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 June 8
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local health officials, the government is easing restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so, based on trends of key public health indicators such as lower rates of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals, and progress made in testing.
Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.
Public health unit regions allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. include:
- Algoma Public Health
- Brant County Health Unit
- Chatham-Kent Public Health
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit
- Grey Bruce Health Unit
- Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
- Huron Perth Public Health
- Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
- Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
- Middlesex-London Health Unit
- North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
- Northwestern Health Unit
- Ottawa Public Health
- Peterborough Public Health
- Porcupine Health Unit
- Public Health Sudbury & Districts
- Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit
- Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
- Southwestern Public Health
- Thunder Bay District Health Unit
- Timiskaming Health Unit
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
Details of the Stage 2 reopening were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:
- Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
- Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
- Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
- Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
- Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
- Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
- Camping at private campgrounds;
- Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
- Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
- Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
- Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.
As more people return to work, the services they rely on will need to be available regardless of the stage a region is in. The province will soon release more details on:
- Child care;
- Summer camps;
- Post-secondary education pilots to help people graduate;
- Training centres; and
- Public transit.
At the beginning of each week, the government will provide an update on the ongoing assessment of these regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week.
Everyone, regardless of where they live in the province, must continue to follow public health advice, including to practise physical distancing, wear a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.
The government, in partnership with health and safety associations, has released more than 100 health and safety guidance documents at Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety to help employers in multiple sectors ― including retail, restaurant and food services and child care ― keep spaces safe for workers and customers. As they prepare to reopen, employers are strongly advised to review these guidance documents and implement appropriate measures to help protect their workers and customers.
The proposed changes to the Commercial Tenancies Act would, if passed, temporarily halt evictions of businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance. If passed, the legislation would reverse evictions that occurred on or after June 3, 2020. The government intends to bring this legislation forward as soon as possible.
In partnership with the federal government, Ontario is committing $241 million to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses which is providing more than $900 million in support. CECRA for small businesses provides forgivable loans to eligible commercial landlords to help cover 50 per cent of commercial rent for tenants for the months of April, May and June 2020.
The tenant will be responsible for covering up to 25 per cent of rent, so that up to 75 per cent of the rent is covered. Tenants and landlords can learn how much they may be eligible for by visiting Ontario.ca/rentassistance.
If passed, the proposed legislation would make it illegal to evict a commercial tenant until August 31, 2020.
The Ontario government, after consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 19, 2020. Extending these emergency orders will give employers of frontline care providers the necessary flexibility to respond to COVID-19 and protect vulnerable people and the public as the province gradually and safely reopens.
Current emergency orders that have been extended include those that enable frontline care providers to redeploy staff where they are needed most, allow public health units to redeploy or hire staff to support case management and contact tracing, and prohibits long-term care and retirement home employees from working at more than one home or for another health service provider.
Additionally, due to COVID-19’s unprecedented impact on the justice system, the province is extending the suspension of limitation periods and time periods in proceedings until September 11, 2020 under s.7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This will ensure people will not experience legal consequences if the original time requirements of their case are not met while this order is in effect. The province is working closely with the courts to ensure operations can resume as soon as it is safely possible.
Anyone who suspects they may have COVID-19, or may have been exposed to the virus, is encouraged to visit an assessment centre to be tested. To help stop the spread, people should practise physical distancing by staying at least two metres apart from anyone outside their immediate household, wash hands thoroughly and frequently, and, if physical distancing is a challenge, wear a face covering.
The following emergency orders under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act have been extended until June 19, 2020:
- Closure of Establishments
- Prohibiting Organized Public Events, Certain Gatherings
- Work Deployment Measures for Health Care Workers
- Drinking Water Systems and Sewage Works
- Electronic Service
- Work Deployment Measures in Long-Term Care Homes
- Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses
- Traffic Management
- Streamlining Requirements for Long-Term Care Homes
- Prohibition on Certain Persons Charging Unconscionable Prices for Necessary Goods
- Closure of Outdoor Recreational Amenities
- Enforcement of Orders
- Work Deployment Measures for Boards of Health
- Work Deployment Measures in Retirement Homes
- Access to COVID-19 Status Information by Specified Persons
- Service Agencies Providing Services and Supports to Adults with Developmental Disabilities
- Pickup and Delivery of Cannabis
- Signatures in Wills and Powers of Attorney
- Use of Force and Firearms in Policing Services
- Child Care Fees
- Agreements Between Health Service Providers and Retirement Homes
- Temporary Health or Residential Facilities
- Work Deployment Measures for Service Agencies Providing Violence Against Women Residential Services and Crisis Line Services
- Limiting Work to a Single Long-Term Care Home
- Work Deployment Measures for District Social Services Administration Boards
- Deployment of Employees of Service Provider Organizations
- Work Deployment Measures for Municipalities
- Limiting Work to a Single Retirement Home
- Work Deployment Measures for Mental Health and Addictions Agencies
- Congregate Care Settings
- Access to Personal Health Information by Means of the Electronic Health Record
- Certain Persons Enabled to Issue Medical Certificates of Death
- Hospital Credentialing Processes
- Education Sector
- Management of Long-term Care Homes in Outbreak
- Management of Retirement Homes in an Outbreak
- Special Rules re: Temporary Pandemic Pay
- Electricity Price for RPP Consumers
Changes to travel restrictions for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents
The Government of Canada remains committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians and reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. The Government recognizes however that the temporary border measures put in place to fight the spread of COVID-19, while necessary, have created challenges for some families.
The Government has therefore been looking at ways to keep families together and support unity while respecting the need for continued vigilance and border measures at this time.
The Canada Border Services Agency is announcing that as of June 8, 2020 23:59 EDT, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or who do not have reason to believe they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days.
Foreign nationals who are admitted into Canadapursuant to this exemption must quarantine for 14 days.
An immediate family member refers to a person’s:
a) spouse or common-law partner;
b) dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or a dependent child of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
c) dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b):
d) parent or step-parent or the parent or step-parent of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
e) guardian or tutor.
All foreign nationals who have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 continue to remain prohibited from entering Canada.
This change does not apply to immediate family members of temporary residents in Canada, such as those on a student or work visa.
On Friday, June 5, Ottawa Public Health posted a social media message that may have caused some confusion with regards to COVID-19 and immunity. My message to the public continues to be that we do not have enough information to definitively say how long people are immune to COVID-19 after infection with the virus.
The information previously posted on our website that indicated that people who have recovered from COVID-19 likely have some protection from re-infection was removed as soon as OPH became aware that information was not as clear as it could have been. Our website has since been updated to reflect the latest information we have about immunity.
There is no conclusive evidence of people being re-infected with COVID-19 at this time. As the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 illness (the virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2) was discovered in January, scientists and researchers are still in the process of studying the virus and its antibodies. More evidence and information regarding re-infection is anticipated in the coming weeks and months.
What we do know is that people who have recovered from COVID-19 infection have some antibodies to fight future COVID-19 infections but it is not yet known how long this immunity will last. As such, we encourage all residents to continue following public health recommendations to limit the spread of transmission and we need to continue to consider that any individual we encounter may be at risk for infection.
I know that residents rely on us for timely and accurate information on all public health matters. We apologize for any confusion this caused. Information regarding COVID-19 is changing every day and we do our best to ensure we are providing the most accurate, up to date, information available.
I am incredibly proud of the team at OPH whose tireless and unwavering communications efforts have without a doubt directly contributed to saving thousands of lives here in Ottawa.
Today the Ontario government announced that it is moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the province.
Based on the trends of key public health indicators such as lower rates of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals and progress made in testing, the province is easing restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so, including Ottawa. These changes will be effective June 12, 2020.
These changes include increasing the size of gatherings from five people or less to 10 or less and the reopening of more businesses and public spaces including hair salons, patios, swimming pools, beaches and places of worship.
We are currently reviewing the approach and how it impacts us here in Ottawa and I am confident that we can enter Stage 2 with ongoing care. The data shows that Ottawa residents have heard our public health messaging loud and clear, and it is your actions that have allowed us to transition into this new stage.
Thank you to our laboratory technologists and technicians
In the past, I have acknowledged various professionals working the frontline in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, I want to highlight the integral role of medical laboratory technologists and technicians for their response to COVID-19. Since day one of the pandemic, they have been working with COVID-19 patients taking samples and processing tests within our community to combat the spread and flatten the curve. Without these essential workers, COVID-19 and many other diseases cannot be diagnosed which is crucial information to allow doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to treat patients, and for public health contact tracing to prevent further spread. Thank you for your devotion and continued work in the background of this massive undertaking to manage COVID-19. For more information about this group please refer to mlpao.org.
Testing is an important step in preventing further transmission of the virus in our community. Since laboratory capacity has been able to expand, testing for COVID-19 is now available to anyone who thinks they may have been at risk for exposure to the infection. OPH strongly recommends that anyone with symptoms of COVID-like illness present for testing soon as possible after feeling ill.
Be COVID wise
Through everyone’s actions, we have been successful in reducing the number of infections that would have otherwise occurred. Overall, we estimate that only a small percentage of Ottawans have been infected with COVID-19 to date, therefore the vast majority of us remain susceptible to infection. The new cases and hospitalizations we report mean that the virus is still present in our community.
As we continue along the path to resume activities and sometimes adopt new approaches to work and service provision, OPH will be carefully monitoring the impact on infection rates in our community and communicating trends in our daily epidemiology dashboard. The people of Ottawa have successfully kept the virus to a manageable level in our community and this is the ongoing goal into the future.
We encourage all residents to continue following public health recommendations to limit the spread of transmission: practice physical distancing, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands and wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible. As groups of 10 will be permitted, limiting your number of contacts to the same group of people as much as possible will add to our ability to keep the level of COVID-19 transmission under control.
Thank you for your continuing care.