Kanata North COVID-19 Update March 18

Good afternoon Kanata North,  

As announced earlier, the Ontario Government is moving the Ottawa Public Health region to the Red-Control level in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework effective tomorrow, Friday, March 19 at 12:01 a.m., as a result of worsening trends in key health indicators in the region.  

The rate of COVID-19 in Ottawa is now 49.1 per 100,000 people (the threshold for Red is 40 per 100,000 people) and it continues to climb. The per cent positivity rate has also steadily increased and is now at 2.7 per cent (the threshold for Red is 2.5 per cent). Additionally, the wastewater indicators are at peak levels last seen back in October and January when more restrictions were required to bring COVID-19 levels down. Hospitals in our city are currently working at or over capacity to handle the backlog of critical health care services and COVID-19 patients. Additionally, the number of variants of concern are growing exponentially and are leading to the closure of some schools. Please see the Ottawa Public Health Daily COVID-19 Dashboard for up-to-date information. 

The higher the levels of virus in the community, the higher is the risk of COVID-19 reaching more vulnerable settings like childcare, schools, health care, and congregate settings not yet reached by vaccinations. 

While Ottawa’s limited COVID-19 vaccine supplies have reached some of our community’s most vulnerable in long-term care and retirement home settings, we are still months away from protecting the majority of older adult and other populations at risk of hospitalizations and death. Only about 30 per cent of people over the age of 80 have been protected. Although vaccination efforts are accelerating with every shipment received, this won’t be overnight Ottawa remains in a public health pandemic. 

The earlier we act together, the more effectively we will reduce rates of COVID-19 and the sooner we can move into a less restrictive zone. Please do your part, Kanata North, and continue to follow the guidelines of public health officials. 

Limit contacts and interactions, stay home as much as possible and especially if you are sick, wear a mask, wash your hands often and get tested if you think you may be infected. Doing these things will help decrease levels in our community to avoid another lockdown. 

Please see more details below on what this means for our community, businesses, and city services 

What are the key differences between Orange and Red statuses in the province’s COVID-19 framework? 

What is the impact on businesses, restaurants, gyms, and team sports? 

Most businesses will remain open, this is not a lockdown. Restaurants and gyms can stay open; however, these are higher risk activities and places where people are in close contact without a mask is where COVID-19 transmission is higher. There is now a capacity limit of 10 patrons seated indoors and for gyms a maximum of 10 people in indoor areas with weights and exercise machines or for classes, with physical distancing maintained at all times 

Individual and team sport training is still allowed; however, games, scrimmages or other contact are not permitted. Indoor cinemas are required to close. 

You can find helpful resources to adjust COVID measures in the workplace in the Business Reopening Toolkit, which Ottawa Public Health has made available, including sector-specific guidance. Please visit their website for details. 

Support Our Local Business Community 

Now, more than ever, please support our local businesses by ordering takeout, using curbside pickup, and helping our friends, family and neighbours keep their livelihoods in these difficult times.  

What does this mean for City of Ottawa services and recreation activities? 

As Ottawa transitions to the provincial Red-Control status, the City will continue to offer many of the same recreation services with reduced capacities. The City’s counter service operations will remain unchanged from the previous status.  

Impacted City recreation activities 

Three metres of physical distancing will continue to be required in weight and cardio rooms. Public skating, fitness and sport activities by reservation will continue with the reduced 10-person capacity. Swimming pool capacities continue to be significantly reduced to support physical distancing between swimmers. 

In addition, this more restrictive status does not permit the playing of team sports or scrimmages and only training activities are permitted. As a result, team sporting activities, like volleyball, hockey, and basketball, will be limited to training and drills, while respecting physical distancing. Sports that allow for physical distancing and involve doubles play only, like pickleball and badminton, will be permitted. 

Public swimming, lane swims and select fitness activities continue 

Make a reservation up to two days in advance for swimming, weight and cardio rooms and select sport activities. Visit ottawa.ca/recreation to view schedules and activity offerings at facilities that are open. 

Outdoor refrigerated rinks – weather permitting 

Skating on the outdoor refrigerated rinks will continue by reservation only, with a maximum capacity of 25 skaters per session.  

Facility rentals – new capacity restrictions 

Select City rental spaces will be available to accommodate up to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, provided the space allows for adequate physical distancing of at least two metres. 

In-person counter services continue 

The City’s by-appointment counter services will remain unchanged from the previous provincial framework status. These services include: 

  • Service Ottawa Client Service Centres and Building Code Service counters at City Hall and Ben Franklin Place 
  • The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue 
  • The City’s Central Archives’ Reference Room at the James K. Bartleman Centre, located at 100 Tallwood Drive 

Employment and Social Services and Rent Supplement Program offices provide in-person service by appointment only and counter services are available between 9 am and 3 pm. 

Ottawa Public Library branches  

Thirty-one of the Ottawa Public Library’s 33 branches are currently open. In addition to library material holds pickup and returns, 28 of those branches are offering in-person services, such as: browsing of the collection, use of public computers by appointment, reading suggestions, and card registration and renewals. Capacity is limited.  

Three branches are offering contactless holds pickup and returns. Visit BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca for the latest service updates, access to digital resources and requests for library items. 

For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1. 

Please continue to follow public health measures and stay home as much as possible to protect yourselves, your loved ones and our community. And please know, it is okay to not be okay. Please reach out – virtually – to family, friends and neighbours and seek help if needed. 

Stay home. Stay safe. Be COVIDWise. 

Take care,  

Jenna Sudds