The message below was received from the City of Ottawa March 17, 2020. Please note that this information is subject to change as the pandemic unfolds.
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/Self-Isolate 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.
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.
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:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth unless you just cleaned your hands
- Cover coughs and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
- If possible, stay home if you are sick
- Get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating
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