October 27th – Message from Dr. Vera Etches
Each year on November 11, memorials are held across the City to commemorate the men and women who have served and continue to serve in Canada’s armed forces. This year, OPH is still encouraging residents to pay their respects to our veterans, but we are asking that Remembrance Day events be held virtually or be virtually accessible. OPH does not recommend holding in-person gatherings at a time when the status of COVID-19 is at a high-risk level in our community.
The Royal Canadian Legion is also asking the public to pay their respects virtually instead of in person for the 2020 National Remembrance Day Ceremony.
If local organizations are planning to hold Remembrance Day events, that are permitted under O. Reg. 364/20, OPH would like to remind them of the importance of following all current public health guidance. All gatherings should include mask use and physical distancing. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 participants, outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 and these cannot be combined.
OPH would ask Members of Council to please help spread this message to organizations in your respective communities that typically host Remembrance Day events.
For residents who may be considering attending a Remembrance Day event, OPH recommends the following:
- Stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild or you recently had a negative COVID-19 test.
- Maintain two metres of physical distancing from anyone you do not live with and limit close contact to members of your household.
- Wear a mask indoors and wear one outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained or is required.
- Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently.
Please note: Older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions (such as: cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic lung disease, chronic liver disease, cancer, are immunocompromised) are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. We should all consider our risks as well as the risks of those in our household prior to participating in events.
Every year the Remembrance Day ceremony is held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on November 11 to commemorate the men and women who have served and continue to serve. This year, the ceremony will look different as changes have been made to ensure health and safety. You can watch the ceremony and take part in the two minutes of silence via the Legion’s Facebook page. The event is usually also broadcast nationally on television as well as local radio. Please visit the Royal Canadian Legion website at https://www.legion.ca/ for up to date information on the ceremony.
More information on Remembrance Day, public health guidance is available on OPH’s Guidance for Social Gatherings During COVID-19 webpage at OttawaPublicHealth.ca/SocialWise#remembrance