April 3 COVID-19 update: Province releases dire projections, non-essential businesses list grows, emergency childcare set to open, bylaw to crack down on rule breakers

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is confirming 37 more cases of COVID-19 in the city, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 289 today (April 3).

Since Wednesday, OPH has confirmed 145 new cases in the city’s boundary.

There are 25 patients in hospital with 10 in intensive care – 32 local cases of COVID-19 have been resolved, overall.

Five retirement residences and long-term care homes in Ottawa have been dealing with multiple cases of COVID-19, including the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, the Promenade Retirement Residence, Maplewood Retirement Community, Park Place Retirement Residence and Garden Terrace long-term care residence.

Ontario released dire pandemic projections

ONTARIO – Public Health Ontario (PHO) says Ontario could see as many as 80,000 cased of COVID-19 and 1,600 coronavirus-related deaths in projections released today (April 3).

PHO said the projections could have been much worse if no intervention was taken since the outbreak. The public health agency says there could’ve have been as many as 300,000 cases and 6,000 deaths by April 30 if the province did not enforce physical distancing and close non-essential businesses.

If “full future intervention” methods are used going forward, according to those same projections, Ontario may see 12,500 COVID-19 cases and 200 deaths due to COVID -19 by month’s end. 

Projections from the province also indicate there could be anywhere from 3,000 to 15,000 deaths in the province over the course of the pandemic, which could be as long as 18 months, with public health measures in place. 

The full course of the pandemic could last anywhere from 18 months and two years based on the projections.   

Ontario also announced the launch of a new online portal for the public to access COVID-19 lab test results, which the province says is being done in order to ease pressure on public health units and frontline workers. 

Projections from PHO suggest without strong public health measures to combat the pandemic, the death toll could have reached 100,000 people in the province.

But officials stress existing steps must stay in place to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Peter Donnelly, president of PHO, says even more needs to be done to prevent the death toll from climbing beyond the more conservative projections.

The number of cases in the province climbed 16 per cent in one day and currently stands at 3,255. At least 67 people have died of COVID-19 in the province.

Ontario revises list of essential businesses

ONTARIO – Premier Doug Ford says more businesses will be forced to close in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Ford says the new closures will take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday (April 4) and will include all industrial construction except for essential projects such as hospitals.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says local homes currently under construction will still be completed, as will the city’s road and infrastructure projects.

Click the link to see the province’s revised its list of essential Ontario businesses.

The announcement comes after public health officials released figures showing between 3,000 and 15,000 could die in Ontario over the full course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The same projections showed the death toll could have reached 100,000 if no action had been taken.

Ford says the figures show that physical distancing saves lives and the Progressive Conservative government is prepared to do whatever it takes to protect Ontarians.

The province has recorded more than 3,200 cases of COVID-19 as of today, including 67 deaths.

Three emergency childcare centres set to open

OTTAWA – The City of Ottawa is set to open three provincially funded childcare centres and hopes to expand services in the future.

The government of Ontario has approved funding for three licensed, municipal childcare centres in Ottawa, set to open April 13. These childcare services will only be available to essential service workers, at no cost to their families. 

Ontario announced emergency licensed childcare for healthcare and essential workers on March 25. Two days later, the Ministry of Education approved Ottawa’s plan to open three locations.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) then confirmed support for the emergency childcare plan on April 1, as long as the plan looked for both centre-based and home-based solutions where one provider could serve no more than five children, and each group had to be housed in a separate room.

Today (April 3), Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson confirmed the following locations would be the city’s first three emergency child-care centres:

  • Esther By Child Care Centre (1550 Caldwell Ave.) – Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
  • Centre Educatif Tournesol (194 McArthur Rd.) – Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
  • Dr. Ernest Couture Child Care Centre (2185 Riverside Dr.) – Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In a memo to council, Watson explained the City of Ottawa will provide staff at these locations, and many of the staff will be registered early childhood educators.

Each centre will take 10 to 12 children, between the ages of 18 months and five years.

The city’s Child Services department is expected to monitor the situation to see if weekend coverage will be necessary. It also continues to work with other licensed childcare providers in the community who have shown interest in providing emergency services. The city is hoping to to add more locations, extended hours and spaces for children up to 12-years-old.

Eligible families are invited to apply at ottawa.ca.

City set to crack down on COVID-19 rule breakers

OTTAWA – Ottawa’s bylaw officers are ready to amp up enforcement of COVID-19 regulations and will start fining residents who continue to gather and disobey the province’s physical distancing rules.

“We’ve been trying to be reasonable and lenient, but those days are over,” Mayor Jim Watson said. “There are just too many people that are doing everything from giving horseback lessons to garage sales and that has to stop.”

Watson said bylaw officers will give a pass to some who haven’t been warned already, but will issue $750 fines for repeat offenders.

Residents who do not cooperate could face an additional fine of $1,130 for obstructing an officer.

According to the City of Ottawa, 161 calls reporting gatherings were received on Thursday (April 2) alone.  


Print Friendly, PDF & Email