New as of April 1
Ontario Joins Forces with the Private Sector to Fight COVID-19
New $50 million Ontario Together Fund will support the development of essential equipment and supplies
To stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe, the Ontario government is launching a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators. This new Fund will support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal.
In addition, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade have worked closely with businesses across Ontario and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association to ramp up production of ventilators to meet the need in Ontario and other parts of Canada. The government has recently placed an order with O-Two Medical Technologies who, with the support of Ontario’s world-class manufacturing sector, will produce 10,000 ventilator units.
The government will be looking for the most viable, innovative proposals that can quickly provide critical goods and services and the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario. The government is providing one-time funding of $50 million in 2020-21 during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is time-limited and will be available to companies and organizations across the province.
Quebec Order from the Minister of Health and Social Services to prevent non permanent residents of Quebec access to the City of Gatineau and the Outaouais region
All Quebecers are being asked to avoid travelling from one region to another or from one city to another, except where necessary. Such travel should be confined to trips for medical reasons and work when teleworking is not possible.
To this end, to protect certain regions that are more vulnerable, checkpoints will be set up on main roads leading to the following health regions and territories:
- Cree Territory of James Bay;
- Regional County Municipalities of Autray, Joliette, Matawinie and Montcalm in the Lanaudière region;
- Regional County Municipalities of Antoine-Labelle, Argenteuil, Les-Pays-d’en-Haut and Les Laurentides in the Laurentides region;
- agglomeration of La Tuque in the Mauricie et Centre-du-Québec region.
At these various checkpoints, police officers will restrict entry and exit from these regions and authorize only essential travel. In order to validate the appropriateness of a person’s travel, the police may ask them to provide certain supporting documents, such as proof of residence, a driver’s licence, or a document provided by an employer. Of course, police officers will always be able to use their discretion in making a decision.
Where a business must resort to fly-in/fly-out regional air transport within Québec for its workeres, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) recommends applying the following mitigation measures to limit the risk of spreading COVID-19:
- reduce the number of workers per aircraft;
- segregate workers displaying symptoms or who have had contact with a case prior to boarding;
- exclude workers who display comorbidity factors;
- apply strict social distancing measures;
- limit the number of people in common areas;
- disinfect more frequently;
- provide for isolation measures for workers who appear to be developing symptoms in the workplace;
- monitor symptoms;
- implement adapted, adequate health services;
- provide for emergency transportation if need be.
Special joint statement from Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health and Dr. Brent Moloughney, Associate Medical Officer of Health
As we start a new month, we recognize that our new norms of physical distancing, school closures, and changes to employment settings and situations will remain in place this month. Please be sure to check out the resources available from Ottawa Public Health, provincial and federal government, and other partners to support you during this time. There are many resources to: support your physical and mental health; supplement finances; provide childcare for essential workers; help student learn at home; and much more.
Despite the situation continually changing each day, a few things continue to remain the same. Our goal remains the same – we want to flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. And at this time, our guidance remains the same: stay home and only go out for the essentials. If you have returned from travel or have respiratory symptoms, you must self-isolate.
We want to reiterate a statement from Dr. Theresa Tam yesterday, that COVID-19 does not discriminate. All residents are susceptible to COVID-19. Young people are getting it and are being hospitalized in Ottawa. People of all ages need to stay home, limit contact to those people in your own household as much as possible, and only go out for essential work or supplies.
OPH makes taking care of our employees a top priority, so we can take care of the public. We have a policy for “forced rest” for people to take breaks on a regular basis. This will ensure sustainability of response during this pandemic.
Number of cases
As of 4 pm yesterday, OPH is investigating 194 confirmed cases in Ottawa and five outbreaks – in three retirement homes and one long-term care home that we shared yesterday, plus a new outbreak with 1 confirmed case at a group home – Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities. That’s 50 new cases since our last report. This increase in cases is in large part due to the processing of the “backlog” of tests with the majority of specimens taken on or before March 19. The epidemic curve on our website provides the picture of the increase over time.
The number of people hospitalized and in intensive care also changes daily. There are currently 25 people in hospital – 5 more than yesterday, 7 of them are in ICU, which is 1 more than yesterday. Looking at the overall data for the outbreak, seniors aged 65 years and older were the most frequent age group ever hospitalized (49%) or ever in the ICU (67%). So this means, the majority of hospitalizations (51%) and 33% of ICU admissions are people under 65 years of age.
Case and contact management
On the topic of case and contact management, we continue to receive guidance from the provincial Ministry of Health. Currently OPH case managers are in touch with all positive cases and close contacts and provide education on self-isolation requirements.
Based on the latest guidance, we are strengthening case and contact measures to ensure that individuals with COVID-19 and their close contacts remain on strict self-isolation. These efforts will help us flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community in addition to the social distancing measures currently being encouraged.
I want to thank everyone for joining us today as we update you on the COVID-19 situation in Ottawa.
I’d like to start by announcing today that we will be hosting a virtual town hall on the topic of COVID-19 in Ottawa.
This virtual town hall will take place on Thursday, April 9 at 2 pm.
This will be an opportunity for residents with to call-in and ask questions about COVID-19 to myself and other City leaders.
Like we did with the last City Council meeting, residents can also watch the virtual town hall on Rogers Television.
I encourage you to watch for details on the City’s social media channels, as well as in an ad in this weekend’s Ottawa Citizen and Le Droit.
As many of you aware, one of our OC Transpo operators has tested positive for COVID-19.
This individual has been in self isolation since developing symptoms on March 20, and remains in self isolation at home after receiving the positive test result on March 21.
I want to assure you all that OC Transpo has put several measures in place to protect both customers and bus operators.
OC Transpo is working with Ottawa Public Health to trace and contact individuals who have, or may have been, in close contact with this operator, this would include staff, friends and family.
OC Transpo has identified and removed the vehicles that were driven by the operator from service.
These vehicles will undergo a deep clean and full sanitation before entering back into service.
OC Transpo customers who have concerns about this exposure can call OPH at
613-580-6744 to speak to a public health nurse, or they can visit Ottawa-public-health-dot-c-a.
Our best wishes are with the operator as they recover from this virus.
As you know, many residents and businesses are being financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – either through layoffs, closures or reduced business.
We have developed some property tax relief for those residents and businesses with a 2020 Property Tax Hardship Plan, which was approved by City Council last week.
If you are approved, the payment for both the interim and final property taxes will be due on October 30.
I want to remind you that in order to qualify for approval, you must complete an online application that is available on ottawa.ca/taxrelief.
It’s important to go online now and complete the application, as the grace period for all property owners to pay the interim property tax bill ends on April 15.
I want to also remind impacted landlords that many of your tenants are in the same financial boat as you are.
Property owners with tenants who do not pass on the deferral are deemed ineligible for the hardship deferral program and all taxes, penalty and interest are payable immediately.
We will all get through this better if we continue to work together as a community.
I also want to remind residents that is it critical that we listen to our medical experts here at OPH, as well as our federal and provincial experts, and practice physical distancing.
If we want to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, this is of utmost importance.
I have heard some concerning reports of larger groups of residents gathering together – in both public and private settings.
For example, Bylaw and Regulatory Services had to respond to a child’s birthday party held in a backyard, which had between 12 and 20 children present.
Bylaw officer had to visit Lansdowne Park on a complaint that more than 20 people were playing on the play structures and in the skate park.
Bylaw also received complaints about a yard sale in the Greenboro area.
It’s unfortunate, but we just can’t have these types of gatherings.
I know we want to continue some sort of normalcy in our lives.
We want to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and special occasions.
We want to spend time with our family and our friends.
But, please, limit your gatherings to the members of your immediate family who live in your residence.
I want to take this opportunity to thank our City Bylaw officers who have been busy responding to calls reporting large social gatherings.
Bylaw and Regulatory Services received 139 calls for Provincial Orders and closed parks – and this was just yesterday.
So, please, stay home and respect the physical distancing guidelines.
This is our collective responsibility.
We need everyone to work together to help protect all our residents.
Speaking of lending a helping hand, I also want to remind residents that the City has launched a formal donation process for businesses and residents to donate commercial-grade personal protective equipment to protect our emergency responders and front-line workers who are supporting the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The PPE supplies must be commercial-grade and in their original packaging.
I want to thank all the residents and businesses who have generously come forward to donate through this formal process.
For those still interested in donating, you are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org, and provide information on the items and quantities.
Again, I want to thank all our residents for their generosity and for their collaboration as we continue to fight COVID-19.
Please note our MPP Ottawa South Free Tax Clinic Scheduled for April 18 has been cancelled
You should always protect yourself from financial fraud, especially during a period of uncertainty. Unfortunately, fraudsters will prey on consumers’ fears and misinformation over the COVID-19 pandemic. You may get phone calls, emails and texts regarding COVID-19. Be very cautious when receiving them.
Here are a few things to consider in order to protect yourself from financial fraud:
- never click on links or attachments in unsolicited or suspicious emails
- never give out your personal or financial information by email or text
- note that financial institutions will never ask you to provide personal, login or account information by text or email
- when banking online, enter your financial institution’s website address in your browser yourself
- beware of questionable offers related to cures, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is
- if you have concerns about your insurance coverage, contact your insurance company directly
- if you need information on COVID-19, refer to a trusted source such as the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 page
Remember that if you didn’t initiate contact with a person or a business, you don’t know who you are dealing with.
The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre has more information on scams and tips related to COVID-19 to help protect yourself from fraud.
Ontario has created a new self-assessment tool
If you think you have 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care. Visit here.
If you require help in Ottawa South, please visit our website for Community links and contacts.
Ottawa Public Health
For the latest updates, please click here.
Government of Ontario
Every day at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET, the Province of Ontario’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) web page will be updated with the most up-to-date information including the status of cases in Ontario.