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June 30th - Update Message from Dr. Vera Etches

As we continue to receive a number of inquiries in regards to the enforcement of physical distancing measures related to COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and Emergency and Protective Services (EPS) have prepared the following overview of roles and responsibilities related to enforcement with the primary focus always being education and awareness.

Isolation of positive cases

Self-isolation for 14 days is required when a COVID-19 infection is confirmed. The purpose of self-isolation is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others in the home and the community.

OPH follows-up directly with residents receiving a positive COVID-19 test result to identify close contacts requiring follow-up and explain the self-isolation process.

Should there be concerns that a confirmed case is not adhering to self-isolation requirements, residents should contact OPH by calling 613-580-6744 (option 9 for COVID-19). OPH will only follow-up with those residents who are a confirmed case.

Private gatherings

Gatherings of more than 10 people are legally prohibited by the Province. Should residents have concerns about a gathering taking place at a private residence with more than 10 people present, the concern can be reported to 3-1-1, and By-law and Regulatory Services (BLRS) will follow-up on the complaint.

Parks and splashpads

The City of Ottawa has reopened green spaces and certain park amenities according to Provincial directions while playgrounds remain closed per provincial orders. Sports fields have opened for practice only (10 or less), with no competitive games allowed.

The City of Ottawa’s Park Ambassadors continue to visit parks to provide guidance and education to park users. In the case of non-compliance, residents can report their concerns to 3-1-1. BLRS will follow-up on the complaint, and enforce as required, with education being the primary focus.

Restaurants and patios

As many businesses and restaurants are beginning to reopen, the priority continues to be on awareness and education of physical distancing rules. OPH is providing additional guidance to food premises related to COVID-19 measures during inspections.

Should residents have concerns about a restaurant or patio that is offering dine-in options to its customers, they should call 3-1-1 to report their concerns. BLRS will investigate the complaint and enforce as required.

OPH Public Health Inspectors will follow-up with additional information and education to help the business become compliant.

Isolation of those arriving/returning to Canada

The Ottawa Police Service is responsible for the enforcement of requests regarding the Quarantine Act upon a traveller’s arrival on Canadian soil. Unless specifically exempted, any person entering Canada must isolate or quarantine (self-isolate) themselves for 14 days and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Residents who have concerns about travellers not adhering to the Act should file a non-emergency report with the Ottawa Police Service.

Thank you,

Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health


©2019 by Jan Harder.