February 14, 2022

Special statement by Dr. Vera Etches

Today the province announced the next steps in its reopening plan to cautiously and gradually ease public health measures starting this Thursday. Here in Ottawa, monitoring indicators tell us that the level of Omicron is continuing to decline. We have seen signs of a significant decrease in COVID-19 activity, including a decline in wastewater signals, test positivity rates and new hospitalizations and outbreaks in hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes.

Ottawa Public Health continues to monitor the local situation and is supporting residents to assess and reduce their level of risk of exposure to COVID-19 as the province transitions towards greater opportunities for close contact in closed spaces where masks are not worn and in larger crowds. We continue to urge caution especially for those at higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 and we continue to support people in higher-risk settings.

Our strongest protection remains vaccination. There are still tens of thousands of older adults who are not yet maximally protected against their higher risk of hospitalization and severe illness by having a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Our community-based work continues to reach out to people and neighbourhoods where vaccination protection is lower.

Please visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca for more information on vaccines.