Daily COVID-19 updates

November 18th

Update from Ottawa Public Health

We are turning another corner in our COVID-19 response as we anticipate approval for the vaccine for children aged five to 11 in the coming days.

Earlier today, Ottawa Public Health released more details on the plan to vaccinate children in this age group.

First, I want to address a question I have heard from many parents: should I get a COVID-19 vaccine for my child, or should I wait?

My answer is this: Once the vaccine is approved for those aged five to 11, which we anticipate very soon, don’t wait. Only vaccines that are proven to be safe, effective and of high quality are authorized for use in Canada.

COVID-19 rates are highest and growing in this age group in Ottawa right now, with introduction of COVID-19 into schools leading to disruption in learning and work for many families.

Once approved for children five to 11, booking appointments will be done through the provincial booking system and not through Ottawa Public Health. Appointments for this age group are not yet available but we want parents and caregivers to know that this information is coming soon.

When it comes to where your child can be vaccinated, a variety of options will be available.

In addition to the currently operating community vaccine clinics, three more community clinics will begin operations to accommodate additional demand for COVID-19 vaccines once this age group is approved. More information on clinic locations can be found on our website.

And, within the first week of receiving vaccine supply, Ottawa Public Health will open after-hours school pop-up vaccination clinics at different schools over four weeks. The after-school pop-up clinics will have capacity to immunize up to 10,000 children per week. A total of 73 after-hours school pop-up vaccination clinics will operate on a staggered schedule over four weeks across the city to make getting the vaccine easier for children and their families who may not be able to use the provincial booking system or travel to a community clinic.

And, families may bring their children at the same time if they make an appointment for one child.

Now, to parents and caregivers: I want to assure you that no child will be given a vaccine without your consent. Parents know their children best and our role is to provide the information required for them to make an informed decision. We do recommend that anyone that is eligible to get a vaccine do so.

School clinics will be held after school hours and no child will be given a vaccine without parental consent. We understand that parents will have questions about the vaccine. Please visit our website for the most up to date information about the COVID vaccine for children. We are turning information parents shared with us into a frequently asked questions section with answers that will be fleshed out as we get the details from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization that is examining the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in context with the risks to children from COVID-19 infection. As well, our nurses will be available to answer your questions by phone or in school environments and at the vaccine clinics.

For more information, please visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/ChildCOVID19Vaccine.

***

Ottawa, you have been exceptional when it comes to our vaccination rates. Currently, 88 per cent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated.

That deserves to be recognized.

And while this number will go down temporarily as we expand eligibility, I have every confidence that our vaccine coverage rates will head right back up in the weeks and months following approval.

***

In recent weeks, Ottawa’s assessment centres and care clinics have seen a growing trend of residents seeking a COVID-19 test five or six days into experiencing symptoms. Opting out or delaying testing adds up to a growing risk of community spread of COVID-19 and added pressures on the health care system.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, do not wait a day or two days to see if your symptoms improve. Book a COVID-19 test immediately.

Visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/CovidTesting to book an appointment to get tested as soon as possible. If a test is needed for a school-aged person, they are available in each school.

***

And lastly, I know many people have started thinking about the holidays and gathering with loved ones, myself included. While we are in a much different situation than we were this time last year, especially as we prepare to vaccinate younger children, I want to caution everyone to proceed with vigilance this holiday season.

Assess the risk of those with whom you are gathering. Consider everyone’s vaccination status. If you choose to attend a larger gathering with others, maintain a physical distance and wear a mask when this might be difficult. Other things we can do include holding activities outdoors, and opening doors and windows every so often to increase ventilation. Information on safer gatherings can be found on our website.

November 6th

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) Command Centre Update

Further to the update shared yesterday with Council regarding third dose eligibility, the Provincial booking system went live at 8 am this morning. Since then we’ve had over 3,400 residents successfully book an appointment at our four multipurpose clinics.  

There remains sufficient capacity and appointment availability at all the clinics in Ottawa for residents who have had at least 6 months since their second dose of a vaccine and are now currently eligible for a third dose or those residents that are immunocompromised. Residents that are currently unable to book an appointment are currently not eligible for vaccination before November 21st and they are encouraged to visit our website as more appointments will be released closer to their eligibility date.  

It is great that Ottawa residents are interested in being vaccinated against COVID-19 and our team has shared social media messaging and updated our website to increase the understanding of the Provincial booking process for COVID-19 third doses 

October 29th

Neighbourhood Vaccination Hub in Lowertown this week

Jules Morin Fieldhouse
400 Clarence East

Wednesday and Thursday, 1-7pm

Friday and Saturday, 9am-2pm

October 28th

Neighbourhood Vaccination Hub in Vanier this week

Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre

300 des Pères-Blancs Ave

Tuesday to Friday
1 pm – 7 pm Saturday 10 am – 4 pm

October 15th

Dear parents, guardians and families,

I am writing to share my assessment that the pandemic situation is improving and to thank you for continuing to do what is needed to keep children and youth in school this fall. In-person learning makes such a difference for the well-being of children, youth and families.

My outlook this fall is one of cautious optimism. I am hopeful that we can continue to have safer spaces to learn and work. Almost 90 per cent of people 12 and older have the protection of vaccines and so very few people are requiring hospitalization with severe COVID-19 illness now. Yet, a number of children remain unvaccinated and COVID-19 rates are highest in children five-11 years old. I know it can be concerning when you hear of COVID-19 cases in schools. We need your help to keep outbreaks rare and limited, so children and youth do not miss in-person school by having to stay home after an exposure to COVID-19.

How to keep your children as safe as possible

While many parents and guardians now have the protection of vaccination, it is still very important for families to continue to be cautious and keep choosing actions that make COVID-19 transmission to children and youth less likely.  The most common source of COVID-19 infections for children and youth are household members.  Daily screening for COVID-19 symptoms, physical distancing, limiting the number of close contacts we have, wearing a mask when indoors or in close contact with others, getting vaccinated if eligible and staying home and getting tested when sick or identified as a high-risk contact continue to be very important. Ottawa Public Health (OPH)’s online screening tool supports your daily screening. Please follow the guidance from the screening tool, including instructions on when to keep your child home from school and when to seek COVID-19 testing. Screening and testing help ensure that COVID-19 is not brought into schools.

Limiting close contacts, especially for unvaccinated children and youth, means:

  • limiting the number of extra-curricular activities where there are different groups in close contact,
  • choosing outdoor activities as much as possible,
  • avoiding prolonged and unmasked indoor exposures such as sleepovers, and
  • keeping social activities outside of school to smaller groups to make follow-up easier if there is a COVID-19 exposure.

Increasing testing options for you and your family

There are many new options for parents and guardians to seek COVID-19 testing for their children and their families, in addition to the COVID-19 Assessment and Care Centres. We have included a table at the end of this letter to summarize additional testing options in Ottawa; school take-home test kits – now available in every school for students when testing is needed, appointment-based ‘Do-It-Yourself’ test kits and we are working on Rapid Antigen Testing as another option. For more information on testing, visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVIDtesting.

Vaccines for children ages five to 11 are coming

In the weeks to come, we anticipate announcements from the federal and provincial governments that will make COVID-19 vaccine available for children aged five to 11. I know families will have questions about the vaccines and we are working with community partners to make sure that you have all the information you need when COVID-19 vaccines are available for your children. Planning is underway, and we will be ready to offer approved vaccines when they are supplied to us.

I urge everyone who is eligible for their COVID-19 vaccine to get fully vaccinated. This will help to protect you, your family and the community. The higher the vaccination rates are in our community, the better chance we have of protecting those around us and keeping COVID-19 levels in the community and schools low.  My goal for Ottawa is to have at least 90% of our eligible population vaccinated. Vaccination can also help to reduce the burden on families; it helps parents and guardians get to work and students stay in class. When parents, guardians and students are fully vaccinated, they most often do not need to isolate after being exposed to COVID-19.

Communicating with you and your family

You may have received letters about people testing positive for COVID-19 in your child’s school. OPH investigates all situations where someone in school tests positive. We work closely with the school to determine high risk contacts and to quickly communicate with parents and guardians of students who are directly affected. Usually, high risk contacts are limited to one cohort dismissed in relation to one person testing positive, but sometimes multiple cohorts can be affected due to a bus or recess exposure, for example. Rest assured OPH uses the most cautious approach when deciding who is a high-risk contact. The data supports that public health measures in schools are limiting spread: when one person tests positive in a school, it usually stops there.

When there is an outbreak of COVID-19 at a school, the number of children affected is usually two to three. OPH will respond quickly with targeted approaches to prevent wider spread. OPH may recommend school-wide testing and/or school closure if we think there could already be wider spread across different cohorts/classes; we are finding larger outbreaks can happen with multiple different introductions of COVID-19 into the school from household and community sources. If your household is directly affected, you will receive the information you need from OPH on the next steps you and your family members need to take. Please follow the directions given and seek testing if advised.

As a parent or guardian, you need information so you can send your child to school and respond if COVID-19 affects your family. I am committed to making sure your family has that information in a clear, accessible and transparent way.  Feedback from parents helps us improve our communications.

Reaching out for help

As the pandemic continues, I am aware that many families continue to struggle. This has not been easy.  You are not alone. Please reach out if you need help. Call 2-1-1 or visit 211Ontario.ca to find out about financial and social support during COVID-19. If you need immediate help, call The Ottawa Distress Line/ Help Line at 613-238-3311 or The Mental Health Crisis Line at 613-722-6914.

We also have a number of resources on our website; OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVID19 and OttawaPublicHealth.ca/SchoolsCOVID19. You can also call our Ottawa Public Health Information Centre at 613-580-6744 to speak to a public health nurse.

I want to thank you and your children for your understanding and resilience. Over the last 18 months, I have asked the children, parents and guardians of Ottawa to do hard things to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and I want to thank you for the sacrifices you have made. Please know OPH is here to support you, your children and our schools. We work closely with school staff who have displayed incredible dedication in the most challenging of situations.  We are all working together to reduce COVID-19 transmission to keep children in school and keep healthy in both mind and body.

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 ap