Good evening Kanata North,
Today, Ontario has declared a provincial emergency and stay-at-home order, which will come into effect 12:01 AM Thursday, April 8 and last at least 4 weeks. Case rates, hospitalizations, and ICU occupancy are increasing rapidly, threatening to overwhelm our health care system. The Chief Medical Officer of Ottawa and the Mayor have both voiced their support for these measures in Ottawa.
I know how difficult this is for many in our community. We are tired. We’ve been at this for over a year. The situation right now is at a critical point. If we don’t stay home and stop the spread of these deadly variants, people will lose their lives.
With variants of concern, asymptomatic transmission, and numbers as high as they are, I urge you to stay home. On a positive note, there is reason for optimism. The vaccine supply has been improving and we are rapidly vaccinating as many people as we can in our city.
We’ve come a long way and I would like to thank you for doing your part, Kanata North, for helping each other, and for showing me what an incredible community we have. I recognize, today’s announcement is hard to hear, but I’m asking you to please stay the course a while longer, to keep our community and loved ones healthy and safe.
You should only leave your home for the following reasons:
- Work, if unable to work remotely
- Pharmaceuticals and health care
- Helping vulnerable people
- Exercise and physical activity
Social gatherings are prohibited and will be enforced by Ottawa By-Law Officers.
When outdoors, you should only be with your household members, or otherwise up to 5 people, physically distanced and wearing a mask. An example of this would be if you go for a walk with your neighbour, this is only allowed with physical distancing and wearing masks.
Religious, wedding, and funeral services:
- Indoors: 15 per cent capacity of the room
- Outside: the number of people that can keep two metres physical distance from each other
How will this affect business operations?
- Bars, restaurants and other food and drink establishments must limit their operations to take-out, drive-thru and delivery. Indoor and outdoor dining is prohibited.
- Non-essential retailers can only operate for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- Access to shopping malls is limited to specified purposes, including access for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, with one single designated location inside the shopping mall, and any number of designated locations outside the shopping mall, along with other restrictions.
- Big box stores in-person retail sales are limited exclusively to essential items. This includes groceries, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceuticals, health care items, and personal care items only.
- The following list of stores are permitted to operate for in-person retail by appointment only and subject to a 25% capacity limit. Hours of operation are between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. with the delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m:
- Safety supply stores
- Businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies
- Rental and leasing services including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment
- Optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public
- Businesses that sell motor vehicles, boats and other watercraft
- Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services
- Retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or service, which may only permit members of the public to enter the premises to purchase a cellphone or for repairs or technical support
The city and Ottawa Public Health are currently reviewing the regulations. I will share more information on impacts regarding city services once the assessment is complete.
Keeping schools and child care open is critical to the mental health and well-being of our children and youth. Schools and child care will remain open for in-person care and learning in our city, with strict safety measures in place.
In addition, beginning next week, education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs across the province, and all education workers in select hot spot areas, will be eligible to register for vaccination. Vaccinations will commence during the April break starting with priority neighborhoods in Toronto and Peel, then rolling out to priority neighborhoods in other hot spot regions, including York, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton and Durham. This will be followed by a rollout across the province as supply allows. I will share more details as they become available.
Cancellation of April Break Day Camps
Due to the province-wide emergency shutdown regulations, all in-person April Break Day Camps that were originally scheduled from April 12 to 16 have been cancelled.
The virtual camp sessions will continue as scheduled and can be viewed at ottawa.ca/virtualprograms. Registrants for the in-person day camps will be contacted directly to be advised of the cancellation and refund process.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
I’m pleased to share that the Province has announced the beginning of Stage 2 in the vaccination rollout plan. Starting today, residents 60 years of age and older can receive a vaccine; additionally, residents age 55 and older are eligible for vaccines at select pharmacies.
Who is eligible In Ottawa for vaccination under Phase 2?
- Adults 60 to 69 years of age
- Adults 55 or older are eligible for vaccination at participating pharmacies and primary care settings
- Individuals with health conditions listed below and their caregiver
- People who live and work in high-risk congregate settings
- Caregivers in select congregate care settings
- Essential frontline workers who cannot work from home, including education workers
Individuals with the following highest-risk health conditions will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination:
- Organ transplant recipients;
- Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients;
- People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis);
- Haematological malignancy diagnosed less than one year ago;
- Kidney disease eGFR< 30
- Essential caregivers for individuals in the groups listed above.
- Patients with the specific health conditions listed above, as well as their essential caregiver will be identified for vaccination due to an increased risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19, regardless of age.
How to book a vaccine at a community clinic (60+)
Eligible residents can book an appointment on the online provincial booking portal or by calling 1-833-943-3900.
Residents can book online for appointments at the community vaccination clinics:
- Nepean Sportsplex
- Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA
- Eva James Memorial Community Centre
- City Hall
How to book a vaccine at a pharmacy (55+)
Thirty-four pharmacies in Ottawa are providing vaccinations to Ottawa residents age 55 and older. Additional information as well as participating locations can be found on the Province of Ontario website.
These vaccinations are separate from Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa’s vaccination roll-out. Residents are asked to call participating pharmacies directly or the Province of Ontario Vaccination Information Line at 1-888-999-6488 if they have questions on the pharmacy vaccination program.
The remaining eligible groups in Phase 2 will be vaccinated over the coming months. I understand that many residents will have questions on whether they are eligible, when they will be vaccinated and how they get the vaccines.
These residents can’t currently book an appointment, so we ask that they do not call Ottawa Public Health or 3-1-1. This includes residents that are 50 years and older living in COVID-19 hotspot communities. I will provide more information as it becomes available.
Understanding Provincial “Hot Spots”
The province released the “hot spot” areas across Ontario that will be prioritized in Phase 2 of the vaccination roll out. These areas are based on the first three digits of a postal code.
These “hot spots” do not impact the areas of focus in the City of Ottawa. Locally, the Medical Officer of Health has authority to further focus on priority neighbourhoods within these postal codes.
As such, the 21 priority neighbourhoods in Ottawa that were identified as having the highest risk of hospitalization or death will continue to be the areas of focus for the vaccination roll-out. These are the same priority neighbourhoods that received pop-up vaccination clinics in the past few months.
New pop-up clinic
The city is opening a pop-up clinic at a new location this week. The Good Companions Seniors’ Centre will allow us to offer vaccines to residents age 60 and older living in high-risk neighbourhoods.
Vaccinations are now available for First Nation, Métis and Inuit community members who are age 16 and over.
Pre-registration continues for vaccination appointments in the future for specific faith leaders, highest priority, very-high priority and high-priority health care workers.
Transportation to City Clinics
Transportation to and from city clinics is available through Ottawa Community Transportation.
Vaccine availability is increasing in Ottawa. While we wait for the vaccines to reach more members of our community, it’s imperative that we all do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following the stay-at-home order. I recognize this move is hard on all of us, especially our local businesses. I urge you to support each other and support our local businesses however you can through these times.
If you need assistance in any way, please reach out.
Stay home, stay safe.