At Ottawa City Council this past Wednesday, the Mayor announced that at 12:01 am on Thursday July 22, the State of Emergency in Ottawa would be lifted – moving the City’s emergency management to “Activated Operations”. Many residents have been asking what this new status means.
What does Active Operations mean?
Activated Operations indicates a situation that requires the engagement of the Senior Leadership Team through the mobilization of the Emergency Operations Centre. This status will allow the city to continue the day-to-day operations in pandemic response such as managing the vaccination rollout and other public health measures. Deescalating into activated operations will not affect day-to-day operations, nor will it impede the City’s ability to respond to future provincial direction on the pandemic.
While the City continues the activation of the Municipal Emergency Plan to manage the COVID-19 response, the powers afforded under the State of Emergency are no longer considered necessary. However important public health measures do remain in place. Check the Ottawa Public Health website and ottawa.ca for the latest guidelines.
The State of Emergency was declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 25, 2020. This status provided the conditions for the city to be nimble in the procurement and organization of resources, including City staff. Many City staff were reallocated from their regular City jobs during this time to help with emergency operations such as providing support and detailed information to Councillor’s office to assist in; addressing residents’ many questions related to Covid-19, the health and safety guidelines associated and setting up vaccination clinics, to name a few.
Am I still required to wear a face mask?
Please note that the city of Ottawa’s temporary mask bylaw is still in place until August 26th 2021. However, the city can bring this bylaw back if needed.
What about the other restrictions?
The province still determines restrictions on outdoor and indoor capacity, what can be open, etc. We are currently following STEP 3 restrictions of the Roadmap to reopen plan.
Let’s keep this going!
I’d like to thank residents who have made every effort to ensure that they are vaccinated and for those who are continuing to register. We have seen some very positive signs in the fight against COVID-19 including lower incidence rates of new cases and no new outbreaks in the City. Vaccination up take has been high. This week it was announced that 83 per cent of adults are with one dose and 68 per cent with two.
Let’s keep this momentum moving forward!
Emergency Operations Centre
Even though the City is no longer in a state of emergency, the Emergency Operations Centre still has work to do as the central coordination hub for vaccine mobilization in Ottawa. It has taken over the Champlain Room at City Hall, a location large enough to comply with health and safety measures such as physical distancing.
Everyone’s looking forward to walking out that final time which will signify another important milestone for our community, and a hopeful return to our “new normal”. Thanks to the efforts of City and Public Health staff, health workers, and all Ottawa residents, that day may be here soon.