COVID-19 Update #21

  • Community Update

New as of April 4

Ontario Extends Business Closures to Stop the Spread of
COVID-19 as of Saturday, April 4 at 11:59pm

The updated list of essential businesses can be found here

Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close. This measure is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the people of Ontario, while ensuring that necessary goods and services remain available.

The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated Emergency Order to close effective as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves. Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact.

The updated essential businesses list can be found here.

As a temporary measure the Ontario government has revised the list of essential businesses. The updated list will direct additional businesses to close and restricts specified businesses to providing services by alternate methods such as curb side pick up and delivery, except in exceptional circumstances. This includes stores that sell hardware products, vehicle parts and supplies, pet and animal supplies, office supplies and computer products and repairs and safety supplies.

Only critical construction projects will continue, including industrial projects such as refineries and petrochemical plants and infrastructure projects such as new hospitals, roads and bridges. New starts in residential projects will stop, while residential construction that is near completion will continue. Business-owners with questions concerning their essential business status are encouraged to call the Stop the Spread hotline at 1-888-444-3659. The hotline is available from 8:30 a.m.― 9:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:30 a.m.— 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The government is implementing additional measures to protect frontline workers in essential businesses by adding more than 60 special consultants and officers and doubling the number of phone agents at its Health and Safety Call Centre to 50 to make it easier for workers to report safety concerns. Workers worried their workplaces are unsafe can phone 1-877-202-0008 to speak with an agent.


Ontario Takes Steps to Keep Food on the Table during COVID-19
New online portal connects employers with workers looking to make a difference

In order to ensure grocery store shelves remain full and families have food on the table during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Ontario is launching a new web portal, connecting workers with employers looking to fill positions in the agri-food sector. This new online tool will make it easier to match people to essential jobs and training resources throughout the provincial food supply chain.

Ontario’s agriculture and food industry relies on hundreds of thousands of people to work in diverse jobs from farming and food processing to transport and food retail, and the need for workers in many other parts of the food system remains strong. provides access to information on job opportunities and training resources in all parts of Ontario’s food supply chain – from grocery retailers to bakeries and cheese processing plants to opportunities on farms.

Ontario Protecting Vulnerable Ontarians During COVID-19 Outbreak
Province providing relief funding for residential service providers that support vulnerable populations

As part of the Government of Ontario’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the province is investing up to $40 million to support organizations that provide residential services for children and youth, people with developmental disabilities and emergency shelters for women and families fleeing domestic violence.

The COVID-19 Residential Relief Fund will cover costs such as additional staffing, residential respite for caregivers; personal protective equipment and supplies; initiatives to support physical distancing and transportation to minimize client exposure.

Ontario is also taking action to help ensure that staffing and resources are available to help care for and protect people with developmental disabilities and the frontline workers who support them. These temporary measures provide further flexibility for developmental service agencies to redirect their staffing and financial resources to essential tasks that keep individuals with developmental disabilities safe and out of hospital.

The Relief Fund will also help address increased residential costs that emergency shelters for women fleeing domestic violence and survivors of human trafficking are facing at this time.


Special statement from Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health

Thank you to everyone that is doing the right thing – staying home and keeping your physical distance. We can change the impact that this pandemic has on our city when we all work together. 

Yesterday, the province shared projections of total numbers of cases and deaths in Ontario in different scenarios. It is important to note that the different curves and projections show that the measures we are currently taking (e.g. closures of schools and public spaces and ensuring everyone keeps their distance), do make a difference in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and can prevent deaths. The actions of every individual determine which curve we will experience – and we are aiming for the lowest curve possible. The least number of infections at once will ensure that the healthcare system can continue to handle the demand. We are working with our partners to determine what these provincial projections may mean for our city. 

We understand many people may be frustrated with the length of time to receive test results. There is now a new online portal to access COVID-19 test results directly from the provincial laboratory system. This portal was launched yesterday by the Government of Ontario and offers fast and secure access to test results on your computer and mobile device.  

Number of cases

As of 4 pm yesterday, OPH is investigating 322 lab-confirmed cases in Ottawa in the community and six outbreaks in institutions. That’s 33 new cases since our last report. 

Sadly, we are sharing the news of the fourth COVID-related death in Ottawa.  This death is not related to an outbreak in an institution. To respect the person and their family’s privacy we will not be providing greater details on this case.  

The number of people hospitalized and in intensive care changes daily. There are currently 26 people in hospital – one more than yesterday, and 12 of them are in ICU, which is two more than yesterday. We have had an increase of one facility experiencing an outbreak since yesterday’s report.

The additional institutional outbreak reported in our surveillance report is at The Ottawa Hospital. It is important to note that there is only one confirmed case in this outbreak. As in all outbreaks, Ottawa Public Health will follow up with any close contacts of individuals with confirmed COVID-19. Ottawa Public Health and The Ottawa Hospital are working closely together to implement measures to reduce the severity and length of the outbreak.  

Thank you again for your cooperation as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. I am inspired by the supports that so many Ottawans are providing to each other, whether checking in virtually or helping with grocery runs. While we usually want to visit in-person, to share and manage in times of stress, keeping our contacts to household members as much as possible is going to get us through this pandemic.

Please continue to visit for the latest information.

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.  ETthe 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.

Government of Canada
For the latest COVID-19 updates, please click here.
For the latest on Employment and Social Development changes for employees and employers, click here.

Find out about the current reported scams related to COVID-19.

Learn how to protect yourself when banking online.

Know what to do if you’re a victim of fraud.