To: Mayor Watson and Members of Ottawa City Council
From: Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health
Subject: Novel Coronavirus - Update
Members of Council have undoubtedly seen or heard reports about the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is working with international partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to actively monitor the outbreak originating in Wuhan, China. Similarly, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) continues to monitor information on this viral outbreak and is following the guidance from provincial and federal health authorities.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infections in Canada or involving Canadians overseas. OPH has been liaising – and will continue to do so - with our health sector, and multi-jurisdictional, all-hazards emergency preparedness partners (including first responders and the Ottawa Airport Authority) and neighbouring health units to share information, review recommendations received from the province and coordinate actions.
While it is important to take the situation seriously and to be prepared, the risk to Canadians and to Ottawa residents remains low. We are advising residents to take precautions such as washing your hands regularly, using hand sanitizer, coughing into your elbow and staying home when you’re not feeling well. OPH has created a webpage (Ottawapublichealth.ca/Coronavirus) that includes updates on this evolving situation, health messaging for residents and partners, and links to domestic and international health authorities.
Given that this situation is evolving, and more information is expected to emerge over the coming days, OPH is continuing to monitor the situation, and will provide updates as more information becomes available and/or is necessary.
Dr. Vera Etches