COVID-19 UPDATE FOR MAY 21, 2020
Below you will find today’s updates on the COVID-19 situation.
My team and I are monitoring the situation closely and sharing resources and information here in our daily newsletter, on our COVID-19 Information Hub, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
Our goal is to help you have the latest facts at your fingertips during this challenging time.
- Reminder: Five-person rule still in place
- Flags at half-mast in memory of City employee
- Ottawa 'one-stop' website for free counselling
- Demand for Unsafe at Home Ottawa doubles expectations
- Can I get COVID-19 from packages in the mail? And other questions.
- COVID-19 Mental Health Survey for Parents
- Ontario government moving ahead with COVID-19 research
- COVID-19 aid to Indigenous people living off-reserve
- Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program
- Tax Deferral Program for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
- Farm Grant Program
- Alternate Payment Options for Property Taxes
Reminder: Five-person rule still in place
- As we work towards gradually reopening our city, a reminder that there is still a ban on gatherings of more than 5 people from outside your household.
- Despite hopes that the number of people allowed to gather in Ontario might be raised from five to ten this week, the limit will be staying as is for now.
- The Premier said that, based on the advice of the province's Chief Medical Officer, the five-person rule is still necessary at this time. It will remain in place until at least May 29, the end of the current state of emergency.
- The Province is also strongly recommending wearing a cloth mask when you can’t practice social distancing.
- Ottawa Public Health has everything you need to know about cloth masks here.
Flags at half-mast in memory of City employee
- The flags at Peter D. Clark Long-Term Care Home have been lowered to half-mast as the City mourns the loss of an employee who passed away on Tuesday.
- The employee had tested positive for COVID-19.
- City news release
Ottawa 'one-stop' website for free counselling
- It’s OK to not be OK.
- While COVID-19 has shut walk-in counselling doors, 13 community agencies have joined forces to open another — online.
- If you need to talk, a free phone or video counselling session is just a click away: http://counsellingconnect.org.
- The website is offering free same-day and next-day counselling appointments for all ages.
Demand for Unsafe at Home Ottawa doubles expectations
- Unsafe at Home Ottawa is a secure chat and text service for women living with violence.
- The service launched April 14th and the demand has doubled expectations. More than 300 people have reached out for support during the first month of operations.
- Are you or is someone you know living with violence or abuse?
- Unsafe at Home Ottawa - Text (613) 704-5535
- Chat online unsafeathomeottawa.ca
- 7 days a week, 8:30 am to midnight
- You are not alone. Reach out.
Here’s the breakdown of support offered in the chats during the first month:
- Safety planning: 32% (includes 2 individuals supported in leaving a violent situation)
- Other: 32% (for example, friends and family reaching out for support)
- Emotional support: 20%
- Practical support: 7%
- Support with basic needs: 5%
- Legal support: 3%
- Financial support: 1%
Read the full results in the Newsroom at crimepreventionottawa.ca. Please continue to share this important resource.
Can I get COVID-19 from packages in the mail? And other questions.
- While the risk of spread of COVID-19 from products that are shipped over a period of days is very low, it's always a good idea to wash your hands properly after handling any packages/mail/newspapers you receive.
- Ottawa Public Health answers this question and many others here.
COVID-19 Mental Health Survey for Parents
- Are you a parent or caregiver of young people between the ages of 4 and 25?
- Share your COVID-19 experience to help the CHEO Research Institute understand how to better support young people and their families through and after the pandemic.
- Info here
Ontario government moving ahead with COVID-19 research
- The Ontario government announced that it’s moving forward with research projects to fight COVID-19, including clinical trials investigating vaccines and treatments.
- Premier Ford and Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano made the announcement today, saying the government is funding its “first phase” of research to "test, detect and treat" the disease.
- The province said it is moving forward with funding for 15 “high-quality and promising proposals” to fight COVID-19, as well as the 22 clinical trials investigating vaccines and treatments.
- The proposals were submitted in response to a recent call under Ontario’s $20 million COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.
- Government news release
COVID-19 aid to Indigenous people living off-reserve
- The federal government is increasing the amount of funding aimed at Indigenous people who are living off-reserve, adding $75 million to the existing Indigenous Community Support Fund.
- The Prime Minister said topping up the funding for Indigenous communities living off-reserve and in urban centres is necessary, as the organizations focused on these populations are experiencing a high demand for their services.
- The money is expected to be put into community-based projects such as those aimed at providing access to food, transportation, educational materials or mental health services. It can also be used to purchase sanitation and personal protective equipment.
- Government news release
Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program
- The Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program is available to eligible residents and businesses with an assessed property value of up to $7.5M that are financially impacted by the COVID-1
- 9 pandemic.
- The $7.5M threshold covers 91% of all business properties in Ottawa.
- The program extends the interim and final property tax deadlines of March 19, 2020 and June 18, 2020 to October 30, 2020.
- Property owners must apply for the deferral before July 31, 2020 to be considered.
- More information, including the full list of eligibility criteria can be found on ottawa.ca/taxrelief.
- Residents who wish to cancel their preauthorized debit plan and apply for the property tax hardship deferral should contact Revenue Services at 613-580-2444 or email email@example.com.
Tax Deferral Program for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
- The City of Ottawa offers two property tax deferral programs for low-income seniors and low-income residents with disabilities. Eligible homeowners may apply for a full or partial deferral of their annual property taxes.
- The application deadline is July 31, 2020 and can be returned via mail, e-mail or fax. Information on eligibility and how to apply can be found HERE.
Farm Grant Program
- The Farm Grant Program provides financial relief to working farmers. Eligible properties are automatically enrolled and will be notified upon the receipt of their final property tax bill.
- Final Property Tax Bills Date: May 21, 2020 program assists eligible farm property owners by allowing the June final tax installment to be paid in December.
- More information on the program and eligibility can also be found HERE.
Alternate Payment Options for property taxes
The City is taking steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and wants to remind residents and businesses that the City offers several different ways to pay property taxes, including:
- My Service Ottawa portal
- Credit or debit card online at ottawa.ca
- Online through your financial institution
Full details on how to use these methods can be found HERE.