COVID-19 Update #33

COVID-19 is something that we are all going to have to face together. Our primary concern is the health and safety of Ontarians.
We hope you are staying safe and healthy.

Thank you to all the province’s essential services workers and those on the front-line. You step up everyday to ensure individuals, families and seniors have what they need to stay safe and healthy.

Thank you to everyone else who is staying home and practicing physical distancing.

It is important to listen to the advice of Public Health experts: 

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Practice social-distancing
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well
  • If you are concerned or suspect you have the virus, call
    Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000 or
    Ottawa Public Health: 613-580-6744

New as of April 21

The province is investing $11 million to help deliver meals, medicines and other essentials to those in need and doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments

The Ontario government is delivering much-needed support to Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens, including seniors and persons with disabilities, during the outbreak of COVID-19. The province is investing $11 million to help deliver meals, medicines and other essentials to those in need and doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments.

Today’s announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, and Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.  

The province is working with the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) to launch a new Ontario Community Support Program to expand existing Meals on Wheels services to reach low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions across Ontario. The program will also develop the capacity of community organizations and others to help deliver medication and other essentials.

This week the province will also be issuing the first doubled Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments. Individuals will receive up to $166 per month and couples will receive up to $332 per month. These doubled payments will continue for six months and provide an additional $75 million to 194,000 vulnerable seniors who may need more help to cover essential expenses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The province is investing $40 million in the Residential Relief Fund. The funding will assist developmental services, child welfare, victims shelters, and organizations delivering social services to vulnerable First Nations individuals and families with COVID-related costs, such as the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and enhanced staffing. In addition, the government is providing $148 million to municipal partners that administer social services with funding to support the province’s most vulnerable as part of the province’s $200 million in social services relief funding in response to COVID-19.

Health Experts Say the COVID-19 Outbreak Has Likely Peaked in Ontario
Modelling shows physical distancing still needed to prevent further spread

The Ontario government released updated COVID-19 modelling, which shows that the enhanced public health measures, including staying home and physically distancing from each other, are working to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. However, the Chief Medical Officer of Health says emergency measures must remain in place to continue reducing the number of cases and deaths.

Key highlights from the modelling update include:

  • The wave of new community spread cases of COVID-19 in Ontario appears to have peaked.
  • Outbreaks in long-term care and congregate settings continue to be a major concern. Concerted actions are underway to protect vulnerable people in these settings.
  • Ontario is now trending toward a best case scenario rather than a worst case scenario and has significantly improved its standing as compared to March modelling.
  • The province has avoided a significant surge in cases. Total cumulative cases are forecast to be substantially lower than worst case or even moderate case scenarios projected by previous models.
  • While several hundred new cases are identified daily in Ontario, hospitals across the province have not been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 outbreak as a result of capacity planning and the public health measures currently in place. The rate of growth day-over-day is declining.
  • To further reduce the number of cases and deaths, it remains critical that Ontarians continue to adhere to public health measures, including staying home and practicing physical distancing if they must go out for essential reasons only.

To enhance protections for residents and staff in long-term care homes, last week Ontario launched the COVID-19 Action Plan: Long-Term Care Homes. This action plan will ensure the implementation of critical new measures to prevent further outbreaks and deaths from COVID-19 in long-term care homes. These measures include enhancing and expanding testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic contacts of confirmed cases; providing public health and infection control expertise; and redeploying staff from hospitals and home and community care to support the long-term care home workforce.

Prime Minister announces further support to help Canadians in need

Canadians across the country are continuing to face challenges during this difficult time, particularly those who are most vulnerable to the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19. For many Canadians who were already struggling, it’s even harder now, and they are turning more and more to charities and non-profit organizations for help.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an investment of $350 million to support vulnerable Canadians through charities and non-profit organizations that deliver essential services to those in need.

The government has been working to put in place supports for all Canadians facing a tough situation. However, COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on those most vulnerable, creating a greater need for community-based organizations. To help these Canadians, the Government of Canada will provide additional support to charities and non-profit organizations through the Emergency Community Support Fund.

The investment will flow through national organizations that have the ability to get funds quickly to local organizations that serve vulnerable populations. It will support a variety of activities, such as:

  • Increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications
  • Providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments
  • Scaling up help lines that provide information and support
  • Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits
  • Providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response
  • Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet

With these further supports, we are making sure vulnerable Canadians feeling the financial and social impacts of COVID-19 can get the help they need, when they need it most. The government will continue to have the backs of organizations helping Canadians get through this difficult time.

Government of Canada launches Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator for Employers

To help employers keep and re-hire workers amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is implementing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).  This important economic measure provides a 75% wage subsidy of up to $847 per employee per week, to eligible employers, for up to 12 weeks, preventing further job losses and encouraging employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator to support employers as they prepare to apply for the CEWS.

The CEWS calculator can be found on CRA’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Web page. This Web page incorporates feedback received during user testing with stakeholders, including the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.  It includes detailed information and instructions about who can apply for the subsidy, how eligibility is assessed, and how the subsidy is calculated.  The calculator also includes a printable statement feature that employers can use to view their claim at a glance and, as of April 27, enter required information into the CEWS application form quickly and easily. 

By providing employers with additional details about their subsidy claim, the CEWS calculator can equip employers with important information they can use now to make more informed decisions about retaining and re-hiring workers. A series of information sessions will be held in the coming days to provide a forum for eligible employers.

The CRA also encourages employers to sign up for My Business Account or Represent a Client, as employers will be able to apply through these portals. The CRA will open the application process on April 27, 2020.  CEWS claims will be subject to verification by the CRA. Funds for approved applications will begin to be released on May 5.

Statistics on Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) in Ottawa

COVID-19 Epidemiology Update

This daily report provides an epidemiologic summary of COVID-19 activity in Ottawa to date. The report includes the most current information available from the integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS) and a chart review of COVID-19 cases as of 4:00 p.m. April 20, 2020.

Our database is a dynamic disease reporting system that allows for continuous updates of case information. These data are a snapshot in time, reflect the most accurate information that OPH has at the time of reporting, and the numbers may differ from other sources.


  • 899 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 25 deaths, have been reported in Ottawa.
  • This includes 42 new cases and 0 new deaths since the previous report.
  • 12% of cases have been hospitalized (cumulative), including 4% in intensive care (cumulative).
  • The median age of cases is 51 years (range, 4 months to 105 years).
  • There are 19 ongoing outbreaks in institutions
  • The most common reported exposure settings for cases include: 48% with close contact with a case only, 19% with no travel and no known contact with a case, 14% with travel only, and 14% with exposure information pending.

Projecting COVID-19 Infections and Hospitalizations 

Many coronavirus infections are mild or cause no symptoms. Because of this, the number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa represents only a small fraction of all the people who are infected (Figure 1). Diagnosed cases are often referred to as the “tip of the iceberg,” which means that for each case that is diagnosed, there are likely many individuals who are infected and unknowingly transmitting the infection to others.   

Public health interventions aim to reduce transmission from individuals with known and unknown infection to other individuals.    

Figure 1. Confirmed COVID-19 cases as a subset of all COVID-19 infections. 

Pyramid, starting with confirmed cases at the top followed by symptomatic infections, people who are infected with COVID-19 virus (symptomatic, asymptomatic and incubating) and all people at the bottom

Notes for Figure 1: Within the entire Ottawa population, a large fraction of people are infected with the COVID-19 virus.  Most of these people do not know they are infected, because only a fraction of infected people show symptoms (i.e., are symptomatic). Among symptomatic people, only a fraction have their symptoms recognized and confirmed with laboratory testing.    

To predict the effect of different public health interventions, and to plan for how many people with COVID-19 will need care, we use models to understand how COVID-19 might spread in a population. Models take into account what we are seeing, in terms of the number of confirmed cases, and what we have learned from other countries about the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.   

These models produce epidemiologic “curves,” which show the number of people infected over time with different interventions, such as physical distancing. We evaluate which interventions will best “flatten the curve” and decrease the number of infections occurring within a period of time. This can assist the broader health care system with overall planning in areas like hospital admissions and intensive care unit beds. Public health interventions, such as physical distancing, can be very influential in achieving the goal of “flattening” the curve.

Ottawa Public Health is collaborating with experts at The Ottawa Hospital, University of Toronto and University of Guelph, and regional health partners, to model COVID-19 in Ottawa. 

For projected population counts of confirmed cases, we use models by Ashleigh Tuite, David Fisman, and Amy Greer, University of Toronto and University of Guelph, available at: 

For acute care projections, OPH is collaborating with Dr. Doug Manuel and colleagues at The Ottawa Hospital on a model that is more agile to changes in local data, available at:  

Learn more about the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 and the current situation in Ottawa

Perceptions and practices in Ottawa during the COVID 19 response. Results of a population survey March 26 to April 2, 2020

Key messages

  • Most people in Ottawa believe the pandemic is a serious issue (94%) and that governments in Canada are taking the necessary steps to contain COVID-19 (93%).
  • The priority for 40% of people in Ottawa is to do their part to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to others. Another 39% of people are concerned that others they know will get sick.
  • 84% of people have changed their social behaviour in response to COVID-19 by only socializing using remote connections such as communication online or telephone (50%) or using remote connections and socializing outdoors on walks or in the yard (34%). Only 5% of people in Ottawa report socializing in their homes or the homes of friends and family.
  • Over half of people in Ottawa (57%) are worried about the safety of people they know with frail health. A third of people in Ottawa are worried about physical and mental health of themselves or those in their households (35% and 32%, respectively).
  • Compared with the total population, Ottawans who identify as living with a disability are two to three times as likely to identify difficulty in all areas of preparing for when they or someone in their household may become ill as those not living with a disability. Over half of people living with a disability are worried about physical and mental health (50% and 52%, respectively).
  • Over half (53%) of people in Ottawa expect that the current measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 will be in place for two to three months.

Perceptions and practices in Ottawa during the COVID 19 response. Results of a population survey March 26 to April 2, 2020 [PDF 640k]


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.