|This message is to provide you with an update on the City’s response to COVID-19 (the Coronavirus). As you can appreciate, the situation is fluid and evolving rapidly.|
We are fortunate to have an amazing team at Ottawa Public Health, led by Dr. Vera Etches. Dr. Etches has provided assurances that our staff are prepared to respond to this pandemic, and we have entered into activated operations in conjunction with our emergency preparedness team.
This afternoon, City Council was provided a further update on the actions the city will be taking to contain the spread of the virus. Effective Monday March 16, city facilities including, community centres, libraries, pools, and arenas will be closed until April 5th. Client services centres will remain open, but residents are encouraged to visit Ottawa.ca for a list of services that can be provided online. Residents can also visit Ottawa.ca for full details on closures.
If you are directly affected by the closures such as those registered for programs, you will receive notice from the city directly with further information.
In addition to closing city facilities, City Council and Committee meetings will also be reduced and will only be held to deal with urgent or time sensitive matters. Public consultations will also be suspended unless deemed essential.
Many of you have expressed concerns and have contacted my office for guidance in dealing with COVID-19. I encourage you to check the Ottawa Public Health webpage for valuable updates.
As you probably know, COVID-19 is best dealt with by regular and vigorous handwashing; avoid touching your face; and staying healthy through diet and exercise.
The City and Province have also opened a screening centre for anyone concerned that they may be affected with COVID-19. The centre will be held at Brewer Arena, 151 Brewer Way, in Old Ottawa South.
I recognize that this is a challenging and worrisome time for many in our community. I encourage everyone to remain calm and to follow best practices recommended by our health officials. We live in a great community and its important that we look after one another in this difficult time.
If you are well and able, check in on neighbours and friends, particularly those that are most vulnerable.
I will continue to share information as it becomes available.