Kanata North Covid-19 Update March 14th

Today Ottawa has seen confirmation of 2 additional cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 5. Ottawa Public Heath has updated their website today with additional resources including a guidance on hosting, postponing, or cancelling mass gathering.

On my website I launched a page to enable those that are isolated to seek help by completing a simple form. There is also a form available for community members who wish to volunteer to run errands, and assist those in our community who are isolated, you can find out more information here.  To date over 50 community members have volunteered. No one in our community has asked for help yet.  I believe that will change in the coming days, and I will be in touch with all those who have volunteered.  Thank you Kanata North for being such a caring community!

A question many people are asking today is:  Can I go to the Assessment Centre and get tested?

The first COVID-19 Assessment Centre is open at the Brewer Arena, located at 151 Brewer Way. The facility is open from 9 am to 8 pm, daily.

The centre is operated in collaboration with The Ottawa Hospital and CHEO — serving the larger public health needs of Ottawa. It will provide assessment and testing for children and adults who:

  • Have recently returned from international travel AND are displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19, including fever and/or new or worsening cough.

OR

  • Had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days AND are displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19, including fever and/or new or worsening cough.

Please do not bring well children or other healthy members of the community (e.g. friends, neighbours, drivers) into the Assessment Centre. You do not need to call Ottawa Public Health before going to the centre.

If you do not meet the conditions above please do not go to the Assessment Centre but rather refer to Ottawa Public Health website for recommended next steps.

Another question that has been raised by many today is:  What advice is given to Canadian travellers currently abroad and what should they expect when returning to Ottawa?

The Federal Government has advised against all non-essential travel.  Please see their website for current information, as well as registry page for Canadians currently abroad.

Canadian currently abroad are advised to return to Canada as soon as possible, while there are still commercial options available to return.

Additionally, Ottawa Public Health is asking ALL  travellers arriving from international points to self-isolate for 14 days upon return. In Ontario, if you decide to travel outside of Canada with children they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

Additional guidance was also provided today regarding when to self-isolate.  It is now recommended that you self-isolate for 14 days if: 

  • You have travelled outside of Canada, including the United States of America
  • You live with, provided care for, or spent extensive time with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, OR is suspected to have COVID-19, OR who has respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) that started within 14 days of travel outside ofCanada.

If you have MILD symptoms, where you are NOT short of breath and can manage symptoms reasonably at home:

  • Do NOT call Ottawa Public Health
  • Self-isolate until 24 hours AFTER symptoms have FULLY resolved

NOTE: Most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own at home

If you have ESCALATING SYMPTOMS such as a new or worsening cough and/or fever, AND have either travelled outside of Canada or been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days:

  • Do NOT call Ottawa Public Health
  • Children under 6 months of age meeting this criteria should be taken to CHEO
  • Visit the COVID-19 Assessment Centre– you do NOT need a referral from Ottawa Public Health OR
  • Call your health care provider (if available)
  • If the COVID-19 Assessment Centre and your health care provider are both closed, go to the hospital emergency department and pay attention to special signage

What resources are out there for mental health? 

I can’t say this enough: it’s normal for situations like COVID-19 to affect your mental health and it’s completely OK to ask for help. If you need support, Distress Centre Ottawa is here 24/7 at 613-238-3311.

What is self-isolation? 

Self-isolation is when you have been instructed to separate yourself from others, with the purpose of preventing the spread of the virus, including those within your home. If you are ill, you should be separated from others in your household to the greatest extent possible. You can find more information here.

When in doubt, I encourage community members to seek out guidance and information directly from Ottawa Public Health and other reputable sources.  Links can be found here.