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.
Congratulations to the class of 2020 – high school graduates! Well done on reaching this important milestone.
New as of June 22
This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local medical officers of health. It is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to do rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.
Toronto Public Health and Peel Public Health will enter Stage 2 on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. They will join the 31 other public health regions that entered Stage 2 on June 12 and 19, 2020.
Windsor-Essex will remain in Stage 1 and the situation in the region will continue to be assessed on an ongoing basis. To ensure the region is able to move forward as soon as it is safe to do so, the province is building on the work completed by Windsor-Essex County Health Unit to date and collaborating with federal and local authorities to support the implementation of a targeted and collaborative response that includes:
- Continuing with proactive targeted testing for agri-food workers, including enhanced on-farm testing;
- Conducting more than 200 Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development on-farm inspections and investigations;
- Starting new joint inspections of farms with federal authorities to review current working and living conditions of temporary foreign workers with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and local public health officials;
- Providing $15 million through the Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection program, which provides cost-share funding to improve employee and workplace health and safety on farms and in processing facilities. The funding can be used to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), put up physical barriers, make housing modifications, or provide alternate housing or other measures;
- Translating COVID-19 health and safety guidance documents into Spanish and posting them on Ontario.ca/covidsafety. Additional resources, including webinars and helpful posters, are also available, and will help farmers and other agri-food employers provide safe and healthy workplaces;
- Providing specific funding to Workplace Safety and Prevention Services to deliver resources and consulting services to help farmers and other agri-food businesses provide safe workplaces; and
- Continuing to press the federal government to provide new funding to support priority sectors impacted by COVID-19, including the agricultural sector, as the province reopens and charts a path to economic recovery.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health has also strongly recommended that local medical officers of health use their authority under section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to issue class orders to ensure that employers of temporary workers take actions to decrease the risk of transmission of COVID-19 on farms. These actions will ensure:
- All foreign workers self-isolate for 14 days from the date of their arrival, with the resources and supports they need to avoid any contacts with others and notification to public health unit if they have any COVID-19 symptoms;
- All workers coming from any area where there is community transmission have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to beginning work;
- Daily active screening;
- Accurate and updated contact information of permanent, temporary and contract employees available to the public health unit within 24 hours and ensuring employees are assigned to the same group to support effective case management and contact tracing;
- Physical distancing maintained between workers as best as possible and personal protective equipment to be provided based on risk assessment; and
- All legislative requirements to protect worker health and safety are followed.
With this enhanced response, and continued support from the entire Windsor-Essex community, the government is confident Windsor-Essex County Health Unit region will proceed to Stage 2 soon.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation in all regions of the province to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.
Although restrictions are being gradually relaxed in Stage 2, the government is strongly recommending that everyone in Ontario follow public health advice, including physical distancing, wearing a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, washing hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
This gradual, staggered approach, based on customer date of birth, will ensure that strict protocols are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
DriveTest centres will begin serving customers based on when they were born to reduce crowding, support new requirements for physical distancing, health checks and enhanced sanitation. People with birthdays between January to June will be allowed to visit a centre the first week of reopening, and people with birthdays between July to December will have access to DriveTest services the following week. Access to DriveTest services will continue to alternate weekly until full services are restored.
In the first phase, all 56 full-time DriveTest centres will reopen on Monday for G1 and M1 knowledge tests, driver’s licence exchanges and commercial driver’s licence applications and upgrades. Commercial road tests will also be available by appointment at 28 locations across Ontario.
To protect the safety of Ontarians, DriveTest will also require customers to wear face coverings inside centres and during road tests, sanitize their hands when they enter the building and undergo temperature checks before road tests. All DriveTest staff will wear personal protective equipment when serving customers. Driver examiners will also be equipped with face shields, sanitizer packages and seat covers when conducting road tests.
Details of the DriveTest reopening plan, which outline the driver testing services available, how to access DriveTest centres, and which customers are being served each week, will be updated every Monday on DriveTest.ca.
Kwey, Aniin, Shé:kon, Ainngai, Taanshi,
This past weekend we celebrated both National Indigenous Peoples Day and summer solstice, a time of celebration and new beginnings. Many Ottawans spent the weekend outdoors and enjoyed the beauty of the traditional unceded Algonquin territory.
June is also Indigenous History Month, a time to learn about and acknowledge the rich diversity of cultures and traditions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is committed to reconciliation. We work in partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples and communities to advance Indigenous health equity and address anti-Indigenous racism. Currently we are working with partners to better understand how COVID-19 is affecting Indigenous communities, including the health and social effects of closures and physical distancing on First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
As part of our pandemic response, OPH has launched a new webpage that highlights COVID-19 resources for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis community members. Resources include information developed by Ottawa Public Health and local, provincial and national Indigenous organizations. Several of the resources are available in a number of Indigenous languages that reflect the diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Ottawa.
Please take the opportunity to learn about First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, anti-Indigenous racism, and to reflect on a personal commitment to address past and current injustices.
Meegwetch, Nia:wen, Qujannamiik, Marsee.
Updated guidance for businesses and places of worship
Just over a week has passed since many businesses and childcare services started to reopen under provincial guidance. OPH continues to monitor and assess the situation as it evolves and is working closely with the business community to provide new tools to support them in reopening safely.
Ottawa businesses are working hard and quickly adapting to the new requirements to keep their employees and customers as safe as possible. Let’s honour their efforts by being respectful and patient customers that protect the health of employees.
As we continue to reopen and consistently report low new case numbers, please remember to be COVIDwise. We can continue to flatten the curve as we take advantage of the new opportunities to explore and socialize while COVID-19 is present in our community.
W – Wear a cloth mask when you cannot maintain a physical distance of two metres.
I – Isolate yourself form others when you are sick (and get tested promptly if you have COVID-like symptoms).
S – Stay two metres apart from those outside your household.
E – Exercise proper hand hygiene; wash your hands regularly or use sanitizer especially before touching your face.
Activities have high to low levels of risk when it comes to spreading the virus. Be COVIDwise by using information available on our website to help choose your activities as we work to keep the virus under control. The community of Ottawa has demonstrated that we are all able to protect each other and keep this virus at a manageable level. But we are not yet on the other side of this which is why being COVIDWise is crucial as we continue to live with COVID-19.