Latest update from Dr. Vera Etches March 15th 2020

Following the first travel-related case detected in Ottawa last week, and with increased access to testing through the out-of-hospital COVID-19 Assessment Centre that opened on Friday, we now have 10 confirmed cases in our City. It is likely that there are more undetected travel-related cases that have gone on to cause local transmission of the virus in Ottawa. These cases are related to travel that occurred in the past when travel restrictions and the Federal Government’s advice for all international travelers to self-isolate for 14 days were not in place. Given the estimate that one case is likely to cause about two more, and the doubling time is 4-5 days, there could now be hundreds to even a thousand cases in the community now.

Therefore, I am asking all people in Ottawa to increase their practices of social distancing. This means limiting non-essential trips out of the home and making efforts to maintain a distance of 1 to 2 meters from other people as much as possible. We are asking people to, if possible, keep their children home from daycare and to check with their employers about options for working from home or implementing social distancing at work.

These guidelines are not meant to say “you must stay in your home!”

You can still go outside to take a walk, go to the park, or walk your dog. If you need groceries, go to the store. We simply recommend that while outside you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of 1-2 metres (3-6 feet) from those around you.

I know there will be many questions and significant hardship associated with implementation of these measures. They are necessary to limit COVID-19 transmission in our community. We each need to do our part to ensure that our healthcare providers have the capacity to provide life saving measures for all, and to care for the most vulnerable people. Social distancing measures can make a huge difference to slow the rapid spread of illness.

While you may not feel sick, please be mindful of the members of our community who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. We are all in this together.

The Ottawa Public Health website has been updated with information about social distancing to provide further guidance to the public. Information is changing rapidly and we are working to provide this information to the public as soon as possible. Please continue to share this information. We will share what is happening in our community on our website.

Quick Links on the COVID-19 – Resources

Information from OPH

If this is a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 immediately and do not read further.

Please note: in order to decrease transmission of COVID-19 in Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health is now recommending that all residents of Ottawa practice social distancing.

The priority of the healthcare system is being able to test those who are most in need. Not everyone requires testing. People WITHOUT respiratory symptoms (such as fever or cough) will NOT be tested for COVID-19, regardless of potential exposures.

Even if you do not have symptoms, it is recommended to self-isolate for 14 days if:

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

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

For employees, if your employer requires a sick note please send them this letter from Ottawa Public Health. For employers, please visit our COVID-19 info page for workplaces.

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:

If you have SEVERE SYMPTOMS (you have frequent shortage of breath and cannot manage your symptoms at home)

Update from the City of Ottawa

City recreation and cultural facilities and libraries closed to help prevent spread of COVID-19

Ottawa – All City of Ottawa recreation and cultural facilities and Ottawa Public Library branches are closed starting today, Monday, March 16, until further notice. This is based on the Ministry of Health’s guidance to limit mass gatherings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The following City facilities and services are open at this time:

This is an evolving situation and the most current information will be shared with residents on and the City’s social media channels. Ottawa Public Health will continue to provide updates on COVID-19 in Ottawa on

What you can do

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, coughing or difficulty breathing, please stay home and do not take public transit. If you are told to self-isolate, please follow Ottawa Public Health’s instructions and the advice of the federal and provincial governments.

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. To reduce the spread of germs, please:

Message from Ottawa Community Housing


Sunday, March 15th, 2020 – 12:30 pm (OTTAWA, ON) – Ottawa Community Housing has made the following statement for immediate release:

“The health and well-being of Ottawa Community Housing tenants and staff continue to be our number one priority. We continue to work with Ottawa Public Health and our partners as we assess the rapidly changing dynamics of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Public health officials continue to urge social distancing to slow the spread of this pandemic. As such, OCHC has decided that effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all OCHC offices will be closed to tenants and members of the public. Our target date for resuming normal operations is April 5, 2020. To further preventative measures, OCHC has also directed employees to work from home where operationally feasible.

OCHC’s 24/7 Call Centre (613-731-1182) will remain open, and staff providing core services will continue to offer assistance and will be available to speak with tenants for the following services:

We will continue to strike a balance between providing essential services to tenants, while also protecting their health and well-being, as well as that of our employees. Please check back on our website for the most up-to-date information on office closures.

We urge all tenants and employees to follow the instructions of Ottawa Public Health and medical professionals to help prevent the spread of this virus in the community.

We will continue to publish updates on the website and through our social media platforms”.


Message to keep in mind:

This is the time when we all come together. When we all do our part to beat #COVID19. Everyone has a part to play. We're all in this together. #OttawaStrong

Ward 9 Restaurants Offering Takeout and Delivery:

Grocery Stores and Pharmacy Offers: 

Update from the City of Ottawa March 17th 

Changes to City services to help prevent spread of COVID-19

Ottawa – In response to the Government of Ontario’s emergency declaration, and to help protect the public from COVID-19, the City of Ottawa is making changes to in-person services as of Tuesday, March 17.

Emergency and essential services will continue to protect and serve the needs of all residents in Ottawa. In order to help practice social distancing to limit community spread of COVID-19, all in-person and non-essential City services are closed until further notice.

Services that can be offered remotely (by phone, e-mail, mail or online) will be maintained. Some in-person services are available in a reduced or altered capacity. Transit remains open, and OC Transpo continues to offer customer service online and by phone. Please check our list of services to find out how to access City services.

Essential and emergency services continue

The City will continue to resource essential services, such as:

All on-street overtime parking, signed or unsigned, will no longer be enforced on residential streets until further notice. Other parking restrictions remain in effect, such as No Stopping, No Parking, Fire Route, Accessible Parking, hydrants, sidewalks to maintain emergency access and traffic flow.

Online services continue on, some in-person services operating on reduced or altered services

The City continues to provide services online on and, where you can pay bills and property taxes. If you are unable to access City services online, please call 3-1-1 so we can assist you.

Some City services that are normally available in-person are operating remotely at reduced or altered capacity. Please check our list of services, or call 3-1-1 to find out about alternative means of accessing City services.

Transit is open, but practice preventive measures

When using public transit, protect yourself and others by taking these steps:

Government of Ontario declaration of emergency closures

The government of Ontario has declared an emergency, under which the following establishments are legally required to close immediately:

Provincial Offences Act Courthouse Services Closure (100 Constellation Drive)
All Provincial Offences Act matters scheduled from Monday, March 16 to Friday, April 3, inclusive, will be adjourned and rescheduled for a later date. Anyone scheduled during this period does not need to attend court and a new notice will be sent by mail to the address on file with a new court date. Online ticket payment will remain available on

Visit to find out how to protect yourself, what to do if you’re sick after you travel, and how to recognize possible symptoms with the new COVID-19 self-assessment tool.

This is an evolving situation and the City will share the most current information on and the City’s social media channels. Ottawa Public Health will continue to provide updates on COVID-19 in Ottawa on

For more information about City programs and services, visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Update on Property Taxes

The City will be extending a payment grace period for interim tax bills to April 15, 2020, pending approval at the March 25, 2020 Council meeting or at the earliest available opportunity.

In recognition of the evolving uncertainty for residents and small businesses related to COVID-19, Mayor Watson will bring forth a motion to City Council seeking approval of a new 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program for City of Ottawa residential property owners and small business property owners (assessed property value of up to $2.5 M) that have been financially affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The full details of the Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program will be provided to Council for approval on March 25, 2020 or at the earliest available opportunity.

The City of Ottawa already offers two deferral programs for property taxes for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Under these existing programs, eligible homeowners may apply for a full or partial deferral of their annual property taxes. The City also offers a deferral program for water utility bills for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Eligible homeowners may apply for a deferral of their water utility bills. Applying for both programs can be done online via email. Information on eligibility and how to apply can be found on

City Council March 25, 2020 

Dr. Etches Presentation on COVID-19

Human Needs Task Force Fact Sheet

A Human Needs Task Force has been implemented as part of the City’s Emergency Management Plan and emergency  response to COVID-19 to ensure that we are responsive to the emerging needs of the community. Click here for more information. 

Nepean COVID-19 Neighbours Helping Neighbours

Nepean residents have set up a volunteer service in order to address the needs of our neighbours in Nepean who are in self-isolation due to Covid-19. Our services include grocery pick-up and drop-off, prescription/pharmacy supplies pick-up and drop-off, dog walking and pet supply pick-up/inquiries.

Individuals can fill out our quick "Service Request Form" letting us know how to best support them at the following link: or reach us by phone at 613-212-0054. We can also be reached by email at All of our contact details and links to the form can be found by community members in our Facebook group "Nepean COVID-19 Neighbours Helping Neighbours".

Our guidelines of engagement are in keeping with social distancing practices. We do not accept cash exchanges for groceries. Instead, we encourage those using our service to pre-order and pay for their groceries online, then fill out our service request form. We have created a video tutorial (linked in our Facebook group) to help anyone who is new to online shopping. We do understand this may not be a feasible option for everyone and we are happy to discuss individual circumstances over the phone, to best come up with a plan of support.

City accepting donations of personal protective equipment for its COVID-19 response

The City has launched a formal donation process for businesses and residents to donate commercial-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect our emergency responders and front-line workers supporting the COVID-19 pandemic response.

This formal donation process has been established in response to the many residents and businesses who have contacted the City through many channels with donation offerings.

The PPE supplies must be commercial-grade and in its original packaging. These items include, but are not limited to:

Homemade personal protective equipment will not be accepted.

To donate, we ask interested businesses and residents to email and provide information on the items and quantities. The City will review donations offered and arrange with you for a drop-off or pick-up of the items.

The City is also in constant communication with The Ottawa Hospital, which is collecting, processing and storing all donated medical equipment, to help supply the many front-line healthcare staff across the Eastern Ontario region who are responding to the pandemic. You can contact The Ottawa Hospital at

How you can help other community agencies and charities

Many community agencies, non-profit organizations and charities are also working to help our community through this COVID-19 pandemic, especially our community’s vulnerable people in need of support. You can contact the agencies with donation of items and monetary contributions.

For up-to-date information on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.