COVID-19 Update #42

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 May 1

Certain Businesses Allowed to Reopen Under Strict Safety Guidelines

The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects.

Today’s announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided general recommendations on how the openings of businesses and workplaces could be implemented to support safe operations, including strict adherence to health and safety requirements.

The government, in partnership with Ontario’s health and safety associations, has developed more than 60 guidelines in response to COVID-19. These sector-specific measures will help employers prepare their workplaces so they can be reopened safely and ensure workers, customers and the general public are protected.

By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.:

  • Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;
  • Lawn care and landscaping;
  • Additional essential construction projects that include:
    • shipping and logistics;
    • broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
    • any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
    • municipal projects;
    • colleges and universities;
    • child care centres;
    • schools; and
    • site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes;
  • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
  • Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
  • Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.

Although certain businesses are being permitted to reopen, it is critical that people continue to stay home, practise physical distancing and only go out for essential reasons, to pick up groceries, prescriptions or to keep a medical appointment. It is through these simple actions that Ontario is making progress to stop the spread of COVID-19.  

On April 27, the government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts are using to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces.

While the government remains in Phase One of Ontario’s Action Plan in response to COVID-19, Protect and Support, allowing certain businesses and workplaces to open under strict guidelines demonstrates the government’s commitment to balance the needs of the economy with the health and safety of the people of Ontario.

Ontario Takes Additional Steps to Improve Health Care Flexibility During COVID-19 Outbreak

Today, the Ontario government issued new temporary emergency orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to support the immediate needs of the province’s hospitals and health care workers so they can better manage critical health care human resources during COVID-19.

The new temporary emergency orders issued today will:

  • Give hospitals the authority and flexibility to more quickly appoint, re-appoint and grant privileges to medical and other professional staff, in order to address potential surge volumes due to COVID-19. This emergency order will allow for the reduction of administrative processes and better enable hospitals to focus operational resources on providing frontline services.
  • Authorize coroners, registered nurses appointed as coroner investigators, and public health units to access the provincial electronic health record to help reduce demands on clinicians’ time related to death investigations, reduce exposure to COVID-19 related death investigations, and improve the ability to monitor the spread of the virus.
  • Allow registered nurses appointed as coroner investigators to complete medical certificates of death instead of a physician or nurse practitioner, giving these medical professionals more time to focus on patient care.

Ontario Providing Support for Industrial and Commercial Electricity Consumers During COVID-19

Through an emergency order passed today, the Ontario government is taking steps to defer a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan for the period starting from April 2020. This initiative is intended to provide companies with temporary immediate relief on their monthly electricity bills in April, May and June 2020. The government intends to keep this emergency order in place until May 31, 2020, and subsequent regulatory amendments would, if approved, provide for the deferral of these charges for June 2020 as well.

This relief will prevent a marked increase in Global Adjustment charges due to the low electricity demand caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Without this emergency order, a small industrial or commercial consumer (i.e., Class B) could have seen bills increase by 15 per cent or more. This emergency order will hold GA rates in line with pre-COVID-19 levels.

Prime Minister announces ban on assault-style firearms

One Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many. Violent crimes involving firearms continue to have devastating impacts on communities across the country, and on Canadians who have lost loved ones to these crimes. Events like the recent tragedy in Nova Scotia, the attack in 2017 at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec, and the massacre that took place in 1989 at École Polytechnique de Montréal should never have happened. That is why the Government of Canada is introducing measures to combat gun violence, and help keep us safe.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced the ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms. These models represent nine categories of firearms and two types identified by characteristic. Some of their components are also prohibited.

The newly prohibited firearms and components cannot be legally used, sold, or imported. Owners must also continue to safely store them, and may only transfer and transport them under limited circumstances. These measures will remove dangerous firearms designed for military use from our communities, and help ensure that Canadian families and communities no longer suffer from gun violence.

There will be a transition period of two years to protect owners of newly prohibited firearms from criminal liability while they take steps to comply with these new rules. This two-year amnesty order under the Criminal Code is in effect until April 30, 2022. There are exceptions under the amnesty for Indigenous peoples exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights to hunt, and for those who hunt or trap to sustain themselves or their families. These exceptions will allow for the continued use of newly prohibited firearms in limited circumstances until a suitable replacement can be found. By the end of the amnesty period, all firearms owners must comply with the ban.

The Government of Canada intends to implement a buy-back program as soon as possible to safely remove these firearms and to introduce legislation as early as possible, working with Parliament and through public consultation.

Statement by the Prime Minister on the loss of six Canadian Armed Forces members

“Today, with the call to end the search and rescue mission, I join all Canadians in mourning the loss of six Canadian Armed Forces members in the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter accident near Greece earlier this week.

“Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough, Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, Captain Kevin Hagen, Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke, and Master Corporal Matthew Cousins were lost in this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with all of the families and loved ones of these Canadian heroes, and with the entire Canadian Armed Forces, as they grieve this tragedy.

“Every day these brave Canadians in uniform put themselves in harm’s way to keep our country and our citizens safe, and together we will honour their service to Canada and our closest allies. I express my deepest gratitude to all members of the Canadian Armed Forces, at home and overseas, for their dedicated service and sacrifice – our entire country is thankful. I also thank our NATO Allies who worked side-by-side with members of our Armed Forces to search for the fallen.

“In challenging times, Canadians lean on one another. Together we will get through this tragedy, and never forget those who were lost.

“We will continue to keep Canadians updated as the investigation progresses.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of these Canadian Armed Forces members. All Canadians share your grief, and we are here to support you in this difficult time.”

Special statement from Dr. Vera Etches 

Today I am pleased to announce that Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa are launching the first phase of a city-wide engagement opportunity to hear from residents about our collective community response to COVID-19. We are looking to learn more about your thoughts, perceptions and understanding of current restrictions in place related to COVID-19.

This online engagement platform, called COVID-19: Share your thoughts, will allow us to learn how residents are making changes in their lives to protect themselves and loved ones, what their experience has been receiving and understanding information, what kinds of supports residents have accessed, ideas to maintain physical distancing into the future and what is perhaps much needed right now – good news stories.

The City and OPH are currently exploring how we can safely reopen the city in a gradual, phased approach while aligning with the Province of Ontario’s framework for reopening the province, and we must include public feedback.

The information we receive from residents will help to ensure we develop a plan for the post-peak period that aligns with the province and meets the needs and expectations of our community as much as possible.  OPH is also working with stakeholders, such as the Mayor’s office and City leadership, City task forces, health system partners, the NCC and others, to interpret and apply the anticipated provincial guidelines within Ottawa.

Community and client engagement is one of the transformational initiatives in OPH’s strategic plan. Engagement is a process to work with our community, not just for our community, and ensures the decisions we make, and the work that we do, is rooted in the voices of clients and partners.

I encourage everyone to visit or to participate in English and French. Please check back regularly as we will update this page to seek ongoing feedback as we continue to navigate next steps.

Aging Well in Ottawa

One other way that OPH regularly engages with our residents is through Facebook. This week we launched another moderated Facebook page, called Aging Well in Ottawa for residents 55 years of age and older and their caregivers. This page has had a lot of interest in its first week.  Ottawa Public Health staff will be online from 9 am to 3 pm daily (Monday to Friday) to discuss timely health topics, address questions and support residents to connect with one another. Please join us online for this exciting new initiative.

Updated testing criteria

OPH is now recommending that any residents over 60 years of age experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, go for assessment.  The full list of who is eligible for testing is available on our website.  You can get tested at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre or a COVID-19 Care Clinic.

If you are in distress (e.g. significant trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting, or have a significant worsening of any chronic disease symptoms), do not go to the Assessment Centre or a COVID-19 Care clinic. Go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.

New case management system and epidemiology report

OPH is transitioning to a new case management and reporting system called the COVID-19 Ottawa Database. This transition will position OPH to better manage COVID-19 case volumes, facilitate remote work options for the case management team and continue to uphold provincial reporting obligations.

To support the transition, OPH is currently conducting quality assurance to validate the data in the new system. In the interim, a snapshot report will be posted until the transition is complete, likely early next week. 

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.