaccinations at City of Ottawa community clinics for unclaimed doses. These appointments can open up at any time during the day and registered residents will be contacted by Ottawa Public Health by text, email or phone as they become available.

Visit ottawa.ca or OttawaPublicHealth.ca(link is external) for more on Ottawa’s vaccination distribution plan.

More information here: https://ottawa.ca/en/news/drop-appointments-now-available-residents-needing-first-dose

July 8

Update – Emergency Operations Centre

Ontario remains in Step Two of the provincial Roadmap to Reopen. Step Two of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of more outdoor activities, small indoor gatherings, and personal care services. For information on the impacts of the current measures on City services and facilities, visit Ottawa.ca.  

We continue to have numerous appointments available at our community clinics between today and July 30th for all individuals age 12 and over needing their first dose or accelerated second dose. Additional appointments will be added if needed. 

Residents who have not already booked their first dose or accelerated their second dose are strongly encouraged to do so. The sooner we can fully vaccinate our population, the sooner we can get back to some level of normalcy. 

Vaccines also continue to be available through local pharmacies, primary care teams, the Bruyère vaccine clinic, and other targeted delivery channels, such as ongoing pop-up clinics in priority neighbourhoods. These combined efforts have resulted in the administration of nearly 1.2 million doses. To date, 81 per cent of Ottawa residents 18 and over have received at least one dose and 50 per cent have received two doses.

The attached Key Information Guide provides an overview of the various vaccine distribution channels and how residents can book an appointment. Please refer to this guide when responding to resident inquiries. OPH’s COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard also contains up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Ottawa. For any new questions, please contact the Councilor Liaison line at councillorliaisonduconseil@ottawa.ca, which monitors trends in questions to inform future iterations of these resources.

As vaccination plans are evolving, we continue to encourage residents to sign up for the City’s COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription and follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health websites and social media channels.

The EOC will continue to provide you with regular updates on the progress of vaccination efforts.

July 2

Priority neighbourhood pop-up clinics scheduled

June 30

Update – Emergency Operations Centre

This is an update from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in advance of Canada Day.

Today, Ontario entered Step Two of the provincial Roadmap to Reopen. Step Two of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of more outdoor activities, small indoor gatherings, and personal care services. For information on the impacts of the current measures on City services and facilities, visit Ottawa.ca.  

Achievements

We continue to make exceptional progress in our efforts to offer COVID-19 vaccines to residents. With increased supply from the Province, we have successfully increased our operations by nearly doubling the number of community vaccination clinics. Last week alone, we administered more than 108,000 doses at our clinics. This is thanks to unprecedented collaboration between the City, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and our community partners.

We also continue to set new daily records for total doses delivered. Last Friday, Ottawa administered a record 21,349 doses. This figure includes the incredible work of local pharmacies and primary care teams, which continue to offer vaccines across our city.  

These combined efforts have resulted in Ottawa achieving some significant milestones. With over 1 million total doses administered and 79% of adults having received at least one shot, we are closer than ever before to protecting one another against COVID-19 and reopening our city.

Accelerated second doses

As of Monday, all residents 18 and older became eligible to book or rebook an accelerated second dose appointment. The recommended second dose interval for those who received a first dose of an mRNA vaccine is 28 days whereas, for those who first received AstraZeneca, the recommended second dose interval is at least 8 weeks. More than 120,000 booking transactions were made on Monday alone for appointments in our community clinics.

Residents who have not already booked their first dose or accelerated their second dose, are encouraged to do so. We have a steady supply of vaccines and many appointments available at community clinics through July 20th. Residents may also be eligible for vaccination at a local pharmacy, at a pop-up clinic, or at the Bruyère vaccine clinic.

The attached Key Information Guide provides an overview of the various vaccine distribution channels and how residents can book an appointment. Please refer to this guide when responding to resident inquiries. OPH’s COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboardalso contains up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Ottawa. For any new questions, please contact the Councilor Liaison line at councillorliaisonduconseil@ottawa.ca, which monitors trends in questions to inform future iterations of these resources.

As vaccination plans continue to evolve, we encourage residents to sign up for the City’s COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription and follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health websites and social media channels.

June 25

Update – Emergency Operations Centre

The Province is currently in Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen and has announced that it will move to Step Two on Wednesday, June 30th. Step Two of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of more outdoor activities and limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn, and with other restrictions in place. For information on the impacts of the current measures on City services and facilities, visit Ottawa.ca.  

Community clinics update

On Monday, with more vaccine supply confirmed from the Province, we significantly ramped-up our operations and opened five additional community clinics. In all, these additional clinics nearly double the total number of community clinics in Ottawa from six to eleven and have a combined capacity to administer up to 100,000 doses per week.

Community clinics are administering the mRNA vaccines, and residents are informed on-site of which one they are receiving. While we are currently offering both Moderna and Pfizer at our clinics, given fluctuations with our vaccine supply, we cannot guarantee a particular vaccine type for individuals 18 and over. Ottawa Public Health continues to work with health and community partners, as well as residents, to increase vaccine confidence. Interchanging vaccines is safe and effective and is not a new practice. The priority is to receive two doses of any vaccine to complete the series and be fully protected.

Accelerated second doses

As announced by the Province earlier today, Ontario is accelerating second dose eligibility to all individuals age 18 and over across the province. Starting on Monday, June 28th, all Ontarians age 18 and over who have received their first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to book their second dose appointment at least 28 days after their first dose. Individuals who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and are opting to receive either a second dose of AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine can schedule their second dose appointment a minimum of 8 weeks after their first dose. According to the Province, they will be looking to accelerate youth second dose bookings following individuals age 18 and over.

Appointment availability

Appointments are currently available at our community clinics and additional appointments will be published on Monday morning to coincide with the expanded second dose eligibility. Newly available appointments are also continually appearing on the site due to cancellations and schedule changes. 

Earlier this week, we launched the COVID-19 vaccine wait list. This new online tool allows eligible residents to book last-minute, same-day, first or second dose appointments at community clinics. As appointments open, Ottawa Public Health contacts the resident by text, email, or phone. All appointments are for unclaimed doses and could become available at any time of the day. Residents will be asked to arrive for their appointment by a particular time and can choose to accept the appointment or not. The tool resets at 11:59 pm daily, so interested residents should register after that time each day.

Eligible residents looking for a first or second dose appointment are also encouraged to contact a participating pharmacy or primary care provider. More than 200 pharmacies across Ottawa are receiving vaccines directly from the Province. Most pharmacies book appointments ahead of time and some allow walk-ins. Eligible residents should check with a pharmacy directly.

Residents that have a first or second dose appointment booked at a community clinic and opt to access an alternate channel, such as a pharmacy, are asked to cancel their community clinic appointment through the online provincial portal or provincial booking line at 1-833-943-3900 to free up the appointment for someone else.

Other delivery channels

In addition to community clinics, pharmacies, and primary care, vaccinations continue to be available through pop-up clinics in priority neighbourhoods. Our mobile vaccination teams also continue to provide vaccinations to congregate care settings and homebound residents. 

Yesterday, these combined efforts resulted in the administration of more than 19,700 doses – our highest daily total to-date. As of today, nearly 937,000 total doses have been administered in the city. Further, 78 per cent of residents age 18 and over have received at least one dose and 26 per cent have received two doses.

As vaccination plans continue to evolve, we encourage residents to sign up for the City’s COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription and follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health websites and social media channels, and from local news media.

Current COVID-19 Situation in Ottawa

Many of our COVID-19 monitoring indicators continue to show a positive trend. Outbreaks and hospitalizations continue to decline, as do the number of people testing positive for COVID-19. Most notably, our weekly COVID-19 rates have gone from 208.5 cases per 100,000 people per week at their peak in mid-April to the current rate of 10.7 per 100,000 people per week. 

However, we are also seeing testing numbers go down and the COVID-19 wastewater viral signal has been fluctuating. Further, the level of transmission in the community now is much higher than what it was last summer and we are now contending with the more transmissible COVID variants, compared with the original virus last year. 

We will need to reach higher levels of immunization with two doses before we can rely on vaccines alone to keep COVID-19 at a low, manageable level that does not lead to significant hospitalizations, and this will not happen until closer to the end of the summer. Therefore, we continue to recommend that everyone continue to maintain a distance from those outside their household and wear a mask when they cannot maintain distance, regardless of their vaccination status. We also recommend choosing lower-risk activities – stick with outdoors as much as possible and avoid crowded places. 

Case and contact management and managing outbreaks 

Though we have seen a decrease in outbreak numbers in Ottawa, we continue to see outbreaks in institutional settings and workplaces and we continue work aimed at preventing outbreaks by promoting appropriate infection prevention and control practices. 

The Ontario Ministry of Health defines a workplace outbreak as “two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases with an epidemiological link in the workplace (for example, same work area, same shift) within a 14-day period where both cases could have reasonably acquired their infection in the workplace”. This means that one person testing positive for COVID-19, or even multiple people testing positive, would not necessarily meet the definition of an “outbreak”.

As part of its COVID-19 case and contact management process, OPH communicates with every resident who receives a positive COVID-19 test to identify locations they may have visited while contagious, obtain a list of close contacts, and provide information on measures needed to prevent any further spread of infection. The next step is to notify anyone who is deemed to be a high-risk close contact of someone who has tested positive to provide them with information based on their individual level of risk.

OPH investigates all reports of COVID-19 illnesses in workplaces and works directly with the individuals who have tested positive, as well as with the workplace itself, to determine risk of transmission and risk to employee/public health and safety. 

OPH’s COVID-19 Daily Dashboard contains all publicly available information about the COVID-19 situation locally, including a detailed list of outbreaks. Workplace outbreaks are noted at the bottom of the dashboard under “Community outbreaks” and broken down by type of workplace or setting. Anonymous outbreak-specific data are available regarding workplaces through Open Ottawa

OPH publicly discloses the name of a workplace if there is a known exposure risk to the public and a lack of contact information. In these rare instances, OPH may rely on public advisories and the media to reach the wider public. OPH only orders a premise closed based on public health risk assessment when required to further investigate or address an ongoing risk to people. This is consistent with the practice of other public health units across Ontario. 

Protecting the privacy of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 remains a top priority. It is also important for OPH to maintain positive and trusting relationships with businesses and workplaces as we rely heavily on their cooperation and the general public to provide details about close contacts during the case management process.

Racism as a Public Health Issue

The World Health Organization had identified “Social inclusion and non-discrimination” as a global social determinant of health and Health Canada has classified race/racism as a determinant of health, noting that “Experiences of discrimination, racism and historical trauma are important social determinants of health for certain groups such as Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQ and Black Canadians.”

We know that racism, discrimination, and stigma are associated with poor physical, mental and emotional health and higher mortality rates. We also know that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on racialized communities in Ottawa. In particular, the impact was most severe on communities affected by the intersections of race, immigration, and low-income living. 

OPH is committed to engaging and working with residents, partners, and communities to develop the conditions to support health and health equity for everyone in Ottawa. 

Part OPH’s role is to raise awareness about racism and the impact it can have on people’s health and wellbeing, to build buy-in for countermeasures. Racism is a difficult subject to discuss in some formats, like social media, and together we continue to learn about how to speak to racism as a public health issue.

The lessons learned about how to discuss racism and health are key to advancing the work with community members as well as with health, social services, education, business and other partners needed to close the gap in health status for racialized populations. 

Mental Health and Substance Use

Based on the latest available data, confirmed opioid overdose-related deaths in Ottawa have approximately doubled, from 65 in 2019 to 123 in 2020 while suspected drug-related overdose deaths have increased by 75%, from 124 in 2019 to 218 in 2020. Opioid-related hospitalizations also increased throughout 2020 and remain at levels alarmingly higher than what we were seeing prior to 2020. 

OPH has seen that supervised consumption service clients’ needs and challenges have grown, such that more comprehensive approaches are needed to better support complex mental health, substance use and housing and social services needs.

Last week, OPH launched a new Ottawa Community Action Plan website, together with the group’s core sponsors: The Community Addictions Peer Support Association, The Royal, The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, and The Canadian Public Health Association, to continue to call people to work together to address opioid overdoses and highlight the foundation established for ongoing work. This new page can be accessed at OttawaPublicHealth.ca/OCAP.

The website demonstrates how the Ottawa community has been involved and working together to provide varying perspectives and expertise to drive action on: 

  • addressing stigma related to substance use that still widely exists;
  • leading the way in providing access to harm reduction services; and,
  • creating a more centralized and simplified way to access substance use and mental health services in Ottawa. 

Actions have been implemented in these three areas over the last year, including significant progress on access to mental health and substance use supports for adults through AccessMHA.ca and, for children, youth and families, through the 1 call 1 click portal, recently launched by Kids Come First (see attached toolkit for more information). These new regionally coordinated access points are major milestones, however expanded services are also needed to meet the demand.

Community conversations continue to inform new actions under each of the OCAP’s three areas of focus. While decriminalization of people with simple possession of substances was not the top priority surfaced for harm reduction work identified as part of the OCAP, there is a growing understanding that decriminalization may also contribute importantly to addressing the stigma related to substance use as stigma prevents people from accessing the supports that they need. Harm reduction partners have planned a forum to flesh out recommendations specific to Ottawa on this subject at the end of the summer. 

The pandemic has increased the demand and need for mental health and substance use programs, resources, supports and services more broadly beyond addressing opioid use disorders. Therefore, despite staffing and resource challenges related to the pandemic response, throughout the pandemic OPH has continued to work with school boards, hospitals, community health, workplaces, multicultural and racialized community partners, and the general community in the delivery of mental health and substance use programs and services. 

OPH recognizes that mental health and substance use needs will remain a high priority post-pandemic. To further inform new actions, OPH team members are engaging with partners and the community over the summer to lead to recommendations in a September report to the Board of Health. 

New Initiatives

1Call1Click.ca is a new bilingual service designed to match kids, youth and families living in Eastern Ontario with the right mental health and addiction services, at the right time.  Bringing together over two dozen local providers of child and youth mental health and addiction services, this exciting program is the first of its kind in Ontario.

www.1call1click.ca

Mental health and substance use are important issues that are impacting young people more than ever before.  Ottawa Public Health partnered with YouthNet, the Kids Come First Health Team and The Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative to launch the Your Minute in a Pandemic Video Campaign!

We asked local youth groups to share their messages of hope, resilience and coping strategies during the #COVID19 pandemic. This campaign is all about making a difference by sharing stories of hope during this difficult time and ensuring that young people are at the forefront of this conversation. Take a minute and check out what they had to say!  

https://www.facebook.com/ottawahealth/videos/506607820392440/

Please consider sharing both these messages on your social media channels.

Social Media Updates

Additionally, there have been some updates on our website that you may find helpful with your constituents. As we continue to strive toward Community Immunity, we have added a new handout on mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) vaccines: mRNA Vaccine Handout (pdf – 419 KB). The link is also on our Community Immunity webpage, along with another handout made last week about How to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for someone else (pdf – 730 KB)

Finally, Parenting in Ottawa has a new Instagram @parentsottawa

Looking Ahead

Earlier this month, the Province announced that schools would remain closed for in-person learning for the remainder of the school year and we know that, for many children, youth and parents, this was difficult news. 

We are optimistic that after a summer of carefully easing restrictions and continued progress in our vaccine rollout, students, education workers, parents and caregivers can look forward to a successful return to school in the fall. To that end, Ottawa Public Health nurses have been and continue to work closely with our local schools and school boards, as well as with community partners, to support the mental health of children, youth, and education workers in various ways. 

We are committed to doing all we can to ensure that children, youth, parents and caregivers have the support of in-person school in the fall. The team is carrying out an assessment of the 2020-2021 school year and identifying ways to ensure that students, parents and education workers will have the information and resources they need to make the upcoming school year as healthy as possible. Their plans include: COVID-19 processes and protocols for cases and contacts; screening, and testing supports; linkages and supports for mental health and substance use; and re-introducing the availability of some essential Ontario Public Health Standards – School Health supports and services, such as school immunization, healthy sexuality, dental health, mental health and resiliency, tobacco, vaping, and substance use programming.

OPH is also planning and working closely with the Kids Come First Ontario Health Team, as CHEO and other partners have advocated and collaborated for the health of children and youth throughout the pandemic. We want to thank them for their ongoing commitment and support.

Recovery

As the pandemic response and COVID-19 vaccine coverage rates continue to advance in Ottawa, OPH is looking ahead to the future and has initiated recovery planning for the organization, which will be informed by employees, partners and yourselves. 

OPH’s Recovery Planning has one overarching goal: to build a stronger, sustainable local public health system that collaborates across health and social sectors. It includes three key components: 

  • Rejuvenate: Support employee wellness
  • Restore:  Restore prioritized services and programs while supporting the community recover from the pandemic; and
  • Reimagine: Identify opportunities to advance and strengthen OPH’s programs, services and processes for the future.

While there are still many unknowns, we do know that the way in which Ottawa Public Health meets its mandate moving forward will look different post-pandemic. OPH will build on the relationships formed, lessons learned from the pandemic, and identify new opportunities for the future – with a focus on health equity, particularly the health of Indigenous, Black, racialized, newcomer and low-income populations, collaboration, innovation and developing sustainable health and social systems. 

Over the summer, our continued focus will be on COVID-19 immunization, case and contact management, as well as outbreak management – to continue our work to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community to enable more people to be back at work and accessing the supports they need. We will also be working with our partners – planning for the Fall – in which many will be returning to in-person work and school. 

In the Fall, we will shift more focus towards restoring limited programs, including mental health, substance use, dental, healthy growth and development, and immunization work – all of which will support our community’s recovery from the pandemic, support students’ return to school, reduce further harms in our community and address waitlists for our services. 

Before the end of the year, we will be able to engage more of OPH in looking at lessons of the past and issues of the future as a catalyst for reimagining what we will be doing and how we will be working in 2022 and beyond.

June 21

Pop Vaccine Clinic for our Community in Vanier

June 20

Update on this week’s Pfizer vaccine supply

The Province of Ontario announced that the next shipment of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine to the City of Ottawa will be delayed. The shipment was to arrive on Monday, June 21. To ensure that vaccine appointments are honoured at immunization clinics over the coming week, the City and Ottawa Public Health will administer the Moderna mRNA vaccine as it is interchangeable with Pfizer.

Beginning today, individuals 18 years or older who have an appointment booked at one of the city-run immunization clinics will receive a Moderna vaccine. Interchanging vaccines is safe and effective. The priority is to receive two doses of a vaccine to complete the series and be fully protected.

Clinic staff will ensure residents are aware of which vaccine they will receive. However, there will be no opportunity for residents to request or switch to another type of vaccine. The limited Pfizer vaccine will be reserved for youth 12 to 17 years old.

Sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription for regular news on the vaccine roll-out. 

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

June 18

More appointments now available for COVID-19 vaccines

New information includes:

  • Additional appointments 
  • Interchanging vaccines
  • Expanded eligibility

More appointments are now available in the provincial booking system for Ottawa residents who still need a first dose or are eligible for a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Additional appointments 

Due to the additional supply that Ottawa has now received, we are able to add more appointments and almost double the number of clinic locations for residents. Appointments have been added across the city, including new clinics located at uOttawa (Minto Sports Complex), the Canadian Tire Centre (Gate 3), the Horticulture Building (Lansdowne), Canterbury Recreation Complex and the Nepean Sportsplex Curling Rink.

Residents can visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine to access the provincial booking system or call the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 am and 8 pm, seven days a week. Only book or call if you are eligible. 

Residents are also invited to check back regularly as there are occasionally small numbers of additional appointments made available due to reallocation or cancellations. 

Interchanging vaccines

Residents may receive a different second dose mRNA (Moderna or Pfizer) vaccine than their first dose at community clinics. Interchanging vaccines is safe and effective. The priority is to receive two doses of a vaccine to complete the series and be fully protected.

Residents who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose have the option to book an appointment to receive an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) as a second dose at eight weeks instead of 12, should they wish to. 

Current evidence shows that receiving an mRNA vaccine after receiving AstraZeneca as a first dose will provide a strong immune response and protection from COVID-19.  

Those who prefer to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine as their second dose can contact the pharmacy or primary care provider where their first dose was administered. Residents are encouraged to speak with a healthcare provider or visit Ottawa Public Health’s Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

You may also be able to book your vaccine appointment at a local pharmacy. Select primary care teams are also offering vaccines. 

Expanded eligibility

Beginning Monday, June 21 at 8 am, all Ottawa residents 18 and above who received their first dose of an mRNa (Moderna or Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine on or before May 9 will be eligible to book a second appointments at a community clinic.

Follow the City’s social media channels for updates on the provincial booking system. Sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription for regular news on the vaccine roll-out. 

The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health are committed to ensuring any resident who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will receive one. Thank you for your patience. 

Visit ottawa.ca or OttawaPublicHealth.ca for more on Ottawa’s vaccination distribution plan, including information about: 

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Dr. Brent Moloughney June 18, 2021 Special Statement

Please find below a link to a Special Statement issued today by Dr. Brent Moloughney: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/novel-coronavirus.aspx#June-18-2021–Special-statement-from-Dr-Brent-Moloughney

June 17

Interchanging vaccines for COVID-19 second doses

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) encourages Ottawa residents to take the first COVID-19 vaccine available for your second dose to provide earlier two-dose protection which is recommended where variants of concern are circulating.

On June 1, theNational Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)updated its recommendations on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines used in Canada. This means that you could receive one vaccine for your first dose and a different vaccine for your second dose to complete your COVID-19 vaccine series.

Interchanging vaccines is safe and effective and is not a new practice. Similar vaccines from different manufacturers are used when vaccine supply or public health programs change. Different vaccine products have been used to complete a vaccine series for influenza, hepatitis A, and others.

The priority is to receive two doses of a vaccine to complete the series and be fully protected. Both mRNA vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, are made the same way. Getting the same vaccine for your first and second doses or getting one vaccine for your first dose and a different vaccine for your second dose (also called a “mixed schedule”), are both considered valid options.

Moderna and Pfizer have very similar effectiveness and side effects. The best vaccine you can get is the first one that is available to you and a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is needed for the best protection against COVID-19 and its more transmissible variants. All COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada are safe and effective and they all reduce the risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death, and will help with the control of COVID-19 in the community.

If you received AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD as your first dose, NACI recommends that you receive either AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine or an mRNA vaccine, such as Moderna or Pfizer, for your second dose.For more information on mixed vaccine schedules, please review NACI’s Interchangeability of Authorized COVID-19 Vaccines.  Note that Ontario no longer offers AstraZeneca vaccine for those who have not received a first dose of AstraZeneca. For further information please contact your primary care provider.

Residents can visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine  to access the provincial booking system or call the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 am and 8 pm, seven days a week. Only book or call if you are eligible. Everyone is eligible to book a second dose vaccination at the standard 16-week interval in Ontario, but only those living in certain congregate settings or with certain medical conditions, highest-risk healthcare workers and those vaccinated prior to April 18 are eligible to book at shortened dose intervals at this time in Ottawa.

You may also be able to book your vaccine appointment at a local pharmacy. Most pharmacies book appointments ahead of time and some allow walk-ins. Eligible residents should check with the pharmacy directly. Select primary care teams are also offering vaccines. Residents may also be eligible to book their second dose vaccination at a pop-up clinic or at Bruyère vaccine clinic. Please visit Bruyere.org to verify eligibility and book your appointment.

Follow the City’s social media channels for updates on the provincial booking system. Sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription for regular news on the vaccine roll-out.

Visit ottawa.ca or OttawaPublicHealth.ca  for more information on Ottawa’s vaccination distribution plan. 

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

June 16

COVID-19 School Testing – June 17th

Students, staff and families of the following schools received the City’s notice for a Covid-19 testing clinic:

  • Sainte-Anne
  • De la Salle
  • Francojeunesse
  • Viscount Alexander
  • York Street PS

June 15

Priority neighbourhood pop-up clinics to offer first and second doses

Starting today, residents of any priority neighbourhood may now be eligible for a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at an upcoming pop-up clinic. These clinics are intended to raise vaccination rates in priority neighbourhoods and assist in removing some barriers to accessing the vaccine. 

First doses are available for any priority neighbourhood resident aged 12+ at the time of vaccination.

Second doses will be available for any priority neighbourhood resident of any age who received their first dose on or before April 18, 2021. For residents aged 70+, they can receive a second dose 28 days after receiving an mRNA vaccine, and 56 days after receiving Astra-Zeneca vaccine.

Upcoming pop-up clinics:

  • Wednesday, June 16 to Friday, June 18 – 11 am to 9 pm
    • St. Joseph’s Adult High School – 330 Lajoie St.
  • Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20 – 9 am to 7 pm
    • Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre – 102 Greenview Ave.

No appointments are required. Vaccinations are booked on a first-come first-served basis and are available while supply lasts.

Remember to bring at least one piece of ID:

  • Health Card
  • Driver’s License
  • Passport

* Health card is preferred but is not required to receive a vaccine if you do not have one. 

Residents from outside priority neighbourhoods can visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine to access the provincial booking system or call the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 am and 8 pm, seven days a week to book an appointment at any of the community clinics in Ottawa.

You may also be able to book your vaccine appointment at a local pharmacy.  Eligible residents should check with the pharmacy directly. Select primary care teams are also offering vaccines.

Sign up for the City’s COVID-19 vaccine newsletter to receive timely updates about these clinics and the City’s vaccine rollout.

Visit ottawa.ca or OttawaPublicHealth.ca  for more information on Ottawa’s vaccination distribution plan. 

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

June 9

Memo to Council – Step 1 Rules for Food and Drink Establishments

June 8

COVID-19 Update Long-Term Care 

OPH Update on the local COVID-19 Situation

We are encouraged by the fact that Ottawa’s COVID-19 rates have been steadily declining over the past several weeks – from a peak of 208.5 cases per 100,000 population per week in mid-April to the current rate of 26.8 per 100,000 population per week. Another positive trend is that Ottawa’s COVID-19 wastewater signal has also been trending downward again after a small upturn following the May long weekend. Further, as of end of day on June 7th, 69% of Ottawa’s adult population and 58% of our overall population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 9% of the adult population have received two doses.

Though adherence to public health measures continues to be of primary importance to keep COVID-19 rates as low as possible moving forward, given these positive trends and the increasing vaccination coverage, OPH is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming gradual reopening of certain businesses and community settings – particularly the ability to resume small, outdoor gatherings over the summer months as we know that social interactions are important to our mental health and that outdoors is much safer than indoors. 

It’s also important to remember that one dose means that we’re only partially immunized. There is still a ways to go before most people will have received both their first and second doses. In the meantime, we still need to be COVIDWise and anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should present for testing and self-isolate while awaiting their test results. Information on where and when to seek testing can be found here.

Update from the City Manager: Step One launches Friday

Yesterday, the Province announced we’ll move into Step One of its reopening plan, effective Friday, June 11. At the City, we’ll see the reopening of some Recreation, Culture and Facility Services’ outdoor facilities and programs throughout the month of June. If your department or service area is impacted by the reopening plan, you will receive more information from your leadership team. 

June 5

Covid-19 and Vaccine Updates:

  • To date, more than 641,000 doses of vaccines have been administered in Ottawa and more than 66 per cent of adults have received at least one dose. More than 55,000 doses were administered in Ottawa last week.
  • The Province announced that additional groups are eligible to book their second dose vaccine appointments
    • Adults aged 70 and older who do not have a second dose vaccine appointment can book one through the provincial booking tool starting Monday at 8 am
    • Adults aged 70 and older can reschedule an existing second dose booking for an earlier date starting Monday, June 7 at 8 am
    • Adults aged 70 and older can also book their second dose at a participating pharmacy starting Friday, June 4 
    • Anyone who booked a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna on or before April 18, can reschedule an existing second dose booking for an earlier date through the provincial booking tool starting Monday, June 7 at 8 am
    • Anyone who booked a first dose of Pfizer of Moderna on or before April 18 can also book their second dose at a participating pharmacy starting Friday, June 4 
  • The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health have launched a series of pop-up clinics to reach residents of priority neighbourhoods. Use the new address search tool to see if you’re in an eligible neighbourhood to receive a COVID vaccine at one of the pop-up vaccine clinics.
  • vaccination clinic for First Nation, Inuit and Métis youth aged 12-15 is being held at Rideau High School, 815 St. Laurent Boulevard, this Sunday, June 6 from 9 am-5 pm. Call 613-691-5505 to book your appointment.
  • The government of Ontario released its Three-Step Roadmap to safely reopen the province based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators.
  • As the City receives more vaccines from the Province and the provincial booking system is updated, more appointments will become available. Visit the City’s Vaccine distribution page for more information.
  • Visit the Frequently asked questions page for more information about COVID-19 vaccinations.

June 4

Second dose appointment options are available for adults 70-plus and more

New information includes:

  • Age 70 and older
  • First dose before April 18, 2021
  • Where to go for more information

The Province of Ontario has announced second dose COVID-19 vaccine booking options that affect adults age 70 and older (born in 1951 or earlier) and some younger Ottawa residents.

Age 70 and older

Residents age 70 and older who do not have a second dose appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, or who wish to reschedule their existing booking for an earlier date, can do so, starting Monday, June 7 at 8 am, in the provincial booking system.

Residents can visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine to access the provincial booking system or call the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 am and 8 pm, seven days a week. Only book or call if you are eligible.

There are currently limited appointments in June at community clinics for the shortened interval due to limited vaccine supply.Residents in this group may instead choose to book their second dose through a local pharmacy as of today.

More than 100 pharmacies across Ottawa are receiving vaccines directly from the Province. Participating locations are available on Ontario.ca. Most pharmacies book appointments ahead of time and some allow walk-ins. Eligible residents should check with the pharmacy directly. Select primary care teams are also offering vaccines.

If your first dose was AstraZeneca, you may choose to receive Pfizer of Moderna instead. Visit Ontario.ca for more information.

First dose before April 18, 2021

Individuals who received their first dose of Pfizer or Moderna on or before April 18, 2021 will also be eligible to schedule an appointment through the provincial booking system to receive their second dose beginning on Monday at 8 am.  

For more information

We will provide further updates about second doses and new appointments when they are available. Sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription for regular news on the vaccine roll-out.

The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health are committed to ensuring any resident who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will receive one.

Visit Ottawa.ca or OttawaPublicHealth.ca for more on Ottawa’s vaccination distribution plan, including information about: 

·       Accessibility 

·       First Nation, Métis and Inuit populations 

·       Pharmacies 

·       Second doses 

·       Transportation to and from appointments 

·       Health cards 

·       Health care workers

Update on COVID-19 Vaccination Neighbourhood Approach

June 3

More priority neighbourhood pop-up clinics coming June 7 to 12

The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health are hosting additional pop-up clinics to reach residents of certain priority neighbourhoods. The goal is to raise vaccination rates in priority neighbourhoods and meet the needs of people with the greatest barriers to accessing the vaccine.

Only residents living in the specific neighbourhoods will be eligible for first-dose vaccination. Residents are asked to bring at least one piece of ID and proof of address must be provided. A valid Ontario Health card is preferred, but not required if you do not have one.

Eligible residents must be 12 years of age or over at the time of vaccination. Appointments can only be made in-person during operating hours, on a first come first served basis. 

Clinics in our community:

Sandy Hill 

              Monday, June 7 and Tuesday, June 8

              Minto Sports Complex (uOttawa) – 9 am to 7 pm

Overbrook – McArthur

              Tuesday, June 8 and Wednesday, June 9

              Overbrook Community Centre – 9 am to 7 pm

Clinics in the rest of the city:

Ledbury – Heron Gate – Ridgemont

              Thursday, June 10 and Friday, June 11

              Ridgemont High School – 11 am to 9 pm

Hawthorne Meadows – Sheffield Glen

              Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13

              Canada Science and Technology Museum – 9 am to 7 pm

Riverview

              Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13

              Hillcrest High School – 9 am to 7 pm

Residents from outside the priority neighbourhood will be directed to the provincial vaccine booking system or their local pharmacy to learn when appointments are available.

To check your eligibility or for more information about upcoming pop-up clinic locations and neighbourhoods visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca. Pop-up clinics will be focussed on serving specific neighbourhoods, so residents are encouraged to not wait for a pop-up clinic to come to their community, as not all priority neighbourhoods may receive a pop-up clinic. Residents in priority neighbourhoods may also be eligible for vaccination at the Bruyère Family Medicine Centre. Please visit bruyere.org to review eligibility and access their online booking tool.

Thanks to the Ottawa Health TeamKids Come First Health Team and other local partners in the community for their support.

For more information

Visit ottawa.ca or OttawaPublicHealth.ca for more information about Ottawa’s vaccine distribution plan including information about:

Sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription for regular news on the vaccine roll-out. 

Visit ottawa.ca or OttawaPublicHealth.ca for more information on Ottawa’s vaccination distribution plan. 

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Dr. Etches’ June 2, 2021 Special Statement

Please find below a link to a Special Statement issued yesterday by Dr. Etches: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/novel-coronavirus.aspx?utm_source=OPH&utm_medium=Friendly_URL&utm_campaign=Coronavirus&utm_content=Friendly_URL#June-2-2021–Special-statement-from-Dr-Vera-Etches

June 2

Update from the City Manager

As of today, the Province’s stay-at-home order expires and we’re preparing for a resumption of some in-person City counter services beginning Monday, June 7. This includes:

  • ServiceOttawa Client Service Centres and Building Code Services at City Hall and Ben Franklin Place (by appointment only)
  • Limited counter and document drop-off services at all four Employment and Social Services and Rent Supplement Program Offices
  • The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue (by appointment only)
  • Provincial Offence Act Court service counters at City Hall and Mary Pitt Centre (by appointment only)

In addition, the City’s Central Archives at the James K. Bartleman Centre will resume in-person appointments starting Tuesday, June 8. The Ottawa Public Library will continue to offer curbside service through its 31 open branches. 

The City is reviewing the Province’s reopening plan to better understand the impacts to our City services and more information will be shared as it becomes available.

City will reopen some in-person counter services on June 7

With Ontario transitioning from the Stay-at-Home Order to its three-step reopening plan, the City will be resuming many of its in-person counter services on Monday, June 7. Clients can start reserving appointments for that week, starting Wednesday, June 2.

Even with the lifting of the Stay-at-Home Order and increased vaccinations, everyone needs to remain vigilant in practising COVID-protective measures and protocols, including – maintaining two metres distance from people outside your household, wearing a mask in indoor public spaces or outdoors when maintaining physical distancing is difficult, and staying home when not feeling well.

Counter services

Service Ottawa – Client Service Centres and Building Code Services              

  • City Hall and Ben Franklin Place (101 Centrepointe Drive) Client Service Centres and Building Code Services counters will be open by appointment only. Visit ottawa.ca for the list of in-person service offerings.
  • Residents must make an appointment for the Client Service Centre by using the online booking tool on ottawa.ca. Residents without internet access can reserve a time by calling 3-1-1 and choose option six for the Client Service Centre. Requests for same-day appointments will be subject to availability.
  • Building Code Services will also continue to support application submissions by courier, curbside, email and electronically at buildingpermits@ottawa.ca.

Employment and Social Services and Rent Supplement Program Offices

  • Limited counter and document drop-off services will be available at all four centres – 370 Catherine Street, Mary Pitt Centre (second floor west, 100 Constellation Drive), 2020 Walkley Road, and 2339 Ogilvie Road, weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm. For all other services, staff will provide both telephone and email support from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • The Rent Supplement Program, located at the Mary Pitt Centre (second floor west, 100 Constellation Drive) will also have limited counter and document drop-off services available from 9 am to 3 pm on weekdays. Staff will continue to provide telephone and email support on weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Business Licensing Centre

The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue will continue operations on Monday, June 7 by offering the following in-person services, by appointment:

·                Business licenses (all categories)

·                Pet registration

To make an appointment, email businesslicensing@ottawa.ca / permisdentreprise@ottawa.ca or by calling 613-580-2424, extension 12735.

City Archives

The City’s Central Archives at the James K. Bartleman Centre, located at 100 Tallwood Drive, will resume in-person appointments for residents wishing to visit the Reference Room, starting Tuesday, June 8. Clients may make reservations for that week beginning Wednesday, June 2 by emailing archives@ottawa.ca or by phoning 613-580-2857.

Provincial Offence Act Court 

Court services counters located at 100 Constellation Drive and 110 Laurier Avenue West will reopen for selected services by appointment only. No walk-ins will be accepted. Clients are reminded to visit our counters only if necessary, as all of our in-person services can be accessed online at www.ottawa.ca/poa.

As a result of court proceedings being heard remotely until further notice, there will be no justice of the peace at any of the locations. If you received a summons to appear in court, do not attend court in-person. Your matter will be held remotely at the date and time noted on your summons. Please refer to the conference details listed at www.ottawa.ca/poa.

Defendants will receive a notice of a new court date by mail to the address on file with the court (please note that changing your address with MTO/Service Ontario does not update your address with the court office). For any changes, please contact us at 613-580-2400 (TTY 613-580-2401) and press option three, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

Ottawa Public Library Branches 

The Ottawa Public Library currently has 31 branches open that will continue to offer curbside service. Please consult BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca for the latest service updates. Access to digital resources and requests for library items can be made via the Ottawa Public Library 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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

May 31

Vaccine appointments temporarily put on pause

Due to issues with the provincial booking system, all appointment bookings for COVID-19 vaccine appointments have been paused in Ottawa until the Province of Ontario can rectify the issue.

Vaccine appointments may be available at your local pharmacy.

We will communicate as soon as bookings are available again.

Sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription for regular news on the vaccine roll-out.

May 29

Covid-19 and Vaccine Updates:

  • To date, nearly 580,000 doses of vaccines have been administered in Ottawa and more than 60 per cent of adults have received at least one dose. The pace of vaccination continues to increase with more than 67,000 doses administered in Ottawa last week – the highest weekly total to date.
  • The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health are launching a new series of pop-up clinics to reach residents of priority neighbourhoods beginning Monday, May 31.
  • All adults age 80 and older may book their second dose vaccine appointments through the provincial booking system beginning Monday, May 31.
  • Youth aged 12 and over in Ottawa can begin booking appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at community clinics.
  • The government of Ontario released its Three-Step Roadmap to safely reopen the province based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators.
  • Some City outdoor amenities, including splash pads, have opened up.
  • As the City receives more vaccines from the Province and the provincial booking system is updated, more appointments will become available. Visit the City’s Vaccine distribution page for more information.
  • Use the OPH COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Screening Tool to see if you can currently receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and visit the Frequently asked questions page for more information about COVID-19 vaccinations.

May 28

Pop-up Clinics in Lowertown

The City is deploying a new series of temporary clinics to reach residents in priority neighbourhoods. Vaccination “pop-ups” will be available for residents in Lowertown at the Le Patro d’Ottawa Community Centre (40 Cobourg) on June 3rd & 4th.

  • Only Lowertown residents will be able to get vaccinated with a first dose at this clinic.
  • Eligible residents must be 12 years of age or older at the time of vaccination.
  • Appointments can only be made by presenting yourself in person during business hours.

May 20

Ontario Releases Three-Step Roadmap to Safely Reopen the Province

For the latest information on the Province’s reopening plans, please visit: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000161/ontario-releases-three-step-roadmap-to-safely-reopen-the-province#resources

Roadmap to Reopen outlines three steps to easing public health measures, guided by the following principles:

  • Step One An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower, and permitting retail with restrictions. This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table and non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.
  • Step Two Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn. This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, overnight camps, personal care services where face coverings can be worn and with capacity limits, as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 per cent capacity.
  • Step Three Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits.

May 19

Mobile Testing Clinic at Mauril Bélanger School

Special statement from Dr. Etches

Hello. Bonjour. Kwey.

Ottawa, nous y arrivons.

Nos indicateurs de surveillance de la COVID-19 montrent des signes positifs : nous constatons que moins de personnes obtiennent des résultats positifs pour la COVID-19, que le pourcentage de positivité est en baisse, mais pas encore faible, que les niveaux dans les eaux usées continuent de baisser et que nous enregistrons moins d’éclosions et d’hospitalisations.

C’est le résultat direct de vos efforts et la preuve que les mesures de santé publique mises en place fonctionnent. Lorsque nous travaillons tous ensemble, cela a un impact considérable sur la communauté.

Et bien que cela soit encourageant, nous ne sommes pas encore dans une position où nous pouvons commencer à lever les mesures de santé publique actuellement en place. Bientôt, mais pas tout de suite. Les résurgences passées, ici et dans d’autres pays du monde, nous ont appris ce qui peut arriver lorsque les restrictions sont levées trop tôt. Nous devrons reprendre lentement nos activités à mesure que la couverture vaccinale augmentera.

En ce qui concerne les mois à venir, je peux vous dire que même si ce ne sera pas un été normal, nous verrons probablement certaines restrictions levées si les tendances actuelles se poursuivent. Il pourrait s’agir d’un été comme l’année dernière où de petits rassemblements en plein air pourraient être autorisés et nous pourrions assister à la reprise de certaines activités récréatives en plein air. Nous serons plus confiants quant à l’augmentation de la taille des rassemblements si la couverture vaccinale augmente et si la COVID-19 reste sous contrôle. Nous attendons de plus amples informations de la part de la province sur les détails, mais je tiens à être très clair : les mesures de santé publique comme le masquage, le maintien d’une distance physique, les tests de dépistage lorsque vous présentez un symptôme qui pourrait être la COVID-19 et le lavage des mains resteront en place.

Comme l’ont dit le maire, le président Egli et M. Di Monte, je tiens à remercier tout le monde pour sa patience pendant la mise en place du vaccin. C’est une bonne nouvelle que tous les adultes de 18 ans et plus soient désormais éligibles, mais nous ne disposons pas encore d’un stock de vaccins suffisant pour satisfaire tout le monde. Je tiens à rassurer tout le monde : nous finirons par avoir suffisamment de vaccins pour tous ceux qui en veulent. Cela prendra un peu de temps. Vous ne serez pas oublié. Les personnes qui doivent recevoir une deuxième dose ne sont pas oubliées. La province prévoit une solution pour la réservation des secondes doses très bientôt.

Je sais qu’il est difficile de demander de la patience, surtout quand on voit les autres autour de soi se faire vacciner. J’adore voir sur les médias sociaux des gens se faire vacciner. Mais je sais aussi que cela peut provoquer de l’anxiété chez ceux qui n’ont pas encore reçu le leur. Si vous n’avez pas encore reçu votre vaccin ou pris rendez-vous, je tiens à vous rappeler que chaque personne qui se fait vacciner nous rapproche de l’immunité communautaire. Chaque personne qui se fait vacciner contribue à se protéger, mais aussi à protéger ceux qui l’entourent. Lorsque les taux de vaccination augmentent dans les populations à haut risque pour la COVID-19, cela contribue à protéger l’ensemble de la communauté. Nous poursuivrons notre travail pour faire en sorte que toutes les personnes qui souhaitent se faire vacciner puissent l’être.

Une dernière chose que j’aimerais aborder est une nouvelle tendance que nous observons concernant la préférence pour les vaccins, en particulier lorsqu’il s’agit de Pfizer par rapport à Moderna. Je tiens à rappeler à tous que les deux vaccins ont été approuvés par Santé Canada et qu’ils sont sûrs et efficaces. Selon Santé Canada, Pfizer devrait avoir une efficacité de 95 % contre la COVID-19 après deux doses, et Moderna une efficacité de 94 %. Tous deux reposent sur la même approche scientifique pour protéger contre l’infection par la COVID-19, puisqu’il s’agit de vaccins à ARNm. Je continue d’exhorter chacun à accepter le premier vaccin qui lui est proposé.

Quoi qu’il en soit, nous avons tous le pouvoir de contribuer à réduire la transmission de la COVID-19. Il est important que chacun d’entre nous continue à pratiquer des mesures de santé publique pour le moment. Voici mes conseils pour ceux qui ont été vaccinés, et ceux qui ne l’ont pas été. Indépendamment de notre statut vaccinal, le dépistage quotidien des symptômes de la COVID-19, la distance physique, le port de masques à l’intérieur et lors de contacts étroits avec d’autres personnes, ainsi qu’une bonne hygiène des mains sont essentiels pour limiter la transmission de la COVID-19.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch.

May 12

May 11

Transportation to vaccine clinics

  • Para Transpo users, can book rides to the vaccination clinic through the COVID-19 Vaccination Trip Reservation telephone line at 613-842-3600 between the hours of 10 AM and 8 PM.
  • All other residents can request a ride to and from the clinic through Ottawa Community Transportation after they have booked their appointment. 
  • If you or someone does not have online access, they can contact 211 and they will help complete the transportation request form on their behalf. They will required their vaccine booking confirmation number available when calling.

In addition to the single bookings above, the City is currently providing:

  • Neighbourhood clinics, bringing clinics to the priority neighbourhoods and hot spots
  • Mobile team to come to congregate care settings and homebound patients
  • Shuttle buses are being arranged for small groups to vaccine clinics as required.
  • Providing Single Ride Vouchers to those who are unable to get a vaccine at walk-in clinics to get to another clinic.
  • ODSP and OW clients are able to contact their caseworkers to coordinate transportation options to clinics
  • OC Transpo has adjusted some of its schedules and route to better accommodate vaccine clinic locations and hours.

In addition, the EOC and HNTF are working with multiple community partners to expand transportation support services in line with the vaccine role out. Eligibility through the Ottawa Community Transportation is being worked on to include any resident who requires support in getting to a clinic.

For additional Information on transportation supports, please refer to: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/frequently-asked-questions-about-covid-19-vaccination.aspx

Pop-up clinics

Ottawa Public Health is working with community partners, including community health and resource centres to hold pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics for people 18 years of age and older (born in 2003 or before) who live in specific areas of certain high priority neighbourhoods. Eligible residents will be notified of clinic and registration options through a targeted approach which may include door-to-door outreach, multilingual posters in the neighbourhood, and e-mails. At this time, these pop-up clinics are not advertised widely to the greater public as the intent is to reach individuals in specified areas.  There is no phone-in or online option to book at this time and there may not be any walk-up availability.

Residents attending these clinics must provide proof of address in the selected neighbourhood. 

More information: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/covid-19-vaccine.aspx#Pop-up-clinics

Phase 2 Elegibility

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 8 amgroup two of essential workers and individuals with at-risk health conditions will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment via the provincial online booking system or through the call centre at 1-833-943-3900.

Based on the list of essential workers as determined by the Province, some examples of City of Ottawa staff who are eligible include:

  • Essential and critical retail workers (including in-person City counter services such as ServiceOttawa, Building Code and By-Law licensing staff)
  • Social workers and social services staff who provide in-person client services (includes on-site staff at social service centres and respite centres)
  • Courts and justice system workers (includes in-person Provincial Offences Act staff)
  • Transportation, warehousing and distribution workers (includes public transit workers, on-site fleet staff, truck drivers supporting essential services, printed mail and highway maintenance workers)
  • Water and wastewater management workers
  • Veterinarians and veterinary teams (spay/neuter clinic staff)
  • Waste management workers

More information here:
https://ottawa.ca/en/news/more-risk-groups-essential-workers-can-book-vaccine-appointments-beginning-tuesday-adults-40-and-older-thursday

https://covid-19.ontario.ca/ontarios-covid-19-vaccination-plan#phase-2

Even more of you will have the opportunity to book your vaccine when the provincial eligibility expands to ages 40 and up, effective Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 8 am

You may already be eligible for a vaccine based on age, risk factor or where you live in Ontario. In Quebec, age eligibility will open to 25 years and older on Wednesday, May 12 and 18+ by the end of the week. 

With expanded eligibility, demand for vaccines will be high, but more appointments will be added as vaccine supply is confirmed and more information will be shared as available. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription for regular updates on the vaccine roll-out.

May 7

Update – Emergency Operations Centre

This is an update from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). 

Ontario remains in a province-wide state of emergency and subject to a Stay-at-Home order. In addition, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health has issued a Section 22 Class Order imposing mandatory masks in City parks. For additional information on the impacts of these restrictions on City services and facilities, visit Ottawa.ca

We continue to make progress on the vaccine rollout with 30 per cent of eligible residents having received at least one dose. To date, we have administered more than 302,900 doses in Ottawa and close to 60,000 doses last week alone. The City is aware of delays to vaccine shipments and is currently working with the Province to develop contingency plans. If there is any impact on residents, we will communicate as soon as possible. 

At the same time, vaccination efforts remain focused on the priority populations identified in phases 1 and 2 of Ontario’s vaccination plan. Mobile vaccination teams have begun providing first dose vaccinations to Ottawa residents who are homebound as well as in high-risk congregate living settings. Also, beginning on Monday, pregnant individuals will be eligible to pre-register for a vaccine appointment. These individuals, as well as others previously identified as highest risk priority and their caregivers, can visit Ottawa Public Health to pre-register. Please see the attached PSA for additional information. 

May 3

April 30

Dr. Etches’ April 30th Statement 

Please find Dr. Etches’ recent statement, released today, April 30th, 2021, at the following link: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/novel-coronavirus.aspx#April-30-2021–Special-statement-from-Dr-Vera-Etches.  

Letter of Instruction for all employers, businesses and organization permitted to be open 
 
In addition to the new provincial restrictions, earlier this month Dr. Vera Etches issued an updated Letter of Instruction to all employers, businesses and organizations that are permitted to be open to take the additional measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Documentation of workplaces to do this, is required in their respective workplace COVID-19 safety plan.

OPH now has additional guidance for employers to help limit COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. OPH has created two tools for workplaces

1.       the steps to take when a staff member tests positive for COVID-19. 

2.       a Staff High-Risk Contact Letter which can be forwarded to any identified high-risks contacts.

Considering this 3rd wave and Ottawa’s daily case count, OPH is having to prioritize reaching new cases and managing outbreaks. OPH does not have the capacity currently to do contract tracing for workplaces, and community organizations that are not in outbreak. These new resources are intended to support workplaces to identify which individuals may need to take additional actions (e.g. isolate, get tested). 

Ottawa Voluntary Isolation Centre 

There are no costs associated to stay at the Centre. This is an opportunity for people to rest and recover, without fear or anxiety of transmitting the virus to their family, loved ones, roommates and others they live with. Voluntary isolation is a proven way to help reduce the risks of spreading the virus among household contacts. 

The VIC provides a secure, comfortable and private space to self- isolate and is part of the emergency response of Ottawa Public Health (OPH) for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Self-isolation is a behavior that helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Self-isolation includes staying at home, avoiding contact with other people and only leaving home for critical reasons, like a medical emergency. The purpose of self-isolation is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others in homes, schools and the community at large. 

For more information, please visit OPH’s Ottawa Voluntary Isolation Centre webpage.  

Information and Town Hall Sessions on Vaccines in Multiple Languages 

Please consider sharing these resources with members of your community, including our recently published Chinese portal which also includes resources, information and videos about vaccines in simplified Chinese. 

This past Sunday, April 25th, OPH also held a Town Hall for members of the Bengali community (the link to this Town Hall will be posted shortly via the link above), and are currently working with our partners to provide a Town Hall to members of the Indigenous community, as well as a Town Hall in Kirundi. For more information on upcoming Town Halls, please visit the OPH Calendar

OPH will continue to share and update our website with the most recent available vaccine information and resources, for example, the newly added interview with Dr. Kwando, where he talks about how COVID-19 has impacted his work as an ICU and Palliative Care Doctor at The Ottawa Hospital and the Montfort Hospital. In the interview, Dr. Kwadwo shares his experience with caring for COVID-19 patients and the challenges his colleagues and staff have faced over the past year. His story is about hope, and illustrates that when Ottawa works together, we can bend the curve. 

Vaccine Stories 

Please see the first video of the series, “Eugene’s Story”, available at the following links: 

·       English: https://youtu.be/fYSdWBdtvHE 

·       French: https://youtu.be/CmmFCdBGZ5A 

·       Swahili: https://youtu.be/ilbZb_0F2SY 

As more residents become vaccinated, OPH continues to receive questions about next steps with several members of the community whether they need to continue following public health measures after receiving their first dose.  

At this time, there are currently no changes to the recommendations that are in place for members of the community who have been vaccinated.  

COVID-19 vaccination, along with public health measures, will offer the best protection from the spread of COVID-19. Those who are vaccinated, and those who are not, must all continue to practice the same following public health measures: 

·       Physical distancing 

·       Wearing a mask 

·       Hand washing 

·       Isolating when sick 

The vaccines are effective at preventing symptomatic illness and death. However, experts need to learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines offer before changing public health recommendations. And, we need more of the population to be protected to prevent the virus from reaching more vulnerable populations. 

When residents have had one dose of a two-dose vaccine series, its effectiveness improves over a number of weeks. Residents cannot assume that if they have been vaccinated, they will be protected right away. It is important to understand that any time you have close contact with people from outside of your household, you are putting yourself and others at risk. 

When more time has passed, and more of the community is vaccinated, experts will likely recommend lifting some of the restrictions. Many modelling studies have shown that we need to continue with full public health measures until high levels of vaccination are achieved.    

High Call & Email Volumes  

As you are no doubt aware, OPH is still experiencing very high volumes of inquiries directly to staff – both from elected official offices and the general public – regarding both the COVID-19 response and the vaccine roll-out. Information changes quickly and, combined with the volume of emails received, this has negatively impacted our response time.  

As a result, we have compiled some tips to ensure that you get the answers you need in a more timely manner. Firstly, in an effort to help us better support you and the communities you serve, we would greatly appreciate if your staff could assist us by reviewing the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 vaccine and City of Ottawa websites for information in advance of reaching out to staff with questions. We continuously make updates to the OPH website to make it easier to navigate, and the content will continue to be updated almost daily with new content being added or revised. OPH COVID-19 Virtual Assistant, Bruce, is a bot and can help users navigate the website. 

Working with the City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), we know there is a lot of information being shared regarding the vaccination roll-out. We encourage your staff to review the latest Public Service Announcements (PSA), memos and weekly round-ups that are distributed. Please continue to encourage residents to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription to receive the City’s PSAs that announce any new information on vaccine eligibility. 

Contacts for COVID-19 Inquiries 

OPH is also working with the EOC to streamline vaccine responses. At this time we ask that health-related questions (vaccine safety, priority populations, etc.) be sent to the new OPH email address for elected officials at OPHStakeholderRelations@ottawa.ca and all other vaccine roll out inquiries (logistics, operations, planning, etc.) be sent to councillorliaisonduconseil@ottawa.ca. If residents would like to speak to someone about the vaccine, please direct them to call OPH at 613-580-6744. For eligibility questions, please refer to the Provincial websiteOPH COVID-19 vaccine website and the OPH vaccine eligibility screening tool

Please direct inquires to the OPH Stakeholder Relations inbox at OPHStakeholderRelations@ottawa.ca as opposed to contacting staff directly by email or phone as this will ensure your inquiry is tracked and a response is provided. Employees are not always on-call and need time away from work duties to be able to rest and recharge.  

Thank You 

Lastly, OPH would like to thank Members of Council and their offices for their continued support and assistance in helping spread OPH’s message. Your support and encouragement are invaluable as we continue to respond to the needs of Ottawa residents.  

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch. 

Dr. Vera Etches 

April 26

Section 22 Order – Fitness Centres

The most recent epidemiological data confirms that the level of COVID-19 transmission in our community remains concerning and requires attention to transmission in workplaces in order to bend the curve. For that reason,  I have issued and attached a Section 22 Order to require increased public health measures within these businesses and better enable City by-law officers to enter and inspect businesses and to take action in the rare instances when a business is not complying with public health requirements.

Further details regarding the order can be found here

April 23

Emergency Operations Centre

This is an update from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). 

Ontario remains in a province-wide state of emergency and subject to a Stay-at-Home order. In addition, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health has issued a Section 22 Class Order imposing mandatory masks in City parks. For additional information on the impacts of these restrictions on City services and facilities, visit Ottawa.ca

We continue to make progress on the vaccine rollout with 30 per cent of eligible residents having received at least one dose. To date, we have administered more than 302,900 doses in Ottawa and close to 60,000 doses last week alone. The City is aware of delays to vaccine shipments and is currently working with the Province to develop contingency plans. If there is any impact on residents, we will communicate as soon as possible. 

At the same time, vaccination efforts remain focused on the priority populations identified in phases 1 and 2 of Ontario’s vaccination plan. Mobile vaccination teams have begun providing first dose vaccinations to Ottawa residents who are homebound as well as in high-risk congregate living settings. Also, beginning on Monday, pregnant individuals will be eligible to pre-register for a vaccine appointment. These individuals, as well as others previously identified as highest risk priority and their caregivers, can visit Ottawa Public Health to pre-register. Please see the attached PSA for additional information. 

With respect to essential workers, we anticipate all essential workers, of any age, who want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, to be vaccinated with their first dose by the end of June, or sooner if our vaccine supply increases. This is another important step as we work to ensure that all Ottawa residents who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can access it as quickly and as efficiently as possible. We anticipate receiving more details from the Province soon on how these essential workers can book an appointment. 

While all appointments are currently filled at the City’s community and pop-up clinics until April 30th, select pharmacies and primary care providers across the province have begun booking appointments for residents aged 40 and over. Additional appointments will be released for community and pop-up clinics when more vaccine supply is confirmed. We encourage residents to sign up for the e-newsletter to ensure they receive the latest updates on the vaccine rollout. 

Finally, attached is an updated Key Information Guide which provides an overview of the populations eligible for vaccination, vaccine distribution channels and how to book an appointment. Please refer to this guide as well as the FAQs when responding to resident inquiries. OPH’s COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard also contains up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Ottawa. For any new questions, please contact the Councilor Liaison line at councillorliaisonduconseil@ottawa.ca, which monitors trends in questions to inform future iterations of these resources. 

The EOC will continue to provide you with regular updates on the progress of vaccination efforts.   

April 22

Recommendation for additional public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update on the current situation in Ottawa, clarify that retail and restaurant curbside pickup is a low-risk activity supported by Ottawa Public Health, and outline Ottawa Board of Health recommendations to strengthen public health measures in workplaces to limit further transmission of COVID-19 in Ontario.

COVID-19 in Ottawa 

The most recent epidemiological data confirms that the level of COVID-19 transmission in our community remains concerning and requires attention to transmission in workplaces to bend the curve. Younger people continue being admitted to hospital. Variants of concern are now established and make up the majority of the virus detected in Ottawa’s wastewater. Vaccines will not help the community reduce transmission in the immediate days and weeks. 

We are all connected; what happens in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is having a direct impact on the capacity of our hospitals as they are taking in transferred patients. The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table’s recommendations to turn the curve in the GTA and Ontario highlight that the number of non-essential businesses open need to be reduced, especially where larger workplaces are seeing ongoing transmission.

Letter to the Province 

  • Complete an urgent review of all businesses and services that continue to have workers at the workplace who cannot work from home and implement changes to ensure that only businesses that provide groceries, medications and products or services essential for health and safety are open and only medically necessary care is provided for the period of the Stay-at-Home Order, and to provide information on income support options to workers affected by closed businesses.
  •  Amend language regarding school closure in Ontario Regulation 82/20 to replace “shall not provide in-person teaching or instruction” with “Schools shall be closed to all students except for […].” This change would provide greater clarity and ensure continued remote learning and that students are not attending school in person for activities that do not qualify as “in-person teaching or instruction.” 
  • Specific to Ottawa, improve the enforcement provisions under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act 2020 and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to enhance enforcement officers’ ability to enter, investigate and close businesses in the rare instances when a business is not complying with public health requirements. 

The Board of Health is asking the Province to review and adjust the provincewide essential business policy with a focus on addressing areas where COVID rates are still rising in Ontario. Throughout the province, workplaces continue to be locations where people come into close contact with others and where COVID-19 is transmitted. The goal of these recommendations is to prevent transmission by limiting the places where people come into close contact with others outside their household. This is consistent with what the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table called for earlier this week to bend the curve in areas like the Greater Toronto Area. 

Ottawa Public Health has seen a concerning rise in members of our community testing positive in all types of workplaces. However, we are not seeing the same trends of large outbreaks in manufacturing and warehouse workplaces or the scale of outbreaks that other places like Toronto and Peel Region are experiencing.

Focus on prevention 

The focus needs to continue to be on preventing COVID transmission in the first place. Once an outbreak occurs public health measures can only mitigate the number of people who are subsequently exposed. 

Ottawa Public Health continues to collaborate with businesses to ensure staff and clients are protected, acknowledging this is a challenging time for workers. To better support workers, the Board of the Health in February requested the Province to require Ontario employers to provide paid sick leave to workers and provide financial supports to employers in providing such sick leave during infectious disease emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A response from Provincial officials regarding the formal request by the Board of Health has not yet been received. The Board anticipates a response in the following days and will keep Mayor and Members of Council apprised of the response from the Province. Should the Province decide not to pursue the Board’s recommendations, Ottawa Public Health staff are preparing a Section 22 Order to better enable City by-law officers to enter and inspect businesses and to take action in the rare instances when a business is not complying with public health requirements.

Curbside pick-up is a low-risk practice 

Following the letter to the Province, Ottawa Public Health has received inquiries regarding curbside pickup. The concern is not with transmission to clients via retail and restaurant curbside pickup which is a low-risk practice. The concern is transmission between co-workers and to protect workers who are at greater risk from large outbreaks.

In Ottawa, businesses are working hard to keep employees and clients safe. Existing instruction from the Medical Officer of Health requires businesses to inform OPH of situations where two people in a workplace test positive within 14 days. Ottawa Public Health’s experience is that workplaces are working well to manage outbreaks and OPH has the capacity to keep up with outbreak management. 

April 21

Update from the City Manager

The City of Ottawa has more than 17,000 people working to support the residents of our great city. Over 13,000 are out on the front lines every day, delivering much-needed services, keeping residents safe and responding to the urgent needs of this pandemic. This year has been the most challenging year we have ever faced.

To all our staff, whether you come in every day or are working from home, you—our essential workers—I thank you and your city thanks you for your tireless efforts to juggle home and work responsibilities and provide critical services every day for our residents and our city. 

April has been a difficult month. Ottawa is seeing its highest number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic reached our city more than a year ago. Over the past few weeks, the Province has increased restrictions in response to the rising case counts and hospitalization rates across Ontario.

Public health officials have made it clear that we are trending in the wrong direction and need to take every precaution possible to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

Enhancing workplace safety

The City is following provincial and Ottawa Public Health guidelines and has many protocols in place to keep you safe at work, including the employee digital screening tool, personal protective equipment, mandatory masking, enhanced cleaning, plexiglass barriers, traffic flow and directional signage, hand sanitizer dispensers and physical distancing requirements. 

With so many of our people on the front lines every day, your safety is paramount. Recognizing this, I’ve asked all departments to find even more ways to enhance your safety, which could include more outdoor break spaces, additional restroom and handwashing facilities, and, where possible, staggered start and break times. 

Staying vigilant

While contact tracing shows that transmission is minimal in City of Ottawa workplaces, our people are contracting the virus. We need to do everything we can, inside and outside the workplace, to curb the spread of COVID-19.

While we are making progress on vaccinations, this week Dr. Etches has warned we cannot vaccinate our way out of this third wave. 

We need to keep doing the things that we know work to prevent transmission. In addition to the public health guidance we’ve been hearing all along—mask wearing, physical distancing, hand washing and working from home if you can—Dr. Etches has stressed that unless we as individuals do all we can to limit our close contacts, we will not be successful in turning this curve and preventing deaths.

For those of you who have received a first dose of the vaccine, please also continue to be vigilant and continue to follow public health guidelines. Your risk of severe illness and hospitalization is lowered with the first of two doses, but there is still a risk of contracting the virus and transmitting it to others. 

Vaccine update

Earlier this month, the Province moved into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan. All essential workers who want to be vaccinated against COVID-19 should be vaccinated with a first dose by the end of June 2021. Vaccine availability continues to be an issue for Ottawa, so we are actively monitoring this developing situation.

Many front-line City staff are identified in the Phase 2 roll-out. The prioritization is based on provincial guidelines and the City must follow the Province’s direction. The process is complex and the rollout for essential workers will take some time, but you will be kept informed as we receive further clarity and direction. Your senior leadership team is actively advocating on your behalf so that our essential front-line workers can be vaccinated as quickly as supply allows. 

The good news is that you may already be eligible for a vaccine based on your age or other factors including where you live or type of job. Just this week, Ontario announced availability for everyone 40 years and older via pharmacies and primary care physicians. 

Ottawa Public Health is encouraging everyone to take the first vaccine available to you, as this is the best defence in protecting yourself and reducing the number of cases in our community. 

If you have questions about the vaccine, please visit Ottawa Public Health.

April 19

Joint Special Statement from Dr. Vera Etches and Anthony Di Monte 

Je vous invite à consulter la déclaration conjointe sur le séquençage des vaccins contre la COVID-19, que j’ai émise avec Anthony Di Monte, directeur général, Services de protection et d’urgence. Vous pouvez y accéder en ligne ici.

Le Conseil de santé tiendra une réunion ce soir à 17 h et un certain nombre de résidents se sont inscrits pour donner leur avis sur la question. Bien qu’il soit maintenant trop tard pour s’inscrire comme intervenant ou intervenante à cette réunion, les personnes intéressées pourront la suivre en direct sur la chaîne YouTube de Santé publique Ottawa.

Update – Emergency Operations Centre 

This is an update from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). Please note, this update reflects a moment in time. The EOC is monitoring for any additional announcements or restrictions respecting the state of emergency. 

Ontario remains in a province-wide state of emergency and subject to a Stay-at-Home order

In an effort to reinforce the provincial restrictions, which requires all Ontario residents to stay home unless leaving for an essential purpose, the City announced on Wednesday that it will temporarily amend the closing hours of select City parks. Opening hours will continue to be 5:00 am, however, with concurrence from the Ward Councillor, specific parks will close at 9:00 pm or earlier, seven days a week. For additional information on the impacts of these restrictions on City services and facilities, visit Ottawa.ca.

The EOC continues to administer vaccines in accordance with the Province’s Vaccine Distribution Plan while prioritizing those that are at highest risk of serious illness and death. Vaccination efforts continue to focus on the priority populations identified in phases 1 and 2 of the provincial plan. Vaccination of these groups is occurring simultaneously through multiple delivery agents, including community clinics, pop-up clinics, mobile vaccination teams, Indigenous clinics, and hospital-based clinics. Separately, pharmacies and primary care settings are vaccinating individuals aged 55 and over. More than 244,800 doses of vaccine have been administered in Ottawa to-date. 

As announced by the senior levels of government, we are aware of some delays to anticipated vaccine deliveries in the coming weeks. At this time, all appointments are being honoured and the EOC has not had to cancel any vaccine appointments due to the current vaccine supply. The EOC is actively working with the Province to develop contingency plans.  

We understand residents who booked their first dose appointments through the OPH booking line are eager to book their second dose appointments. The Province has advised that they are modifying their booking system so that second dose appointments may be reserved. As soon as this functionality is added to the provincial booking system, the City will undertake a public communications campaign.  We encourage residents to sign up for the e-newsletter to ensure they receive updates, or if they are not online to ask a family member, neighbour or friend to sign up and let them know when second dose appointments can be booked.

April 14

Pre-registration starts for individuals with highest risk health Conditions

The Province of Ontario opened pre-registration to individuals with highest risk health conditions and their caregivers. These individuals can visit Ottawa Public Health to pre- register.

Those individuals with highest risk health conditions and their caregivers include:

The provincial vaccination roll-out page, provides more details on phase two vaccine sequencing based on age and risk.

Who else is eligible? Anyone 60 and over

The province announced this week that more pharmacies in Ottawa will provide the COVID-19 vaccine. The new list can be found on the Province’s website. Bookings are made with the pharmacies.

First Nation, Métis and Inuit populations

All First Nation, Métis and Inuit community members age 16 and over can also continue to book appointments at the St-Laurent Complex, located at 525 Côté Street through a partnership between Ottawa Public Health and the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health. Call 613-691-5505 to book an appointment. Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team is providing vaccinations for all Inuit adults. To book an appointment with Akausivik or for more information, call 613-740-0999. For more information, please visit Ottawa Public Health.

Health care workers

Pre-registration continues for vaccination appointments for specific faith leaders, highest priority, very- high priority high-priority and moderate priority health care workers.

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
  • People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motorneuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
  • Haematological malignancy diagnosed less than one year ago
  • Kidney disease eGFR< 30

All Ottawa residents age 60 and over can book appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at community clinics.

55 and over at participating pharmacies

All Ottawa residents age 55 and over can book appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at participating local pharmacies.

Special education workers

A list of special education workers has been compiled with the assistance of all school boards in Ottawa. Special Education workers will be contacted directly for vaccinations. The date, time and location of the appointment will be provided by email.

Homebound health-care recipients

Ottawa Public Health is working with health partners including Community Health Centres (CHCs) to support in-home vaccination of homebound health-care recipients. Eligible recipients will be contacted to book an in-home vaccination. Currently, homebound health-care recipients are the only group eligible for in-home vaccination. Once vaccines have been provided to everyone in this group, Ottawa Public Health will work with its partners to identify other homebound residents.

Residents of all ages who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health websites and social media channels, and from your local news media to learn when you can receive your vaccine. You can also sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription for regular news on the vaccine roll-out.

Visit ottawa.ca or OttawaPublicHealth.ca for more information on Ottawa’s vaccination distribution plan.

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.

April 13

Request for Council Agenda Item re: Measures to improve safety in parks and elsewhere

Dear Mayor Watson, 

We note your proposal to set a curfew closing City parks after 8pm. We understand this responds in part to recent events where large groups gathered in parks and other public spaces and where illegal drinking, vandalism and a stabbing took place.

We are concerned that the proposal to impose an 8pm curfew will not impact COVID-19 infection numbers but will cause undue harm to many residents.

At the same time, the proposal will take away the only public space available to the thousands of multi-residential rental and condo buildings which offer no private outdoor space, and takes away space from those who are currently unhoused. Mental health is a critical part of this pandemic and taking away the only green and public space available to residents in the evening will add even more stress to their lives. Residents who work evenings will have nowhere in the City to go for respite.

We would also point out that the curfew would simply overlayer activities that are already prohibited, such as holding outdoor gatherings, drinking alcohol in public, and of course assault. If Ottawa By-law officers and police are unable to enforce these laws currently, adding another law won’t improve enforcement. It could however, compel some to hold their gatherings in private homes or to go into other outdoor spaces like parking lots or places like Lebreton Flats or along the Rideau River.

None of this will help reduce COVID-19 infections. There are actions that we can take that will have a real impact:

  • vaccinate all essential workers
  • vaccinate people living in true infection hotspots
  • call on the provincial government to immediately provide paid sick leave to workers so they don’t go to work sick.

Recognizing the seriousness of the situation, we consider that an urgent discussion needs to be had of measures that will help slow the spread such as mask-wearing in parks when residents not from the same household are in close proximity to each other.

We ask that this important issue be brought to the Council meeting tomorrow April 14, 2021 for discussion.

Thank you for your consideration, Mayor Watson.

Regards,

Councillor Mathieu Fleury,
Rideau-Vanier Ward 12

Councillor Rawlson King,
Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward 13

Councillor Jeff Leiper,
Kitchissippi Ward 15

Councillor Catherine McKenney,
Somerset Ward 14

Councillor Shawn Menard
Capital Ward 17

April 12

Highlights of City Respite Centers in our Community between Friday, Monday, March 29 to Friday, April 1, 2021

Bernard Grandmaître Respite Centre:

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  285 71 
Total service interactions 811 203 
Total Food and hot meals served 500 125 
Total showers 15 
Total washrooms 74 19 
Total Referrals  10 
Highlights Heartwood Hub Community Laundry Co-op will be expanding their laundry services. Interested clients can purchase an annual membership from Heartwood for $2. Clients present their membership card and staff will give them a coupon that includes a free wash and dry. Special Thank-You, to the amazing Red Cross volunteers, for their hard work and help dishing out the daily meals.   Spring-themed events are back in April. Coming up this week we have Art with Cheri on Monday and seed planting with Jen on Wednesday.  We will be marking One-year of the Respite Centres being open (officially opened at McNabb on April 24th) to acknowledge this milestone with the team and clients, and to thank the community for their continued support, we will be participating in Clean Up the Capital at all three locations the week of April 24thAs the seasons change, we are seeking donations for clients who are using the showers and washrooms at the various Respite Centres: Tom Brown Arena: 141 Bayview Ave. Bernard Grandmaître Arena: 309 McArthur Ave. St. Paul’s Eastern United Church: 473 Cumberland St. We need men and women’s clothing or accessories in all sizes (small, medium and large): Underwear (new only) Socks (new only) Shorts  T-Shirts  Pants Belts Blankets Back packs  We also welcome more toiletries: Deodorant Shaving cream Razors Hair accessoires; combs, hair ties, brushes  Fabric mask donations are also always welcome.  

To donate, email Bernard-GrandmaitreRespite@ottawa.ca to set up an appointment for drop-off. Remember to follow physical distancing when dropping off donations. Thank you in advance for your generosity. 

St Paul’s Respite Centre:   

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  63 16 
Total service interactions 464 116 
Take away food  184 46 
Referrals 19 
Highlights:  Takeaway meals continue to be popular. Over 45 meals, coffees and water were handed out each day. Attendance was an average of 16 clients per day. On Thursday, a member from the community ran over to St. Paul’s to retrieve a staff, to assist his friend who was unconscious and lying on the lawn of a residence along Cumberland St. Staff;  including Community Partners, Security and City worked together to revive the man. He left the scene in an Ambulance, breathing and conscious.   We will be marking one-year of the Respite Centres being open (officially opened at McNabb on April 24th) to acknowledge this milestone with the team and the clients and to thank the community for their continued support, we will be participating in Clean Up the Capital at all three locations the week of April 24th 

April 9

Update – Emergency Operations Centre

Effective yesterday, the Province declared a state of emergency and enacted a stay-at-home order. The purpose of this order is to keep people at home as much as possible to stop the spread of COVID-19, preserve hospital capacity, and save lives. Residents are asked to please follow the stay-at-home order and only go out if required – to go to work, for groceries, for medical appointments, to get medications from a pharmacy, or for exercise. Additional information is available on ottawa.ca

Although the stay-at-home order is difficult, we continue to make progress with the administration of vaccines. The Province has entered Phase 2 of its three-phased vaccination plan.  Phase 2 is expected to run from April to July 2021, subject to vaccine supply, and includes older adults, people in high-risk settings, frontline essential workers and other populations that are at greater risk of illness.  

All Ottawa residents age 60 and older (born in 1961 or earlier) are now eligible under the provincial framework to receive a vaccine at a community clinic. In addition, this morning, the Province announced the extension of vaccine appointments at community clinics to residents aged 50 and older (born in 1971 or earlier) who live in certain “hot spots”. Eligible residents living in K1T, K1V and K2V postal code areas can book through the Provincial Booking System into the community vaccination clinics.

Over 90,000 appointments have been booked through the Provincial Booking System from April 8th to April 30th. As of 4:00 pm today, 1,675 appointments were remaining. We continue to work diligently with the Province to secure more vaccine supply and open new appointments in the Provincial Booking System. Eligible residents waiting to book an appointment are encouraged to follow the City of Ottawa and OPH social media channels in the coming days. 

While the “hot spot” areas that have been identified by the Province incorporate some of the high-priority neighbourhoods previously identified by Ottawa Public Health (OPH), Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health has the authority to further focus on neighbourhoods, based on local considerations. Therefore, the EOC will continue to focus its future pop-up clinics on the high-priority neighbourhoods previously identified. Starting this weekend, the EOC will be launching a pilot “micro” pop-up clinic in the Ledbury-Heron Gate-Ridgemont community to reach residents that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The EOC is planning additional mobile and pop-up clinics for residents and essential workers in these neighbourhoods. More information on these will be available soon.

Beginning next week, we will be working with partners to start vaccinating Special Education teachers as well homebound residents, who are unable to leave their homes and are receiving chronic home health care. In addition, we received doses of AstraZeneca earlier this week which we are offering to select community health centres and family health teams. These partners will need some time to ramp-up and start delivering doses, but they will be a key player in our effort to make the vaccine more accessible to everyone.

Clinics for Indigenous community members and adult recipients of chronic home health care are also ongoing. Further, we continue to work closely with our partners at the Ottawa Hospital and Queensway Carleton Hospital to deliver vaccines to thousands of local health care workers. For more information on each of these delivery channels, including eligibility and booking information, please visit ottawa.ca

The remaining eligible groups in Phase 2 will be offered vaccines over the coming months as supply increases. These residents cannot currently book an appointment, so we ask that they do not call Ottawa Public Health or 3-1-1. Residents are encouraged to sign upfor the COVID-19 vaccine update e-subscription to receive email updates on the vaccine roll-out. We will provide more information as it becomes available.  

The EOC has also updated its FAQs respecting COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The updated document is attached and indicates where information has been updated since April 1st, when this resource was last circulated to Members of Council. This new information will be posted on ottawa.ca shortly.

Dr. Etches’ recent statement from today’s media availability

Please find Dr. Etches’ recent statement from today’s media availability.  

As I indicated to the Province on Monday, the COVID situation in Ottawa is extremely concerning and we need further restrictions to bend the curve. Hospitalizations are at an all-time high since the beginning of the pandemic and surgeries are being cancelled for the first time since last March. Younger people are being admitted to hospital. More people than ever are testing positive for COVID-19. We are no longer able to maintain contact tracing follow-ups with high-risk contacts in settings outside of schools and congregate or healthcare. And variants of concern are now established and making up the majority of the virus detected in Ottawa’s wastewater.

We are seeing transmission across Ottawa in a variety of settings including workplaces, restaurant patios, in breakrooms, at after-work gatherings, parties, carpools and sleepovers. It is simple: The risk exists wherever people from different households gather and protective measures are not being followed, namely physical distancing and masking. 

I want to remind everyone that this virus is tricky; not everyone with COVID-19 will have symptoms. That is why even if you are feeling fine, you still must follow the prevention measures in place – again, namely masking and distancing – when you are around others outside your household. That includes people you know, love and trust – friends, extended family, colleagues and neighbours.

***

Schools

One of our main goals has always been to keep schools open. There are harms associated with closing schools. This includes impacts on mental health for all members of the family, stress and financial impacts for parents and caregivers who can’t afford childcare and developmental impacts on children and youth who are missing out on important social connections.

It is therefore with a heavy heart that I am now thinking the probability that schools will close to in-person learning following the spring break is higher than the probability that the COVID-19 situation will improve in time to keep schools open.

There have been new school outbreaks this week, but the overall number of outbreaks has remained fairly stable and it is still a minority of schools that are affected by people testing positive. Public health and school staff are working hard to manage the growing number of people exposed in the community who are then positive in schools.

However, context that has changed this week includes:

·        The level of COVID-19 in the community has continued to grow to levels higher than we have seen, demonstrated by the wastewater signal continuing its steep climb; and

·        the percent of people testing positive has reached new heights in adults, with some people having to wait to access testing.

·        Also, a provincial Stay At Home Order came into effect yesterday, which closes the malls and places that students may have gathered if not in school, so this risk is mitigated.

This leads me to give notice of a school closure being more likely than not following the spring break, as we need to do everything we can to turn this curve. The team will continue to review the situation and provide confirmation of a decision by Wednesday of next week at the latest. Other countries have consistently added school closures to strict lockdown measures to bring numbers down. Closing schools will underline the seriousness of the situation and assist people to stay at home as much as possible, reducing mixing of students before and after school.

***

Letter of Instruction

In addition to the new provincial restrictions, I am issuing a Letter of Instruction to all employers, businesses and organizations permitted to be open to take the additional measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 effective Saturday, April 10 at 5 am.
These new measures include:

·        increased reporting requirements when two or more people test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day interval in connection to the workplace;

·        ensuring that all employees are aware of any benefits and/or pay to which they may be entitled in the event that they must isolate; and

·        Requirements to actively monitor and manage capacity limits in businesses, and physical distancing and masking in outdoor line ups as people wait to access the business. At minimum one staff person must be designated to monitor and manage the applicable capacity limit and verify compliance with the physical distancing and mask-wearing requirements of individuals in line-ups.

·        Documentation of how your workplace will do this, is required in your workplace COVID-19 safety plan

Full details of this letter can be found on ottawapublichealth.ca.

***

High-priority neighbourhoods

The Province of Ontario announced the extension of vaccine appointments at community clinics to residents aged 50 and older who live in certain “hot spots”. These are large geographic areas that have more advantaged and less advantaged populations within them.

As Medical Officer of Health, I have the authority to further focus on neighbourhoods, based on local considerations of who is at greatest risk of COVID-19. Therefore, we will continue to focus future pop-up clinics, walk-in options and mobile strategies in the high-priority neighbourhoods previously identified.

Our primary goal is to protect the people most at risk for hospitalization and death as a result of COVID-19. This strategy helps to prevent hospitalizations and deaths when vaccine doses are still limited. We must continue to protect people over 60 across Ottawa, people over 55 through pharmacies and people over 50 in neighbourhood-based approaches, as the majority of people being hospitalized are still older adults.

In addition to the neighbourhoods of focus in Phase 1, the City and OPH are reviewing data for other neighbourhoods which may also be disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 and considerations will be made for support to other communities as the vaccine rollout continues.

***

You’ve heard the COVID-19 response referred to as a marathon, not a sprint. Looking back to when this started, I think we can all see that now.

We have been “training” for more than a year.

We are tired, fatigued and we want this to be over.

This is the point in our COVID marathon where we are hitting the wall.

This is our defining moment. The moment we break through the wall by taking one careful step at a time. The moment we dedicate each step to getting us toward the end of this.

We will not give up. We will not fall.

Vaccines are our fuel, and so are our behaviours.

And those, together, are what will get us across that finish line.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch.

You may watch the recording of today’s media availability at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs79GJ9s1xE

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ottawahealth

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OttawaHealth  

April 7

In-person April Break Day Camps cancelled

Due to the province-wide emergency shutdown regulations, all in-person April Break Day Camps that were originally scheduled from April 12 to 16 have been cancelled.

The virtual camp sessions will continue as scheduled and can be viewed at ottawa.ca/virtualprograms.

For up-to-date information on recreation programming, visit ottawa.ca/recreation or follow the Ottawa Recreation, Culture and Facilities Facebook page.

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.

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Information

Yesterday, the Province of Ontario moved the provincial vaccine roll-out into Phase 2. Phase 2 is rolling out from April to July 2021, based on vaccine supply and includes the following groups: 

  • Adults 60 to 69 years of age 
  • Adults 55 or older are eligible for vaccination at participating pharmacies and primary care settings
  • Adults 50 and older living in COVID-19 hot spot communities
  • Individuals with health conditions and their caregiver 
  • People who live and work in high-risk congregate settings
  • Caregivers in select congregate care settings
  • Essential frontline workers who cannot work from home.  

I am pleased to say that today we are rolling out to the first group on the above list – all residents 60 years old and older are now able to book an appointment on the online provincial booking portal

Residents can book online for appointments at the community vaccination clinics: 

  • Nepean Sportsplex   
  • Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA   
  • Eva James Memorial Community Centre   
  • City Hall 

In addition to adults 60 years and older, thirty-four pharmacies in Ottawa are providing vaccinations to Ottawa residents age 55 and older. Additional information as well as participating locations can be found on the Province of Ontario website.These vaccinations are separate from Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa’s vaccination roll-out. Residents are asked to call participating pharmacies directly to book an appointment or the Province of Ontario Vaccination Information Line at 1-888-999-6488 if they have questions on the pharmacy vaccination program.

The remaining eligible groups in Phase 2 will be vaccinated over the coming months. I understand that many residents will have questions on whether they are eligible, when they will be vaccinated and how they get the vaccines.  

These residents can’t currently book an appointment, so we ask that they do not call Ottawa Public Health or 3-1-1. This includes residents that are 50 years and older living in COVID-19 hotspot communities. We will provide more information as it becomes available. 

For now, I refer you to the provincial vaccination roll out page, which identifies the sequencing under each of these criteria. We will work with Ottawa Public Health over the coming weeks to sequence this large segment of our population and to finalize the process by which they book their appointments. This will require more information from the province, which we are currently seeking with Ottawa Public Health. 

I encourage residents to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine update e-subscription to receive email updates on the vaccine roll-out. 

Provincial Hot Spots 

The province released the “hot spot” areas across Ontario that will be prioritized in Phase 2 of the vaccination roll out. These areas are based on the first three digits of a postal code. 

These “hot spots” do not impact the areas of focus in the City of Ottawa. Locally, the Medical Officer of Health has authority to further focus on priority neighbourhoods within these postal codes.  

As such, the 21 priority neighbourhoods that were identified as having the highest risk of hospitalization or death will continue to be the areas of focus for the vaccination roll-out. These are the same priority neighbourhoods that received pop-up vaccination clinics in the past few months. 

New pop-up clinic

The City is opening a pop-up clinic at a new location this week. The Good Companions Seniors’ Centre will allow us to offer vaccines to residents age 60 and older living in high-risk neighbourhoods

Vaccinations are now available for First Nation, Métis and Inuit community members who are age 16 and over.  

Pre-registration continues for vaccination appointments in the future for specific faith leaders, highest priority, very-high priority and high-priority health care workers.   

Transportation to and from City clinics is available through Ottawa Community Transportation.

April 6

Highlights of City Respite Centers in our Community between Friday, Monday, March 29 to Friday, April 1, 2021

St Paul’s Respite Centre:   

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  88 18 
Total service interactions 635 127 
Take away food  281 56 
Referrals 23 
Highlights:  Takeaway meals continue to be popular. Over 280 meals were handed out at the door.  One of our Community Partner staff was able to assist a regular client with some important documents. They spend a couple of days together, making sure the client had all the documents she needed and ensuring that they were completed correctly.  Signage was posted to redirect clients to Tom Brown on Good Friday. The Centre was open and operating for regular hours on Monday, April 5th. 

Bernard Grandmaître Respite Centre:

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  314 63 
Total service interactions 981 196 
Total Food and hot meals served 650 130 
Total showers 18 
Total washrooms 127 25 
Total Referrals  10 
Highlights:  Spring is in the Air at Bernard Grandmaître Respite Centre. Clients painted flowerpots and canvas, to decorate the Centre with some beautiful bright Springtime touches.  
 Clients celebrated the onset of Easter, with a special chocolate Easter egg hunt throughout the Centre.  Signage was posted to redirect clients to Tom Brown on Good Friday. The Centre was open and operating for regular hours on Monday, April 5th.

Letter From Dr. Etches

I am writing to clarify that I am not asking for schools in Ottawa to close now. The situation with COVID-19 and schools in Ottawa is currently manageable, as 

– 73% of schools have no people with an active COVID-19 infection where there was an exposure in school, and 

– 98% of schools are free from an outbreak.

The vast majority of COVID-19 in schools originates with community exposures. Situations identified in schools where there was a possible exposure do not usually lead to transmission in schools. Child-to-staff and child-to-child transmissions remain rare in the school setting. At this time, schools are not a major driver of transmission of COVID-19 and so closing them alone will not turn this current COVID-19 resurgence around. Though variants of concern mean we need to be more careful to avoid transmission, the local situation with variants in schools hasn’t been significantly more difficult to control. When Ottawa Public Health ensured everyone in a dismissed school cohort was tested for COVID-19 after a potential exposure to a variant of concern, no higher rates of transmission were seen in the exposed cohorts. There have been outbreaks associated with variants of concern and there have been situations where the variants of concern have not spread in schools. 

I ask that teachers, administrators, school staff, parents and students all continue to do their part to strictly follow the COVID-19 precautions in schools and to limit close contacts before and after school to members of their household. This is not the time to let up on our diligence to keep each other safe. Please reinforce the daily screening and ask people to consider if any symptom of COVID-19 is present before they enter their school. Adults, especially, should be supported to take care to maintain distance between each other in staff rooms and during break times with their colleagues. 

And, speaking of vaccines, I continue to advocate for rapidly securing more vaccine so our vaccine campaigns can progress to achieve sufficient coverage to suppress COVID-19 transmission. School staff are a priority for vaccination, and we continue to vaccinate the population in Ottawa by highest levels of priority, as outlined by the Provincial government. At this point, we still need to protect older people and those with the highest risk health conditions. I look forward to working with you on protecting education staff. These days will come, and until much more of our population is protected, I am thankful for your commitment to public health measures in schools.

April 5

Update from OPH

Together with Toronto and Peel, Ottawa Public Health has shared a letter with the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, Dr. David Williams, requesting strengthened public health measure to turn the COVID-19 curve. Attached is the letter shared.

Ottawa Public Health continues to report daily new numbers in the triple digits when it comes to people testing positive for COVID-19. 237 cases today. 198 on Sunday. 240 cases Saturday. The places COVID spreads the most continue to be private gatherings such as parties, barbecues and after-work get-togethers and team sports, even outdoors, where public health measures like physical distancing and mask wearing are not followed.

The higher the rate of COVID in the community now, the longer it will take for vaccines to make an impact. For the next few months, we need to keep up with these measures.

Further updates will be provided to Council as more information becomes available on any additional restrictions.

April 1

Ontario Implements Provincewide Emergency Brake

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a provincewide emergency brake as a result of increasing cases of people contracting Covid-19 and hospitalizations across the province. The provincewide emergency brake will be effective Saturday, April 3, 2021, at 12:01 am. and the government intends to keep this in place for at least four weeks.

The provincewide emergency brake would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures to help to stop the rapid transmission of COVID-19 variants in communities, protect hospital capacity and save lives. Measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and limiting the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social gatherings to a 5-person maximum, except for gatherings with members of the same household (the people you live with) or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone.
  • Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures;
  • Prohibiting personal care services;
  • Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only;
  • Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms) with very limited exceptions;
  • Requiring day camps to close; and,
  • Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.

Where to Get Tested in Ottawa

COVID-19 CHEO Assessment Centre and Kids Come First Care Clinic at Brewer Park Arena, 151 Brewer Way

COVID-19 Care and Testing Centres

COVID-19 Assessment Centre for Adults at Brewer Park Arena, 151 Brewer Way, Ottawa

COVID-19 drive-thru assessment centre at City Hall/National Arts Centre, 110 Laurier Avenue West

  • Click here to book an appointmentor call 613-737-8193
    (Please note telephone booking is reserved for those who do not have internet access. It is not an information line.)
  • To cancel your appointment, please email: DTTI@toh.ca

COVID-19 Testing at Three of the Ottawa Community Health Centres

  • Centretown Community Health Centre, 420 Cooper Street
  • Click here to book an appointmentor call 343-553-2661
    (Please note telephone booking is reserved for those who do not have internet access. It is not an information line.)

COVID-19 Pop-Up Testing Site at the AMA Community Centre, 1216 Hunt Club Road

  • Book an appointment: 
    • Same-day walk-ins from the Sawmill Creek community are welcomed and will be provided with a ‘just-in-time’ COVID-19 test
    • Although it is not necessary to schedule an appointment beforehand, there is an option to reserve a time slot by calling 613-737-8193
    • To cancel your appointment, please call 613-737-8193

COVID-19 pop-up testing site at Vanier Community Service Centre

  • Book an appointment by calling 613-288-5353 
    • To cancel your appointment, please call 613-288-5353.

COVID-19 Testing at Ontario Pharmacies

If you are not showing symptoms, you can currently make an appointment at a select pharmacy. This is an interim measure. Please visit the province’s website to ensure you have current information about testing options and locations available to you.

The Ontario government announced that free COVID-19 testing will be available at select pharmacies throughout the province. Learn more about pharmacy testing.

New Pharmacy Availability for Residents Over 55

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Information

The provincial announcement on Monday to extend vaccine appointments to residents aged 70 and older citywide has resulted in the booking of all appointments available up until April 7. More appointments will become available as the City receives more vaccine doses from the Province.  

Pop-up clinics in rural communities and high-risk neighbourhoods are also almost full, with only a small number of appointments still available at a few of these clinics.  

The City has opened a new pop-up clinic specifically for adult recipients of chronic home health care and we are now pre-registering two new groups for vaccination appointments in the future; faith leaders and health care workers in the high-priority category.  

Transportation to and from City clinics is available through Ottawa Community Transportation. 

Vaccination Appointments and Pre-Registration Open for High-Priority Residents 

Community Clinic Appointments are Temporarily Fully Booked 

There is currently a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines available. The provincial extension of the vaccine appointments this morning to residents aged 70 and older citywide has resulted in the booking of all appointments available up until April 7. 

In the coming days, as the city receives more vaccines from the province and the provincial booking system is updated, more appointments will become available. Residents will continue to receive vaccinations as planned. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days. 

Residents Age 70 and Older in Rural Communities and Priority Urban Communities  

Appointments at City of Ottawa pop-up clinics in priority neighbourhoods continue to be available, including to residents in rural communities. If you are aged 70 or over (born in or before 1951) and you live in Ward 5 (West Carleton-March), Ward 19 (Cumberland), Ward 20 (Osgoode), or Ward 21 (Rideau-Goulbourn); or previously identified priority urban neighbourhoods, you can book your appointment at a near-by pop-up clinic.  

Call 613-691-5505 to confirm your eligibility and book an appointment. When you receive the voice recording press 2 for rural pop-up clinics. 

Rural clinics will be available at the following locations for a limited time:  

  • Greely Community Centre 
  • Navan Memorial Centre 
  • Osgoode Community Centre 
  • R.J. Kennedy Memorial Centre 
  • Richmond Memorial Arena and Community Centre 
  • West Carleton Community Complex 

Adult Recipients of Chronic Home Care Across Ottawa 

If you are an adult recipient of chronic home care anywhere in the City of Ottawa, you can now book an appointment at a COVID vaccination clinic. 

Call 613-691-5505 to confirm your eligibility and book an appointment. 

Unreserved walk-ins will not be accepted at any location. Please book your appointment in advance. 

Adult Recipients of Chronic Home Health Care 

If you are an adult recipient of chronic home health care living anywhere in the City of Ottawa, you can book an appointment at the Canterbury pop-up clinic or any of the city’s other COVID-19 vaccination pop-up clinics. 

Call 613-691-5505 to confirm your eligibility and book an appointment.  

Patient-Facing Health Care Workers Pre-Registration 

Patient-facing high-priority health care workers (opticians, chiropractors, psychologists, registered massage therapists, etc.) are now able to pre-register for a vaccination appointment. 

Highest priority and very-high priority health care workers from Phase 1 who have not yet received the vaccine can continue to pre-register for appointments. 

Visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca to confirm eligibility and pre-register. 

Faith Leaders Pre-Registration 

Pre-registration is now open for faith leaders who, as part of their regular role, are at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the following circumstances:  

  • End of life care 
  • Care of the deceased, funerals, bathing, or other ceremony with direct contact with deceased persons 
  • Home visits to unwell persons 
  • Pastoral care in hospitals, long term care homes, retirement homes or other vulnerable settings  

Faith leaders can visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca to pre-register for a vaccination appointment. 

First Nation, Métis and Inuit Populations 

Ottawa Public Health is partnering with Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health to provide a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members age 16 and over at the St-Laurent Complex, located at 525 Côté Street. Call 613-691-5505 to book an appointment. 

Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team is providing vaccinations for all Inuit adults. To book an appointment with Akausivik or for more information, call 613-740-0999. 

For more information, please visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/IndigenousVaccine.

Walk-ins will not be accepted at any location. Please book your individual appointment in advance. 

This includes walk-ins at the end of the day. Any remaining doses at the end of the day will be administered to eligible health care workers who have indicated they are available for a last-minute appointment.  

Confirm Your Booking 

When you book your appointments through the provincial booking system, you will receive a confirmation code. Please bring this code with you when you go to your appointments. If you do not have a confirmation code, your appointments were not successfully completed. Please revisit the provincial booking system or call 1-833-943-3900 to book your appointments and receive your confirmation code.  

Second Doses 

As per provincial guidelines, currently Ottawa Public Health is only booking second doses for First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members. All other individuals who have received their first dose at an Ottawa Public Health Clinic and are waiting for their second dose are encouraged to sign-up for the City’s e-newsletter and follow local news sources for more information. When second dose appointments are available the City will communicate to the public. Please do not call Ottawa Public Health at this time to try book a second appointment.  

More second dose details are available at OttawaPublicHealth.ca  

Timing and Safety 

To enable physical distancing and to reduce the number of people in the clinic, please arrive for your vaccine no more than 10 minutes before your appointment time.  

Preparing for your Appointment 

The Government of Ontario document “What you need to know about your COVID-19 vaccine appointment” (PDF) lets you know what to prepare for your vaccination. 

Transportation 

Accommodations will be made for residents who need help with accessibility and all clinic locations are accessible. Para Transpo users can book a ride to the clinic through the COVID-19 Vaccination Trip Reservation line at 613-842-3600. If Para Transpo is not available to you, you can request a ride to and from the clinic through Ottawa Community Transportation after you have booked your appointment. If you do not have online access, please contact 211. 

Next steps in vaccine roll-out 

Residents of all ages who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health websites and social media channels, and from your local news media to learn when they can receive their vaccine. They can also sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription for regular news on the vaccine roll-out.  

Visit ottawa.ca or OttawaPublicHealth.ca  for more information on Ottawa’s vaccination distribution plan.  

March 30

Dr. Etches’ recent statement from today’s media availability

Please find Dr. Etches’ recent statement from today’s media availability.  

I want to thank our hospital partners for joining us today to share this important message.

My counterparts represent healthcare workers who have been at the front lines of the pandemic for 13 months. While hospital staff are resilient, resourceful and brave, they are also human. They are exhausted and we share the responsibility as a community to support one another to reduce the pressure on our healthcare system and keep it functioning for all of us, when we need it.

Ottawa Public Health continues to report daily new numbers in the triple digits when it comes to people testing positive for COVID-19. 117 today. 112 yesterday. 184 Monday. The rate has doubled in the last two weeks since we moved to Red-Control Zone of the provincial framework. That move has not turned the curve.

The rate of COVID per 100,000 people is 91.6. The Rt number is 1.2 and our per cent positivity is 5.9%. These are all well above the threshold for Red-Control and increasing. And as our hospital partners will tell you today, hospitalizations are once again on the rise as are the number of people in intensive care units.

Our healthcare system is stretched. Cases are rising, hospitalizations are increasing, the testing centres are maxed out, and our case management team is no longer able to contact trace as we have through previous surges. We are currently seeing an average of four high-risk contacts per individual who tests positive. And with 117 new positive results today, that means almost five hundred high-risk contacts today alone. OPH will continue to follow up with individuals who test positive for COVID-19, but we will be asking them to be responsible for notifying their close contacts.

The places COVID spreads the most continue to be private gatherings such as parties, barbecues and after-work get-togethers and team sports, even outdoors, where public health measures like physical distancing and mask wearing are not followed.

The variants of concern are taking over in the wastewater, having grown from 10 per cent on March 20 to 50 per cent of all the COVID detected on March 25. This demonstrates their higher rate of transmission compared to non-variant of concern COVID-19 types.

While we are seeing transmission among all age groups, the majority of transmission is still occurring in the 20 to 39 age group. This age group will not be protected by vaccine for months. Younger people are showing up in the hospital. And earlier this week, the community lost someone in their 40s to COVID-19.

This needs to be very clear: COVID-19 affects all of us and this virus does not discriminate. COVID-19 is everywhere.

While OPH and partners are focused on working in areas with higher rates of COVID-19 and reaching younger people, the virus is present in all types of settings across the city.

At times we feel safer with close friends or family. We wrongfully equate not wearing a mask with trusting one another. Some people may still be observing a “bubble” with others, but with variants of concern, asymptomatic transmission, and numbers as high as they are – now is not a time to feel safe and let down our guard around others outside of our immediate household.

We have always said that our individual actions matter. We have encouraged residents to be vigilant, check your blind spots and adjust your behaviours. And for so long, you have done that. So, to call our current situation disheartening, after all the work residents have put in, would be a gross understatement. We are seeing what we feared; the vaccine hasn’t arrived in time to outpace the growth of COVID in the community. We are at a point we have never seen before during this pandemic.

If we do not get the levels of COVID-19 back under control, we will see stronger lockdowns like we’ve seen in other countries around the world, and for longer. We will see more businesses suffer. We will see our health care system once again become overwhelmed. We will see people in hospital hallways on stretchers. Health care workers won’t be able to come into work because their children are waiting for a COVID test result. We are already tapping into an exhausted health care sector and we only have so many trained staff available to test, contact trace, vaccinate, and treat. We need them for more than just COVID. And they are all tired. We are all tired.

In addition to our own individual behaviours, further restrictions are needed in our city to manage the situation. These discussions are currently underway.

Until enough of the population is protected – and this will take months – we need to do more to stop the spread of COVID.

We need to take a pause on indoor gatherings and dining indoors with people outside our household. We need to take a pause on outdoor gatherings where people are coming into close contact with others, such as barbecues and contact sports.

This weekend is the Easter long weekend. Do not gather with people you don’t live with except for essential caregivers or if you live alone. Do not gather with friends or extended family indoors. Do not share meals. Do find new ways to celebrate. The signs of spring that are starting to show. Do get outside. Focus on outdoor activities where you can maintain distance from others you don’t live with, and wear a mask. But please understand that while outdoors reduces the risk of transmission, it does not remove the risk entirely.

Ottawa, we will see this through. I am optimistic about what the summer will bring. But we aren’t there yet. We aren’t there yet.

The higher the rate of COVID in the community now, the longer it will take for vaccines to make an impact. For the next few months, we need to keep up with these measures.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch.

You may watch the recording of the event at: https://www.youtube.com/ottawahealthsante/live

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ottawahealth/photos/a.172882482748379/3846989308670993/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OttawaHealth/status/1377361737112907777

March 29

All residents 70 and over can now book to receive a COVID-19 vaccination

Starting today, all Ottawa residents age 70 and over (born in or before 1951) can begin booking appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Residents age 70 and over citywide

Visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine to access the provincial booking system or call the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 am and 8 pm, seven days a week. Only book or call if you are eligible.

Appointments will be available at four community vaccination clinics:

  • Nepean Sportsplex
  • Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA
  • Eva James Memorial Community Centre
  • City Hall 

To enable physical distancing and to reduce the number of people in the clinic, please arrive for your vaccine no more than 10 minutes before your appointment time.

In addition to this information, those 70 years and older, living in priority neighborhoods (Vanier, Sandy Hill, Lowertown East) are still able to book their appointments via 613-691-5505. More information here:https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/covid-19-vaccine.aspx

Highlights of City Respite Centers in our Community between Friday, Monday, March 22 to Friday, March 26, 2021. 

St Paul’s Respite Centre:   

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  84 17 
Total service interactions 744 149 
Take away food  317 63 
Referrals 17 
Highlights:  Attendance is increasing. The highest attendance was on March 24th with 27 clients attending the Centre that day.  Staff were able to assist ‘Tara’, a regular client at the Centre, with finding housing the at Cornerstone Women’s shelter  

Bernard Grandmaître Respite Centre:

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  359 72 
Total service interactions 1,040 208 
Total Food and hot meals served 590 118 
Total showers 12 
Total washrooms 148 30 
Total Referrals  30 
Highlights:  The Clean Clothes Laundry Project was able to continue this week, due to a kind and a thoughtful donation from the member of the community.  One of our talented and creative partner staff ‘Cheri’ made a T-shirt for one of our regular clients at the Centre who had lost her dog last week and was devastated.  This kind gesture brought her to tears. She was surprised and touched by the heartwarming gift.  

One of the BG team members retired after 32 years with the City of Ottawa. COVID made it a strange time to retire. She was unable to invite past colleagues or have an official retirement party. The staff and clients were able to share a Ginger ale toast and celebrate her retirement day with her on her last day. She was very touched when the clients applauded her and thanked her for her years of service. She ended a long career with the City in this Respite Centre re-assignment. As passionate and enthusiastic about the role as she was when she started with the City back in 1989.    Cooking for a Cause and the Parkdale Food Centre helped host a tasty and healthy fruit kabob making workshop on Wednesday.

Coming up this week; Art with the talented Cheri on Monday and Gentle Yoga with Jen on Wednesday. 

March 26

This week, the Province released additional guidance on the prioritization of Phase 2 populations for vaccination. Phase 2 is planned to take place between April 2021 and July 2021 and will include the following groups:

  • Adults aged 60 to 79, in 5-year increments

  • High-risk congregate settings  

  • Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers

  • Those who cannot work from home (OCH) 

  • At-risk populations

Planning is ongoing for Ottawa’s Phase 2 vaccination rollout in accordance with the Province’s three-phase plan.

Dr. Etches’ March 24th Statement 

A statement from Dr. Etches is available on the following link: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/novel-coronavirus.aspx#March-24-2021–Special-statement-from-Dr-Vera-Etches.  

Upcoming and Recent Town Halls 

March 23, 2021: This past Tuesday, the Ottawa Disability Coalition, Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa Accessibility Office held the first People with Disabilities COVID-19 Forum. The event was well attended with 450 people registered.  

The recording of the event is available below in both official languages: 

·         English: https://youtu.be/QhqoSwTPr9E 

·         French: https://youtu.be/QhqoSwTPr9E 

March 26, 2021: This Friday an information presentation on “COVID-19 Vaccine 101” will be held from 5:00-6:00pm. The presentation will be held via ZOOM in Arabic, Somali, English, and French.   

The ZOOM log-in is as follows: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89575527816?pwd=dHcrRjVGcTlucGkyOTIxZTZGZmgzQT09  

March 27, 2021: This Saturday, a “Let’s Talk About COVID-19” information session will be held for members of the Black community from 10:00am-12:00pm. 

The session will include a panel discussion, with members of OPH staff and several medical experts from the Black community, to discuss and share with residents where they can find information and access to resources.  

Registration information is available at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lets-talk-covid-19-and-our-community-tickets-141024258353  

Upcoming Town Hall:

April 4, 2021 – On Sunday, April 4th, 2021 from 3:00pm-5:00pm, a Town Hall is scheduled to take place for the Somali speaking community, which will aim to address concerns around the COVID-19 vaccine.  

A team of health professionals will be in attendance to help answer questions about the vaccines and provide accurate, balanced, and verified information to help residents make informed decisions for themselves and their families. 

The topics that will be discussed at the Town Hall include: 

·         The safety and efficacy of the vaccines; 

·         The halal status of vaccines; 

·         The vaccine rollout timeline for our city; and 

·         The registration process and priority groups. 

The Town Hall will be hosted by Ottawa Public Health and facilitated in Somali mainly, with English and French language capacity available. This Town Hall is free and open to all members of the Somali community, who can find registration details here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/faalo-ku-saabsan-talaal-ka-covid-19-vaccines-and-our-community-tickets-147887021061.  

Reminder to Be COVID-Kind 

OPH is reminding members of the community to continue being COVID-Kind, especially towards frontline essential workers who are doing their best to serve our community and support the health and well-being of Ottawa residents. Some of these frontline essential workers include the Case Managers at OPH who are responsible for answering phone calls and providing residents with the information they need to help prevent further COVID-19 transmission in our community. To help support Case Managers and remind the community of the importance around being COVID-Kind, OPH has developed the following posts that Members of Council might consider sharing through your social media channels – please feel free to adjust! 

OPH is reminding members of the community to continue being COVID-Kind, especially towards frontline essential workers who are doing their best to serve our community and support the health and well-being of Ottawa residents. Some of these frontline essential workers include the Case Managers at OPH who are responsible for answering phone calls and providing residents with the information they need to help prevent further COVID-19 transmission in our community. To help support Case Managers and remind the community of the importance around being COVID-Kind, OPH has developed the following posts that Members of Council might consider sharing through your social media channels – please feel free to adjust! 

Easter and Ramadan  

This year, the festivities of Easter and Ramadan will once again look and feel different. While some people are more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, we are all susceptible to infection with COVID-19 and spreading it to others.  When deciding how to celebrate, everyone is reminded to assess their own level of risk and the health of every person in their household. If anyone in your household is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, everyone should choose lower risk activities to keep them safe.   

Below are some reminders OPH is asking residents to keep in mind when planning their holiday celebrations this Spring:  

  •  Indoor gatherings are now limited to five people.  
  • Outdoor public events and social gatherings are limited to 25 people.  
  • Outdoor events still require masks and appropriate social distancing. 
  • Be Social WISE and always have your mask and hand sanitizer with you. 
  • Limit gatherings to those within your household.  
  • Plan a virtual or outdoor social activity maintaining a 2-meter distance apart.   
  • Order food from local businesses and/or restaurants.  
  • Share your family traditions through social media and tell us what makes it special for you! 
  • Try creating new traditions, like a virtual Easter egg hunt with friends and family. 
  • If using public transportation, a taxi, Uber or rideshare, make sure to follow the guidelines to keep safe. 
  • Give the gift of safety, if visiting friends and family, by doing a drive-by or dropping off gifts and treats. 

Community Events 

OPH advises anyone planning an event to follow the Province of Ontario’s current COVID-19 Response Framework. As of today, Ottawa falls under the Province’s “Red-Control” category. Under the Red-Control category, limits for all organized public events and social gatherings, where physical distancing can be maintained, are as follows: 

·         5 people indoors 

·         25 people outdoors 

Please note that the City of Ottawa is subject to a change in framework status at any time, and that the current gathering limits applied may change. We would encourage event organizers to continue to visit the Province’s COVID-19 Measures by Region webpage for the most up-to-date information for gathering limits in Ottawa leading up to their event. 

Where activities are being planned, it is important that participants adhere to public health measures to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 in our community. That means being COVIDwise:      

W – Wear a mask or face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of two metres (six feet).     

I – Isolate yourself from others when you are sick. This means NOT attending any events or gatherings and getting tested promptly if you have COVID-like symptoms.     

S – Stay two metres (six feet) apart from those outside your own household.     

– Exercise proper hand hygiene; wash your hands regularly or use sanitizer, especially before touching your face.   

Ressources Available for the Community:

·         OPH Business Toolkit: https://ottawa.ca/en/business/economic-support-and-recovery/business-reopening-toolkit (includes specific guidance for hosting events, including signage) 

·         COVID-19 Workplaces Business Page: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/covid-19-information-for-workplaces.aspx 

·         Provincial and City Rules: https://ottawa.ca/en/health-and-public-safety/covid-19-ottawa/provincial-and-city-rules (to ensure the event meets the current level of framework restrictions, organizers might consider reviewing this resource) 

·         COVID-19 Guidance for Indoor & Outdoor Special Events: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/resources/Documents/Special-Events_Operational-Guidance_eng.pdf  

·         Workplace COVID-19 Measures Checklist: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/resources/Documents/Workplace-COVID-19-Measures-Checklist_EN.pdf 

March 22

Attention All Residents Age 75+: Book Now to Receive a COVID-19 Vaccination

On Friday, the Province of Ontario expanded the eligibility of the provincial booking tool. Starting today, residents who are age 75 and over (born in or before 1946) living anywhere in Ottawa can visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine to make a vaccine appointment through the provincial booking system or call the provincial booking line at 1-833-943-3900.

Pop-up clinics in high-priority neighbourhoods

Additional pop-up clinics will also continue to operate in the previously identified high-priority neighbourhoods. Eligible residents can call 613-691-5505 to book an appointment.

Confirming your eligibility

To confirm your eligibility visit: Ottawa Public Health’s  COVID-19 vaccine eligibility screening tool

If you are unable to book an appointment when your eligibility is first announced, you can still receive the vaccine at a later date.

Vaccinations for Indigenous community members

First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members age 40 and over are now eligible to book an appointment at the St-Laurent Complex through the partnership between Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health. Community members can call 613-691-5505 to book an appointment.

Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team is providing vaccinations for all Inuit adults. For additional information or to book an appointment, call 613-740-0999.

We continue to encourage people who are not yet eligible for a vaccine to avoid calling the booking line in order to keep call volumes to a manageable level. Residents can check their eligibility using OPH’s COVID-19 vaccine eligibility screening tool. We also continue to advise residents that walk-ins will not be accepted. This includes walk-ins from residents who show up at the end of the day hoping to receive one of the left over doses of vaccines. Thank you for your support in sharing this message.

The high-priority neighbourhood schedule for our community is as follows:

Wednesday, March 24 Overbrook Community Centre and Pat Clark Community Centre

Thursday, March 25 Overbrook Community Centre and Mary-Pitt Centre

Friday, March 26 Overbrook Community Centre and Canterbury Recreation Complex

Saturday, March 27 AMA and Centre Pauline-Charron

Thursday, April 1 Centre Pauline-Charron

Things to Consider

The following people should consult their healthcare provider to discuss vaccination before their appointment and will be required to verbally attest that they have done so:   

  • Pregnant individuals
  • Those receiving stem cell therapy, CAR-T therapy, chemotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and other targeted agents

Want more information?

Residents who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to follow announcements from the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health. We also recommend signing up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription.

March 20

Update from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

On Monday, the province launched its booking system and customer service desk. To date, more than 20,000 Ottawa residents 80 years of age and older have booked first and second dose appointments through the new platforms. 

In addition, on Wednesday, the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) stood up an additional community vaccination clinic at the Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA, with two more clinics scheduled to open on Tuesday, March 23rd at Ottawa City Hall and the Eva James Memorial Community Centre in Kanata. Complimentary parking is available to clients attending the clinics at City Hall.

More than 3,700 individuals have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a community vaccination clinic in the last week. This is not including ongoing vaccinations of retirement home residents, ‘very high’ priority health care workers, Indigenous adults (40+), older adults (80+) and adult recipients of chronic homecare in high-priority neighbourhoods and individuals residing in other congregate care settings for seniors, including shelters. To date, more than 88,000 doses of vaccines have been administered locally – with more than 17,000 last week alone.

Ottawa is expected to complete second dose offers of COVID-19 vaccines to eligible residents at all 82 retirement homes in the city by the end of day tomorrow. This milestone has been reached through the efforts of Mobile Vaccination Teams, comprised of staff from the Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Public Health, The Ottawa Hospital, the Queensway-Carleton Hospital, Ottawa Inner City Health, community physicians and the retirement facilities.

As announced by the province earlier today, beginning on Monday, March 22nd, residents 75 years of age and older will be eligible to book an appointment at a community clinic. In addition, participating pharmacies and primary care settings will offer vaccination appointments to residents 60 years of age and over. Details on locations and the application process for pharmacy participation will be shared by the province in the coming days.

The EOC has also updated its FAQs respecting COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The updated document is attached and indicates where information has been updated since March 12th, when this resource was last circulated to Members of Council. This new information will be posted on ottawa.ca shortly.

Finally, as announced by the province yesterday, Ottawa has moved into Red-Control status due to the number of COVID-19 cases currently in our city. With the transition to Red-Control status, some of the City’s Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services programming will be impacted due to capacity restrictions and physical distancing requirements; however, the change in status will not impact the City’s current in-person counter service operations. For more details on the specific impacts, please visit ottawa.ca.

The EOC will continue to provide you with regular updates on the progress of vaccination efforts. Additional information on vaccination clinics for the week of March 22nd will be shared on Tuesday.

March 18

OPH Update

Many have expressed that the quantity of vaccine that has been available to immunize people in Ottawa has felt frustratingly low, and I am now encouraged that the supplies in recent weeks have allowed us to make progress in protecting older adults and others at higher risk of hospitalization and death in the community. 

I am thankful to the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team for their hard work and partnership to help protect people who are at most risk of COVID-19. On average, Indigenous peoples are more severely affected by respiratory-type diseases like COVID-19 and have a life expectancy lower than for non-Indigenous Canadians, which is related to lower income, racism and discrimination and other social determinants of health. 

To date, more than 2,500 people have received vaccine at Ottawa’s clinics for First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members.   

Ottawa’s first community pop-up clinics for adults 80 years old and above in neighbourhoods with higher rates of COVID-19 opened two weeks ago, Ottawa’s first community vaccination clinic at the Nepean Sportsplex opened for all adults 90 years old and above last week, and this week marks the opening of community vaccine clinics available for all adults 80 years and over in Ottawa. At this point, 12,785 people over 80 have received a COVID-19 vaccine. 

I’m seeing the hope older adults and their families are feeling as the prospect of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 has become a tangible reality. I’m hearing of the relief people booking appointments for their parents, grandparents and loved ones are expressing. I am encouraged to see community members helping one another with booking and transportation for those who are currently eligible. While many are anxious about when their turn will come, the answer is “within weeks” vs. “months” for many people. More detail will come from the province about the Phase 2 rollout. 

Improved access to vaccine with increasing supply has also extended to the healthcare workers who protect people at greater risk of severe outcomes. Since the launch of the pre-registration online tool for healthcare workers in the provincial categories of “highest priority” and “very high priority”, 11,000 people have provided their information, which is now being used to provide an orderly booking of this population. 

I am also happy to announce that on Tuesday, March 23 from 10:30 am to noon, the Ottawa Disability Coalition, Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa Accessibility Office will host a virtual COVID-19 Vaccination Forum for People with Disabilities. This virtual event is open to all residents, with a focus on people with disabilities and caregivers.  Residents can register for the event by clicking on one of the links below from OPH and the City’s Twitter/Facebook accounts. Members of Council are encouraged to share these links with community members and within your respective channels.  

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ottawahealth/photos/a.172882482748379/3804469516256306/ 

Twitter:https://twitter.com/OttawaHealth/status/1371880206185725952 

OPH is working with diverse community partners to promote vaccine uptake and increase vaccine confidence, to understand ways to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to populations and communities disproportionately impacted, such as the Black community, and to clearly communicate how, when and where to access vaccine clinics. 

Every day we get a little bit closer to providing vaccine protection to everyone who wants one in Ottawa. But as we all know, we are not quite there yet. In the meantime, we must all continue to follow the public health measures in place including maintaining physical distancing from those you don’t live with, wearing a mask, washing your hands, and staying home if you’re sick except to get tested. 

Ottawa has passedthe thresholds for being in the “red” zone of the provincial framework used to implement measures to control COVID-19 spread. 

The rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 has been above 40/100,000 for four consecutive days and the percent testing positive is now 2.5%. This means we have had too many situations where transmission has occurred due to people being in close contact without a mask. We now expect that the provincial restrictions in the red zone, such as restaurant occupancy of 10 people indoors and the closure of indoor cinemas, will apply within the next week

It can’t be said enough how adaptable and resilient the people of Ottawa are. I know we have what it takes to keep COVID-19 levels manageable if we maintain the protective behaviours that we have been practicing for more than a year now.  

The warmer weather in Ottawa is certainly encouraging all of us to get outside more, which is especially important for taking care of our physical and mental health. Whether it’s going to the park or walking your dog, please keep COVID-19 safety in mind by limiting your contacts to those in your household and maintaining a 2-meter distance from others while enjoying the sunshine! 

Red-Control status mostly impacts capacities for City’s indoor recreation services

Ottawa – As Ottawa transitions to the provincial Red-Control status, the City will continue to offer many of the same recreation services with reduced capacities. The City’s counter service operations will remain unchanged from the previous status. 

Impacted City recreation activities

Three metres of physical distancing will continue to be required in weight and cardio rooms. Public skating, fitness and sport activities by reservation will continue with the reduced 10-person capacity. Swimming pool capacities continue to be significantly reduced to support physical distancing between swimmers.

In addition, this more restrictive status does not permit the playing of team sports or scrimmages and only training activities are permitted. As a result, team sporting activities, like volleyball, hockey, and basketball, will be limited to training and drills, while respecting physical distancing. Sports that allow for physical distancing and involve doubles play only, like pickleball and badminton, will be permitted.

Public swimming, lane swims and select fitness activities continue

Make a reservation up to two days in advance for swimming, weight and cardio rooms and select sport activities. Visit ottawa.ca/recreation to view schedules and activity offerings at facilities that are open.

Outdoor refrigerated rinks – weather permitting

Skating on the outdoor refrigerated rinks will continue by reservation only, with a maximum capacity of 25 skaters per session. 

Cultural programs continue 

Select cultural programs continue to run by reservation only at Nepean Visual Arts Centre and Shenkman Arts Centre with the reduced 10-person capacity.

Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery continue to operate with reduced hours and physical distancing measures in place. Corridor 45|75 at Rideau Station is open daily.

Facility rentals – new capacity restrictions

Select City rental spaces will be available to accommodate up to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, provided the space allows for adequate physical distancing of at least two metres.

In-person counter services continue

The City’s by-appointment counter services will remain unchanged from the previous provincial framework status. These services include:

  • Service Ottawa Client Service Centres and Building Code Service counters at City Hall and Ben Franklin Place
  • The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue
  • The City’s Central Archives’ Reference Room at the James K. Bartleman Centre, located at 100 Tallwood Drive

Employment and Social Services and Rent Supplement Program offices provide in-person service by appointment only and counter services are available between 9 am and 3 pm.

Ottawa Public Library branches 

Thirty-one of the Ottawa Public Library’s 33 branches are currently open. In addition to library material holds pickup and returns, 28 of those branches are offering in-person services, such as: browsing of the collection, use of public computers by appointment, reading suggestions, and card registration and renewals. Capacity is limited. 

Three branches are offering contactless holds pickup and returns. Visit BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca for the latest service updates, access to digital resources and requests for library items.

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

March 16

March 15

Highlights of City Respite Centers in our Community between Friday, Monday, March 8 to Friday, March 12, 2021.

Bernard Grandmaître Respite Centre:

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  321 64 
Total service interactions 1,048 210 
Total Food and hot meals served 700 140 
Total showers 
Total washrooms 136 27 
Referrals  13 
Highlights:  A client presented with a very bad infection in his arm. Staff collectively worked with the client to persuade him to go to the Emergency Room to have it examined. The client returned four-days later to thank the team for saving his life. He mentioned that the Doctor treating him said had he delayed another day longer, he would have lost his arm and possibly even died from blood poisoning.  Onsite Case Workers have been working with a regular client who expressed need for help with his triggers, including addictions and lack of housing. Staff were able to assist the client to be referred to addiction services within 2-days and he is now attending ongoing appointments. They were also able to secure him a room at the YMCA within 1-week. He checks in with the team regularly and continues to express his gratitude for feeling safe and able to confidently follow through on his treatment.  Staff are connecting clients who have expressed interest in being vaccinated with Ottawa Inner-City Health to initiate their referrals. Clients continue to enjoy and participate in the weekly Recreational activities.  This included an impromptu Friday afternoon dance party.  

   Mbombo, one of our Indigenous Youth Program Students, led the clients through an afternoon of tissue flower making. These bright colourful flowers will be hung around the Centre to remind us that Spring is on the way.   This week, clients can look forward to Art with Cheri on Monday and Amanda on Wednesday.     

St Paul’s Respite Centre:   

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  65 13 
Total service interactions 360 72 
Take away food (served at door) 126 25 
Referrals 
Highlights:  With the warmer weather this past week, clients preferred grabbing their coffee and lunch to-go and enjoying their meal outside in the sunshine.  We are continuing to work with the Respite team and our Community Partners to assist with outreach and client uptake at this site. Staff are connecting clients who have expressed interest in being vaccinated with Ottawa Inner-City Health to initiate their referrals. 

All residents 80 and older can now receive a COVID-19 vaccination

Beginning today, all Ottawa residents age 80 and over can begin booking appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. There are two options for booking, depending on where you live, so please consider the options carefully to determine which one is right for you.

Residents over 80 citywide

All Ottawa residents 80 and older (born in 1941 or earlier) regardless of where they live in the city can book an appointment through the Province of Ontario’s online booking system. This includes adults 90 and older who do not yet have an appointment booked. 

Visit Ottawapublichealth.ca to access the provincial booking system or call the information line at 1-888-999-6488 between 8 am and 8 pm, seven days a week.  Only book or call if you are eligible. 

Appointments will be available at four community vaccination clinics: 

  • Nepean Sportsplex (open)
  • Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA (opens Wednesday, March 17)
  • Eva James Memorial Community Centre (opens Tuesday, March 23)
  • City Hall (opens Tuesday, March 23)

To enable physical distancing and to reduce the number of people in the clinic, please arrive for your vaccine no more than 10 minutes before your appointment time.

Walk-ins will not be accepted, so please book your appointment in advance.

Residents over 80 in high-priority neighbourhoods

If you are 80 and older (born in 1941 or earlier) or an adult recipient of chronic home care, and you live in the following communities, you can call 613-691-5505 to book an appointment at a pop-up clinic location close to your neighbourhood.  For a list of clinic locations see Ottawa’s vaccine distribution

  • Britannia Village 
  • Carleton Heights – Rideauview 
  • Carlington
  • Sandy Hill  
  • Whitehaven – Queensway Terrace North 

Other groups were made eligible in previous weeks and remain eligible today. Please visit Ottawapublichealth.ca/COVID19vaccine to see if you belong to one of those groups or use Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Screening Tool to check your eligibility. 

Service providers can take your call between 7:30 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday, and 8:30 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday. 

We know that there is a high demand for these vaccines, so we expect very high call volume for these bookings.  When calling into the booking line, callers will be put into a queue where there is the potential for long wait times.  You may also select an option for a call back.

Confirm your eligibility

Please visit Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Screening Tool. If you are unable to book an appointment when your eligibility is first announced, you can still receive the vaccine at a later date.   

Transportation

Accommodations will be made for residents who need help with accessibility and all clinic locations are accessible. If you are a Para Transpo user, you can book your ride to the clinic through the COVID-19 Vaccination Trip Reservation line at 613-842-3600. If a transportation option is not available to you, you can request a ride to and from the clinic through Ottawa Community Transportation after you have booked your appointment. 

Preparing for an appointment

The following people need to consult their healthcare provider to discuss vaccination risks and benefits before their appointment and will be required to verbally attest that they have done so:    

  • Pregnant individuals 
  • Those receiving stem cell therapy, CAR-T therapy, chemotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and other targeted agents

It is also recommended that you do not receive another vaccine in the 14 days prior to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Next steps in vaccine roll-out

Residents of all ages who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health websites and social media channels, and from your local news media to learn when they can receive their vaccine. They can also sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update e-subscription for regular news on the vaccine roll-out. 

Please refer to Ontario’s vaccine distribution plan for details on other priority groups within Phase 1 of the plan. The provincial government will make vaccines available to additional groups in Phase 2 between April and July, including individuals with health conditions and people between the ages of 60 and 79. Vaccinations are expected to start for the oldest age group and decrease in five-year increments as vaccine supplies are available.
Visit ottawa.ca or OttawaPublicHealth.ca  for more information on Ottawa’s vaccination distribution plan.

March 12

Get COVID-19 Vaccine updates in your inbox

Ottawa – To make finding vaccine information a little easier, the City of Ottawa has created the COVID-19 Vaccine Update e-subscription. Sign up todayand you’ll receive the latest updates on vaccine distribution in the city, delivered to your inbox. It will also include a weekly roundup of COVID-19 and vaccine-related information every Friday.

All residents, even those who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, are encouraged to register for the e-subscription. It will keep you informed on:

  • who is eligible for the vaccine
  • where clinics are held
  • how and when you can schedule an appointment
  • the latest vaccine information

To sign up for the e-subscription, make sure you choose the first item: COVID-19 Vaccine Update. 

Alternatively, you can choose City News to receive information on all programs and services at the City of Ottawa, including COVID-19 and vaccination updates. If you have already signed up for City News, you do not need to sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Update. You will receive the same content through your City News e-subscription. Once you sign up, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription.

Visit the City’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution page for more information and check out our FAQs page for answers to questions frequently asked by residents.

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

An update from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)    

Today, the first community clinic opened at the Nepean Sportsplex for residents 90 years of age and older (born in or before 1931). Since Monday, more than 2,500 residents have booked an appointment at the Nepean Sportsplex clinic. The clinic is fully booked over the weekend. Bookings will resume on Monday with the launch of the provincial booking system. This is the first of seven community clinics that will open incrementally across the city in the coming weeks once our vaccine supply increases. 

In addition to the community clinics, pop-up clinics are now open to residents 80 years of age and older (born in or before 1941) as well as adult recipients of chronic home care that live in the high-priority neighbourhoods as listed on Ottawa.ca. The uptake of eligible residents receiving their vaccine through these clinics has exceeded our expectations with more than 6,300 appointments booked in the last week. Planning is underway to use the pop-up model in rural areas as well as other hard to reach areas. For more information on pop-up clinics, please refer to Ottawa.ca.             

Residents eligible to receive a vaccine at a pop-up clinic can call 613-691-5505 to make an appointment. The call-in booking system has been established to serve residents until a provincial online booking system is launched. Given the high call volumes, we are asking residents to confirm they are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by using Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Screening Tool before calling the booking line. 

Vaccination efforts also continue to focus on Indigenous older adults, retirement home residents (second doses), other congregate care settings for seniors and shelters. Vaccination of these groups is occurring simultaneously through multiple delivery agents, including mobile vaccination teams, the Ottawa Hospital clinic, the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team and Ottawa Inner City Health. 

In addition, the highest priority health care workers, as defined by the Province, have received first dose offers through the Ottawa Hospital clinic and focus is now on the ‘very high priority’ health care workers, according to the Provincial Guidance for Prioritizing Health Care Workers for COVID-19 Vaccination. All patient-facing healthcare workers, such as doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives, physiotherapists and any other healthcare worker working in a patient facing role as identified in the Provincial guidance, can now visit Ottawa Public Health’s website to pre-register for a vaccination appointment. We ask that health care workers do NOT contact the Ottawa Public Health phone line at this time as our agents are supporting the vaccine roll out to the older adult population. For more information health care workers can visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/hcwvaccine

Starting this week, Ottawa residents can sign up for the new COVID-19 Vaccination Updates e-subscription, which is available on the ottawa.ca e-subscription page. The vaccine-focused e-subscription will send the weekly public service announcement on the vaccine roll out and the weekly COVID-19 Roundup directly to the inbox of subscribers. If residents are already signed up for the City News newsfeed by email, they do not need to sign up as they are already receiving the updates. This will officially launch later today but please feel free to share with your residents. It is the best way for them to get the latest news on the vaccination roll out. 

Finally, the EOC has also updated its FAQs respecting COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The updated document is attached and indicates where information has been updated since March 5th, when this resource was last circulated to Members of Council. This new information will be posted on Ottawa.ca shortly. Please continue to refer to these FAQs, and those available on Ottawa Public Health’s website, to respond to resident inquiries. For any novel questions, please refer to the Councilor Liaison line at councillorliaisonduconseil@ottawa.ca, which monitors trends in questions to inform future iterations of the FAQs.       

The EOC made a commitment to open vaccination clinics as soon as we had more vaccine supply. We are delivering on this commitment. More than 71,500 doses have been administered locally to date and over 17,000 last week alone. For regularly updated information on vaccination statistics, please consult Ottawa Public Health’s dashboard.    

The EOC will continue to provide you with regular updates on the progress of vaccination efforts. Additional information on vaccination clinics for the week of March 15th will be shared on Monday. 

Vaccination bookings for residents 90 and over to resume on Monday, March 15

 COVID-19 vaccination appointments have been successfully booked for many Ottawa residents aged 90 and older this week.

Bookings for appointments at the Nepean Sportsplex began on Wednesday. All available appointments have been booked.

Additional appointments will be available on Monday, March 15 with the launch of the provincial booking system. Residents are advised to wait until then and not to call for appointments today or on the weekend.

Residents of all ages who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and OPH websites and social media channels, and from local news media, to learn when they can receive their vaccine. These are also the best way for residents to learn when the provincial booking system goes live on March 15.

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

March 10

COVID-19 vaccination updates for health care workers and residents 90 and older

Ottawa – Beginning today, two more groups of Ottawa residents can step forward to receive the COVID-19 vaccine: patient-facing health care workers who are classified as “very high priority” and people age 90 and older. The booking process for each of these groups is different.

If you are a patient-facing health care worker who is in the “very high priority” category, which includes most community-based doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, midwives and physiotherapists, you can visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca to pre-register for your vaccination appointment. You will be contacted with the details to get your appointment when it is your time in the vaccination sequencing. A definition of who is an  eligible patient-facing “very high priority” health care worker is available through the Province of Ontario.

If you are 90 or older (born in 1931 or earlier) you can call 613-691-5505 to book an appointment. Service providers can take your call between 7:30 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday, and 8:30 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday. Service is available in multiple languages.  Appointments will take place starting Friday, March 12 at the Nepean Sportsplex community vaccination clinic.

The call-in booking system has been put in place to serve residents until a provincial online booking system is launched next week. We know that there is a high demand for these vaccines, so we expect very high call volume for these bookings. 

When calling into the booking line, callers will be put into a queue where there is the potential for long wait times.   

Only eligible residents should call the COVID-19 vaccine booking phone line to make an appointment. Please help us keep phone lines open for those who are eligible to receive a vaccine. Please do not call 3-1-1 or the general Ottawa Public Health phone line, as appointments cannot be booked on these lines.

Walk-ins will not be accepted, so please call in advance to book your appointment.

To enable physical distancing and to reduce the number of people in the clinic, please arrive for your vaccine no more than 10 minutes before your appointment time.

In addition, more community vaccination clinics will open across the city after a provincial booking system is put into place and vaccine supply increases. Eligible residents will also be able to book at these locations at that time, so there will be many more opportunities to book an appointment. More information on the clinics and how to book will be available next week.

The Province of Ontario recently changed the interval between the first and second dose of all vaccines. The second dose will now be given 16 weeks after the first dose. If you already have an appointment booked for your second dose, you will be contacted to reschedule. Exemptions include residents of long-term care homes and retirement homes and remote and isolated First Nation communities. 

Confirm your eligibility

For non-healthcare workers, to confirm that you are eligible for vaccination, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Screening Tool. Residents who were eligible in previous weeks remain eligible today and throughout the citywide vaccination process. If you are unable to book an appointment when your eligibility is first announced, you can still receive the vaccine at a later date.  

Transportation

Accommodations will be made for residents who need help with accessibility and all clinic locations are accessible. If you are a Para Transpo user, you can book your ride to the pop-up clinic through the COVID-19 Vaccination Trip Reservation line at 613-842-3600. If a transportation option is not available to you, you can request a ride to and from the clinic when you book your vaccine appointment.

Preparing for an appointment

The following people need to consult their healthcare provider to discuss vaccination risks and benefits before their appointment and will be required to verbally attest that they have done so:   

  • Pregnant individuals 
  • Those receiving stem cell therapy, CAR-T therapy, chemotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and other targeted agents

It is also recommended that you do not receive another vaccine in the 14 days prior to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Next steps in vaccine roll-out

Residents of all ages who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and OPH websites and social media channels, and from your local news media to learn when they can receive their vaccine. They can also sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update email newsletter for regular news on the vaccine roll-out. 

Please refer to Ontario’s vaccine distribution plan for details on other priority groups within Phase 1 of the plan. The provincial government will make vaccines available to additional groups in Phase 2 between April and July, including individuals with health conditions and people between the ages of 60 and 79. Vaccinations are expected to start for the oldest age group and decrease in five-year increments as vaccine supplies are available.

Visit ottawa.ca for more information on the City’s vaccination distribution plan. 

Please reserve COVID-19 vaccine booking phone line for those who are eligible

Ottawa – The phone line for eligible residents to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments is experiencing a significant call volume at this time. 

To confirm that you are eligible for vaccination, please see the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Screening Tool . 

Only eligible residents should call the COVID-19 vaccine booking phone line (613-691-5505) to make an appointment. Please help us keep phone lines open for those who are eligible to receive a vaccine. Please do not call 3-1-1 or the general Ottawa Public Health phone line, as appointments cannot be booked on these lines. 

Only residents who were born in or before 1941, or who are adult recipients of chronic home care, and who live in the following communities are eligible to book an appointment to receive their vaccine through a pop-up clinic. The boundaries of the neighbourhoods, as classified by the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (ONS), can be viewed on ONS Neighbourhood Maps website. We appreciate that in some situations these boundaries may not align with a perceived boundary in the community; however, in the need of having standard boundaries, we will be following the ONS boundaries.

  • Bayshore-Belltown
  • Carson Groves-Carson Meadows
  • Greenboro East
  • Hawthorne Meadows
  • Hunt Club East – Western Community
  • Hunt Club Park
  • Lowertown
  • Manor Park
  • Overbrook-McArthur
  • Parkwood Hills
  • Sheffield Glen
  • Stewart Farm
  • Vanier North
  • Vanier South 
  • Emerald Woods 
  • Heatherington 
  • Ledbury
  • Heron Gate

Walk-ins will not be accepted, so please call in advance to book your appointment.

Residents 90 and older

Starting Wednesday, March 10, Ottawa residents 90 and older (born in or before 1931) living anywhere in Ottawa will be able to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination.  

Patient-facing health care workers

Starting Wednesday, March 10, patient-facing health care workers (doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, midwives, physiotherapists, etc.) in the ‘very high priority’ category will be able to visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca to pre-register for a vaccination appointment. They will get an email with the details of their appointment when it is their time in the vaccination sequencing.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations

First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members who are aged 50 and older are currently eligible for vaccination. 

Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team is providing vaccinations for Inuit. To book an appointment or for more information, call 613-740-0999.

Ottawa Public Health is partnering with Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health to provide a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members aged 50 and older at the St-Laurent Complex, located at 525 Côté Street.

For more information, please visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/IndigenousVaccine.

More community vaccination clinics will open across the city after a provincial booking system is put into place and vaccine supply increases. Eligible residents will also be able to book at these locations at that time. More information on the clinics and how to book will be available next week.

Please visit ottawa.ca for more information on the City’s vaccination distribution plan. 

March 8

Are you a senior living in Lowertown or Vanier? You may be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine appointment. More info below:

Vaccines will be available to more Ottawa residents this week

Ottawa – Bookings will be available for COVID-19 vaccinations for more Ottawa residents today, and for more residents starting Wednesday, March 10.

Starting today, Monday, March 8, residents who were born in or before 1941, or who are adult recipients of chronic home care, and who live in the following communities are eligible to book an appointment to receive their vaccine through a pop-up clinic. Appointments will take place starting Friday, March 12:

  • Bayshore-Belltown
  • Carson Groves-Carson Meadows
  • Greenboro East
  • Hawthorne Meadows
  • Hunt Club East – Western Community
  • Hunt Club Park
  • Lowertown
  • Manor Park
  • Overbrook-McArthur
  • Parkwood Hills
  • Sheffield Glen
  • Stewart Farm
  • Vanier North
  • Vanier South 

Pop-up clinics will operate in these locations. Dates and times will be confirmed when you make your appointment.

  • Albion-Heatherington Recreation Centre, 1560 Heatherington Road 
  • AMA Community Centre, 1216 Hunt Club Road 
  • Canterbury Recreation Complex, 2185 Arch Street
  • Centre Pauline-Charron, 164 Jeanne Mance St 
  • Emerald Plaza Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, 1547 Merivale Road 
  • Greenboro Community Centre, 363 Lorry Greenberg Drive 
  • Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
  • Overbrook Community Centre, 33 Quill Street 
  • Pat Clark Community Centre, 4355 Halmont Drive 
  • Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, 102 Greenview Avenue 
  • St-Laurent Complex, 525 Côté Street 
  • Sawmill Creek Pool and Community Centre, 3380 D’Aoust Avenue 

Residents 90 and older

Starting Wednesday, March 10, Ottawa residents 90 and older (born in or before 1931) living anywhere in Ottawa will be able to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination.  Appointments will take place starting Friday, March 12 at the Nepean Sportsplex community vaccination clinic. 

Patient-facing health care workers

Starting Wednesday, March 10, patient-facing health care workers (doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, midwives, physiotherapists, etc.) will be able to visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca to pre-register for a vaccination appointment. They will get an email with the details of their appointment when it is their time in the vaccination sequencing.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations

First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members who are aged 50 and older are currently eligible for vaccination. Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team is providing vaccinations for Inuit. To book an appointment or for more information, call 613-740-0999.

Ottawa Public Health is partnering with Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health to provide a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members aged 50 and older at the St-Laurent Complex, located at 525 Côté Street. 

For more information, please visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/IndigenousVaccine

Confirm your eligibility

To confirm that you are eligible for vaccination, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Screening Tool. Residents who were eligible in previous weeks remain eligible today and throughout the Citywide vaccination process. If you are unable to book an appointment when your eligibility is first announced, you can still receive the vaccine at a later date.  

Book your appointment

If you are eligible, please call 613-691-5505 to book your appointment. Service providers can take your call between 7:30 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday, and 8:30 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday. Service is available in multiple languages.  

We know that there is a high demand for these vaccines, so we expect very high call volume for these bookings. If you cannot reach a call agent, you can leave a message and someone will call you back to book an appointment. In addition, more community vaccination clinics will open across the city after a provincial booking system is put into place and vaccine supply increases. Eligible residents will also be able to book at these locations at that time. More information on the clinics and how to book will be available next week.

Walk-ins will not be accepted, so please call in advance to book your appointment.

We are asking residents who are not eligible for these clinics not to call this booking phone line, as it is only for eligible residents. Please help us keep phone lines open for those who are eligible to receive a vaccine. 

Bookings for Ottawa residents 90 and older will begin Wednesday, March 10. Residents are asked to not call the booking line before then as agents will not be able to book an appointment in advance of this.

Accommodations will be made for residents who need help with accessibility and all clinic locations are accessible. If you are a Para Transpo user, you can book your ride to the pop-up clinic through the COVID-19 Vaccination Trip Reservation line at 613-842-3600. If a transportation option is not available to you, you can request a ride to and from the clinic when you book your vaccine appointment.

Background

Due to the current limited supply of vaccine, those who are at the highest risk are being vaccinated first. Rates of COVID-19 in the neighbourhoods where residents are at highest risk of the virus are on average five times higher than in the rest of Ottawa. In some cases, they are 16 times higher. Risks for hospitalization and death are also higher. Limiting hospitalizations will help the whole community and protect our health care system.

Pending vaccine availability, vaccinations will be rolled out in the coming weeks to additional neighbourhoods where residents are at the greatest risk of COVID-19. 

Residents who have previously been identified as being eligible can also access the newly announced pop-up clinics. 

Residents of all ages who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and OPH websites and social media channels, and from your local news media to learn when they can receive their vaccine.

The Ontario government has identified adults aged 80 and older and adult recipients of chronic home care as priority groups to receive COVID-19 vaccinations during Phase 1 of the vaccine distribution plan. Please refer to Ontario’s vaccine distribution plan for details on other priority groups within Phase 1 of the plan. Caregivers, partners or roommates who were born after 1941 are not eligible at this time. 

The provincial government will make vaccines available to additional groups in Phase 2, including individuals with health conditions and people between the ages of 60 and 79. Vaccinations are expected to start for the oldest age group and decrease in five-year increments as vaccine supplies are available.

Visit ottawa.ca for more information on the City’s vaccination distribution plan. 

Bookings will soon be available for health care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine 

Ottawa – Ottawa Public Health is pleased to announce today that vaccine supplies will allow health care worker vaccination to proceed to the “very high priority” group starting in the next few days. This important milestone expands the vaccine distribution to this group of health care workers who have been vital in ensuring the health and safety of the people of Ottawa. 

Health care workers are being prioritized according to the Provincial Guidance for Prioritizing Health Care Workers for COVID-19 Vaccination

The “very high priority” category is broad and includes tens of thousands of health care workers in Ottawa in the following settings and roles:  

  • Birth centres  
  • Community-based specialists 
  • Death investigation professionals 
  • Dentistry 
  • Gynecology/obstetrics, midwifery 
  • Nurse practitioner led clinics/contract nursing agencies 
  • Otolaryngology (ear, nose, throat) 
  • Pharmacies 
  • Primary care 
  • Respirology (respiratory therapy) 
  • Walk-in clinics  

Due to the significant number of individuals eligible, Ottawa Public Health and the Ottawa Hospital clinic (currently the site of health care worker vaccination) are developing a broader system for health care workers to enable those in this category to register to be vaccinated in an orderly sequence.  

Online pre-registration portal  

On Wednesday, March 10 Ottawa Public Health will be launching an online pre-registration portal that will enable frontline health care workers in any of the above settings to register as a “very high priority” health care worker for vaccination. This information will be shared on Ottawa Public Health’s websiteTwitterFacebook and additional communication channels.

Where a health sector has been named, all frontline and patient-facing workers in that sector are included (e.g., custodial, security and reception staff). Where a non-health setting has been named, only workers providing a health service or direct patient care are included.

Non-regulated professionals as identified by the Province who are frontline, patient-facing staff at community-based health care provider offices can register as “very high priority” health care workers using the pre-registration portal. When contacted for appointment bookings, individuals will be informed of the requirement to bring an employee ID badge, pay stub or letter from their employer to confirm eligibility as a “very high priority” health care worker on the day of vaccination. 

Along with the online pre-registration portal, Ottawa Public Health will be reaching out to professional associations to expedite finding those who meet the “very high priority” category.  

The vaccines for health care workers build on the Province’s updated vaccination plan with expedited timelines. The anticipated improved timeliness of access to vaccines is due to the impending arrival of greater quantities of vaccine and the addition of Johnson and Johnson and AstraZenica vaccines being authorized for use in Canada. This updated plan will have a significant impact on Ottawa Public Health’s vaccine rollout plan over the coming weeks.  

Virtual town hall for health care workers 

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches and The Ottawa Hospital will be hosting a virtual town hall for health care workers on Tuesday, March 9 from 6pm to 7pm. The event will be live streamed on Ottawa Public Health’s YouTube and Facebook pages. 

Health care workers are encouraged to send their questions in advance to COVID19Vaccines@ottawa.ca. For additional information and future updates specific to health care workers, visit www.OttawaPublicHealth.ca/HCWvaccine

Highlights of City Respite Centers in our Community between Friday, February 26 to Friday, March 5, 2021. 

St Paul’s Respite Centre:   

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  17 
Total service interactions 228 46 
Take away food (served at door) 118 24 
Referrals 11 
Highlights:  Updated direction from OPH no longer requires staff to redirect clients back to the shelters that they have recently been staying.   Staff will be engaging with Community Partners on a ‘relaunch strategy’ to increase client uptake and promote site amenities and resources. 

March 5

This is an update from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).       

Today, the first pop-up vaccination clinic opened at the Albion-Heatherington Recreation Complex. Over the weekend and through subsequent pop-up clinics, the city’s most vulnerable residents living in the community will have access to COVID-19 vaccines. Additional pop-up clinics will be rolled out to the remaining high priority neighbourhoods in the coming weeks. More information on the next pop-up clinics will be shared on Monday, March 8th. For more information on pop-up clinics, please refer to Ottawa.ca            

In addition to the pop-up clinics, vaccination efforts continue to focus on the highest priority health care workers as defined by the Province, Indigenous older adults, retirement home residents (second doses), other congregate care settings for seniors and shelters. Vaccination of these groups is occurring simultaneously through multiple delivery agents, including mobile vaccination teams, The Ottawa Hospital Clinic, the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team and Ottawa Inner City Health. To date, more than 54,300 doses of vaccines have been administered locally. 

Members of Council have observed the continually evolving picture relating to vaccine distribution over the past few months. Last week, Health Canada approved the AstraZeneca vaccine. On Wednesday, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) issued new guidance advising that the window between doses for all three of the currently approved vaccines—Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca—can now be extended to four months, while still being effective. As always, the City operates in accordance with Provincial guidance. The Province is assessing the impact of these and other developments and the EOC is ready and prepared to respond to direction from the Province.  

The EOC has also updated its FAQs respecting COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The updated document is attached and indicates where information has been updated since February 11th, when this resource was last circulated to Members of Council. This new information will be posted on Ottawa.ca shortly. Please continue to refer to these FAQs, and those available on OPH’s website to respond to resident inquiries. For any novel questions, please refer to the Councilor Liaison line, which monitors trends in questions to inform future iterations of the FAQs.      

The EOC will continue to provide you with regular updates on the progress of vaccination efforts.  For regularly updated information on vaccination statistics, please consult Ottawa Public Health’s dashboard.       

March 4

Starting today, a new, temporary Para Transpo COVID-19 Vaccination Trip Reservation telephone line, at 613-842-3600, will be available to provide dedicated support to Para Transpo customers booking trips to get COVID-19 vaccinations at specific sites.

As Ottawa Public Health (OPH) continues the phased roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, now including adults 80 years of age and older, call volumes to the regular Para Transpo reservation line have begun to increase.

Using the new Para Transpo COVID-19 Vaccination Trip Reservation telephone service, customers will be able to book trips in advance by calling any day, seven days a week, between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. There will be an option to request a call back if all of our representatives are busy at the time the customer calls. This special line will help with wait times for all trip reservations by spreading and lowering call volumes throughout the day. Registered customers will also be encouraged to use the online booking system. We will also continue to accept calls for vaccination trips through the regular trip booking telephone line.

We ask customers to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination appointment with OPH before booking a trip on Para Transpo.

Residents making vaccination appointments through OPH will be asked if they require transportation support. If they are a registered Para Transpo customer or would qualify for Para Transpo service, they will be referred to the new number. Others may be directed to other community organizations that provide customized transportation service.

Para Transpo trips on taxis will continue to be limited to one customer per vehicle (plus a support person or companion) and trips on Para Transpo minibuses to three customers per vehicle.

Information regarding the new temporary Para Transpo COVID-19 Vaccination Trip Reservation telephone line will be posted on Twitter at @OC_Transpo and on www.octranspo.com.

March 3

The Province of Ontario has advised local public health units that shelter clients are now part of the Phase 1 vaccination efforts of the provincial rollout plan. The upcoming vaccination of shelter clients is significant news for people living and working in the shelters. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on Ottawa’s shelter system, with one- quarter of the clients, about 220 people, having tested positive for the virus since mid- January.

Individuals at six of the city’s single adult shelters experiencing outbreaks, will be offered vaccines by Ottawa Inner City Health mobile vaccination teams in partnership with Ottawa Public Health (OPH). The six shelters receiving first dose offers at this time include:

  • The Ottawa Mission
  • Shepherds of Good Hope
  • Salvation Army – Ottawa Booth Centre
  • Cornerstone Housing for Women
  • Physical Distancing Centre – Dempsey Community Centre
  • Physical Distancing Centre – 75 Nicholas StreetIn addition to these upcoming vaccination efforts, staff and local partners have worked tirelessly to support shelter clients during the pandemic. The City’s Human Needs Task Force established isolation space for people experiencing homelessness who have tested positive for COVID-19. Clients self-isolate voluntarily while helping to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The current temporary isolation centre, under the direction of Ottawa Inner City Health, is at 40 Cobourg Street and many individuals have completed successful isolation periods there.The City also established physical distancing centres to provide accommodation and to ease crowding in the shelters to better support physical distancing measures. The City has one physical distancing centre for men and women at 75 Nicholas Street, one for men at the Dempsey Community Centre, on Russell Road, and one operated by Cornerstone for Women at 240 Friel Street.

Additionally, the City has set up three respite centres which are temporary establishments, offering food, shelter, crisis intervention, Wi-Fi access and referral to health-care services. The respite centres, especially during extreme weather, also facilitate the safe transfer of residents to shelters for overnight. During the shelter outbreaks, one of the respite centres, Tom Brown, has been used as an overnight accommodation on an emergency basis.

Anyone who needs shelter should call the City, at 3-1-1, to make a request. A housing representative will refer the person or family to the best available option.

March 1

City’s spring recreation and culture eGuides now online

Ottawa – The Spring 2021 recreation and culture eGuides are now online offering COVID-modified aquatics, inclusive recreation programming and virtual courses for every interest and age. Aquatics registration is Monday, March 22 at 9 pm and registration for inclusive recreation and virtual programming is on Tuesday, March 23 at 9 pm.

Aquatics programming – registration on Monday, March 22 at 9 pm

Low-ratio Aquatics is one of the in-person COVID-modified programming options offered this spring in both English and French:

·                 Learn to Swim 

·                 Leadership and life-saving certifications

·                 Private lessons

·                 Inclusive recreation swim lessons

·                 Power Swim

·                 Aqua Fitness

To support physical distancing, it is important to note a parent or guardian is required to accompany younger children in the pool during instruction. City in-person programs and facilities have COVID-19 measures and protocols in place for staff and participant safety.  All programs will operate at reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing.

Virtual programming – registration on Tuesday, March 23 at 9 pm

In the comfort and convenience of home, spring onto your computer device to learn to strum a new note, heighten your palate to find a good merlot or chardonnay, cook a taste of Tuscany, discover your artistic side, or get your heart pumping. Courses, offered in French and English, include:

  • Fitness – yoga, prenatal yoga, Zumba, older adult exercise, cardio workouts, and martial arts
  • Culinary specialties – Taste of the World cooking and wine tasting 
  • Arts – crafts, painting, cartooning and animation
  • Language lessons – Spanish and French
  • Dance – hip hop, contemporary, jazz, belly dancing and ballet
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics LEGO® – junior introduction to robotics, engineering and electronics 
  • Music – guitar, ukulele

Registration is easy. Explore the eGuides to select the program that interests you and follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to ottawa.ca/recreation or ottawa.ca/virtualprograms and click on the guides.
  2. Click the relevant barcode – it will take you to join.ottawa.ca and the course page, with details about the number of spaces available, fees and dates. 
  3. Add the class to your cart and then proceed through the checkout. We’ll email you your receipt.

Follow Ottawa Recreation, Culture and Facilities Facebook page for all the latest news and information on our recreation and arts programs, activities and events.  

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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.   

Highlights of City of Ottawa Respite Centres in our community between Friday, February 19 to Thursday, February 25, 2021. 

St Paul’s Respite Centre:     

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  38 10 
Total service interactions 382 96 
Take away food (served at door) 197 49 
Referrals 
Highlights:  Average clients per day are still low due to re-directing clients as a result of the shelter outbreak.  One of the security guards spoke with and recommended a client to the HOPE program last December. The client returned this week, to thank the guard for pointing him in the right direction. 

Bernard Grandmaître Respite Centre:

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  290 73 
Total service interactions 894 224 
Total Food and hot meals served 487 122 
Total showers 10 
Total washrooms 131 33 
Highlights:  Clean Clothes Pilot seeking community donations for continued access. If anyone is interested in supporting this initiative, please contact the Centre at 613 806-7291  

Emma Weller is a local university student who learned to sew “winter bundles” for people experiencing homelessness.  Emma reached out to Bernard Grandmaître this week and dropped off 50 packages for our clients. Included in the packages were two water bottles, hand-warmers, wipes for like sanitation with COVID, tissues, socks, two pieces like granola bars, a piece of fruit and the sewn bindle bag. https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-university-student-learns-to-sew-winter-bundles-for-people-experiencing-homelessness-1.5265669 

Staff engaged the clientele with a fun afternoon of BINGO  

February 25

Update – Emergency Operations Centre

Ottawa has completed first dose offers of COVID-19 vaccines to eligible residents at all 82 retirement homes in the city.  

Vaccination efforts continue to focus on the highest priority health care workers as defined by the Province, Indigenous older adults, and other congregate care settings for seniors. Vaccination of these groups is occurring simultaneously through multiple delivery agents, including mobile vaccination teams, The Ottawa Hospital Clinic, the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team.  

As advised at Council, staff are also preparing up to seven community clinic locations. Attached are photos of the clinic sites at the St-Laurent Complex as well as Nepean Sportsplex. On Monday, March 1st, OPH in partnership with Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health will begin operating out of the St-Laurent Complex to continue their ongoing vaccination efforts. This will provide additional space for service delivery. The City and OPH will be assisting in the promotion of this clinic. It is important to note that the EOC’s community clinics are not yet open but can be stood up within 72 hours in the event large amounts of vaccines become available.  

Additionally, staff are working to establish pop-up clinics in communities experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 transmission. The first of these pop-up clinic locations will open on Friday, March 5th to residents born in or before 1941 as well as residents receiving chronic home care that are living in specific high-risk communities. Booking for next week’s clinics has not yet begun. Residents should not call OPH or 3-1-1 to book their appointments. Additional information on these pop-up clinics, including the initial locations, hours of operation, and booking information will be available on Monday, March 1st.  

The EOC will continue to provide you with regular updates on the progress of vaccination efforts. More than 49,000 doses of vaccines have been administered locally. For regularly updated information on vaccination statistics, please consult Ottawa Public Health’s dashboard.       

February 24

Below are two presentations from the City and Ottawa Public Health regarding vaccine distribution and the City’s pandemic response. Key information about where and when certain populations will have access to the vaccine is included. 

Of importance: 7 community clinics will be opening as vaccine supply increases. In our community, we will see Ottawa City Hall and St. Laurent Complex which is welcome news to ensure easy access via transit, walking and cycling.

More information here: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/covid-19-vaccine.aspx

February 23

Ottawa is expected to complete first dose offers of COVID-19 vaccines to eligible residents at all retirement homes in the city by the end of today.

This milestone has been reached through the efforts of Mobile Vaccination Teams, comprised of staff from the Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Public Health, The Ottawa Hospital, the Queensway-Carleton Hospital, Ottawa Inner City Health, community physicians and the retirement facilities. This was truly an inspiring team effort. 

In all, residents of 82 retirement homes have received first dose offers of vaccines in Ottawa. The vaccinations began with the high-risk homes, which are homes with a memory care unit, homes that are co-located with a long-term care facility, or homes that were identified as vulnerable due to other available information. Vaccination of the 37 higher-risk retirement homes began on February 7th and followed the provincial ethical framework for COVID-19 vaccination.

February 22

Sharing the highlights of City Respite Centres in our Community between Friday, February 12 to Thursday, February 18, 2021:

 Bernard Grandmaître Respite Centre:

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  373 75 
Total service interactions 1216 243 
Total food and hot meals served 655 131 
Total showers 17 
Total washrooms 243 75 
Total referrals  19 
Highlights:  The Indigenous Youth Employment Program has partnered with Wabano and the City of Ottawa: Two youth have begun their placements at Bernard Grandmaître. They are supporting the team with food service, welcoming and interacting with clients to support their needs and making great connections with the staff and their local Community. Seeking donations and support to continue the Clean Clothes Laundry Pilot with Hartwood Laundry Co-op.  

St Paul’s Respite Centre:

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients 48 10 
Total service interactions 374 75 
Take away food (served at door) 168 34 
Total referrals 17 
Clients re-directed 120 24 
 Highlights:   A client who was living rough, arrived after spending the night outside very anxious and cold, a case worker sat with the client and was able to secure them a bed at the new nearby Nicholas St Physical Distancing Center. Attendance is beginning to increase again since the outbreak at the nearby shelters. This past Friday, Feb 18th, the St. Paul’s Respite Centre hosted 17 guests.

February 16

Sharing the highlights of City of Ottawa Respite Centres between Friday, February 5 to Thursday, February 11, 2021. 

 Bernard Grandmaître Respite Centre:

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  360 72 
Total service interactions 1000 200 
Total food and hot meals served 560 112 
Total showers 12 
Total washrooms 127 25 
Total referrals  18 
Highlights:  Clean Clothes Pilot continued to be successful by supporting 2 clients this week OPH conducted surveillance testing on Thursday, February 12. A client who visited Bernard Grandmaître tested positive and is currently in self-isolation at home. Based on advice from OPH, Bernard Grandmaître Respite Centres continue to remain open and are still accepting clients. OPH will be continuing surveillance testing on-site and be monitoring the situation

St Paul’s Respite Centre:

Area Weekly Total Average per day 
Total clients  50 10 
Total service interactions 326 65 
Take away food (served at door) 172 35 
Total referrals          17 
Clients re-directed 98 20 

Highlights

  • Approximately 2/3 of walk-up clients are being redirected back to the shelters
  • A regular client from St. Paul’s Respite Centre recently obtained independent housing with the support of ESS Mobile Staff on site. 

February 12

City gradually restarting in-person services under Ontario’s Orange-Restrict status

February 12, 2021Announcements and Events

The Province of Ontario is lifting the COVID-19 restrictions and moving Ottawa to Orange-Restrict status, effective Tuesday, February 16 at 12:01 am. The Orange-Restrict status allows the City of Ottawa to resume some of the same services offered before the provincial state-of-emergency orders came into effect.

Recreation and Culture

Recreation services will restart gradually at some locations under the provincial Orange-Restrict status. Access to most activities requires reservations in advance. Visit ottawa.ca/recreation for more information on available activities, locations, facility and rink rentals, reservations and COVID-related protocols and restrictions.

The following activities and programs will resume February 16:

  • Public and lane swims at select pools
  • Aquafitness programs
  • Weight and cardio rooms will reopen with capacity limits
  • Sport activities with capacity limits and physical distancing measures
  • Older adult programming
  • Public skating at select arenas will start on February 20

Reservations for these activities can be made on ottawa.ca beginning February 14 at 6 pm.

Skating on the outdoor refrigerated rinks will continue by reservation only, with a maximum capacity of 25 skaters.

The resumption of other recreation and arts programming and activities will be announced in the coming weeks.

Community outdoor rinks

The Ottawa Public Health directive keeps outdoor skating rink capacity at 25 skaters and 12 for puddle rinks. With non-contact sports scrimmages and play permitted, skaters may bring hockey sticks and equipment on the ice – ensuring rink capacity and physical distancing requirements are observed. Masks must be worn within 15 metres of the edge of the rink and are highly recommended while skating.

Sledding hills

Under Ottawa Public Health’s directive, the capacity at the gathering points at the top and bottom of the sledding hills will remain at a maximum of 25 people, and physical distancing of two metres must be maintained at all times.

Facility rentals

Select City rental spaces will be available to accommodate up to a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, provided the space allows for adequate physical distancing of at least two metres.

Counter services

In-person services will start on Monday, February 22, but clients can start reserving appointments for that week, starting Tuesday, February 16.

Service Ottawa – Client Service Centres and Building Code Services 

  • City Hall and Ben Franklin Place (101 Centrepointe Drive) Client Service Centres and Building Code Services counters will be open by appointment only. Visit ottawa.ca for the list of in-person service offerings.
  • Residents must make an appointment for the Client Service Centre by using the online booking tool on ottawa.ca. Residents without internet access can reserve a time by calling 3-1-1 and choose option six for the Client Service Centre. Requests for same-day appointments will be subject to availability.
  • Building Code Services will continue to support application submissions by mail and electronically at buildingpermits@ottawa.ca(link sends e-mail).

Employment and Social Services and Rent Supplement Program Offices

  • Limited counter and document drop-off services will be available at all four centres – 370 Catherine Street, Mary Pitt Centre (second floor west, 100 Constellation Drive), 2020 Walkley Road, and 2339 Ogilvie Road, weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm. For all other services, staff will provide both telephone and email support from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • The Mary Pitt Centre location (second floor west, 100 Constellation Drive) will also be the only location for limited counter and document drop-off services for the Rent Supplement Program, which will only operate from 9 am to 3 pm on weekdays. The staff will continue to provide telephone and email support on weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Business Licensing Centre

The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue will continue operations on Monday, February 22 by offering the following in-person services, by appointment:

  • Business licenses (all categories)
  • Pet registration

To make an appointment, email businesslicensing@ottawa.ca(link sends e-mail) / permisdentreprise@ottawa.ca(link sends e-mail) or by calling 613-580-2424, extension 12735.

Ottawa Public Library Branches 

All 28 Ottawa Public Library branches are currently offering curbside service. Please consult BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca for the latest service updates. Access to digital resources and requests for library items can be made via the Ottawa Public Library website(link is external).

City Archives

The City’s Central Archives at the James K. Bartleman Centre, located at 100 Tallwood Drive, will resume in-person appointments for residents wishing to visit the Reference Room, starting Tuesday, February 23. Clients may make reservations for that week beginning Tuesday, February 16 by emailing archives@ottawa.ca(link sends e-mail) or by phoning 613-580-2857.

Parking enforcement

All residential on-street parking restrictions will resume on Monday, February 22. Warnings will be handed out between Tuesday, February 16 to Sunday, February 21.

To help control the spread of COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health also recommends residents only travel outside of the home for essential reasons, such as for groceries and other necessities, to attend doctor appointments and to get physical activity. More importantly, limit your contact with people outside of your household – including people visiting your residence or you visiting other households.

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(link is external)Twitter(link is external) and Instagram(link is external).

Public Inquiries

311@ottawa.ca
1-3-1-1
https://ottawa.ca

What’s opening in City recreation

On Tuesday, February 16, the City of Ottawa will be resuming some activities at select locations. Reservations for these activities can be made on ottawa.ca beginning February 14 at 6 pm.

Water Sports

For those looking to get back into the water, public and lane swims will be back at select pools. Aquafitness programs will also resume. 

Weights and Cardio

Gym goers will be excited to hear that weight and cardio rooms will reopen with capacity and distancing measures in place. 

Ice Time

If you love the ice, as of February 20 you’ll also have the opportunity to lace up indoors at select arenas. You can still skate outdoors by reserving a spot on one of the City’s refrigerated rinks or continuing to use your community rink. There is a 25-person limit on rinks, with a 12-person capacity on puddle rinks. 

The easing of Provincial regulations means hockey, ringette and other game play is now permitted, as long as there is no physical contact between players. 

Sledding Hills 

Sledding hills remain open with a 25-person limit. Keep two metres from others at all times. 

Stay tuned to ottawa.ca/recreation for updates. 

Update from the City Manager

Today the Province of Ontario confirmed that Ottawa will move into Orange-Restrict status in the COVID-19 Provincial Response Framework and the stay-at-home order will be lifted, effective Tuesday, February 16. The new status will allow the City to resume some of our in-person services offered before the provincial orders came into effect. 

On Tuesday, we will begin a gradual restart to various recreation programming and services, including sports, public swimming and weight and cardio rooms, with capacity limits and appointment bookings required at select locations.

Starting Monday, February 22, the City will resume counter services for in-person appointments at the Service Ottawa and Building Code Services counters at City Hall and Ben Franklin Place, and the Business Licensing Centre on Industrial Avenue. Limited counter and document drop-off services will be offered at all four Employment and Social Services centres and the Rent Supplement Program at Mary Pitt Centre. The City’s Central Archives at the James K. Bartleman Centre will reopen February 23, by appointment only.

While the stay-at-home order will be lifted next week, Ottawa Public Health still recommends staying at home except for essential purposes including going to work and trips for groceries and other necessities, medical appointments and physical activity. We need to stay vigilant against the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

February 5

With schools opening this week, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reminding members of the community how imperative it is that we all continue to follow current screening, testing and isolating guidelines. 

OPH would like to thank parents for getting back in the habit of daily screening of children for symptoms of COVID-19 before they go to school. If a child meets the criteria, seeking testing right away and ensuring every member of the household stays home and self-isolates while waiting for the test results is the best course of action. We will continue to work with our partners to offer onsite testing at schools, particularly to improve access to testing where there are a large number of high-risk contacts, as well as when we are seeking more information about potential transmission in a school. The basics, of limiting close contacts to the people you live with, staying two metres apart from anyone outside your household, wearing a mask and washing hands often are a routine that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. 

For members of the community experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, for those wondering if their child might be a high-risk contact or to decide whether to send them to school that day, OPH has developed flowcharts to help guide individuals through the next best steps and decision-making process. These can be downloaded at the following link: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/resources/Documents/ENFlowCharts.pdf

COVID Vaccines Offered for a Second Time at all of Ottawa’s LTCHs

Further to the update circulated to Members of Council last Friday from the Incident Commander, second round offerings of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to eligible residents at LTCHs have been ongoing. This afternoon, the second visit to all of Ottawa’s 28 LTCHs will be completed.

While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real- life conditions, it will be important for everyone, including these residents and those caring for them, to continue to practice public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID- 19.

Completion of second round offerings of vaccines in LTCHs is a milestone in protecting the vulnerable in our community. This is a significant achievement, however our goal to offer a vaccine to all eligible residents has only just begun. The city is ready, and our rollout relies on the availability of vaccine.

Arrival of the Moderna Vaccine

Today, Ottawa Public Health received 40 trays of the Moderna vaccine from the Province of Ontario. Enough for 4,000 doses.

This is a noteworthy development as, prior to this shipment, our community had only received doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. These Pfizer-BioNTech doses have and will continue to be received by the Ottawa Hospital (TOH), which has the ultra-cold freezer capacity to store them.

Similarities and differences between the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines

After independent and thorough scientific reviews for safety, efficacy and quality, Health Canada approved for use in Canada the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on December 9th, 2020, and the Moderna vaccine on December 23rd, 2020.

The Pfizer-BioNTech is more challenging to transport and store — requiring temperatures between -70 and -80 C. Once it’s defrosted, it must be used relatively quickly. The Moderna trays are stable for up to a month at regular fridge temperatures and can be stored for up to six months at -20 C.

Both vaccines require two doses and have posted very high efficacy rates based on testing on thousands of people around the world. In clinical trials, both vaccines were higher than 90% effective.

For more information about the Moderna vaccine, please refer to the FAQs attached to this memo as Item 1. FAQs relating to the Pfizer vaccine and other questions are already available on Ottawa Public Health’s website with additional FAQs on Ottawa.ca.

Currently, no data exists on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines. People will therefore receive two doses of the same vaccine.

Update on Storage and Logistics

As advised during the Technical Briefing of January 26th, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been preparing to receive COVID-19 vaccines for months. Under the ongoing declared municipal emergency, and in the context of a competitive global market for resources, the EOC was able to proactively order and receive freezers and other supplies required for the arrival, distribution and administration of Moderna.

The Moderna vaccines are being stored at a City of Ottawa facility with onsite storage and security. In addition, a Vaccine Supply and Distribution Centre has been established at another City facility which houses all supplies required to vaccinate Ottawa residents. This City facility complies with Provincial requirements relating to security, electrical redundancies and other considerations.

Deployment of Moderna

As per the Province’s Ethical Framework and phased approach to vaccine rollout, the Moderna supply received by OPH will be used to offer first doses of vaccine to residents living in high-risk retirement homes. Consistent with the approach used to prioritize long- term homes, OPH conducted a census of residences in order to rank retirement homes based on the established ethical framework, noted above, and the additional guidance provided by the province which defined high-risk retirement homes as those having memory care units or collocated with a LTCH.

The timeline for completion of first doses in all of Ottawa’s designated retirement homes is dependent on vaccine supply. The City’s mobile vaccination teams will be available to assist in the vaccination of retirement homes, as required. Council will continue to be kept apprised of vaccination efforts.

The arrival of Moderna vaccines in Ottawa is a positive development, however, it will be several months until COVID-19 vaccines are available to the general public. In the meantime, it is essential that we all continue to practice public health measures to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community.

Frequently Asked Questions – Moderna

  1. Is Moderna an mRNA vaccine?

    Yes. Moderna uses messenger RNA (mRNA) which provides instructions to cells in our bodies to make a viral protein from the coronavirus called a “spike protein”. The mRNA provides the instructions that allow the cell to make the spike protein, and then the immune system is activated to recognize the spike protein as being different from the body’s own proteins and initiates an immune response. The mRNA is then degraded by normal cellular mechanisms and the spike proteins are destroyed by the immune system.
  2. Does the Moderna vaccine have different side-effects than the Pfizer vaccine?

    In general, the side effects observed during the clinical trials are similar to what you might have with other vaccines.The side effects that followed vaccine administration in clinical trials were mild or moderate. They included things like pain at the injection site, chills, fatigue and fever. These are common side effects of vaccines and do not pose a risk to health.As with all vaccines, there’s a chance that there will be a serious side effect, but these are rare. A serious side effect might be something like an allergic reaction. Speak with your health professional about any serious allergies or other health conditions you may have before you receive this vaccine.Health Canada has conducted a rigorous scientific review of the available medical evidence to assess the safety of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. No major safety concerns have been identified.

3. Is the Moderna vaccine more effective?

In clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine has shown to have similar effectiveness as the Pfizer vaccine. Both vaccines are effective.

4. DoestheModernavaccineneedabooster?

Yes. For the vaccine to work best, you need to get 2 doses: a single dose and then a second dose one month apart.

  1. What is the difference between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?

    Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are very similar. The Pfizer vaccine has to be kept in conditions around -70 degrees Celsius. There are differences in the ingredients of both vaccines. Both Moderna and Pfizer use messenger RNA (mRNA). Please see Question 1 for more details.
  2. Do I get a choice on which vaccine I receive?

    No. In clinical trials, both vaccines were higher than 90% effective. Which vaccine you get will depend on:
    • Supply
    • Availability at the time
    • Storage requirements
  3. Are the vaccines made from the same ingredients?No. Health Canada lists both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines ingredients on their website.

February 3

Special statement from Dr. Vera Etches 

We continue to see encouraging indicators that the current public health measures are working to decrease COVID-19 in our community. 

You’ve heard us say this many times: we’ve done it before and we can do it again. I look forward to being able to say that we have, indeed, done it again – managed to decrease COVID-19 levels low enough to enable more services to be available again. 

I want to make this abundantly clear: opening schools does not mean we are in the clear or that we are ready to ease up on the other public health measures and provincial restrictions in place. We need to continue to reduce transmission in the community as lower levels make outbreaks less likely and many workplaces are currently affected. 

In other words, this is still “stay at home” except for students to attend school – an essential service for them. 

We know these last several weeks have been particularly challenging. I want parents to know they don’t have to parent without support and there are resources available to help parents. Visit our Supporting Schools during COVID-19 page and our Parenting in Ottawa website for more information. 

Testing in schools 

I want to thank parents for getting back in the habit of daily screening of children for symptoms of COVID-19 before they go to school. If your child meets the criteria, seek testing right away and ensure every member of the household stays home and self-isolates while waiting for the test results. 

We will continue to work with our partners to offer onsite testing at schools, particularly to improve access to testing where there are a large number of high-risk contacts, as well as when we are seeking more information about potential transmission in a school.  

The basics, of limiting close contacts to the people you live with, staying two metres apart from anyone outside your household, wearing a mask and washing hands often are a routine that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. 

Special Focus: COVID-19 in Schools 

Today Ottawa Public Health published a special report on COVID-19 in schools. This report, which can now be found on OttawaPublicHealth.ca, found that while limited transmission of COVID-19 occurred within schools and peaked in early October, it declined soon thereafter. 

The report also showed that the vast majority – 85 per cent – of those who tested positive got their infection outside of school. And of the 55 outbreaks identified in schools, more than half involved only two individuals. 

The data in this report, in addition to the negative mental health impacts of school closures on our entire community, supports the decision to reopen schools in Ottawa. 

Keep up with your health and seek medical care when you need it 

Our hospital partners have highlighted that older adults who test positive for COVID-19 are sometimes waiting too long before going to the emergency department, which can lead to more severe illness and death. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please get tested.  

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19: 

· Monitor your symptoms carefully (try keeping a journal)      

· Don’t delay getting medical care if your symptoms worsen  

· Remember that your condition can change rapidly 

· If your symptoms progress, help is available by booking an appointment at the COVID-19 care clinics, which are out-of-hospital clinics specifically for this virus     

· If you need urgent care, go to the nearest emergency department, or call 911 immediately. 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are concerned that you may need more than just a swab, please consider making an appointment for a physician care visit at one of Ottawa’s four care clinics. At a COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre, you can see a physician and, if medically appropriate, get the following tests: 

·         Chest X-ray 

·         EKG 

·         Basic blood work 

·         Throat culture 

·         COVID testing 

Again, if you are in distress (e.g., significant trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting, or have a significant worsening of any chronic disease symptoms), do not go to a COVID-19 Assessment Centre or a COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre. Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department. 

For locations and hours of the COVID-19 Assessment Centres and COVID-19 Care and Testing Centres, please visit our website

Health care providers have also noted that fewer people are going to their medical appointments or seeking medical help out of concern of getting COVID-19. Even during a pandemic, one thing that should not change is seeking medical care when needed.  Waiting too long to get medical help can have serious consequences. 

Take care of yourselves and look out for one another. 

Friday’s virtual panel: The Hidden Harms of COVID-19 

Feb 5, 2021 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

This Friday, February 5, Dr. Vera Etches will be participating in a virtual panel hosted by Canada 2020 to discuss the secondary effects of public health interventions against COVID-19, how they continue to impact the health and wellbeing of Canadians, and why they must not be ignored. Dr. Etches will be joined on the panel with Dr. Vivek Goel, Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto School, and Dr. Gail Beck, Clinical Director, Youth Psychiatry Program, The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.  

Register to learn more about how non-COVID related harms are causing concern among health care professionals and those in social services. 

Host: Canada 2020 

Date/Time: Feb 5, 2021 12:00 PM 

Register to attend: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5vMNvT9RSdmWPd85p5MwkA?mc_cid=1dfe1ff819&mc_eid=UNIQID 

 
Youth Mental Health and Addictions Virtual Town Hall 
On Thursday, February 11 at 7:00pm, CHEO and the Kids Come First Health Team are hosting a virtual event for parents of youth to discuss youth mental health and addictions. Parents can sign up and submit questions in advance to the panel of experts.  

The panel of speakers includes: 
 
• Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) 
• Ottawa Public Health 
• Parent’s Lifeline of Eastern Ontario (PLEO) 
• Rideauwood Addictions and Family Services 
• Le Cap 
• Valoris 
• CHEO’s Youth Partner 

Host: CHEO and the Kids Come First Health Team 

Date/Time: Feb 11, 2021 7:00 PM 

Register to attend:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hWovGTLqTWyhlHhiz11_SQ?_x_zm_rtaid=af7ATUyHT8WxvwVyIec4OQ.1612278224199.09f0f441aff37fd9ccee85516d926be3&_x_zm_rhtaid=201 

February 1

Update – Emergency Operations Centre

Second doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been given to residents at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, Revera Carlingview Manor and Peter D. Clark Centre. These were the first long-term care residences in Ottawa to receive COVID-19 vaccines starting on January 5th, 2021. Accordingly, these residents are the first in Ottawa living in long-term care homes to complete their immunization against COVID-19.   

While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone, including these residents and those caring for them, to continue to practice public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.   

Vaccine supply remains low in Ottawa. The existing supply of vaccines will be used to continue with the administration of second doses to residents in the remaining 25 long-term care homes in Ottawa on a priority basis per the ethical framework for prioritization referenced in the memo to Council dated January 8, 2021. Progress will be subject to vaccine availably. The City’s mobile vaccination teams will again be deployed to support these vaccination efforts, where required. For the latest information on vaccination statistics, please consult Ottawa Public Health’s dashboard.  

The EOC will report back to you regularly on the progress of vaccination efforts under Phase 1 of the Province’s framework for vaccine distribution.   

In the meantime, please continue to refer residents to the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution FAQs and to resources available on Ottawa Public Health’s website.   

January 29

As the situation is continuously evolving, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is happy to provide you with the following updates regarding our response to COVID-19. 

Back to School 

OPH welcomes the announcement by the Province to reopen in-person learning at schools in Ottawa starting February 1, 2021. This reinforces the importance of school attendance for the well-being of children and communities and aligns with evidence that the public health measures within school settings have been successful in preventing widespread transmission of COVID-19 in schools. 

Opening schools does not mean that Ottawa is in the clear or that we are ready to ease up on other public health measures and provincial restrictions in place. Now more than ever, we need to continue to reduce transmission in the community. This includes ensuring children do not come into contact with other children outside of the school setting, even for organized activities such as sports, clubs or socializing. Gatherings before and after school, with close contact between students without masks, are a key blind spot to address. 

In other words, this is still “stay at home” except for students to participate in school – an essential service for them. 

We have seen before that increased screening of children returning to school reveals more COVID-19 in our community.  The OPH team is anticipating a number of students testing positive as they return to using the daily screening tool and realize that they meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing based on having symptoms. This will in turn have an impact on families. We expect this rise of positive tests to stabilize once students are back in school and in an environment that has demonstrated the public health measures are successful in preventing further transmission. For now, parents should start getting back into the routine of daily screening of children. 

If a person tests positive in a school setting, the cohort system allows us to rapidly identify the people who are considered close contacts and those close contacts are removed from the school setting to isolate for 14 days. 

OPH is taking steps to adjust our school team capacity, alert testing partners to increase capacity to test children, and is increasing communications to schools and families to prevent transmission and handle the situation as well as possible. Additionally, plans for rapid testing are underway and will be prioritized to improve access to testing where there are a large number of high-risk contacts, as well as when we are seeking more information about potential transmission in a school. And, the Province has strengthened their direction on masks which are now mandatory for students in grade 1 and older. (Remember: If you live in Ottawa and do not have the means to purchase a mask, call 3-1-1 or email the Human Needs Task Force at HNTF@ottawa.ca to find out how to get one). In addition to everyone doing their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at the community level, these measures will help ensure as safe a return to school as possible. 

We acknowledge the tireless efforts of both teachers and parents who have been working incredibly hard during this stressful time. We know this hasn’t been easy and we appreciate everything you have done for our community. School staff and parents can find resources and support on our Supporting Schools during COVID-19 page and our Parenting in Ottawa website

Rideau Canal Opening 

As some of you may have heard, the National Capital Commission will be opening the Rideau Canal to the public this coming weekend. OPH strongly advocates for getting outside and being active as part of taking care of our mental health. That said, OPH would encourage you to share the following tweet, which encourages residents to get outside and enjoy outdoor activities while remaining close to home: 

English 

· https://twitter.com/OttawaHealth/status/1354776449870393344  

French 

· https://twitter.com/ottawasante/status/1354776450138828810  

WhatsApp Pilot 

Recent discussions between OPH community members and Members of Council have highlighted a need for more public health guidance, information, and support to be available in multiple languages, beyond English and French. OPH has taken this feedback into account and has launched a pilot program using the mobile device application known as WhatsApp to further OPH’s engagement with the community in multiple languages, including Arabic and Somali.  

The WhatsApp application allows users to connect with phone numbers from all over the world free of charge and is quite popular among racialized and immigrant communities who are currently using the application to share and receive COVID-19 related information and misinformation. Community leaders within racialized and immigrant communities suggested using the WhatsApp application as a key channel for sharing credible public health information within their communities, seeing that current channels like OPH’s website and Twitter account are not as effective for reaching their communities.  

Use of the WhatsApp tool to communicate public health guidance is initially being launched as a pilot project. Then, based on community feedback, OPH will make changes and/or develop a more permanent communication channel using the platform. The pilot project will provide two phone lines, one in Arabic and one in Somali, sharing OPH messaging to community leaders who manage existing WhatsApp groups and have the trust of their community. Messages will promote COVID Wise behaviours, testing, and other messages similar to those communicated via OPH social media channels. WhatsApp will also be used by OPH to respond to community inquiries. For example, if individuals reach out to OPH using one of the two WhatsApp phone lines, OPH will have 25 quick text message replies in both Arabic and Somali that will be used to reply to the individual, providing them with public health information, resources, and/or support. OPH also plans on using the tool to share multilingual videos, and eventually, vaccine-related content. 

OPH encourages Members of Council to share the following Tweets with residents to help raise awareness about the WhatsApp pilot launch: 

English: 

· https://twitter.com/OttawaHealth/status/1354127111292915712  

French 

· https://twitter.com/ottawasante/status/1354127111414566912  

OPH also has portals with information regarding COVID-19 translated into Arabic and Somali

Vaccine Website and FAQs 

OPH has developed both a COVID-19 Vaccine webpage as well as a Frequently Asked Questions webpage to help provide residents with information on vaccine roll-out, availability, and distribution.  

We would ask that elected officials please share both of these webpages with constituents who might be looking for information on COVID-19 vaccines in Ottawa. We also encourage you to use the information from these pages to answer any questions constituents may have regarding vaccines. Elected officials are also reminded that they can send any vaccine-related health questions to OPHCouncillorInquiries@ottawa.ca.  

Resources on Masks 

This past Wednesday, Council adopted a motion to extend the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-Law until April 29, 2021. As such, OPH would like to take this opportunity to share information and resources on masks. 

Wearing a mask around others who are not part of your household is crucial to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, it’s also important that masks be worn properly. Masks are not all made the same and different styles of masks may fit differently. Finding the right mask that fits your face – covering both your nose and mouth – and learning how to wear your mask, is critical.  

To wear a mask properly, OPH offers the following guidance: 

· Immediately wash your hands before putting the mask on, before adjusting it, before taking it off and after taking it off. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to wash your hands.  

·  Make sure your mask allows for easy breathing and completely and comfortably covers the bridge of your nose, covers your mouth, and fits snugly without gapping under your chin or against the sides of your face.  

· Make sure your mask is secured to your head with ties or ear loops without the need to adjust frequently. 

· If your mask has pleats, ensure that the pleats on the outside are facing down. 

· If your mask has a metal strip over the nose, gently mold it over the bridge of your nose to ensure a close fit.  

· Replace the mask as soon as it becomes damp, dirty, damaged or if it has shrunk after washing and drying.   

· Do not share your mask with others, even within your own household. 

· Do not wear your mask around your neck, on your forehead, under your nose, only on your nose, on your chin, one ear, or on your arm. 

OPH has created a poster and video to assist residents in learning how to wear their mask effectively. Please share these resources with your networks: 

·  Poster: Safely putting on & taking off your mask 

·  Watch: How to Properly Wear a Mask Video 

Frostbite 

The months of December, January and February are the coldest months of the Ottawa winter and it’s difficult to avoid the cold weather, especially when getting outside is so important for our mental health during these challenging times. OPH encourages residents to still get outside for exercise during frosty temperatures while keeping in mind some safety measures to avoid frostbite.  

Frostbite is defined as damage of the skin from exposure to cold weather. City of Ottawa Paramedics remind everyone that extremely cold weather can lead to serious complications, the worst being amputation. Injuries from frostbite are extremely common yet preventable. OPH would suggest individuals follow the tips outlined below to help prevent frostbite: 

· Keep extra mittens and gloves in the car, house or school bag. 

· Wear larger sized mittens over your gloves. 

· Wear a hat. 

· Wear a neck warmer to protect the chin, lips and cheeks. They are all extremely susceptible to frostbite. 

· Wear waterproof winter boots with room for an extra layer of socks. Wear two pairs of socks – wool if possible. 

· Make sure you are able to wiggle your toes in your boots; air space around your toes acts as insulation. 

·  Avoid drinking alcohol. 

If individuals think they or a loved one might have suffered from frostbite, OPH recommends seeking medical attention right away. For additional information on frostbite, individuals can visit the OPH frostbite webpage at: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/frostbite.aspx  

January 28

Rent Payments and Resources during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Information for Tenants

Financial assistance and supports for rent arrears

Some residents may be struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which may put some households at risk of eviction because of unpaid rent. The ban on residential evictions has now ended, and the Landlord & Tenant Board is processing eviction applications again. To prevent possible eviction, it is important to keep rent payments up to date.

If you are behind on your rent or at risk of eviction because you did not pay your rent due to COVID-19, you may qualify for emergency financial help. Please contact us at the City of Ottawa and we will assess your situation to see if you qualify for financial help.

How to apply

If you are not receiving Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP): You can apply online or by phone:

Apply by phone

  • Call 3-1-1, select language, then press 4 for Social Services, and 3 to speak with an agent.

Apply online

Visit Ontario Works or Emergency Assistance.

  1. If you are receiving Ontario Works or ODSP:
    • Call your caseworker or
    • Call 3-1-1, select language, then press 4 for Social Services, and 2 to speak with a verification specialist. For more information visit ottawa.ca/socialservices. Be sure to visit our COVID-19 website for other resources and help during COVID-19. Resources For information on housing loss prevention, contact the following agencies for help:
      • Action Housing 613-562-8219
      • Housing Help 613-563-4532
      • Community Legal Services of Ottawa o West – 613-596-1641
        o South – 613-733-0140
        o Downtown – 613-241-7008
      • Clinique juridique francophone d’Ottawa 613-744-2892
      • Tenant Duty Counsel Services- Landlord Tenant Board
      • 2-1-1 Ontario.ca for Income and Housing supports

January 26

Vaccination Briefing

The Vaccination PowerPoint presented at today’s Virtual Vaccination Technical Briefing, is available here.

January 22

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution FAQs

The following questions were those most frequently asked by residents and Members of Council from January 4, 2021 to present. These FAQs will be updated regularly as new details emerge from all levels of government.

It is important to note that new information on COVID-19 vaccines is emerging from the senior levels of government every day. Federal and provincial vaccine distribution timelines are in flux given the limited supply of vaccines currently available.

1. When will people in Ottawa start gettingv accinated against COVID-19?

a. The Ottawa Hospital administered the city’s first COVID-19 vaccine on December 15, 2020. Since then, thousands of vaccines have been

administered in Ottawa to higher-risk populations and those that care for them in accordance with the Province’s phased approach to vaccine rollout.

2. Who is determining who can get a COVID-19 vaccine and when?

a. TheGovernmentofCanadaisresponsibleforapprovalandprocurementof COVID-19 vaccine supply. The Government of Ontario is responsible for the distribution of these vaccines across the province. The Ethical Framework for COVID-19 vaccine distribution guides how the provincial government prioritizes and distributes vaccines across Ontario.

3. When will I be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and who comes next in Ottawa?

a. The Province has started to roll out a three-phased vaccine distribution implementation plan as follows:

Phase 1 Starting December 2020: Limited doses of the vaccine available for residents, essential caregivers, staff and other employees of long-term care homes, retirements homes, and other congregate settings caring for seniors at high-risk; eligible health care workers in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidance; first Nation communities and urban Indigenous populations, and adult chronic home care recipients.

Phase 2 Starting March 2021: Increasing stock of vaccines, available to

older adults, beginning with those 80 and older, people who live and work in high-risk congregate settings (for example, shelters, community living), frontline essential workers, including first responders, teachers, food processing workers, individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers, and other populations and communities who are at greater COVID-19 risk.

Phase 3 – Starting August 2021: Vaccines available widely across Ontario for anyone in the general population who wants to be immunized.

These timelines are subject to change subject to possible additional vaccine approvals and supply. Please check the provincial website for the latest on vaccine distribution in Ontario. These decisions are made by the Province and subject to vaccine availability from the Federal government. For more information on vaccine sequencing in Ottawa, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s website.

In the coming weeks, the focus will be to administer second doses to those who have already received their first dose of the vaccine. The timeline for completion is dependent on the supply of vaccine the city receives from the Province.

As supply allows, the focus will shift to higher risk retirement homes identified by OPH in accordance with the ethical framework. Select congregate care settings for older adults and high-risk healthcare workers will follow under Phase 1 of the Provincial approach. Other Phase 1 populations to be immunized are adult members of First Nations,

Inuit and Metis communities and adults with chronic home care.

4. I am an older adult, but I don’t live in a long-term care or retirement home. When can I be vaccinated against COVID-19?

a. Olderadults,beginningwiththose80andolderanddecreasinginfive-year increments over the course of the vaccine rollout are expected to be offered vaccines starting in March 2021, depending on availability of vaccines.

5. I am an essential worker. When can I be vaccinated against COVID-19?

a. Frontline essential workers, including: first responders, teachers and other education staff and food processing workers are expected to be offered vaccines in Phase 2 from March to July 2021. Specific timing will depend on availability of vaccines. The Provincial task force will use the ethical framework and the best available data to identify other priority populations within this phase, based on available vaccine supply.

6. When can the general public get vaccinated against COVID-19?

a. Starting August 2021, and depending on availability of vaccines, it is anticipated that all remaining Ontarians in the general population who wish to be vaccinated will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine.

7. Where will I be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19?

a. Various strategies will be used to distribute and administer vaccines across Ottawa, based on the quantity and type of vaccines received throughout 2021. The primary locations will include hospital clinics, community clinics, pharmacies, mobile vaccination teams, primary health care providers like family doctors and by other health care professionals such as nurses working in congregate living settings, including long-term care homes and shelters.

8. Where will the community clinics be located?

a. The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health have pre-identified four locations for community clinics to administer vaccines:

▪ Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Patricia Way
▪ Eva James Memorial Centre, 65 Stonehaven Drive ▪ Peter Clark Facility, 255 Centrum Boulevard
▪ Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue

The City will open additional clinics if vaccine supply allows. The City in collaboration with Ottawa Public Health will also deploy mobile vaccination teams to areas of the city that are disproportionally impacted by COVID-19.

9. When will the community clinics open?

a. The city’s community clinics are not currently in operation. They are ready to open subject to vaccine availability. Under the Province’s phased approach to vaccine roll-out, these community clinics are unlikely to be operational until Phase 2 (starting March 2021), depending on availability of vaccines. More details will follow in the coming weeks.

Once open, the four pre-identified community clinics will have the capacity to administer 1,200 vaccines per day at each clinic. They will operate 7- days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. to ensure resident access.

10. Is there a list I need to be on to get the vaccine?

a. No. The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health will undertake robust public information campaigns to keep residents informed on the vaccine rollout locally.

11. How will I be notified when it’s my turn to get the vaccine?

a. Rightnow,vaccinesupplyisverylimited.Assupplyisexpectedtoincrease in the coming months, the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health will be communicating through various media channels on who is eligible to present where for vaccination.

12. Is getting the COVID-19 vaccine voluntary?

a. Yes. COVID-19 vaccines will not be mandatory, but you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.

13.What can I do now and how can I help?

Itwillbeseveralmonthsuntilavaccineisavailabletothegeneralpublic.In the meantime, it is essential that we all continue to do our part to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community: limit your close contacts to those within your household, practice physical distance, wear a mask, wash your hands, stay home except for essential reasons and follow local and Provincial guidance.

Until vaccines are widely available, it remains important to take steps to protect yourself, your loved ones and our community against COVID-19. Learn more about things you can do to reduce virus spread by following OPH on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To keep up-to-date with the latest information, follow “COVID Decoded” with Dr. Trevor Arenson, on OPH’s YouTube channel.

14.How do I decide if vaccination is the right choice for me and my family?

a. Feeling worried or hesitant is completely normal when something is new. Vaccination is a personal choice, and one that most Canadians agree is an important part of maintaining good health and for disease prevention.

15.Why should I get vaccinated against COVID-19?

a. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread and reduce the impact of infectious diseases. Safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 are becoming available to protect us against COVID-19. While many people infected with COVID-19 experience only mild illness, others may get a severe illness or even die. There is no way to know how COVID- 19 will affect you, even if you are not considered to be at increased risk of severe complications. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience the illness itself.

16.Will I need to continue wearing mask after being vaccinated?

a. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue practicing public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. That means covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often and never touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, staying at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from others and self-isolating when sick. Health care and other staff must still wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when working, even after they have been vaccinated.

17.Can people who have already tested positive for COVID-19 get a COVID-19 vaccine?

a. Yes. Those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 should still be vaccinates and people do not need COVID-19 testing prior to vaccination.

18.How long until “things are back to normal”?

a. COVID-19 vaccination, along with continued public health measures, will offer the best protection from the spread of COVID-19. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines afford before determining any change in public health guidelines. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect these decisions.

Once a person is vaccinated with the series of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, they should continue following public health measures like wearing a mask, physical distancing and self-isolating when they become sick.

19.How are we engaging the community and specific groups like Indigenous, seniors, racialized communities?

a. The City of Ottawa Emergency Operations Centre has established a Community Engagement Task Force. The goal of this Task Force is to use community engagement approaches to inform the Vaccination Plan and to encourage and support populations at highest risk and facing additional barriers to attend vaccination clinics. This will involve sharing culturally appropriate, and accessible information with diverse populations to promote vaccine uptake and address vaccine hesitancy and engaging with communities through existing networks to ensure their perspectives and needs are considered in the planning process for vaccine implementation

January 21

COVID-19 Vaccine: Seeking community feedback 

Ottawa Public Health (OPH), in collaboration with the City of Ottawa, are continuing to hear from residents about their ideas, thoughts, perceptions, and understanding of current COVID-19 recommendations. This week a new COVID-19 survey was launched. 

This phase of engagement is focused on COVID-19 vaccines in Ottawa. Phase 5 of our engagement strategy has been launched, with a new survey available on Engage Ottawa in English or Participons Ottawa in French. It is important that the City of Ottawa and OPH continue to receive feedback from those in our community. Please share this engagement opportunity widely with your constituents.   

Since May 2020, the City of Ottawa and OPH have completed four separate public surveys to gather feedback from the individuals on their experiences during the pandemic. The full reports are available here: 

·        Phase 1- What We Heard report 

·        Phase 2 – What We Heard report 

·        Phase 3 – What We Heard report 

·        NEW: Phase 4 What We Heard report 

This feedback is incredibly valuable as it is taken into account in the City’s and OPH planning. Information provided by residents will continue to help OPH and the City of Ottawa meet our community’s needs and expectations. 

Update on the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination in Ottawa 

As noted in a memo distributed on Monday, January 18, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), in collaboration with OPH, the Ottawa Hospital (TOH) and other health care partners are working together to vaccinate eligible residents against COVID-19 as quickly as possible and in accordance with the Provincial framework. 

As of January 15, 2021, the first dose of the vaccine has been made available to residents, workers and essential caregivers in all 28 long-term care homes (LTCH), with over 92% of all LTCH residents having now received their first dose.  

In the coming weeks, the focus will be to administer second doses to those who have already received their first dose of the vaccine. The timeline for completion is dependent on the supply of vaccine the city receives from the Province. 

Given the planning assumptions relating to timelines and availability of vaccines and the roles of various partners and stakeholders, OPH and the City’s EOC are collaborating to do all that we can to ensure Ottawa residents who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to access it as quickly and efficiently as possible. The total amount of vaccine that will be distributed to the City of Ottawa and precise delivery dates are not yet known. These decisions are made by the Province and subject to vaccine availability from the federal government. 

OPH is continuously updating available information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines on our website. If you have questions such as “how does mRNA vaccines work? or “What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?”, please visit OPH’s website for updates to the Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19 vaccines. 

Ottawa’s mobile vaccination teams: Working together to save lives  

The City, OPH, the Ottawa Paramedic Service and The Ottawa Hospital are working together to meet the challenge of bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to Ottawa’s residents. Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the work being done across the City in this feature story focusing on Ottawa’s mobile vaccination teams.  

COVID-19 Dashboard 

OPH’s Daily COVID-19 Dashboard is the number one resource for up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Ottawa. Data found in the dashboard includes case status in Ottawa, time trends & exposures, outbreaks and monitoring indicators.  

This week, OPH added information regarding the number of vaccines received and administered in Ottawa to the OPH COVID-19 Daily Dashboard. This data will be updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  

The dashboard is updated daily at approximately 12:30. To receive an email notification when it is updated, please scroll to the bottom of the page, click “Receive Email Updates…” and confirm your subscription. 

Sports on outdoor rinks 

Since the latest provincial announcement regarding the province-wide shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, OPH and the City have received many questions regarding what is and what is not permitted on outdoor rinks. 

OPH and the City of Ottawa continue to follow the lead of provincial authorities, who set the guidance and protocols with respect to emergency closure orders and any relaxation of these rules. As you know, on December 21, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced a province-wide shutdown, effective December 26, 2020. This includes restrictions on the use of outdoor recreational amenities. Specifically, the Provincial order states:  

“A permitted outdoor recreational amenity may only open if:  

·        Any person who enters or uses the amenity maintains a physical distance of at least two metres from other person using the amenity (excluding members of the same household)  

·        Team sports, or other sports or games where people may come within two metres of each other, are not practiced or played within the amenity  

·        Any locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses remain closed, except to the extent they provide access to equipment storage, a washroom or a portion of the amenity that is used to provide first aid”  

It is important to understand that neither OPH nor the City of Ottawa have the authority to “waive” these restrictions nor can we grant exemptions.   

Given the Provincial order, hockey sticks, pucks and other sports equipment are not permitted on outdoor rinks. We recognize that this is a very tough subject to communicate, however the objective is to prevent people from being in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained, with or without a mask, to limit the risk of community transmission as much as possible. This is especially important as we work to address the risk of the importation of the UK variant, which is more transmissible and would make bringing the virus level in the community lower even more difficult. 

Residents are encouraged to wear a mask in all scenarios when physical distancing of 2 metres is not possible – both indoors and outdoors.   Wearing a mask is part of being COVID Wise and is one public health measure to help resume economic and social activities while COVID-19 is still in our community.   

Encouraging the wearing of masks in all settings where people congregate can help build consumer confidence in the health and safety measures that local businesses and organizations are implementing to prevent transmission of COVID-19.  

Physical activity and spending time outdoors are important to our wellbeing and mental health and we encourage everyone to get outside and safely enjoy Ottawa’s beautiful winter amenities. We also strongly encourage everyone to be COVID Wise, even when outdoors – maintain physical distance and avoid crowded areas. 

Extending remote learning 

OPH continues to consult with the Province to discuss measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in Ottawa and open schools as soon as possible. Reopening and keeping schools open is a top goal of the pandemic response. At this time, we understand the concern about the rate of infection in the community having implications for introduction of COVID-19 into schools.  

We appear to be turning the curve in Ottawa and OPH is ready to support a safer return to school with an added emphasis on the daily screening and testing for people with symptoms to keep COVID-19 out of schools. We are working with school boards to reinforce the infection prevention and control measures that limit COVID-19 transmission in schools. 

We understand this is a challenging time for parents. We are asking all employers to please continue to be understanding if employees who are parents need to have more flexible schedules. Additionally, parents can find resources and support on our Parenting in Ottawa website, including helping your children cope during the pandemic, back to school and learning at home resources and frequently asked questions. 

OPH would also like to acknowledge the hard work all our teachers and school staff have been doing to provide our children with virtual education. We know this hasn’t been easy for you either; we see you and we appreciate you. 

When schools are ready to reopen, OPH will be there to support families and schools in as safe a return as possible. 

The importance of testing children 

We continue to see school-aged children and youth testing positive for COVID-19. Testing must continue, even if children are not attending school in person, to help make schools safer when they do return. 

Although children have been participating in school virtually, the infection can spread from children to members of their household and then to others in the community. This spread has resulted in added pressures on the health care system and could lead to the extension of the lockdown and school closures. Testing and self-isolation are important tools that help decrease virus spread in the community. 

Visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVIDTesting for more information. 

January 19

COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Update

The purpose of this memo is to update Members of Council on the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines in the city of Ottawa. This information is subject to change depending on vaccine availability and as new developments emerge from the provincial and federal governments.

The City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), in collaboration with Ottawa Public Health (OPH), the Ottawa Hospital (TOH) and other health care partners are working together to vaccinate eligible residents against COVID-19, as quickly as possible, in accordance with the Provincial framework.

Vaccine Administration in Ottawa

Since the week of December 14, 2020, TOH has been receiving a steady supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. To date, Ottawa has not received any of the Moderna vaccine. According to data from the Ottawa Hospital, 22,425 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been received and 21,938 doses have been administered to date.

The supply for this week will be used to administer second doses to ensure that those individuals who have received the first round of vaccinations become immunized, as directed by the Province. The total amount of vaccine that will be distributed to the City of Ottawa next week, as well as following weeks, and precise delivery dates are not yet known. These decisions are also made by the Province.

On Friday, January 15 the Federal Government announced that Canada will be experiencing a temporary delay in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments and the anticipated shortage will result in an average of 50 per cent of doses delayed over the next month. While shipments will continue in the coming weeks, the City will receive fewer doses than previously anticipated.

Following the federal announcement, the Province announced new direction with respect to second doses, including:

  • Long-term care and high-risk retirement home residents and their essential caregivers, who have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, will receive their second dose in 21 to 27 days. Staff who were vaccinated in the homes at the same time as the residents will follow the same schedule.
  • All other recipients of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine must receive their second dose after 21 days and before 42 days.

Currently in Ottawa, TOH receives the vaccine supply and maintains the inventory. Given the recent announcements TOH is reviewing how best to optimize the schedule of second doses over the next month to account for the anticipated shortage.

Vaccine Rollout

Most of the vaccines received to date have been administered at TOH clinic (16,580) to workers in long-term care and retirement homes, essential caregivers and health care workers in high-risk settings (i.e. COVID ward and emergency departments). Once the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved for transportation the week of January 4 the City’s rollout operations immediately shifted to focus on higher risk residents in long- term care homes.

As of January 15, 2021, the first dose of the vaccine has been made available to all 28 long-term care homes. Vaccinations were provided to residents, workers and essential caregivers. Over 92% of all LTCH residents received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Residents, staff and caregivers in 20 of the 28 long-term care homes were vaccinated by Ottawa’s mobile vaccination teams, which are rely on the Ottawa Paramedic Service for immunizers. Each team consisted of two paramedics to administer the vaccine, one paramedic to provide patient care, and one OPH public health nurse to provide overall leadership and one OPH staff member for administrative support. Several of these teams were deployed to each location, based on the number of residents, staff and essential caregivers. The remaining long-term care homes’ staff were able to vaccinate their residents, workers and essential caregivers with onsite nurses working in those facilities. Additionally, TOH and CHEO provided pharmacy staff to support the dilution of the vaccine on site.

OPH followed the provincial ethical framework to prioritize COVID-19 vaccine roll-out and prioritized long-term care homes to ensure the appropriate sequencing. The ethical framework is based on the principals of stewardship, trust, equity and transparency. The framework evaluates the patient population risk of exposure; the risk of severe disease or outcomes, and health system capacity to ensure ongoing care to the population. There is a limited number of vaccines available and therefore, the vaccine distribution framework helps guide decisions to ensure equitable distribution. It also supports the goal of reducing the risk to Ottawa residents who are more severely impacted by COVID-19.

In addition to the 28 long-term care homes that have been provided the opportunity to receive their first doses, one high-risk retirement home and one congregate care home with older adults have also been provided the opportunity to receive their first doses, given the availability of vaccine supply. Both homes were experiencing exceptional health concerns and as a result, OPH prioritized the administration of vaccines to these two additional sites to protect our community, in-line with the provincial guidance to protect high risk homes following the LTCHs.

Next Steps in Phase 1

In the coming weeks, the focus will be to administer second doses to those who have already received their first dose of the vaccine. The timeline for completion is dependent on the supply of vaccine the city receives from the Province.

As supply allows, the focus will shift to higher risk retirement homes identified by OPH in accordance with the ethical framework, described above. Select congregate care settings for older adults and high-risk healthcare workers will follow under Phase 1 of the Provincial approach. Other Phase 1 populations to be immunized are adult members of First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities and adults with chronic home care.

OPH has established a local Vaccine Sequence Strategy Task Force to advise the City’s EOC on how to implement the sequence of vaccines given local context, including maximizing uptake among groups sequenced ahead of others. This Task Force includes representation from groups highly affected by COVID-19, such as newcomers, Indigenous, racialized people, older adults, and healthcare workers. The Vaccine Sequencing Task Force relies on the framework established by the Province of Ontario.

New tools to provide situational awareness

Given the planning assumptions relating to timelines and availability of vaccines and the roles of various partners and stakeholders, OPH and the City’s EOC are collaborating to do all that we can to ensure Ottawa residents who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to access it as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, these plans are subject to change, and this reflects the current planning assumptions at this time. The total amount of vaccine that will be distributed to the City of Ottawa and precise delivery dates are not yet known. These decisions are made by the Province and subject to vaccine availability from the federal government.

The City’s Data Management, Monitoring and Surveillance team has been working on a mechanism to update the public on the number of vaccines supplied and administered in Ottawa. Effective today, the number of vaccines received and vaccines administered will appear in the OPH COVID-19 Daily Dashboard and will initially reside on the ‘Vaccination and Testing’ page. These numbers will be updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Further, EOC staff are committed to providing situational awareness to Members of Council. Beginning this week, the Incident Commander of the EOC Command Team will provide weekly updates to Councillor’s offices, which will include an updated FAQ document to assist with inquiries from constituents.

It is important to note that it will be several months until a vaccine is available to the general public. In the meantime, we all must continue to do our part to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community: limit your close contacts to those within your household, practice physical distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands, stay home except for essential reasons and follow local and Provincial guidance.

January 18

Pandemic Parenting

Hello. Bonjour. Kwey.

With the recent Provincial announcements placing all Ontario municipalities in a state of emergency, the stay-at-home-order and extension of school closures, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) would like to draw your attention to the mental health and well-being of Ottawa parents. The following provides information, resources, guidance and tips that we would appreciate your help in sharing broadly with your various networks. 

Supporting parents in our community

Given the current Provincial restrictions and school closures, the next month may be challenging for parents and guardians who have children learning from home as they try to balance that with work obligations, projects, deadlines, meetings and so on. OPH is asking all employers to please be understanding of their employees’ needs, including flexible work schedules, particularly if they are parents or guardians. Parents and guardians are encouraged to speak to their employer to ensure they are aware of their situation and to discuss their options. 

In addition, OPH is encouraging individuals to check in virtually on extended family, neighbours, friends and colleagues. Individuals might consider dropping off food or sending a meal, treats, crafts or games to families with children or sending a letter, card or care package to a loved one. Suggestions for connecting virtually and more can be found here: OttawaPublicHealth.ca/SocialWise.

Mental health supports for parents and children

In order to be able to take care of others, parents need to take care of themselves. OPH would like to remind parents that their mental health and well-being are as important as ever and that it’s okay to not be okay. Several free online resources are available for parents and children, including:

In addition to the above resources, OPH would like to promote the benefits of getting outside as an important part of mental health. Parents are encouraged to take breaks during the day to get outside with their children, seeking out safer activities that limit their family’s contact with people from outside their household and allow for physical distancing and mask wearing as much as possible. More information on keeping active during the pandemic can be found here: OttawaPublicHealth.ca/ActiveDuringCOVID19

COVID-19 safety reminders for parents

We know parents and guardians are doing their best right now to keep children safe, healthy and entertained. As we try to reduce the currently high levels of COVID-19 in our community, OPH is asking parents to keep the following in mind:

  • At this time, playdates and recreational activities with other households are not recommended. We all need to take steps to reduce transmission of the virus in our community, including limiting close contacts with those from outside our immediate households. 
  • Parents and guardians should be limiting their children’s contact with other children except for childcare needs. Licensed centre and home-based childcare remains open with enhanced health and safety measures and emergency child care is available. If required, families would be permitted to have an exclusive contact with another household for the sole purpose of providing support.
  • Daily screening of children for COVID-19 symptoms continues to be important, even if children are not attending school in person. If ANYONE in the home has symptoms of COVID-19, everyone must stay home while waiting for COVID-19 test results. Parents can screen their children for symptoms by accessing OPH’s daily screening tool

The importance of COVID-19 testing for children

While OPH appreciates parents’ efforts to follow public health guidelines and limit their children’s contact with others, we are still seeing a significant increase in the number of children and youth testing positive for COVID-19. At the same time, we’ve seen a significant decline in the number of children and youth being tested. This decline, combined with the surge in the number of people testing positive, has resulted in an overall positivity rate of 14 per cent with 21 per cent among children aged 5-12. We know there are likely many more undiagnosed infections in our community and unless we test more, we will not be able to identify them and proactively work to protect others with whom they may have come into contact. 

We understand parents and children have many reasons to refrain from testing, including concerns about the long lines experienced earlier in the pandemic, guilt over socializing during the holidays or fear of the Nasopharyngeal swab. However, refraining from testing is adding to the growing risk of community spread, which could lead to added pressures on the healthcare system, delays for needed care, and could ultimately lead to an extension of the lockdown and other restrictions. OPH is strongly encouraging parents/guardians who have children with COVID-19 symptoms, or who have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, to please get them tested as soon as possible. Doing so could mean saving a life. For more information on COVID-19 testing for children, please see the attached document in both English and French; we would encourage you to please share it amongst your channels.  

OPH knows parents/guardians are doing their best right now to balance work and home obligations, their children’s virtual learning and their own personal care and well-being. We have data showing that the stress caused by this situation is significant and are asking the community to be compassionate, accommodating, and supportive of parents, guardians and one another during this difficult time. 

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch.

Dr. Vera Etches

January 15

This week, the Province of Ontario reported that the number of COVID-19 cases is at its highest since the start of the pandemic. To stop the rise in cases and protect our healthcare system, the Province declared a second provincial state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order. 

The stay-at-home order, which will be in effect until at least February 11, requires everyone to stay home except for essential trips for groceries, medical appointments, exercise or work that cannot be done remotely.

We have received the regulations from the Province and can now confirm there will be some impacts to how we deliver our services.  

Effective end of day Friday, January 15, the City will be suspending its current in-person counter services and moving to online or alternate delivery formats. There will be no public access to administrative buildings, including 100 Constellation and Ben Franklin Place. Public access to City Hall will be restricted to the Service Ontario counter and the municipal daycare service. 

All indoor recreation and cultural facilities will remain closed to the public, excluding respite centres, COVID-19 assessment centres, municipal childcare centres (ages 0 to 4), inclusive recreation programs and Before-and-After School Programs when elementary schools resume. Ottawa Public Library facilities will remain closed but will continue to provide contactless curbside services.

For any of you affected by these closures, the team in Human Resources continues to work closely with our unions to redeploy impacted individuals to departments with new and emerging needs to support the City’s pandemic response. 

Our people play an important role in this emergency. We will continue to provide essential, front-line and emergency services, including the important work taking place to vaccinate those most at-risk in long-term care and retirement homes. 

As the Premier noted, anyone who can work from home, should do so. 

Those of you who are operationally required to be on-site to deliver services, access resources in the workplace, or who have individual accommodations in place, should report to work as usual. Please continue following all required health and safety protocols including completing the self-assessment form before each shift. A letter confirming your employment with the City is not required at this time, unless you are a resident of Quebec travelling to or from work during curfew hours. If you need a certificate of employment for this reason, please speak to your supervisor or manager. 

Your leadership team is here to support you and will keep you informed on any specific impacts to your department, so we can continue to provide critical services to our residents and to each other. 

For parents juggling work, child care and at-home learning please keep conversations going with your manager and supervisor to explore flexible working arrangements and accommodations, if required. Free emergency child care for school-aged children is available for designated front-line municipal workers. For more information, speak with your supervisor or manager. 

Finally, I want to stress the importance of continuing to follow the advice from our public health experts so we can stop the upward trend in cases and get back on track. Continue to maintain physical distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands and stay home when you are sick. As a reminder, all City employees must wear a mask in City vehicles, when more than one occupant is in the vehicle and in all areas of City facilities accessible to the public. Our people have great visibility in our community, and we need to set an example by following these rules and guidance.

Also, don’t forget to check in on one another and continue to work together as One City, One Team to keep our community and each other safe. 

Keep up the good work. Together we can do this.

January 14

City updates how Province’s stay-at-home measures will impact some in-person services and facilities

The City of Ottawa has clarified how the Province of Ontario’s new stay-at-home measures will alter public access to some of its facilities and temporarily suspend in-person counter services.

The Province is requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely.

What facilities are opened and closed:

  • The City will continue to operate and provide some services during the stay-at-home order, including virtual arts and recreation programming.
  • No public access to administrative buildings, including 100 Constellation and Ben Franklin Place.
  • Public access to City Hall will be restricted to the Service Ontario counter and the municipal daycare service. Municipal counters, such as ServiceOttawa, will be closed as of the end of the business day on Friday, January 15, 2021 and will be moving to online delivery.
  • All indoor recreation and cultural facilities remain closed to the public, excluding respite centres, COVID-19 assessment centres, municipal childcare centres (ages 0-4), inclusive recreation programs and Before-and-After School programs when elementary schools resume.
  • Ottawa Public Library facilities will remain closed – including the bookmobile – but will continue to provide contactless curbside services.

Outdoor rinks and sledding hills remain open

Outdoor rinks – community and refrigerated – and sledding hills will remain open with the current 25- person capacity restriction and masking requirements outlined in the order issued by Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health. Outdoor refrigerated rinks will continue to operate with the online reservation system on ottawa.ca/skating.

People are reminded they must maintain two-metres from others and masks must be worn in public accessibility areas that are within 15 metres (50 feet) distance of the edge of the ice surface. While masks are not mandatory when skating, OPH recommends wearing one for added protection.

Under Provincial Regulations, no team sports are permitted and the City is directing that only skating take place on all rinks with no sticks, pucks, balls or other sports equipment permitted on the ice.

Temporarily suspended in-person services include:

  • City Hall and Ben Franklin Place (100 Centrepointe Drive) Client Service Centres and Building Code Services counters. Client Services Centres will suspend our current in-person counter services which will move to online delivery. Building Code Services will move to an alternate format such as mail services, electronic submission, phone, etc.
  • The Provincial Offences Act courthouse, located at 100 Constellation Drive, Nepean, will remain closed.
  • EarlyON Child and Family Centre remains closed from the current shutdown
  • The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue is open for drop-off of documents only and clients can call 3-1-1.

Altered services include:

Complaints for unauthorized parking on private property will continue to require new electronic procedures for proof of authority.

  • Residents needing financial assistance are asked call us at 3-1-1 and select option #4 for Social Services for information on all programs and services.
  • People cannot visit the Employment and Social Services offices, but staff are available to help residents by phone, email and mail from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday.
  • Ontario Works claimants do not need to drop off any documents, including income reporting statements. Those documents can be given the case worker at a later date.
  • Virtual arts and recreation programs will be offered with registration starting on January 14 at 9 pm.

Parking enforcement

To support those staying home during these provincial measures, By-law and Regulatory Services will not be enforcing overtime parking on streets that do not have posted time limits. All other parking restrictions that ensure safety and mobility remain in effect, including parking bans due to snow accumulation, no-stopping zones, no-parking zones, fire routes, accessible parking spaces, pay and display, and rules around sidewalks, driveways and fire hydrants.

Acquiring services or doing transactions online or by phone or cheque

While all counter services are suspended, residents can acquire some services and complete payments and registrations online or by phone or cheque. Please confirm with your City contact prior to mailing a cheque.

Residents can go to myservice.ottawa.ca to pay water bills and your interim property taxes. If you do not have an account, registration is simple – just sign-up with your email address. Once registered, you’ll need your account or property roll number to pay your bill.

City bills have other payment options besides the myservice.ottawa.ca accounts, which include:

  • Paying by credit or debit card online at ottawa.ca
  • Paying through your financial institution by creating a payee number on your institution’s mobile app or through an ATM machine
  • Paying by phone with your financial institution
  • Sending a cheque by mail
  • Residents can access many other services online as well. You do not need to come in-person to a Client Service Centre if you want to:  Register or renew a pet registration
  • Apply or renew an open-air fire permit
  • Pay a parking or traffic ticket
  • Look up extension or reopening applications
  • Apply for a Food Premise Business License
  • Sign-up for future recreation programs
  • Load and manage a Presto Card

The City of Ottawa thanks all residents and businesses for their continued patience, kindness and resilience in doing their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. The rate of spread is at a dangerous point. We need to pull together again as a community by staying apart, respecting all measures, and practicing all preventative measures.

New Ontario COVID-19 measures: NCC assets remain open

Following the new measures announced yesterday by the Ontario government, the National Capital Commission (NCC) today announced that its outdoor assets will remain open for exercise and local use. 

The NCC understands the importance for people to get outdoors to exercise during the pandemic. That said, consistent with public health directives, we ask that residents utilize those NCC assets closest to their homes. We have greatly expanded our winter offering this year, and there are plenty of winter trails to explore in all parts of the National Capital Region.

In consultation with public health authorities, the NCC is also proceeding with preparations for the safe opening of the Rideau Canal Skateway. As its purpose will be to provide space for exercise only, food and beverage concession stands, rentals, and fire pits will be closed. The NCC will add sanitization stands as well as bi-directional staircases, where possible. We will also be asking all users to wear masks while on the Skateway. 

To help create additional outdoor space for those living in more densely populated areas of the Capital, the NCC will be opening a section of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway for active use only, 7 days a week, from 9 am to 5 pm. Information pertaining to timing and sections will be announced shortly. 

Due to the provincial public health guidelines, the NCC Bistro at Remic Rapids Park will not open during the state of emergency. 

We are also counting on the cooperation of users to comply with the newly issued provincial measures as well as those we have all practised for many months: frequent hand washing, maintaining a safe distance from others, and wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible to maintain.  

Due to the NCC’s limited capacity to enforce public health measures, we count on everyone’s compliance to ensure safe public access.

January 13

Special statement from Dr. Vera Etches following the the Provincial measures announced yesterday.

Hello. Bonjour. Kwey.

Current trends indicate that levels of COVID-19 in our community are among the highest yet since the beginning of the pandemic. More people are testing positive, the positivity rate and hospitalizations are increasing at a rapid pace, we are seeing more outbreaks and there are more close contacts per individual testing positive. The COVID-19 wastewater viral signal continues to trend upward over the past few weeks.

All of our monitoring indicators for COVID-19 mean Ottawa is once again in crisis territory.

People of Ottawa, I need you to commit to what you are going to do next to improve the situation.

Some may have gathered with a few family members over the holidays. Some might have been in crowded stores or on crowded rinks. Children may still be playing with their best friends to blow off steam after online school classes. Others might still be meeting with friends or extended family without distance.

It’s too late to change today’s numbers. It’s not about what we did last week, or yesterday. It’s what we do next that will make a difference.

The Provincial measures announced today will support us to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community by limiting the number of opportunities for COVID-19 transmission. While these measures make rules for public spaces, it’s what we do next – our everyday, individual decisions – that will lead us out of this difficult place.

It’s not what any of us wanted, but it’s what we need to bring levels of COVID-19 down. To stop outbreaks. To protect hospital capacity. To save lives.

We have seen how quickly things can change, even in the last few weeks. For example, on December 11, the seven-day average of people testing positive was 43. On January 11, yesterday, it was 137Another staggering figure is the number of people testing positive by week. For the week of January 3, 1,008 people tested positive for COVID-19 – by far the highest number we’ve seen in one week since the beginning of the pandemic. What these numbers tell me is more people are coming into close contact with people from outside their households. 

Ottawa, I know you’re exhausted. I know parents are trying to balance work life, helping their children with virtual learning and their own personal life. We have data that the stress caused by this situation is significant. We need to be compassionate and realistic about what we can achieve at this time. We are asking employers to once again be compassionate and accommodating if their staff require more flexibility in their work schedules. I know businesses are struggling. People living with mental health issues are struggling. Our isolated older adults, racialized populations, caregivers, those who are more severely impacted by COVID-19. Teachers. Health care workers. Those with a loved one in long-term care. Those who have recovered from COVID. Those who have lost someone to COVID.

We are all hurting right now.

Which is why we need to band together. Crisis is a powerful teacher. We’ve learned a great deal about our strengths as well as our limits, and if there’s one thing that stands out to me it’s that we are strong and we are resilient. We will make it through this pandemic. But only when we come together as a community to support each other. We can’t do this alone. There is help available if you are struggling. Many free mental health resources can be found on our website.

This is a collective task, one where we need to support – not blame – each other through this dark time. We have the power to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community: limit your close contacts to those you live with plus essential supports such as childcare. Practice physical distancing, wear a mask as much as possible, wash your hands frequently and stay home except for essential reasons. These same tools and strategies will continue to bring down COVID rates in the weeks and months ahead.

So for now, Ottawa, we have a lot of work to do. We have tools that work. The goal is to get back to a place of balance, like in November and early December when we were using our tools to live with COVID, with declining or stable levels that allowed schools  and more businesses to stay open. We need to maintain these behaviours as our routine for the coming months until we have clear protection from COVID-19 vaccines. I know we can do it. We’ll continue to be in this with you every step of the way.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch.

January 12

Ontario Declares Second Provincial Emergency to Address COVID-19 Crisis and Save Lives

Province Issues Stay-at-Home Order and Introduces Enhanced Enforcement Measures to Reduce Mobility

In response to a doubling in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, the real and looming threat of the collapse of the province’s hospital system and alarming risks posed to long-term care homes as a result of high COVID-19 transmission rates, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is immediately declaring a second provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA).

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Co-Chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.

“The latest modelling data shows that Ontario is in a crisis and, with the current trends, our hospital ICUs will be overwhelmed in a few short weeks with unthinkable consequences,” said Premier Ford. “That’s why we are taking urgent and decisive action, which includes declaring a provincial emergency and imposing a stay-at-home-order. We need people to only go out only for essential trips to pick up groceries or go to medical appointments. By doing the right thing and staying home, you can stay safe and save lives.”

Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted  purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely. This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people’s mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings for these purposes, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

These new public health measures will help stop the spread of COVID-19 by reducing concerning levels of mobility as the province continues its vaccine rollout and ramps up to mass vaccination when the federal government is able to provide the necessary supply to do so.

Additional Public Health Restrictions

Since the implementation of the Provincewide Shutdown over two weeks ago, the latest modelling trends in key public health indicators have continued to worsen, forecasting an overwhelming of the health system unless drastic action is taken. Escalating case counts have led to increasing hospitalization rates and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy which has resulted in cancellations of scheduled surgeries and procedures.

Provincial modelling shows growth in COVID-19 cases has accelerated, leading to increased hospitalization rates and ICU occupancy. ICU occupancy by COVID-19 patients is now over 400 beds and is projected to be as high as 1,000 beds by early February which has the potential to overwhelm Ontario’s hospitals. The number of COVID-19-related deaths continues to rise and is expected to double from 50 to 100 deaths per day between now and the end of February. Notably, data shows that mobility and contacts between people have not decreased with the current restrictions.  A new variant of COVID-19 emerged in November. If community transmission of this variant occurs, Ontario could experience much higher case counts, ICU occupancy and mortality.

In response to the alarming and exceptional circumstances at hand, and to further interrupt the deadly trend of transmission in Ontario communities, hospitals, and long-term care homes, the following additional public health measures will take effect January 13, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.: 

  • Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions. This is consistent with the rules during the lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 and will allow individuals and families to enjoy time outdoors safely.
  • Individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres.  
  • All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.
  • Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.

These measures will come into effect between Tuesday January 12, 2021 and Thursday, January 14, 2021, including the provincial declaration of emergency under the EMCPA, orders under that Act, and amendments to regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020

“Despite our best efforts, COVID-19 is continuing to spread in our communities, our hospitals, our long-term care homes, and our workplaces. We are continuing to see concerning trends across the province, including a tragic number of deaths,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We have made great strides in vaccinating tens of thousands of Ontarians, and we can’t let these efforts go to waste. Urgent action is required to break this deadly trend of transmission, ensure people stay home, and save lives.”

To help quickly identify and isolate cases of COVID-19 in workplaces and service providers permitted to remain open such as long-term care homes and schools, the province will provide up to 300,000 COVID-19 tests per week to support key sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing, supply chain and food processing, as well as additional tests for schools and long-term care homes. This volume of rapid tests would support antigen screening for up to 150,000 workers per week over the next 4-5 months in Ontario’s most critical workplaces. The province is expecting to receive 12 million Panbio tests from the federal government over the next several months and continues to pursue opportunities to purchase additional rapid tests.

“The trends in key public health indicators are continuing to deteriorate, and further action is urgently required to save lives,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “By strictly adhering to all public health and workplace safety measures, we can reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and keep our loved ones and our communities safe. It will take the collective efforts of us all to defeat this virus.”

The government knows that in order to keep Ontarians safe, it is important that they are not forced to leave their homes during the new state of emergency. Ontario is exploring all options available to put a temporary residential evictions moratorium in place, and will have more to say in the coming days.

The additional public health restrictions introduced expand on the existing measures put in place to keep Ontarians safe and healthy. On January 7, the government extended the shutdown for Northern Ontario to at least January 23, 2021 to align with the rest of the province. These time-limited measures will be evaluated after 14 days to determine if any restrictions need to be extended or lifted.

New Enforcement Measures

The province will provide authority to all provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the stay-at-home-order, or those not wearing a mask or face covering indoors in places open to the public, subject to limited exceptions, as well as retail operators and companies who do not enforce requirements under orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act (ROA) or EMPCA. Those who decide not to abide by orders will be subject to a set fine and/or prosecution under both the ROA and EMCPA as applicable.

In addition, all provincial offences officers will have the authority to temporarily close a premise and disperse individuals who are in contravention of gathering limits an order and will be able to disperse people who are gathering, regardless whether a premise has been closed or remains open such as a park.

“Strong, new measures will be enforced to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “We are taking extraordinary action to provide law enforcement officers with the tools and support they need to protect the health and wellbeing of Ontarians.”

Schools and Child Care Centres

Based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, schools in the following public health units (PHUs) will not return to in-person instruction until February 10, 2021:

  • Windsor-Essex
  • Peel Region
  • Toronto
  • York
  • Hamilton

By January 20, 2021, the Chief Medical Officer of Health will advise the Ministry of Education on which public health units (PHUs) will be permitted to resume in-person instruction, based on the most up-to-date data and modelling. Before- and after-school programs can be offered when in-person instruction resumes. Schools in northern PHUs will continue to remain open.

To continue to keep students, staff and communities safe, the following new health and safety measures will be put in place for in-person learning:

  • Masking for Grade 1-3 and requirements for mask wearing outdoors;
  • Enhanced screening protocols; and
  • Expanded targeted testing.

The government will also implement new health and safety measures in Ontario child care settings, such as enhanced screening to align with school requirements, voluntary participation in targeted testing and additional infection prevention and control measures to align with schools. These enhancements are in addition to the existing health and safety measures already being implemented in child care settings across the province.

Child care centres for non-school aged children will remain open, and emergency child care for school-aged children will end in approved PHU regions on January 22, 2021 as these elementary schools return to in-person learning.During this extended period of online learning, in areas where in-person elementary learning is suspended, emergency child care will continue for eligible families in regions subject to school closures, as identified by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“At the heart of our continued efforts to protect against  the spread of COVID-19 in our communities is a firm commitment to return kids to school safely,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “Protecting our students, staff and their families is our top priority, and these additional measures build on our comprehensive plan to reopen schools and keep young children in child care safe.”

Workplace Safety

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is taking additional steps to protect workers with the launch of the “Stay Safe All Day” campaign, focusing workplace inspections in areas of high transmission, including break rooms, and providing new educational materials to employers to promote safe behaviour before, during and after work.

Evidence gathered from COVID-19 related workplace inspections to date shows the vast majority of employers and workers are following COVID-19 safety requirements when working. However, when in a break room, a vehicle or not on the clock, there is a tendency to forget about the importance of wearing masks, maintaining physical distance and hand hygiene. 

As part of the “Stay Safe All Day” campaign, inspectors will use a data-driven approach to focus on workplaces with reported COVID-19 outbreaks, manufacturing businesses, warehouses, distribution centres, food processing operations, construction projects and publicly accessible workplaces deemed essential, such as grocery stores. The Ministry is also using a new data-sharing program, in conjunction with the Ministry of Long-Term Care and the Retirement Regulatory Authority, to focus onsite inspections of long-term-care homes and retirement homes. 

“We know the majority of businesses are operating safely and responsibly to protect their workers and customers. But as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, we all need to step up and take additional measures to stop the spread,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “This includes increasing our inspections to look at everything workers do both while on the job and throughout the workday.” 

In the unfortunate event that an employee becomes infected with COVID-19, they may be entitled to federally funded paid sick leave of up to $500 a week for two weeks. Workers can also access Canada’s Recovery Caregiver Benefit of up to $500 per week for up to 26 weeks if they are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care.

Over the summer, the government enacted a new regulatory amendment that put non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave during the COVID-19 outbreak any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19, ensuring businesses aren’t forced to terminate employees after their ESA temporary layoff periods have expired. As part of the Safe Restart Agreement, the federal government is funding a temporary income support program that allows workers to take up to 10 days of leave related to COVID-19, preventing the risk of further spread in the workplace and allowing workers to focus on their health.

January 11

Ethical Framework for Prioritization of the COVID-19 Vaccine

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) follows the provincial ethical framework to prioritize COVID- 19 vaccine roll-out. The ethical framework is based on the principals of stewardship, trust, equity and transparency. The framework evaluates the patient population risk of exposure; the risk of severe disease or outcomes, and health system capacity to ensure ongoing care to the population. There is a limited number of vaccines available and

therefore, the vaccine distribution framework helps guide decisions to ensure equitable distribution. It also supports the goal of reducing the risk for those who those more severely impacted by COVID-19 in Ottawa.

As per the priority populations identified by the Government of Ontario , OPH conducted a census of long-term care and retirement homes in order to rank the facilities based on the established ethical framework. OPH worked closely with the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to evaluate the identified priority settings with the objective of preventing COVID-19 from entering facilities through community transmission.

Facility Ranking and Vaccine Distribution Planning

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now approved for transportation to long-term care homes. As per the ethical framework to prioritize COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, noted above, all long-term care homes have been ranked. Long-term care home administrators will work with those who are eligible to receive the vaccine in their facilities to secure consents and other logistics.

Memo

  1. Perley Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre
  2. Carlingview Manor Long-Term Care Home
  3. Peter D. Clark Home (City of Ottawa facility)
  4. St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa
  5. Garry J. Armstrong (City of Ottawa facility)
  6. Saint-Louis Residence – Bruyère
  7. ExtendicareMedex
  8. ExtendicareWestEndVilla
  9. Extendicare Laurier Manor
  10. The Glebe Centre
  11. Madonna Care Community
  12. Extendicare Starwood
  13. Garden Terrace
  14. Centre d’Accueil Champlain (City of Ottawa facility)
  15. Granite Ridge Care Community
  16. Forest Hill
  17. Villa Marconi
  18. Carleton Lodge (City of Ottawa facility)
  19. Revera Montfort Long-Term Care Home
  20. Osgoode Care Centre
  21. Salvation Army Ottawa Grace Manor
  22. Hillel Lodge
  23. New Orchard Lodge
  24. Revera Longfields Manor Long-Term Care Home
  25. Résidence Élizabeth Bruyère
  26. Manoir Marochel
  27. Sarsfield Colonial Home
  28. Royal Ottawa Place

With respect to the above, the Perley Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, Carlingview Manor, and Peter D. Clarke Home have now received vaccinations, with Gary J. Armstrong and St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa scheduled to receive their vaccinations today. Staff will continue to rollout vaccines, per the list above, subject to vaccine availability. Specific dates cannot be determined at this time given vaccines are received from the Province weekly and in amounts that fluctuate week over week. Distribution planning must also consider inventory requirements for second vaccine doses, which have started to be administered. After the 28 long-term care homes are completed, the next priority is higher risk retirement homes.

Vaccine Administration

OPH has designated mobile vaccination teams that can be deployed to long-term care and retirement homes to administer vaccines on-site. OPH is developing this model based on existing best practices that have been established as part of regular vaccination clinics, such as influenza and meningitis (i.e. process, supplies, delivery practices, etc.).

Other City services and The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) will support OPH with coordinating logistics and building resource capacity by identifying immunizers from other organizations/service providers like the Ottawa Paramedic Service, area hospitals and non- clinical staff support.

Next steps

OPH is working closely with partners, including TOH and the LHIN, to support the vaccination efforts at long-term care and retirement homes in the region. We are proud of the work done to date to vaccinate workers in long-term care and retirement homes as well as essential caregivers in long-term care and some retirement homes in Ottawa and will continue to build on this momentum in the weeks and months ahead to eventually provide the vaccine to all Ottawa residents who wish to be vaccinated.

Given the planning assumptions relating to timelines and availability of vaccines and the roles of various partners and stakeholders, we will work together and do all that we can to ensure Ottawa residents who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to access it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

January 10th

St Paul’s Respite Centre update

  • St Paul’s Respite Centre averaged between 100 to 125 clients, with approx. 200 service interactions per day.  
  • Their highest peak attendance was on January 5, 2021, where they served 128 clients that day
  • This past week, the St Paul’s Respite Centre averaged between 100 to 125 clients, with approx. 200 service interactions per day.
  • Their highest peak attendance was on January 5. 2021, where they served 128 clients.
  • Within the past week, they handed out:
  • Over 350 take away meals provided by the Ottawa Mission Catering Services
  • Had a total of almost 600 unique service interactions (such as clothing, food, warming, washrooms, and referrals to nearby services)

Within the past week, they handed out: 

  • Over 350 take away meals provided by the Ottawa Mission Catering Services 
  • Had a total of almost 600 unique service interactions (such as clothing, food, warming, washrooms, and referrals to nearby services)
  • They continue to implement client rotations when site capacity is reached (max 1 hours stay)

Additional Highlights:

  • A local member from the community assisted with the purchase of some much-needed Winter gloves for clients- 
  • Ongoing outreach with local businesses and residents to identify and work through any concerns. Specific outreach this week included; Remac Convenience Store and Tim Hortons.
  • ESS Case Workers are now on-site at all three locations. They are finding it to be a good opportunity to connect with clients and assist them with their individual needs.
  • We are continuing with the additional garbage pickup twice weekly through the City of Ottawa Waste Management Branch
  • One of our Respite Centre Leads from St. Pauls, was recently featured on Ottawa.ca: https://ottawa.ca/en/interview-megan-dowe-st-pauls-respite-centre
  • Highlight of the week: A local member from the community assisted with the purchase of brand-new Winter gloves for clients in need- THANK YOU 🙏
  • Urgent Call-Out:  We are in need of men’s and women’s Winter Gloves
  • To donate, email donations@ottawa.ca to set up an appointment for drop-off. Remember to follow physical distancing when dropping off donations. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

January 9th

City updates on COVID19 vaccine distribution

The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) are taking a proactive planning approach, outlined below, to ensure readiness as additional vaccines are approved by Health Canada and more doses are received from the Province.

As you read through this document, please keep in mind that there are new developments emerging daily about vaccines and the federal and provincial distribution plans. The information below reflects a moment in time in an ongoing and evolving project. Please rest assured that staff are continually monitoring for updates and aligning our planning efforts in response to new developments.

Jurisdictional Framework

The federal government has taken the lead on the approval and procurement of COVID-19 vaccines in Canada. The federal government has stood up its National Operations Centre through the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), led by Major-General Dany Fortin.

The provincial government receives COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government and is responsible for identifying priority population groups, as it distributes vaccines across Ontario. The Province is also responsible for vaccine tracking and healthcare records management and has established the provincial COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, led by General (retired) Rick Hillier. The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) and the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Operations Centre have also been stood up.

OPH will eventually receive vaccines from the Province to administer in accordance with the provincially mandated prioritization groups. The City has established a COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force with partners from OPH and The Ottawa Hospital and has also stood up the municipality’s Emergency Operations Centre in support of these efforts.

Vaccine Approvals

Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on December 9, 2020, and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on December 23, 2020. There are other potential vaccines expected to follow, including vaccine candidates from Janssen, AstraZeneca and Novavax, among others. The Public Health Agency of Canada has announced that the federal government has negotiated agreements with seven vaccine manufacturers that would provide access to COVID-19 vaccines to everyone living in Canada by September 2021.

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses. Currently, the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine is approved for people aged 16 and older and the Moderna vaccine is approved for people aged 18 and older. Reports have indicated that the vaccines are close to being equivalent in efficacy. Based on the data from the vaccine trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are 95 and 94.1 percent effective respectively, at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 infection, following 2 doses of the vaccines.

There are different cold storage requirements for both vaccines. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine must be stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius whereas the Pfizer vaccine must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius. For this reason, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires ultra-cold freezers that public health units, doctor’s offices and most pharmacies do not have. As of today, only some hospitals are equipped to BioNTech vaccine, whereas the Moderna vaccine may be administered by a wider range of health care providers with the acquisition of special freezers that can meet temperature store and administer the Pfizer-storage requirements.

Vaccine Distribution

Overall, Canada has secured access to 20 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses and 40 million Moderna doses, with options to purchase more if needed. The total amount of vaccine that will be distributed to the City of Ottawa and precise delivery dates are not yet known. These decisions are made by the Province.

Various tactics will be used to distribute and administer vaccines across Ottawa based on the quantity and type of vaccines received throughout 2021. The main tactics that will be used include: hospital clinics, mobile vaccination teams, community clinics, pharmacies, primary health care providers like family doctors and by other health care professionals such as nurses working in congregate living settings, including long-term care homes and shelters.

Provincial Timeline

The table below outlines the three phases that the Province has announced for the rollout of vaccines in Ontario. The Province has also announced that public health units should be prepared to convert flu clinics under Phase 2 of the rollout. These timelines are subject to change based on the supply/availability of vaccines.

Phase 1 and Pilot Phase

Canada expects to receive a combined total of 6 millions doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for distribution in the first quarter of 2021 – enough for 3 million to be vaccinated with the recommended two-doses. The Ontario government previously announced that it expects to receive approximately two million doses by the end of March, which would amount to roughly one million people fully vaccinated.

If these vaccines were to be distributed on a per capita basis, Ottawa would see up to 160,000 doses by the end of March, enough to fully vaccinate 80,000 residents within the priority groups. However, given that there are areas in the province that have been more severely impacted by COVID-19, the large geographic size and remote areas of the province, and other factors, it is reasonable to assume that the number of doses received in Ottawa could fall below this optimistic projection.

The three main tactics that will be used in Phase 1 include hospital clinics, mobile vaccination teams and nursing staff working in congregate living settings for seniors.

On December 15, 2020, the Ontario government selected The Ottawa Hospital (Civic campus) and the University Health Network in Toronto to receive and administer a small amount of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as part of a provincial pilot. The City and OPH have supported The Ottawa Hospital with their pilot clinic, and as of December 31, 2020, they have received 12,675 of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Currently, the Civic clinic has the capacity to inoculate up to 1,200 people per day.

The Province recently announced that 17 more hospitals in Ontario would be opening similar clinics (all outside of Ottawa) with more hospitals to follow. Each hospital will be responsible for the storage and administration of the vaccines they receive. Given the cold chain requirements of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and that it cannot currently be moved from the site where it is received from long-term care and retirement homes, as well as essential caregivers, are receiving the vaccines at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital. Additional essential health care workers, such as emergency room and intensive care unit staff, those working on Covid-19 wards, paramedics and others can also receive the vaccine hospital clinic.

With Health Canada’s approval of the Moderna vaccine, the ability to immunize seniors living in specified congregate settings will exist once supply is received from the Province. Ottawa is not expected to receive the initial doses of Moderna, which will go to harder-hit areas of the province and remote northern communities. In the meantime, staff are working with long-term care and retirement homes to understand their needs and capacity to immunize their residents with the nurses working in those facilities, as applicable. There are 28 long-term care homes and 90 retirement homes in the City of Ottawa.

In addition to the availability of nurses working in congregate living settings that are delegated the authority to administer vaccines, OPH is designing mobile vaccination teams that can be deployed to long-term care and retirement homes to administer vaccines on- site. OPH is developing this model based on existing best practices that have been established as part of regular vaccination clinics, such as for influenza and meningitis (i.e., process, supplies, delivery practices, etc.). Other City services will support OPH with coordinating logistics and building resource capacity by identifying immunizers from other organizations and services like the Ottawa Paramedic Service and local hospitals, as well as providing non-clinical staff support.

Notwithstanding that the Province has indicated that the conversion of existing flu clinics will not be required until Phase 2 of the rollout, the City and OPH will be prepared to launch its four community clinics as soon as mid-January for the population groups targeted in Phase 1. These clinics have been identified as a contingency measure should more vaccine become available (or arrives sooner) than expected. The four clinic sites are identified as follows:

Memo

1. Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Patricia Way
2. EvaJamesMemorialCentre,65StonehavenDrive
3. Orléans Client Service Centre, 255 Centrum Boulevard 4.NepeanSportsplex,1701WoodroffeAvenue

OPH will leverage its existing flu and meningitis vaccine clinic model to establish these COVID-19 community vaccine clinics with specific provisions set out by the Province, for such things as space requirements (15,000 square/feet), layouts/flow of the clinic, technology (e.g. registration system), etc. These four clinics have the capacity to administer 1,200 vaccines per day at each site, and to ensure enhanced access, they will operate 7- days a week from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. The total capacity for these four clinics would be 134,400 vaccines per month.

If 160,000 vaccines are received in Q1 2021, the operation of hospital clinics, mobile vaccination teams, nurses working in congregate living settings and the potential to launch community clinics as a contingency will ensure that the City has the capacity required as part of Phase 1 of the Province’s rollout plan.

Phase 2

For the second quarter of 2021, Ontario expects to receive a combined total of approximately 15 million doses. This is enough for an additional 7.5 million Ontarians to be fully vaccinated. On a per capita basis, an allocation model which has not been confirmed by the Province, Ottawa would receive approximately 1.2 million doses in Q2 2021. The Q1 2021 projections estimate that approximately 80,000 residents would be vaccinated, and another 600,000 residents would be vaccinated in Q2 2021. This means that up to 680,000 Ottawa residents, who are eligible, could be immunized by the beginning of July, based on current Provincial estimates and the availability of vaccine supply – two variables that are highly susceptible to change.

The four main tactics that will be used in Phase 2 include an expansion on hospital clinics, mobile vaccination teams, launching community clinics and pharmacies.

Distribution of vaccines to pharmacies across Ontario will be contingent on the Province. Pharmacies have existing infrastructure and capacity to immunize residents and are well distributed across the city to make a significant contribution to support vaccination efforts.

For Phase 2 of the vaccination rollout, the City will continue to deploy mobile vaccination teams to complete the Phase 1 population group that includes long-term care and retirement homes, other congregate care settings and Indigenous communities. In addition, the City will be prepared to expand on the four community clinics noted as a contingency in Phase 1 above, with three additional community clinics for a total of seven mass immunization clinics. These locations have not yet been determined and staff are assessing various options that align with the guidance provided by the Province.

These new sites will require an additional 90 immunizers and 60 non-clinical support staff to operate. There will likely be other resources needed to support these sites to meet logistical needs as well. To staff these sites, the City is reviewing various options, such as redeployments and new recruitments. These options will also consider existing redeployments that are already in place with OPH for testing and contact tracing. Existing hospital clinics established under Phase 1 would also continue and potentially be expanded to other local area hospitals, as dictated by the Province.

If Ottawa receives 1.2 million vaccines in Q2 2021, immunization through pharmacies, mass immunization community clinics, hospital clinics, mobile vaccination teams and nurses in congregate settings will ensure that the City has the capacity required as part of Phase 2 of the Province’s rollout plan.

Phase 3

If Ottawa receives the estimated doses from now until July 2021, by Phase 3 we could potentially return to a steady state with regular vaccination delivery mechanisms, such as through flu clinics, pharmacies, and primary health care providers.

Key Considerations

The Province had noted that this will be the largest vaccine rollout in a generation. The vaccine logistics and distribution processes are complex, and the City is collaborating with public health experts and industry partners, such as hospitals, to ensure vaccines are administered in a way that is timely, efficient and safe.

There are many logistical challenges to consider, including but not limited to :

  • Staff scheduling
  • Client booking
  • Transportation
  • Supply management (e.g clinical supplies, personal protective equipment, etc.)
  • Clinic technology and data management
  • Vaccine storage, handling and distribution
  • Traffic and parking
  • Security

The above-noted considerations will be factored into the different phases through the rollout of the vaccines.

The City’s Vaccine Distribution Task Force was created on November 16, 2020 and began working with key stakeholders, like OPH and TOH. The Task Force quickly established its governance structure and has regularly met on a weekly basis. Various members on the Task Force have joined provincial roundtable discussions, while others are working closely with area hospital CEOs, Ontario Health and other public health units.

The Vaccine Distribution Distribution Force has proactively secured facilities to help convert OPH flu clinic into Covid-19 community clinics and has retrofitted sites to meet requirements set out by the Province relating to cold storage, security and inventory management, among others. As a result of the City’s declaration of a state of emergency, staff were also able to quickly procure three additional freezers as a public safety contingency to proactively prepare to maintain its Moderna vaccine supply at total cost of less than $20,000.

In addition, a robust communications and community engagement strategy is being rolled out to promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, along with ensuring alignment across the many partner organizations.

Part of this work will also include a comprehensive community outreach plan for populations that are marginalized, racialized and higher-risk across Ottawa and consider the mobilization of community clinics in areas that are most impacted by COVID-19.

Emergency Management

To ensure Ottawa is well prepared for what will be another historic year, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is also evolving as part of our Incident Management System (IMS) model, which is a best practice for emergency management across North America. As such, the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force is evolving into an Incident Command Team with key IMS functions that will be expanded in our Emergency Operations Centre.

The EOC Control Group is made up of the Senior Leadership Team along with other key leaders from across the city (Medical Officer of Health, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Paramedic Chief, etc.). This group will remain as is and continues to focus on developing strategies and setting corporate policy direction for the emergency response. The Command Team has a focus on city-wide continuity of operations and consequence management, while the Operations Group manages the day-to-day operational needs of the services. Together,these three groups will ensure a well-coordinated city-wide response.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the City has had to respond quickly to new and changing information that continues to come at an unprecedented pace. Despite this challenge, we have adapted quickly to meet the needs of our residents and to support our staff during the COVID-19 response. We will continue to do so as we work to ensure our readiness to administer vaccines to communities across Ottawa to help bring an end to this pandemic.

January 7

City implements 25-person limit at rinks and sledding hills, reservation system for refrigerated rinks

Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches, has issued an order under the  Health Protection and Promotion Act to restrict the number of people at skating rinks and sledding hills to 25 at one time – ensuring physical distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

For the City’s four outdoor refrigerated rinks, the City will implement an online reservation system to book free 45-minute skating times at ottawa.ca/skating. Starting this Saturday, January 9, reservations will be required to skate at the following peak times: 

  • City Hall Rink of Dreams, 9 am – 11 pm daily
  • Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink of Dreams, 10 am – 10 pm weekends, 8 am – 10 pm weekdays
  • Lansdowne Park Skating Court, 9 am – 10 pm weekends, 5 pm – 10 pm weekdays *hours subject to change
  • Ben Franklin Place Skating Rink, 9 am – 10 pm weekends, 5 pm – 10 pm weekdays *hours subject to change

Those who have made a reservation must show a copy of their confirmation email upon entry, either on a mobile device or on a printed-out paper. Refrigerated rink openings are weather-dependent, so be sure to check ottawa.cabefore arriving for your reserved skating time. The 25-person limit remains in effect at all times.

The reservation system will open on Friday, January 8 at 6 pm for residents to book skating times for Saturday and Sunday. Moving forward, reservations can be made up to two days in advance with new spots opening at 6 pm daily. A maximum of four skaters can be booked on each reservation. 

For community outdoor rinks and sledding hills, the 25-person capacity also applies. Think about others and limit your time during busy periods so everyone can get a chance to skate or sled. Residents are encouraged to come back at another time if the rink or hill is at capacity. On-site signage will be posted and rink ambassadors will help to make people aware of the 25-person limit. Additionally, a dedicated team from By-law and Regulatory Services will proactively monitor these areas.

The order from Ottawa Public Health addresses reports of large crowds at skating rinks and sledding hills– impeding the ability to maintain proper physical distancing of two metres. In addition, Ottawa is currently under a 28-day provincial shutdown and it has seen a steady increase of cases over the past week – including four straight days where the counts exceeded 100 cases.

In addition to the Order, under Provincial Regulations no team sports are permitted and the City is directing that only skating take place on all rinks with no sticks, pucks, balls or other sports equipment permitted on the ice. People are reminded that masks must be worn in public accessibility areas that are within 15 metres (50 feet) distance of the edge of the ice surface. While masks are not mandatory when skating, OPH recommends wearing one for added protection.

City’s new Virtual Arts and Recreation Centre opens its door to fitness, creative arts, and special interests right into your home

The City’s new Virtual Arts and Recreation Centre opens opportunities to get fit, learn a new language, recipe or instrument, or discover your talents with a brush and palette – virtually, right in the comfort of your home. The winter class offerings will be online at ottawa.ca/recreation on Monday, January 11, with registration starting on Thursday, January 14 at 9 pm.

A mix of short workshops and multi-week courses will begin on Monday, January 25. There will be offerings for every age group. Programs will include:

  • Language classes (French and Spanish)
  • Science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs (STEM)
  • Cooking classes
  • Visual arts: drawing, painting, digital arts
  • Fitness: Zumba©, bootcamp, yoga
  • Dancing: ballet, hip hop and others
  • Martial arts, Tai Chi
  • Leadership programs

Virtual classes help support everyone’s COVID-19 prevention efforts. Staying active and occupied with live-streamed, interactive classes is a perfect way to promote physical and mental well-being.

December 30

Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law 2020-186

Every person who enters or remains on outdoor ice skating rinks operated by the City of Ottawa or on the City’s behalf, including publicly accessible areas that are within a fifteen (15) meter distance of the edge of the ice surface, shall wear a Mask in a manner that covers their mouth, nose, and chin.

Duration:

Effective December 30, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. until January 28, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week.

Exemptions:

  • As prescribed by By-law 2020-186 (as amended) including but not limited to young children, persons with medical or cognitive conditions, persons engaged in athletic/fitness activity
  • Outdoor rink operators when performing rink maintenance when the public is not on the surface of the ice rink

December 23

Impacts to City Services following Province-Wide Shutdown

The purpose of this memo is to provide you with an update on City service adjustments and impacts following the province-wide shutdown announced on Monday, December 21, 2020. The City is committed to supporting residents and businesses during this challenging time while respecting provincial guidelines and keeping our people safe.

1. Counter services remain operational

City counter services will remain open to provide urgent, essential services to support vulnerable populations and local businesses unaffected by the shutdown. Service counters at City Hall, Ben Franklin Place, the Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue and the Rent Supplement Office at 100 Constellation will be available for residents who have scheduled appointments online. Residents will be encouraged to take advantage of self-serve options on ottawa.ca instead of in-person service whenever possible.

Limited counter and document drop-off services will remain available at all Employment and Social Services offices.

These City facilities have appropriate safety measures and booking protocols in place to protect staff and the community we serve.

Members of Council and their staff will continue to have access to their offices at City Hall as required.

2. On-street parking

To support those staying home during the shutdown, By-law and Regulatory Services will not be enforcing overtime parking on unsigned residential streets.

All other parking restrictions that ensure safety and mobility remain in effect, including parking bans due to snow accumulation, no-stopping zones, no-parking zones, fire routes, accessible parking spaces, pay and display, and rules around sidewalks, driveways and fire hydrants.

3. Recreation services and childcare services

The biggest impact from the shutdown will affect programs and services run by Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services. As of December 26, the City will temporarily close City- managed recreation and cultural facilities to the public including recreation complexes, community centres, arenas, swimming pools, theatres and museums. This excludes respite centres, COVID-19 assessment centres and childcare centres.

According to the provincial regulations, municipal day cares will continue to operate but the City will be suspending all holiday day camps. Before-and-after school programs will resume on January 11, when in-class learning resumes.

Under the provincial order, emergency day care will resume and staff in the Community and Social Services Department will be supporting the sector to get this service up and running.

Finally, please be advised that a PSA will be issued shortly with more details on specific City services and programs impacted by the shutdown and information will be available on ottawa.ca.

December 22

I support Ottawa Public Health’s request for the Province to revisit its lockdown approach in Ottawa. 

Here is why:

On December 21st, the Province of Ontario announced another lockdown, although this action may be necessary for certain parts of our province, but considering Ottawa’s incredible hard work, diligence and commitment to being COVID-wise, I echo our Chief Medical Officer and the Mayor when I say these measures are not a one-size fits all solution to all Ontario municipalities. I want to once again thank you for staying safe and following the rules throughout this pandemic

Our small businesses, workers and parents who were forced out of work were just getting back on their feet with regulations that locally demonstrated effectiveness.

On Monday, Ottawa registered 31 new cases of COVID-19. Toronto reported 611 and Peel reported 480 cases. This is a stark difference.

Ottawa has gotten the handle on the pandemic, by staying vigilant and continue to working on ensuring we solidify our weakest links. Here we are not only managing our numbers, as a region, including Gatineau, we have limited movements, reduced indoor capacity, facilitated hand washing, wear a mask indoors and distancing no matter which side of the Ottawa River you live on.  

Premier Ford’s announcement is a blow to a City who has been working hard to stay safe.  Important decisions are made at the provincial level to address the current red zone but blanket approach is adding to the anxiety many of us already feel.

Many parents and kids also fear going back to online learning.  Schools have been an important safe environment to keep our kids active, learning and healthy.

Local MPPs need to advocate for our unique area and City.
I like many political leaders, health professionals, businesses and parents will continue to push the Provincial government to understand our City’s reality.

While we are forced to move into this 28-lockdown I want to encourage everyone to continue to support local businesses, most who have successfully pivoted to curb side pick-ups and online ordering.

I want to also acknowledge all our essential workers. What you do, day in and day out to keep our City operating, whether it’s feeding us, keeping us safe, caring for our seniors, teaching our kids, transporting fellow essential workers to and from work,  or taking care of the sick – each one of you are our local heroes.
So thank you.

Finally, I call on the province to reconsider this province-wide lockdown. If not, we need more clarity on risk levels and data that led to changes to the regional approach leasing us to a lockdown and impacting all residents in Ottawa

Stay safe and healthy.

Mathieu

December 21

The current status of COVID-19 in Ottawa

Provincewide shutdown

The restrictions from the Provincewide shutdown start at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 26, 2020 and will continue in Ottawa until Saturday, January 23, 2021.

Based on the latest provincial data, cases in Ontario are expected to continue to grow, with multiple models predicting rates of at least 1,500 cases per day for several weeks under current restrictions. Daily mortality is also increasing in Ontario.

There has been a significant decrease in people staying home, especially when compared to the Spring. We also continue to see trends of people travelling across different public health unit regions.

Public health and other experts have expressed significant concerns that the current transmission trends, combined with the potential high levels of movement of residents related to social and consumer activities over the holiday period, could overwhelm our health care system and public health sector capacity in the new year

The restrictions from the provincewide shutdown affects:

  • Businesses, organizations and facilities
  • Organized public events
  • Social gatherings (including religious services, rites or ceremonies
  • Schools
  • Child-care
  • Post-secondary institutions
  • Day camps

Special statement from Dr. Vera Etches 

Kwey. Bonjour. Hello.

Over the weekend, I connected with Dr. Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, about the shutdown which was announced earlier this afternoon.

I want to acknowledge the dire situation much of our province is facing and how important the next weeks will be to stem the tide of COVID transmission across Ontario before it leads to unprecedented hospitalizations and cripples our health care system.

In my discussions with Dr. Williams, I highlighted the incredibly hard work and significant sacrifices Ottawa residents and businesses have made over the last several months to keep COVID transmissions down. I also mentioned the important role that schools play in enabling people to work and providing structure in children and youth’s days.

Through that hard work and most recently this fall, we have seen the number of hospitalizations and outbreaks decline in Ottawa. While no longer in decline, the levels of COVID in our community remain stable, and we know even a small increase in the number of close contacts we have can quickly lead to a significant rise in COVID-19 levels here. We know our hospitals in Ottawa are ready and not seeing the worrying trends seen in other parts of the province. We want to see elective surgeries continue and not be cancelled. We also know we are seeing a rise in numbers in neighboring regions and we are all connected.

I am disappointed with the decision by the provincial government to apply a 28-day shutdown on the city of Ottawa and I have asked the provincial government to reconsider a two-week shutdown for Ottawa, one that would be as short as possible in consideration of the evidence of the COVID indicators in our community.

We know that in a shutdown, we lose balance in our mental health and freedoms in our lives. For people living with domestic violence, home is not a haven but a dangerous place. Many business owners in the service industry are facing devastating economic impacts and their livelihoods are at risk. Self-isolation and loneliness are having a severe impact on mental health.

People are suffering and everyone is tired.

Today is the winter solstice, the day of the year with the longest hours of darkness. And today, in Ottawa, we are feeling that darkness. BUT the darkest time comes just before the light and I want you to know that I will continue to keep fighting for the people of Ottawa. I will continue to keep speaking to the province, to make it as clear to make this shutdown as short as possible for the city of Ottawa.

Today, there is hope in our community. Last week, nearly 1,500 long-term care workers received the first Pfizer COVID vaccines in Ottawa. There will be a phased and scheduled vaccine campaign to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to everyone who wants it, and we are in the process of reaching out to all long-term care home and retirement home operators and staff to continue to offer more doses of the vaccine. Staff who work at a long-term care or retirement home in Ottawa are asked to contact their employer today for information about how to book your vaccine appointment.

Ottawa, I am proud of the hard work you have done. I know you are committed and that you care deeply about your community.

In the days ahead, please do not gather with people you do not usually live with.  This Christmas must be different. Stay with people in your household only. If you choose to see family and friends outside your household, physically distance and wear a mask. Do as much as possible outdoors.  Stay home if you are sick and wash your hands regularly.

Caring for your loved ones means doing these things. These are both the simplest things but the hardest, especially THIS Christmas.

We need to keep each other closer than ever before, while being physically apart. Many people are struggling and need you to check in. These are your family, your friends, your neighbours who will struggle with their mental health, who will need food, support, even a friendly hello. No one is alone. Our community is all of us and please connect with them to see how you can bring light to someone’s world.  

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch. 

December 18

Ottawa public Health

On behalf of Ottawa Public Health, I would like to sincerely thank you and your teams for all your hard work, dedication and support. Thank you for collaborating with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) through what has been a year like none other. Over the past 10 months, the City of Ottawa has truly embodied our motto, “One City, One Team”. I cannot say enough how thankful I am to have had your support behind OPH through 2020.  

Together with the community, with our partners and with your support, we have accomplished so much. We see the results of our efforts today with cases stabilizing in Ottawa. It is clear, Ottawa residents, motivated by their care for others, have adopted new behaviours.

As we celebrate the coming of the new year, it is important that we all continue to support the collective efforts to keep COVID-19 transmission as low as possible in our community. The advances in the planning and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine at the federal, provincial and municipal levels are encouraging. I remain hope-filled for the new year. While 2021 will present a new set of challenges, I know that we will overcome them together.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much – from where and how we work, to who we socialize with and how we spend our time. But it has not changed the support OPH receives from our elected officials – if anything, we feel closer to you and your teams than ever before. In the new year we hope to continue to build these relationships and look forward to your continued support.

I hope you take the opportunity to relax and enjoy some time with your households and those close to you over the coming weeks and look forward to connecting with you in the new year. 

Sincerely,
Vera

COVID-19 Vaccine

On December 9, 2020 Health Canada authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine in Canada, made by Pfiezer-BioNTech. Several other vaccines are currently at various stages of regulatory approval by Health Canada. As part of Phase One of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program, the Ottawa Hospital (TOH) will be participating in the COVID-19 vaccine readiness program in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Pfizer- BioNTech. The first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Canada on Monday December 14, and a Personal Support Worker (PSW) was the first resident of Ottawa to receive the vaccine on Tuesday, December 15.  Health care workers providing care at 10 Ottawa long-term care homes have been selected to receive the initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in Ottawa. 

The City of Ottawa’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force continues work on a plan for vaccine distribution as it awaits further details from the provincial and federal governments.

OPH has launched a COVID-19 Vaccine page at OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVID19Vaccine with information on the Ottawa context, how the vaccine works, as well as precautions and considerations for residents to be aware of.

COVID-19 Safe Voluntary Isolation Site Program

Today, I had the pleasure of virtually joining Minister Catherine McKenna, MP Mona Fortier, MP Chandra Arya and MP Marie-France Lalonde to announce the Ottawa Safe Voluntary Isolation Site Program. This will be a welcoming and secure temporary home for people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to self-isolate, especially those who cannot do so safely in their own homes.  

With the capacity for up to 107 rooms, those choosing to stay at the centre will be offered a comfortable private room, meals, and transportation to and from the site before and after their self-isolation period. There are no costs associated to their stay. This is an opportunity for these individuals to rest and recover, without fear or anxiety of transmitting the virus to their family, loved ones, roommates and others they live with.  People with COVID-19 infections will be prioritized, but other individuals may also be eligible, for example health care workers and international travelers who face barriers to self-isolating where they usually live, or who may be living in a setting experiencing an outbreak. OPH staff will identify those who qualify through the case management and contact tracing process, and the decision to stay at the centre is completely voluntary.  

The site will operate from December 21 until June 30, with a possibility of extension. Please note the exact location is undisclosed to protect the privacy of the clients and reduce stigma. 

The centre is an important part of Ottawa Public Health’s efforts to reduce community transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Voluntary isolation is a proven way to help reduce the risks of spreading the virus among household contacts. Please share this important new information with your constituents. Those who are in need of the services of the new centre or are in need of additional mental health supports while isolating can reach out to Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744or at healthsante@ottawa.ca .

OPH would like to express gratitude to the local hotel operator for use of the site, and funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada and federal government.  

Holiday/New Year messaging

With the holiday season upon us, OPH is encouraging residents to be social wise during holidays and celebrations. With COVID-19 continuing to be present in our community, OPH recommends keeping the number of people you interact with small: those in your household plus essential supports. If you live alone, one or two contacts outside your home can be important social supports to draw on. Please visit our website for more information on how to Be social wise during holidays and celebrations.

While we are contemplating how the holidays and celebrations are going to look and feel different during the pandemic, it is also important that we all continue to practice non-COVID related behaviours that ensure the safety of our communities and loved ones. These behaviours include arranging for a designated driver when consuming substances like alcohol and cannabis, ensuring proper food handling practices and considering the impact of the cold weather and winter storms.

Mental Health through the Holidays 

As the holidays approach, it’s so important to check in with ourselves and our loved ones to see how things are going and to make sure we are using good coping skills to support our mental health.    

For some, this can mean getting back to good habits like getting enough sleep, being more active and eating well or developing new habits such as mindfulness to add to your coping tool kit. For others, this can mean checking in with some of the many local supports and professionals to talk about our mental health and ways to manage through these challenges.   

OPH would like to remind everyone that the holidays are a time for caring about one another and there are resources available to help. 

  • The Walk-in Counselling Clinic at (613) 755-2277 offers free in person sessions as well as video or phone counselling sessions in English, French, Arabic, Somali, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese at a variety of locations. 
  • The Counselling Connect service in Ottawa offers free access to a same-day or next-day phone or video counselling session. 
  • If you need immediate help, call the Distress Centre Ottawa and Region 24/7  at (613) 238-3311 in English or Tel-Aide Outaouais at (613) 741-6433 in French.

Showing Support for those Isolated or Living Alone

The holidays can be a difficult time for many members of our community who are isolated or living alone. The efforts to reduce COVID-19 transmission might make this year especially challenging. A member of our community who lives alone has recommended that we show our connectedness from our homes. On December 25th at 8:00pm, we are inviting everyone to flip their lights on and off for one minute and make some noise to show members of our community that they are not alone or isolated during the holidays!

Please share this message through your social media channels: Show your support on December 25th at 8pm!

Showing Support for Older Adults

Our partners at the Geriatric Psychiatry Community Services of Ottawa (GPCSO) are highlighting that many older adults are worried and anxious about the upcoming season, as the holidays can be joyful and sometimes hard. The GPCSO has released a FACE the Holidays Guide 2020 to help all of us think creatively about what truly matters this season.

They encourage all of us to FACE the Holidays: 

F – FOCUS on what’s in your control

A – ACKNOWLEDGE this year is different

C – CONNECT creatively

E- ENGAGE safely

OPH Holiday Hours 

The Ottawa Public Health Information Centre (OPHIC) will be closed for general calls on December 25, 28 and January 1.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind residents that when calling the OPHIC line you may request the assistance of an interpreter. This service is available in over 170 different languages. When accessing this service, callers are placed in a 3-way call with the interpreter, who will provide an opportunity to discuss the inquiry in the language of the caller’s choice.

Additional OPH Holiday Service changes 

  • Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 phone line at 613-580-6744 will be open from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm on December 24, closed December 25 and 26, open from 9 am to 4 pm on Dec. 27, open from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm December 28, 29 and 30, open from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm December 31 and closed January 1st.   
  • The Site program office and supervised consumption services at 179 Clarence Street will be closed Friday December 25th to Monday December 28th and Friday January 1st to Sunday January 3rd. The Site mobile van will be closed on Thursday December 24th but will operate from 5 pm until 11:30 pm December 25th to January 3rd.
  • The Sexual Health Clinic and satellite clinics will be closed Thursday December 24th to Monday December 28th and Thursday December 31st to Sunday January 3rd.  The clinic will be open for appointments on December 29th and 30th.
  • The St. Laurent dental clinic  will be closed on December 25, 28 and January 1.
  • The  baby help line will be closed on December 25, 26 and 28 and on January 1st

Holiday Poem

With the holidays near, our team members are displaying their incredible creativity when promoting COVIDWise messaging. Share the holiday spirit with your networks and retweet and follow OPH’s Twitter account.

A holiday poem from OPH

We can still bring cheer

To the holidays this year

By being near 

to those we hold dear 

but let’s not forget to adhere 

to safety measures that are clear 

and not become cavalier and 

keep COVID out of here. 

https://bit.ly/3lxZBmj

COVID-19 vaccine distribution update

In advance of the upcoming holidays and in light of the first delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, we wish to provide an update on the work of the City’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force (CVDT), the Ottawa Hospital (TOH) and other community partners.

This has been a truly historic week for Ottawa, with health care workers who work in some of Ottawa’s long-term care homes becoming the first individuals in the city to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at TOH. 

There will be a phased and scheduled vaccination campaign to make COVID-19 vaccine available to everyone in Ottawa, however it will take many months before large segments of the population are vaccinated. We are confident that residents of Ottawa will keep doing their best to protect their friends, family and coworkers while the vaccinations continue.

The CVDT and partners are in the process of developing logistical and inclusive phased-in plans to administer vaccinations when more become available. The planning includes vaccination logistics and locations as well as the most effective means to reach and inform all residents. With these initial vaccinations happening now, we will take the best vaccination administration practices and continue to implement them into our larger plan. 

The tests and trials on the Pfizer vaccine have been reviewed and approved by Health Canada. This phase of the rollout is not about testing the safety of the vaccine; it is about determining how to best administer the vaccine.

We know there are individuals with questions and concerns about this new vaccine, and to ensure residents have the most up to date information, OPH has launched a COVID-19 vaccine website page, which will be updated regularly. 

While the various indicators tracking COVID-19 levels in Ottawa remain stable, our numbers are no longer declining. It only takes a small increase in the number of individuals’ close contacts to quickly lead to a significant rise in COVID-19 levels in our community. As we enter the holiday season, we need to continue to make informed decisions to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the COVID-19 virus. Avoiding crowded places and close contact with people outside our households are most important.

We must stay consistent, stay strong, stay focused in the weeks and months ahead. OPH has updated its website to reflect the holiday guidance announced by the provincial government and provide residents with information on how to celebrate more safely. We continue to ask that celebrations happen only with the people you already live with, virtually or physically distanced with anyone else, and that those who live alone can exclusively join one other household. 

With a new vaccine available and others anticipated in the weeks and months to come, there is a light on the horizon. We are adding another layer of protection to add to our toolkit. Every single action to prevent COVID-19 transmission counts, and the next few months will require our patience and perseverance.  The mask use, physical distancing, hand washing and staying home when ill are practices that will remain important layers of protection against the virus, including for people who are vaccinated. Residents can expect further updates and more detailed information on the COVID vaccine rollout in the coming weeks.

December 17

Ottawa’s Daily Testing Update

Please note that today’s update includes information about Ottawa’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre holiday hours between Wednesday, December 23, 2020 and Monday, January 4, 2021.

December 16

Respite Centre

They will be at: Tom Brown Area (Centretown West/Hintoburg), Bernard Grandmaitre Arena (Vanier/Overbrook) and St. Paul’s Eastern Church (Downtown). These sites are opening to respond to the needs of our most vulnerable, who have limited access to drop-in, day time services due to physical distancing requirements. Some of the services offered include food services, a warm place during the day, along with several other drop-in services. These respite centres are temporary in nature to provide additional resources throughout the winter months.   

For any questions about the St. Pauls’ Center, residents are invited to contact Respite Centre Operations mobile at 613 806-7306 or via email at StPaulsRespite@ottawa.ca directly to raise any immediate concerns or questions about the respite centre.  The Grandmaitre Center can be reached at: 613-806-7291 or Bernard-GrandmaitreRespite@ottawa.ca

FAQ Opening of Bernard Grandmaître Arena Respite Centre

Q.  When did the McNabb Arena Respite Centre close?

A:  The McNabb Arena Respite Centre closed on Friday October 9, 2020 due to the inability to properly provide heating to the facility. An alternate location was secured, and the Tom Brown Respite Centre was opened effective November 2nd.

Q.  When will the Bernard Grandmaître Arena Respite Centre open?

A:  The Bernard Grandmaître Arena will open fully as a respite centre by November 9 with projected hours of operation, Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 4 pm. A soft launch of the respite centre will start November 5 with full services starting November 9.

Q. Are there other respite centres in the city?

A: We currently have three respite centres identified.

  • Tom Brown Arena Respite Centre – Open
  • Bernard Grandmaitre Respite Centre – Opening November 9
  • Downtown location (TBA) – opening by end of November

We continue scouting additional locations to open future respite centres by year’s end.

Q. How many people used the McNabb Arena Respite Centre?

A. The McNabb Respite Centre received an average of 200 clients per day. Since April 24 to September 24, the following services/interventions were offered:

  • 3057 showers
  • 1487 restroom visits
  • 1113 clients seeking cooling during summer heat warnings
  • 7632 requests for food
  • 138 crisis interventions

Q.  What services will be offered at Bernard Grandmaître Arena Respite Centre?

A: The Bernard Grandmaître Arena Respite Centre will offer numerous drop-in services to our most vulnerable residents. In addition to the access to showers and washrooms, clients will have a place to rest during the day. The centres will also provide essentials like toiletries, food, clothing, crisis intervention, and referrals and links to other primary care services.

Q. Will the Bernard Grandmaître Arena Respite Centre include a supervised consumption site?

  1. . However, crisis intervention staff from partner agencies will be on site to offer supportive counselling and case management.

Q. Why was the Bernard Grandmaître Arena selected for a respite centre?

A. Thoughtful consideration was given to location and physical distancing measures when it comes to why the Bernard Grandmaître Arena was chosen as a site for a respite centre.

This site was selected due to its location in the community and the size of building allows for both proper space for physical distancing and adequate number of washroom and shower facilities, including accessible use of services. 

With the announcement of new provincial restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, many activities were impacted including indoor team sports such as hockey therefore there was limited impact to existing programs. 

Q. Will meals be provided to those who are using the respite centre?

A: The Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health will be providing take away meals initially. The Parkdale Food Centre will then be providing take away meals through the Cooking for a Cause program and will be exploring opportunities with local partners to incorporate culturally appropriate food options in the serving of hot meals.

Q. How will the issue of discarded needles be addressed?

A. Staff will be performing perimeter sweeps multiple times daily as well as monitoring and coordinating disposal of sharps containers installed on site. Calls made to 311 regarding discarded needles will continue to be prioritized.

Q. How will safety concerns be addressed?

A. The City will continue to contract a security service for regular monitoring of the Respite Centre during and after operational hours. Security will be on site from 8:30 am to midnight on weekdays and on weekend patrols as well. The City will also continue working with Ottawa Police Service to support respite centre staff in ensuring their presence in the community and address resident concerns. In addition, ongoing consultation with Ottawa Public Health are taking place to ensure current regulations are being met to keep patrons, clients and employees safe in the use of this facility during the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety and well-being of residents and those using the respite centre is of utmost importance to City staff.

Q. Will there be ongoing check in opportunities for key community residents?

A. We are committed to having ongoing meetings with the Bernard Grandmaître Arena Respite Centre community group. The expectation is that they be weekly for the first month, with a reduction in frequency afterwards if warranted.

Q. When will the Bernard Grandmaître Arena Respite Centre close?

A. The centre will be open until the end of the winter at which time we will assess the need and state of the COVID-19 situation

Q. Will there be any impact on ice time?

A.  With the announcement of new provincial restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, many activities were impacted including indoor team sports such as hockey. City staff are assisting with the relocation and consolidation of limited ice time to other facilities when possible, allowing for Bernard Grandmaître Arena to be used as a respite centre.

Q. Will beds be installed once the hockey is moved out of Bernard Grandmaître Arena?

A. Bernard Grandmaître Arena is a Respite Centre and is not identified as a physical distancing centre therefore will not have overnight stays.

Q. What should residents do if they have any concerns?

  1. For Bernard Grandmaître Arena Respite Centre immediate concerns, residents may call the Respite Centre Operations mobile at 613-806-7291, Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 4 pm. Outside of these hours, this number will be forwarded directly to 311 for response. You can also email us at Bernard-GrandmaitreRespite@ottawa.ca

FAQs provided by 3-1-1

Q. What should you do if you find used needles or other drug paraphernalia on the ground? 

A. You can pick-up discarded needles by following Ottawa Public Health’s safe handling instructions. If the material is in a location that is publicly accessible (such as a sidewalk or a parking lot), you may also notify the City of Ottawa by calling 3-1-1.

Q. What if I find used needles or other drug paraphernalia in my backyard?

A. To ensure the safety of our employees, the City of Ottawa will attend on private property to collect these materials so long as the area is publicly accessible. For areas that are not publicly accessible, property owners should pick-up and dispose of these by following Ottawa Public Health’s safe handling instructions.

Q. I picked up a used needle; where can I dispose of it?

A. If you have picked up a needle or other sharp paraphernalia, you may bring it to one of our Needle Drop Box locations including one installed on site at Bernard Grandmaître  Arena.  

Q. How can I file a noise complaint against the respite centre at Bernard Grandmaître arena?

A. To file a noise complaint, please visit ottawa.ca/en/3-1-1/report-or-request/noise or call 3-1-1.

Q. I noticed garbage and litter on the ground near the Bernard Grandmaître Arena. Who can clean this up?

A. Please call 3-1-1 to report garbage or litter at or near the Bernard Grandmaître Arena. An agent will notify the appropriate department for clean-up.

Q. What should I do if I notice loitering on private property?  A. If you witness loitering on private property, please call Ottawa Police reporting unit by dialing 613-236-1222, extension 7300. If this is a life-threatening emergency, please call 9-1-1.

December 14

Ottawa’s Daily Testing Update: December 14, 2020

December 4

Update from Ottawa Public Health

Kindness campaign 

As we move into the next phase of the COVID-19 response, it is important that we continue to be gentle with one another as we transition and adapt in response to new challenges.  OPH has launched a Be Kind campaign. The campaign focuses on how we are all connected and promotes how the small individual actions we take can impact others and help to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. This campaign will include messaging on supporting each other beyond COVID-19, including taking care of both our mental and physical health needs, and treating each other with civility, respect and kindness. Please see an example of some of OPH’s COVIDKind messaging on social media this week: COVIDKind on OPH Twitter.  

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women 

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women will be recognized on December 6th 2020. On this day, OPH is remembering all those who have experienced gender-based violence, including those who have lost their lives in the tragedy of the École Polytechnique attack. This day is still a difficult time for many. OPH will be sharing messaging on social media reminding everyone that it is completely ok to feel affected and that asking for support is a sign of courage, not weakness. By learning from our past, listening to survivors & speaking up, we can work together to take action. Additional supports and information on how to help end violence against women can be found here: Violence Prevention 

Misinformation 

In light of the need for timely and accurate health information during the ever-changing situation relating to the pandemic, OPH would like to remind residents to be wary of the potential for disinformation (false information deliberately and often covertly spread) and misinformation  (incorrect or misleading information that is spread regardless of the intent to mislead). Disinformation and misinformation can be a danger to population health. In the context of COVID-19, false information about cures, treatments, and fake preventative measures can cause serious illness. Misinformation and disinformation can cause long term damage to our health system. The spread of false health information can erode public trust in the health organizations that are striving to limit and control the COVID-19 pandemic. There are credible sources to find the best health information online. OPH encourages residents to refer to reliable and updated health information by verified and trusted health organizations such as local public health units, Public Health Ontario, Health Canada and the World Health Organization, to think critically about what they are seeing and be discerning about the information they share. Misinformation on OPH Twitter  

Vaccination success 

OPH is entering the fourth week of our influenza vaccination campaign and demand this year has far surpassed previous years. During the 2019-2020 OPH influenza vaccination campaign, 11,321 residents were vaccinated against the flu during the fall and winter months. In comparison, since launching in October 2020, OPH has already vaccinated over 48,000 residents to date through our OPH-run community clinics. 

Ottawa Community Action Plan Virtual Summit 

The Ottawa Community Action Plan Virtual Summit took place on November 20th and was hosted jointly by Ottawa Public Health (OPH), The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, the Community Addictions Peer Support Association (CAPSA), the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), and the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA). The Summit brought together over 150 individuals representing a cross-section of national and community organizations, agencies and individuals from healthcare, municipal government (including law enforcement and first responders), individuals with lived and living experience, and various other community organizations.   

Since the previous Summit, in February of 2019, many strides have been made to advance the Ottawa Community Action Plan, to make tangible improvements in mental health and reduce the harms from substance use, with a focus on opioids, across the lifespan. These achievements have included improving coordinated access and creating innovative ways of delivering services while also focusing on subgroups of the population that have been underserved. The successes in Ottawa are being shared on a national level through the partnership with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction so that other jurisdictions can learn and implement similar programs and processes.    

While there has been much success, improving mental health and reducing harms from substance use continue to be top priorities in Ottawa. Current challenges, as cited by keynote speakers during the Virtual Summit, include: lack of services; lack of knowledge on where to access services; opportunity for greater collaboration between sectors; and a number of at-risk groups, such as the Black and Indigenous communities, continuing to be underserved. Challenges also remain in terms of ensuring that people with lived experience are at the forefront of the conversation and are engaged as an integral part of the solution. Understanding these challenges, there was a consensus that collaboration was an important focus and something that provided hope to participants.    

A full report is being prepared and will be shared with elected officials in the new year. OPH is committed to this work and furthering these partnerships to ensure that these groups’ needs are considered in the Ottawa Community Action Plan and addressed overall. For more information on the supports available to the community, please visit the following resources: OPH’s Mental Health and Substance Use Services and ResourcesStop Ottawa Overdose; and Counselling Connect.  

Board of Health Meeting summary 

On Monday evening, the Board of Health held its last meeting of the year, via Zoom.  As part of her verbal report, Dr. Etches provided updates on this fall’s influenza immunization campaign and preparations for an eventual COVID-19 vaccine, the reopening of some of our dental clinics, OPH’s focus on mental health supports, and a recent report on COVID-19 and Racial Identity in Ottawa.  The Board also considered and approved the Draft 2021 Operating Budget for the Ottawa Board of Health.  

Official plan update 

Part of Monday’s Board of Health meeting focused on the City’s draft Official Plan (OP), with Stephen Willis and Emily Davies presenting to the Board on how the draft OP incorporates principles of healthy and inclusive communities.  In particular, their presentation focused on the unique collaboration with OPH through the co-location of two (2) OPH staff with the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Department (PIED). Through this collaboration, OPH has contributed to policies throughout the OP, including in areas such as mobility, urban design, housing, schools, food, air quality, sustainability, and urban heat islands. OPH also advanced an equity and inclusion lens, and the 15-minute neighbourhood as a fundamental organizing principle for how the city grows. Extensive discussions about the health perspective and advancing other 5 Big Moves goals for many OP polices proved to be a powerful way to develop collaborative solutions that advanced the goals of both PIED and OPH.  

This partnership is ground-breaking in Canada and will help ensure the integration of health perspectives into land use and transportation planning, allowing for the influencing of upstream interventions on the environments and conditions that shape our health and well-being, and our daily decisions.  

December 2

COVID-19 Response in the Vanier Community

Beginning Tuesday, December 1, a temporary COVID-19 testing site opened at the Vanier Community Services Centre (Centre Francophone). Unlike other assessment centres in Ottawa, Vanier’s testing site is intended to mobilize supports around high needs residents and underserved communities. This response in the Vanier community extends well beyond testing-only to include access to other social supports including food, housing and health education.

This temporary testing site serves residents who face barriers accessing other testing locations. Residents who meet the testing criteria and who don’t have a car, experience language barriers, or who need additional supports to self-isolate are encouraged to book an appointment by calling 613-288-5353. The site is open at 270 Marier Avenue on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m.

There is ongoing outreach with combined efforts with the team at CSCV and OPH staff over the next weeks to ensure those in need are accessing this site.