Good evening Kanata North,
There is nothing I would like more than to stop sending you these COVID-19 updates. However, as long as COVID-19 is circulating in our community, I believe it’s important to ensure that you have the latest, most accurate information to base your decisions on.
The current state of COVID-19 in our city and the Province is dire. Please read this update thoroughly and do everything you can to stay home and stay safe. As a mom of three young children, I know how hard this is. However, I know this too shall pass. I know we have to do this and I’m asking you to do the same. Our individual efforts matter.
This afternoon, the Ontario government announced that the province–wide stay-at-home order and the state of emergency will be extended for at least another two weeks for a total of 6 weeks. Additionally, new travel restrictions and further public health measures are being imposed, effective Saturday, April 17 at 12:01 AM. These urgent actions are targeted at stopping the rapid growth in COVID-19 case rates and relieving mounting pressures on the province’s health care system.
Borders both internationally and provincially are tightening, amenities in parks are closing, outdoor gatherings with people outside your family are forbidden. Police and Bylaw will have increased authority to enforce these restrictions.
All of this news is extremely difficult to hear, let alone process.
Variants of concern are spreading in our community and serious measures must be taken to reduce the spread of the virus.
New restrictions effective Saturday, April 17 at 12:01 a.m. include:
- Prohibit all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household;
- Close all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector;
- Reduce capacity limits to 25 per cent in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies; and,
- Close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields, and playgrounds with limited exceptions.
As of 12:01 a.m. on Monday April 19, additional changes will include:
- Restricting indoor participation at places of worship, funerals, and weddings to 10 people.
- Checkpoints will be created to restrict mobility at interprovincial borders between Quebec and Manitoba, with exceptions for work, transportation of goods, and medical appointments.
Changes in the workplace
- The Ministry of Labour has increased the number of inspectors for workplaces, to ensure that any employee that is not required to work outside of the home, stays at home.
Heightened enforcement of restrictions
Not all the details are known for what the enforcement of the restrictions will look like in Ottawa. More details to come. Here’s what we currently know:
- The Ministry of the Solicitor General has also provided new temporary enforcement powers of by-law, Provincial Offences Act (POA), First Nation Constables, and police officers.
- Effective Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., police officers and other provincial offences officers will have the authority to require any individual to provide their home address and purpose for not being at their residence.
- In addition, law enforcement will have the authority to stop vehicles to inquire about an individual’s reasons for leaving their home.
- If residents are found not adhering to these new restrictions, particularly in the case of illegal gatherings, fines could be imposed.
- This additional enforcement measure will only be in effect during the Stay-at-Home order and it will be exclusively to enforce the Stay-at-Home order.
As we are awaiting further details, I can only urge you all: Stay home and only make essential trips in public to reduce the spread of the virus. If you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, please make arrangements to get vaccinated as soon as possible with whatever vaccine is offered to you. Vaccines are a proven way to prevent serious infections, and through getting vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and your community.
I will share more details as they become available.
Stay safe. Be COVIDWise.