COVID-19: Community Centre Closure & INFO

The City of Ottawa is closing all City-managed recreation and cultural facilities, and all Ottawa Public Library branches, based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health’s guidance to limit mass gatherings.
– All recreation and cultural facilities, including recreation complexes, community centers, arenas, swimming pools, theatres and museums will be closed, effective Monday, March 16.
– City programs, including March break camps and fitness classes, will also be cancelled, starting Monday, as will performances at the Shenkman and Meridian Theatres.
There is no need for ticketholders to call 3-1-1 as tickets will be refunded automatically. Programming and rental fee refunds will also be processed automatically. All other inquiries can be sent by email to 123go@ottawa.ca

City & Community Services
Effective immediately, the province has ordered the closure of all facilities providing indoor recreation programs, all public libraries, all public and private schools, all licensed childcare centres, all theatres, cinemas and concert venues, and all bars and restaurants except to provide takeout food and delivery.Events with more than 50 people are also banned by the Province.Essential services such as grocery stores will continue to operate.

Interim Changes to Parking Enforcement
Recognizing that many people will be working from home over the next several weeks, the City is providing some leniency on current on-street parking restrictions. Effective immediately, all overtime parking, signed or unsigned, will no longer be enforced on residential streets until further notice. This is to encourage and support residents to stay at home to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.All 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.

OPH Guidelines for Volunteering and Helping
I have had a number of community members reach out to me looking to volunteer their time in support of the City’s COVID-19 response. However, I have been advised that Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa are NOT seeking volunteers to help at this time with the response to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We recognize the generosity of those looking to volunteer and thank you for your offer to help as the people of Ottawa deal with the spread of COVID-19.If you are looking to support your community during this critical time, you can help by checking in with neighbours and friends who may be vulnerable, overwhelmed, lonely or in need of help. Please be mindful of social distancing recommendations given by Ottawa Public Health at OttawaPublicHealth.ca/SelfIsolate to help lower your risk.It is important to note that if you are volunteering, you could be exposed to the virus. Please make sure to monitor for symptoms, and when in doubt, please follow the guidance about self-isolation provided by Ottawa Public Health OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Self-Isolate.Please do not volunteer if you have symptoms (fever, new onset of cough or difficulty breathing), if you have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 or if you have travelled anywhere outside of Canada, including the United States. In this case, it is recommended you self-isolate for 14 days. 
Property tax grace period and other news
There is no doubt that COVID-19 will have significant financial impact on many households. In an effort to reduce the immediate impact, City Council will be considering a property tax grace period as well as other financial measures to lessen the burden on our residents. Please visit my website for the full details. 

Human Needs Taskforce
The city recognizes that COVID-19 will disproportionately impact our most vulnerable residents. In order to ensure that we are effectively addressing the needs of everyone, the City established a Human Needs Taskforce. Community and Social Services is working with our city service partners, OPH and our community service providers to assess service gaps and issues during this situation. More information on the work of this Taskforce and how resident’s can access and additional services we be made available in the coming days.  

Small Business Taskforce
There’s no doubt that businesses will suffer during this self-isolation period.Following a call with the heads of BIAs, the Ottawa Board of Trade, le Regroupement des gens d’affaires, Ottawa Tourism and Ottawa Festival Network, the City has struck an Economic Partners Task Force, to advise our staff in many departments on how the City can help the business community as the pandemic evolves.Meanwhile, the Finance Department is evaluating if the City is in a position to enact tax deferral measures that would help some small businesses manage their cash flow and payroll obligations. 

Public Health and the Importance of Social Distancing
When you are looking for accurate and up to date information about COVID-19, please start with OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus. We have a world-class team led by Dr. Vera Etches and they are working hard to contain the virus while providing us with daily updates.Please consider social distancing to help decrease transmission of COVID-19. Social distancing involves limiting the number of people you come into close contact with by avoiding non-essential trips in the community. Where possible, maintain a one to two-metre distance from others.The best way to help with the response is to follow the advice of Ottawa Public Health to decrease transmission:o Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizero Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth unless you just cleaned your handso Cover coughs and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hando If possible, stay home if you are sick o Get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulatingif you have travelled anywhere outside of Canada, including the United States. In this case, it is recommended you self-isolate for 14 days.

If you have symptoms, visit the Ottawa Public Health page for more information about what you need to do, depending on the severity of the symptoms.