COVID-19 Epidemiology Update – available here

May 1, 2020 – Special statement from Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health

Today I am pleased to announce that Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa are launching the first phase of a city-wide engagement opportunity to hear from residents about our collective community response to COVID-19. We are looking to learn more about your thoughts, perceptions and understanding of current restrictions in place related to COVID-19.

This online engagement platform, called COVID-19: Share your thoughts, will allow us to learn how residents are making changes in their lives to protect themselves and loved ones, what their experience has been receiving and understanding information, what kinds of supports residents have accessed, ideas to maintain physical distancing into the future and what is perhaps much needed right now – good news stories.

The City and OPH are currently exploring how we can safely reopen the city in a gradual, phased approach while aligning with the Province of Ontario’s framework for reopening the province, and we must include public feedback.

The information we receive from residents will help to ensure we develop a plan for the post-peak period that aligns with the province and meets the needs and expectations of our community as much as possible.  OPH is also working with stakeholders, such as the Mayor’s office and City leadership, City task forces, health system partners, the NCC and others, to interpret and apply the anticipated provincial guidelines within Ottawa.

Community and client engagement is one of the transformational initiatives in OPH’s strategic plan. Engagement is a process to work with our community, not just for our community, and ensures the decisions we make, and the work that we do, is rooted in the voices of clients and partners.

I encourage everyone to visit or to participate in English and French. Please check back regularly as we will update this page to seek ongoing feedback as we continue to navigate next steps.

Aging Well in Ottawa

One other way that OPH regularly engages with our residents is through Facebook. This week we launched another moderated Facebook page, called Aging Well in Ottawa for residents 55 years of age and older and their caregivers. This page has had a lot of interest in its first week.  Ottawa Public Health staff will be online from 9 am to 3 pm daily (Monday to Friday) to discuss timely health topics, address questions and support residents to connect with one another. Please join us online for this exciting new initiative.

Updated testing criteria

OPH is now recommending that any residents over 60 years of age experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, go for assessment.  The full list of who is eligible for testing is available on our website.  You can get tested at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre or a COVID-19 Care Clinic.

If you are in distress (e.g. significant trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting, or have a significant worsening of any chronic disease symptoms), do not go to the Assessment Centre or a COVID-19 Care clinic. Go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.

New case management system and epidemiology report

OPH is transitioning to a new case management and reporting system called the COVID-19 Ottawa Database. This transition will position OPH to better manage COVID-19 case volumes, facilitate remote work options for the case management team and continue to uphold provincial reporting obligations.

To support the transition, OPH is currently conducting quality assurance to validate the data in the new system. In the interim, a snapshot report will be posted until the transition is complete, likely early next week.

Visit for the latest news and updates.


Dr. Vera Etches

Medical Officer of Health

Ottawa Public Health