COVID-19 Update #68

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

We will be publishing our Newsletter on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays now.

New as of June 10

Ontario Unveils a Plan to Reopen Postsecondary Education

The plan was developed in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Starting in July 2020, limited in-person education and training may restart for students who were not able to graduate due to COVID-19 closures. This first phase will allow institutions to reopen to provide in-person instruction to students in essential, frontline, and high labour market demand areas, such as nursing, personal support workers, engineering, and other critical professions. Thousands of students across the province could benefit from this summer’s reopening.

In September, all students will have the opportunity to attend postsecondary education through virtual learning, in-class instruction, or hybrid formats.

The limited summer reopening will help individual institutions prepare for the fall term by ensuring proper health and safety protocols are in place. The province is developing a framework to be released to the sector in the coming days, which will provide guidance on the summer reopening and on health and safety measures.

Publicly assisted colleges and universities, Indigenous Institutes, private career colleges and other postsecondary education institutions may participate in this voluntary reopening. Institutions that choose to participate will be responsible for establishing their own plans for this limited reopening in accordance with public health advice and any ministry guidance.

In order to maintain Ontario’s position as a global leader in higher education and research, the government will also begin working on a digital and academic modernization framework this summer. Through this exercise, it will look at unlocking the potential of virtual learning, adapting postsecondary education and training to meet the needs of a rapidly changing job market and economy, increasing the accountability of postsecondary education, developing the necessary physical and digital infrastructure, and fully realizing the value of research, innovation, and intellectual property licensing in the domestic and global marketplace.

Beaches and Campsites to Open at Ontario Parks

Gradually over the next several weeks, Ontario Parks will start opening campgrounds, providing more washrooms and drinking water, along with roofed accommodations, park store and rental operations, visitor centres, and sports fields. It’s important to check what facilities and services are available before visiting a provincial park.

The following is a list of recreational activities and facilities that will be opening soon at provincial parks in regions entering Stage 2:

  • On June 12, beaches at Ontario Parks will begin opening to the public as maintenance and water testing are completed.
  • On June 15, campers enrolled in this year’s Ontario Parks’ Seasonal Campsite Program will now have access to their campsites at the majority of participating provincial parks. Those who were preselected in 2019 for the program will be contacted by Ontario Parks directly regarding the status of their reservation.
  • Beginning the week of June 22, all other campgrounds in regions entering Stage 2 will gradually open at provincial parks, along with washrooms, water taps and trailer sanitation stations.
  • Roofed accommodations (e.g., yurts, cabins and lodges, where available), park store and rental operations, visitor centers, and sports fields will be phased in over the next several weeks.  

Facilities such as showers, laundry, group camping, picnic shelter rentals and swimming pools will remain closed for the rest of the 2020 season.  

Visitors should check to see what facilities and services are available before visiting a provincial park.

To help protect visitors and staff, Ontario Parks will be implementing measures to address overcrowding and promote physical distancing in park spaces and buildings during busy visitation times, by limiting occupancy for day-use and camping in select provincial parks. This may include limiting the number of daily vehicle permits sold or the number of campsites available for reservations.

Ministry officers will be present in provincial parks to provide information, assist with emergencies and enforce provincial park rules and regulations. Additionally, these areas may be patrolled by local police or other enforcement agencies.

Ontario Helping Parents Return to Work

Developed in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and medical leaders at The Hospital for Sick Children, the plan will require child care operators to follow strict health protocols to ensure the safety of child care staff and children.

Details of the plan were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

As the province continues to implement its Framework for Reopening the Province, child care centres and home care providers across Ontario will be able to reopen with strict safety and operational requirements in place, similar to the safety guidelines required for emergency child care centres. Centres will be required to adopt specific rules, including:

  • Cohorting ― putting children and staff in groups of 10 or less day over day;
  • COVID-19 response plan ― all child care settings will be required to have a plan in place if a child, parent or staff member/provider is exposed to COVID-19;
  • Screening ― all staff and children must be screened prior to entry to the child care setting.  Anyone feeling unwell must stay home;
  • Daily attendance records ― child care settings must keep daily records of all attendees in order to support contact tracing;
  • Cleaning ― child care settings must be thoroughly cleaned before opening and frequently thereafter;
  • No visitors ― only essential visitors are permitted entry into the child care setting;
  • Implementing drop-off and pick-up protocols in a way that facilitates physical distancing.

Effectively immediately, staff can re-enter child care facilities and begin preparation for reopening. When these operators have met all the strict and stringent guidelines for reopening, they will be permitted to reopen.

The Ministry of Education has been working with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to develop these health and safety protocols. They will enable the safe reopening of child care centres across the province and enhance safety through effective contact tracing. This plan imposes strict requirements on operators, including mandatory training and reporting and support from the local medical officer of health before reopening.

Based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with strict health and safety protocols in place, the government is now enabling summer day camp programs across the province to reopen this summer. Strict health and safety guidelines were developed by the Ministry of Health in partnership with public health, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and municipalities, and distributed to local public health teams earlier this month. At this time, overnight camps are not permitted to operate in the summer of 2020.

Government of Canada creates a hub for organizations looking to find resources on buying and supplying personal protective equipment

The Government of Canada launched a new web hub to bring together available resources for organizations buying and selling personal protective equipment (PPE). As organizations re-open for business, they need reliable information on how to buy and sell the necessary supplies required to keep themselves and others safe.

The Supply Hub connects Canadian organizations from coast to coast to coast with federal, provincial, territorial and other resources and information about PPE, including consumer guidance. Buyers will find PPE supplier lists, in addition to guidance to help plan their PPE purchases. As Public Services and Procurement Canada continues to engage with our partners and advisory groups, the hub will evolve to include additional resources.

Special statement from Dr. Vera Etches 

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has launched a new dynamic reporting tool to compliment the COVID-19 Dashboard. This tool will provide up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases, outbreaks and core indicators to assess the situation in Ottawa. The new tool provides a comprehensive snapshot of information that was previously housed in more than one place. To facilitate access we have streamlined information into one interactive daily report and a weekly supplement. 

OPH prides itself on its transparent reporting of information. We welcome your continued feedback on our reports and the way we are presenting information to the public. 

Societal Impacts survey

In March, we completed the first wave of a population-level survey looking at perceptions and practices in Ottawa during the COVID-19 response. We recently completed a second wave of questions for the public about mask use, hand hygiene and physical distancing practices.  The majority of Ottawans report wearing masks indoors, washing their hands before eating, and maintaining a distance of 2 metres from others when indoors.  These measures will prevent transmission of COVID19 in our community and are important to continue.  By learning more about how Ottawa residents are managing through this time, we are better equipped to work with the community to provide supports where needed. ​

​​OPH thanks the team at EKOS Research Associates for their collaboration on these two survey streams. ​

Entering Stage 2

With the provincial announcement of Stage 2 “reopening” starting on Friday June 12 in Ottawa, many questions have been raised as people try to grasp the nuances and how it impacts their ability to see their families and socialize. While the province has said we can now gather in groups of 10 or less, physical distancing is still required when meeting with people outside your household to limit transmission of COVID-19, as there are still cases arising in the community with no known exposure. Furthermore, limiting your number of contacts to the same small group of people as much as possible will add to our ability to keep the level of COVID-19 transmission under control.

We have to continue to be cautious with reopening; with each additional opportunity to interact with others, there is an increased risk of virus transmission.  

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. Cases, hospitalizations and outbreaks have all decreased. Hospital capacity is positive. We are on target with contacting cases and their follow up.  Testing volume is up and the percentage of tests that are positive is down.

We have gotten this far, and we cannot let up on our efforts to control the virus. The future is in our hands, Ottawa. Be COVIDWiseWear a mask, Isolate when sick (and seek testing if you have symptoms), Stay two metres apart from others, and Exercise proper hand hygiene. Everyone’s actions have helped keep the transmission of the virus down and prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. As we enter Stage 2, it’s up to you to make informed decisions and lessen your risk of infection and the risk to people close to you.

Stay the course Ottawa. We are in this together. 

What you need to know about Ottawa’s plan to reopen

Since COVID-19 arrived in March, residents have done an incredible job following public health guidelines. Thanks to the hard work of our health care workers and the sacrifices of our community, we flattened the curve and slowed the spread of the virus.

Based on the Government of Ontario’s plan(link is external) to gradually relax restrictions and guidance from Ottawa Public Health, the City is cautiously resuming some programs and services. As we gradually reopen, facilities will look different and some services will be delivered in new or modified ways.

So, what’s the plan?

COVID-19 may be in our community for a long time, so reopening means adapting.

We’re reopening facilities and resuming services in phases. And we’ll be monitoring closely to ensure we don’t undo our progress.

  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we closed some services in March. But throughout the pandemic, much of the City’s work continued, including our emergency first responders (fire, police and paramedics), our Emergency Management Office, maintenance of our key assets (including our roads and drinking water treatment facilities) and our public works and operations (garbage collection and traffic services).
  • We also adapted some services so they can be delivered safely. Our existing virtual services continued, and some in-person services are now provided online.
  • Our reopening plan prioritizes public transitrecreation and childcare services to help residents returning to work and provide some heat relief during the summer months. Social services will reopen to support our most vulnerable. Counter services will resume, by-appointment only.
  • Reopening City services safely will take time. So, services will gradually reopen in July with more opening in August.

What will City facilities look like?

City facilities are being adjusted to help residents and employees follow public health guidelines.

  • The number of people allowed in facilities and public spaces will be limited 
  • City employees will wear personal protective equipment where required or use preventative measures, such as wearing cloth masks when physical distancing is not possible
  • Facilities will be cleaned more frequently and thoroughly
  • Important protective measures will be installed, such as:
    • Signage and posters with information about physical distancing, handwashing, health screening and other relevant safety measures
    • Floor decals and directional markings to show appropriate physical distancing for line-ups
    • Sneeze guards and protective screens at public-facing service counters
    • Hand sanitizer dispensers installed at all entrances

Will I need to wear a mask to access City services?

You must wear a mask to take OC Transpo(link is external), but some exceptions apply. We strongly recommend wearing a cloth mask while on City property when physical distancing isn’t possible. Ottawa Public Health has many resources on cloth masks here(link is external).

What can I do to help Ottawa reopen?

We all have a role to play to avoid a second wave of COVID-19. We must stay vigilant and prioritize the health of our community – it’s important that we keep following public health guidelines to:

  • Stay two metres away from people we don’t live with
  • Wear cloth masks when physical distancing is not possible
  • Wash our hands properly
  • Stay at home when we’re sick

What can businesses and workplaces do?

Reopening businesses safely will help our community and economy recover. We will fuel Ottawa’s economic recovery by supporting activities that generate revenue for the City and local businesses while safeguarding the health of the community.

Our buy local campaign continues to provide residents ways to support local businesses. The webpage also links to provincial and federal assistance programs.

What happens if Ottawa sees a surge in cases once we start reopening?

We continue to work with Ottawa Public Health, and we’re prepared to implement more stringent public health measures and adjust the reopening plan if required.

What is being done to help vulnerable residents?

Our Human Needs Task Force provides help to those who need it. We assess evolving local needs and work in collaboration with community partners to support the most at-risk people in our community. Our efforts focus on food security, homelessness and sheltering, and outreach and social services. The task force is also working with community agencies on service resumption and with Ottawa Public Health around supports that are essential to community agencies. To find out what supports are available, including childcare, housing seniors’ services, financial assistance, and more, please visit our Family and social services – COVID-19 web page.

City announces its new summer camp program – modified around COVID-19

Camp Summer Fun will begin on July 6 on the condition that Provincial restrictions are relaxed to allow day camps for children and in accordance to the stage two guidelines announced by the Province.

The City has designed the camps in accordance with Provincial guidelines and advice from Ottawa Public Health that support preventative measures and mitigation strategies, including physical distancing measures and group sizes.

Some of the enhanced and strict public health measures that will be in place, include:

  • Smaller camp groups
  • Additional staff to assist with maintaining physical distancing requirements and sanitization
  • Screening protocols for campers and staff
  • Plexiglass sneeze guards installed where appropriate
  • Floors decals to mark physical distancing measurements of two metres
  • Staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment, including cloth face masks, when physical distancing can’t be maintained
  • Camp attendees are encouraged to wear cloth face masks during activities where it may be difficult to maintain a distance of two metres

The camps will not include field trips, swimming, skating, guest speakers and entertainers, or specialty summer camp programming. Instead, the camps will focus on fun and creative physically-distanced sports, games and crafts this summer, with activities held outdoors whenever possible.

Camps are open to children and youth aged four to 12 years, allowing siblings to be in the same camp group. French camps are available at select locations. The cost of Camp Summer Fun is $219 per week and will be offered from 8 am to 5 pm.

Registration for Camp Summer Fun will be available online only, starting Monday, June 15 at 9 pm. Payments can be made using credit card or MasterCard/VISA debit payments.

An FAQ is available at for more detailed information. Parents or guardians who want more information or have questions can reach out to sends e-mail).

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.