Foods, Cures and Supplements
There is currently no evidence to suggest that supplements or natural health products can help treat/protect against COVID19. If you are currently infected, it’s important to stay hydrated & provide your body with a healthy & balanced diet. Learn more on Ottawa Public Health’s website.
Along with physical distancing and hand washing, wearing a face covering in public also helps to protect others. Have you found a way to make a homemade mask? Do you know where to purchase a non-medical mask? We want to hear your ideas! http://OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Masks
Staying active is key to maintaining our physical and mental health. Wondering whether or not you can do that outdoors? Our new Physical Activity webpage can answer all your questions!
Do you have questions about your baby’s health? Do you need help with breastfeeding/chestfeeding? Ottawa Public Health has established a telephone support line for families of babies, up to 3 months: 613-580-2424 ext 23774 read more.
Physical Distancing Community Shelter – Singles
Housing Services is working with emergency shelter partners to identify locations suitable for use to create physical distancing in the singles emergency shelter system. The singles shelters are currently operating at capacity, using overflow beds to meet demands. Within the shelter environment, it is not possible to create or meet the physical distancing recommendations of Ottawa Public Health. In light of this need, the City has created a Physical Distancing Community Shelter Task Force to help find solutions. The task force is identifying temporary alternate locations to reduce overcrowding and help decrease the chance of community spread by allowing for the recommended physical distancing in the shelter system.
Highlights: Human Needs Task Force Update – April 20, 2020
Support for Families
- The City has secured 140 hotel rooms and has already moved 70 families, with another 70 families moving over the next week.
- An additional 50 hotel rooms are required for families to meet physical distancing requirements.
- The City is working with the hotel industry, colleges and universities, and other residential housing organizations to support temporary housing for at-risk homeless families.
- The City continues to look at all options that are available for permanent housing options to increase the affordable housing supply for use in the long term, including rolling out the new Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit in May.
- For families that require isolation due to one or more members testing positive for COVID-19, a 28-unit building has been secured from uOttawa for families (21 units will be used).
- As of April 20, four families are self-isolating in this building.
- Another 28 units with a hotel provider are being secured for the same purpose. The City will work with Ottawa Public Health and the local Community Health and Resource Centre to support this centre.
Support for Individuals
- The City will be opening/has opened the following sites to support individuals experiencing homelessness:
- The Routhier Centre, which opened in March, currently has a 40-bed isolation and treatment centre for people who are homeless or in shelters that require self-isolation.
- A 40-bed isolation centre at the Le Patro d’Ottawa Recreation Centre will open the week of April 27 to support Residential Services Homes and the provincial Homes for Special Care program. It will serve individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 or who have mild symptoms or have been in direct contact with individuals who tested positive.
- Anticipated to open the week of April 27, the Jim Durrell Recreation Center will provide immediate physical distancing space for the men’s shelter system, with capacity of up to 140.
- The McNabb Recreation Centre’s shower and washroom facility will be opening this week to provide people experiencing homelessness access to showers and five portable washrooms have been installed in the downtown core to address immediate needs; longer-term solution is being developed.
- The Youth Services Bureau, in partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, will soon open isolation capacity for 16 to 21-year-olds in the emergency shelter system who are symptomatic, waiting test results or confirmed COVID-19 positive.
Questions and Answers
Q. How many beds do we need to allow shelter users to physically distance?
The current emergency shelter system is at capacity, with all shelters experiencing overcrowding and utilizing overflow services. We need a minimum of 100 to 150 additional beds to accommodate those currently using overflow services and to reduce pressures on the current shelter system.
Q. Can our current shelter system in Ottawa accommodate the need for shelter users to physically distance?
No, there is no capacity within the current shelter system to respond to the needs for an additional 100 to 150 beds. The task force has explored many options for alternate locations, including the possible use of community centres, churches, private facilities, hotels, motels and schools, including colleges and universities.
Q. Has an alternate site been selected to support the need for temporary physical distancing?
The Jim Durrell Recreation Centre, at 1265 Walkley Road has been designated as it meets the necessary required capacity needs and can support physical distancing requirements.
Q. What types of clients will be using this community shelter and what is the capacity?
This shelter criteria are currently for single men -shelter users aged 18 years and older, with low acuity (who require little to no supports). The Centre can provide temporary accommodation for up to 150 single men.
Q. What amenities will be available at this location?
The Centre will have dining space, bathrooms, showers, common sleeping areas in the two rinks, including access to computers, Wi-Fi and televisions. Food will be delivered into the facility.
Q. Will there be staff and/ or security on site?
Yes. There will 24/7 staff and security guards providing supports to the occupants.
Q. When will the facility be open?
While an exact date is not yet set, the facility will start receiving single men from other shelter facilities the week of April 27.
Q. How long will Jim Durrell be used as temporary accommodation?
Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to identify how long this facility will be required. It is estimated that the facility will be open at minimum until Tuesday, June 30.
Opening the centre for this purpose is a short-term, temporary solution as the City explores other medium-to long-term solutions to create extra capacity within the singles emergency shelter system.
Q. How will preventative COVID-19 measures be practiced at Jim Durrell?
This centre is being set up to support physical distancing. It is not an isolation centre. Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be available for all staff and clients who may exhibit symptoms before they can be transferred to an alternate location. In addition, cleaning services will be contracted externally to ensure enhanced cleaning procedures on high-touch surfaces. Hand sanitizers will be accessible along with Ottawa Public signage featuring guidelines for COVID-19 prevention procedures.
Q. Is Ottawa Police Services aware of this initiative?
Yes, Housing Services has been in contact with both Ottawa Police Services and By-law and Regulatory Services to inform and discuss operations at the site.
Q. What happens if someone tests positive for COVID-19?
Any person who becomes symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19 will be moved to the Routhier Community Centre.
Q. Why not use hotels and motels for this purpose?
The City continues outreach to secure hotel rooms for both the singles and family emergency shelter system, to support physical distancing. The City has been successful in procuring 70 hotel rooms for families, with 70 families moving to date. Another 70 rooms have been procured and moves will start this week. The City is actively working on options for singles.
Q. What is taking so long to secure hotels/motels for everyone?
Many hotels/motels in the City have ceased operations in the short term. Many others will not accept people who have potentially had exposure to COVID-19 or tested positive due to health and safety concerns for staff and other guests. Others are catering to diplomatic, governmental or essential business travel. While the City has had many hotel/motel providers step forward to provide options for families experiencing homelessness in addition to health care workers, securing rooms for the singles emergency shelter system has proven more challenging. The City is exploring both room rental and leasing options.
Q. Is it true that communal sites are not the best options to support physical distancing?
Ideally, the City would be able to procure space where everyone has access to their own kitchen and bathroom. As the City continues efforts to secure hotel rooms, this centre has been identified as a temporary solution to help reduce overcrowding in the men’s shelter system
Q. Will be Centre be cleaned prior to returning to community use?
The Centre will have enhanced daily cleaning while operations are underway. Before the Centre is returned to community use, it will be cleaned and sanitized following all protocols and guidelines identified by Ottawa Public Health.
Q. What do I do if there is a problem in my neighbourhood that is associated with the Centre?
The City will provide a telephone number that community members can call should there be any concerns with the occupants of the centre.
Q. What are you going to do to encourage people to stay inside?
Some of the people who are staying at the centre may have employment and will go to work daily. The centre is also being set up with computers, television and other individual activities like cards and books.