Kanata North COVID-19 Update March 29

Councillor’s Update:

This weekend, we saw a large increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in our city.  Please remain vigilant. We are all in this together. We must all continue to practice physical distancing. As we look ahead to the coming week, I hope you can plan to stay home as much as possible and try to minimize your trips to the grocery stores.   

Today, the Federal Government provided an important directive for those returning from travel and those with respiratory symptoms. This is a change in previous direction. Hence, I am highlighting it clearly for everyone today.   

  • By federal law, if you have just returned to Canada from abroad, leaving your property, even to go for a walk or to the grocery store, is not permitted under the Quarantine Order issued March 25, 2020. 
  • For individuals with respiratory symptoms (such as fever, cough) you must self-isolate for 14 days from when your symptoms started, or until 24 hours after symptoms have FULLY resolved, whichever is longer. You must not leave your home if you have respiratory symptoms. 

If the above applies to you, please stay home. Do not go for walks in the community. If you need assistance with groceries or errands, please reach out. 

Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a Virtual Community Meeting on COVID-19 and a Civics class for kids. This week, I am planning on hosting a Facebook Live event on Wednesday at 11am to share more about the Kanata North Technology Park. Did you know, it is Canada’s largest technology park? I will be joined by Jamie Petten, the Executive Director of the Kanata North Business Association. Parents and kids alike can learn more during this interactive session. Feel free to submit your questions in the comments. 

I’d also welcome your suggestions on any future topics that would be interesting and helpful to you. Let’s take advantage of this time at home to learn more about our community. 

City of Ottawa Update 


  • The primary focus for Ottawa Police Services and By-Law Regulatory Services is awareness and education. While gatherings over 5 people are legally prohibited, it is imperative that we all follow recommendations for physical distancing, avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you.  
  • By-Law Services enforces any gatherings in City of Ottawa parks, including the use of play structures, and will enforce any restaurants that are offering dine-in options to its customers. Residents should call 3-1-1 if they have concerns.  
  • Ottawa Police Services will continue investigating other matters, such as gatherings of 5 people or more and other businesses that are open without an exemption. Residents can call 613-236-1222 to report any such gathering or incident.  
  • Ottawa Police Service are responsible for the enforcement of requests regarding the Quarantine Act. OPS is currently awaiting more information from the federal government on enforcement guidelines to determine how the Quarantine Act will be enforced.  
Scenario   Enforcement Officials   Contact   Notes  
Residents not practicing Physical distancing  Not enforceable     Physical distancing is a recommendation from public health agencies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is not a Federal or Provincial law. For more information please visit Ottawa Public Health Page on this topic.  
Gatherings in City of Ottawa   By-Law  3-1-1  The City has closed all parks and is prohibiting people from using any facilities in parks, such as play structures, benches, and adult fitness centres. Sports fields and tennis courts are also closed. Residents are permitted to walk through parks. More information is available here.   
Restaurants offering dine-in / seat-in options   By-Law  3-1-1  The first priority is always awareness and education. By-law follows up with restaurants to ensure compliance.
Other Businesses  Ottawa Police   613-236-1222  The first priority is always awareness and education. The Ottawa Police Service follows up with businesses that are not exempt to ensure compliance. A full list of exempted businesses is available here.   
Gatherings of 5+ people   Ottawa Police   613-236-1222  The Provincial Government has prohibited gatherings of 5 people or more. Ottawa Police will respond, with a focus on awareness and education.  
Positive COVID-19 Cases not following quarantine orders Ottawa Police   613-236-1222  The Ottawa Police Service responds to cases where individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are not following quarantine orders. 
Returning travellers who are not complying with 14-day isolation   Ottawa Police   613-236-1222  The Ottawa Police Service is responsible for enforcing the Quarantine Act. However, it is awaiting further information from the Federal Government on enforcement 
NCC Property   National Capital Commission   613-239-5000   

 Ottawa’s Noise By-Law  

  • In support of the community and local economy, all retail establishments are exempt from the regulations of the City of Ottawa’s Noise By-law pertaining to deliveries until further notice.  
  • This means that deliveries can take place at any time of day to ensure store shelves are stocked with essential goods.  
  • Construction noise regulations have not changed. It is a violation for construction sites or heavy equipment to operate in any structure, highway or building: 
    • Monday-Saturday: Between 10 pm and 7 am. 
    • Sundays and holidays: Between 10 pm and 9 am. Further limits are placed on the demolition and construction of buildings in established residential neighbourhoods 

Changes to OC Transpo Service 

Effective tomorrow, March 30th, OC Transpo schedules will be adjusted on all conventional bus routes due to lower than normal customer volumes

  • Service continues to be provided to all essential services and neighbourhoods. 
  • Most routes are adjusted to provide Saturday service levels on weekdays.
  • Routes that do not normally run on Saturdays, such as some Connexion routes, will run at modified service levels 
  • Some routes are enhanced with extra trips and frequency adjustments. 
  • On many routes, the first trip in the morning will be later than usual.

OC Transpo will be monitoring the adjusted transit service. As tomorrow will be the first day of the revised schedules, we know that there will be situations and comments that arise and that further service adjustments may be needed in the days to come.  

Customers can help us make adjustments by providing details of where and when they are travelling from and to, and whether they make that trip regularly. We will be prioritizing changes that keep sufficient space available on buses and changes that address travel needs to essential services.  

Our operators will be reporting instances where buses are full to the point that safe physical distancing is not being achieved on board or where buses are full to the point that customers are choosing to wait for the next trip. We have the possibility to increase capacity on trips by adding additional buses or by assigning a larger bus to a trip. Spare buses will be strategically placed across the city for deployment should situations arise where safe physical distancing may not be possible. 

For more information on the March 30th bus service adjustment, please visit octranspo.com 

Special statement from Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health 

  • As of this morning, there are 122 confirmed cases in Ottawa. 
  • We now have a second outbreak at a retirement home in Ottawa, at Maplewood Retirement Community. OPH continues to investigate the outbreak. The retirement home has implemented outbreak management and OPH is connecting with close contacts, as they do in all cases. All residents have been notified and are in self-solation. Staff at the retirement home continue to be screened and have been instructed to wear personal protective equipment in the building, specifically wearing a mask when entering the building and following droplet/contact procedures in all resident rooms. 
  • With more cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Ottawa, including confirmation of community spread, we continue to urge everyone to practice physical distancing or self-isolate if you develop symptoms.   

Some key things to remember: 

For individuals with respiratory symptoms (such as fever, cough), please follow these directives: 

  • You must self-isolate for 14 days from when your symptoms started, or until 24 hours after symptoms have FULLY resolved, whichever is longer. 
  • You must not leave your home if you have respiratory symptoms. Call your doctor or TeleHealth at 1-866-797-0000 if you have questions. 
  • If your symptoms are worsening to a point where you cannot manage at home, please visit your nearest emergency department.  
  • If you think you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, a self assessment tool is available to help determine how to seek further care. 

For individuals who are returning from travel, by federal law, you must immediately self-isolate for 14 days.   

  • The federal Minister of Health announced an Emergency Order requiring any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19.  
  • By federal law, if you have just returned to Canada from abroad, leaving your property, even to go for a walk or to the grocery store, is not permitted under the Quarantine Order issued March 25, 2020.  
  • This also means not stopping at the grocery store or the pharmacy on the way home from the airport or the border. 
  • If you need groceries or other essential items, have a family member, friend or neighbour do the shopping for you and leave items at the door. 
  • If you have respiratory symptoms, follow the guidance in the section above. 

For ALL Ottawa residents (except those listed above): 

  • Practice physical (social) distancing – avoid all non-essential trips in the community. 
  • Household contacts (people you live with) do not need to distance from each other unless they are sick or have returned from travel within the past 14 days. 
  • Cancel ALL group gatherings, including group/team play on sports fields. 
  • Connect via phone, video chat, or social media instead of in-person. 
  • Talk to your employer about working from home (if possible). 
  • Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential. 
  • Keep windows down for essential community trips via taxi or rideshares. 

And some special reminders for parents with children, as well as all of us as we practice physical distancing:   

  • You can go outside.  It’s healthy. You can still take a walk, play with your dog outside, or kick a ball with members of your household who are already close contacts. 
  • When outside, maintain a two-metre distance. Avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you. Make an effort to step-aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks.  Passing someone on the sidewalk is not considered close contact or a significant risk for exposure to COVID-19. 
  • Remember to check in with others by phone or other technology. Support your neighbours if you can. Check in with yourself too. It’s ok not to be ok. I encourage you to reach out to the Distress Centre of Ottawa to connect with someone at 613-238-3311 if you need help or are having trouble coping. 

Province of Ontario Update: 

  • The Province has issued new guidance on event gatherings. It has now reduced it from 50 to 5 people. This is an additional measure that the Provincial Government has taken to try and curb the spread of COVID-19. Public Health officials can only do so much, we must also do our part and follow this direction. 
  • Today, Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer announced updated guidance to help employers better understand their responsibilities and what is needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the job site. The update follows an initial guidance document circulated on March 20, 2020, and addresses sector topics including:
    • providing better on-site sanitation, including a focus on high-touch areas like site trailers, door handles and hoists. 
    • communicating roles, responsibilities, and health & safety policies, for example, posting site sanitization schedules and work schedules. 
    • enabling greater distances between workers by staggering shifts, restricting site numbers and limiting elevator usage. 
    • Protecting public health, by tracking and monitoring workers. 
  • Under Ontario law, employers must take every reasonable precaution to keep workers safe. Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. If health and safety concerns are not resolved internally, a worker can seek enforcement by filing a complaint with the Ministry’s Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008. 
  • Ministry inspectors are inspecting job sites today and every day. Employers and constructors should know: failure to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations could result in a stop work order. 

Federal Government Update 

Today, the Federal Government talked about the high-risk and vulnerable populations and people. We must do everything we can to protect them from COVID-19 and provide support to 

  • If infected by COVID-19, Canadians aged 65 and over, and those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions, are at an increased risk of more severe complications. If you are at risk for complications, you can take action to reduce your risk of getting sick from COVID-19. 
    • Who is at high risk?
      • People with medical conditions including: 
      • Heart disease 
      • Hypertension (high blood pressure) 
      • Lung disease 
      • Diabetes 
      • Cancer 
      • People with weakened immune systems from a medical condition or treatment, such as chemotherapy 
      • Older adults 
  • The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced measures to support vulnerable Canadians to help cope with the health, social, and economic impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic. These measures will help provide young people with mental health supports and Canadian seniors with practical services. They will also help ensure some of the most vulnerable Canadians have a safe place to turn to and a roof over their heads. The Government of Canada will: 
    • Increase support for Canadians experiencing homelessness and provide help for women and children fleeing violence. As announced on March 18, 2020, the Government of Canada will provide an additional $157.5 million to address the needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness. The government will also provide up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres, including facilities in Indigenous communities, to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak.
    • Provide support for counselling services to children and youth. As a result of school closures and reduced access to community resources, Kids Help Phone is experiencing increased demand for its 24/7 confidential online, telephone, and text counselling services across Canada. The Government of Canada will give $7.5 million in funding to Kids Help Phone to provide young people with the mental health support they need during this difficult time. 
    • Provide immediate essential services to Canadian seniors impacted by COVID-19. The Government of Canada will contribute $9 million through United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to Canadian seniors. These services could include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports. 

I am looking forward to the coming week, I will continue to provide updates as new information is available.  Please reach out with any suggestions of how I can serve the community during this difficult time. I`m always happy to hear from you.  

If you need assistance with errands please let me know and I will arrange a volunteer.  You can sign up here for volunteer assistance. 

Stay home. Stay healthy.