COVID-19 March 15 update: OPH Dr. says could be ‘hundreds,’ Arnprior hospital adjusts, more closures in WC, local help

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

WEST CARLETON – Ottawa’s chief medical officer says there could by “hundreds to even a thousand cases in the community now.”

That was the estimate of potential Ottawa-based COVID-19 cases given by Ottawa’s chief medical officer Dr. Vera Etches in an update given to Ottawa city council earlier today (March 15).

“Given the estimate that one case is likely to cause about two more and the doubling time is 4-5 days, there could now be hundreds to even a thousand cases in the community now,” Dr. Etches wrote in a memo to council,” Sunday afternoon.

The number of confirmed cases in Ottawa is now at 10 – five more confirmed cases yesterday (March 14).

“This number shows us that there are likely more travel-related cases that have gone on to cause local transmission of the virus in Ottawa,” Dr. Vera Etches said.

Dr. Etches asks everyone in Ottawa to limit non-essential trips out of the home and maintaining a distance of 1-2 meters from other people as much as possible.

Her recommendations also include keeping children home from daycare, if possible, and to check with their employers about options for working from home or implementing distancing at work.

Dr. Etches appears to know that some will perceive her warning as an over-reaction.

“Unless we act now to limit COVID-19 transmission in our community, we will not be able to keep the numbers who require hospital treatment all at once to a manageable number,” Dr. Etches wrote.

The city now has five new cases of the COVID-19 virus in Ottawa, the Ontario government confirmed.

The new numbers were posted on the Ontario government’s website Sunday morning, which tracks new cases across the province twice daily. 

Details such as patients’ ages, what hospital or response centre they presented to and how they contracted the virus are not yet made available. 

All are self-isolating.

Arnprior hospital closes entrances, restricts visitors, conducts screenings

ARNPRIOR – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) has also implemented new preventative measures hospital staff announced yesterday (March 14).

This includes a new temporary policy restricting visitor access to the Grove Nursing Home and the hospital, active screening at the hospital of all visitors, patients, and staff, and reduced open entrances at the hospital.

The Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health has directed all long-term care homes to only allow essential visitors. Essential visitors are family members of a loved one who is very ill or dying.

In order to best protect ARH patients, residents and staff, the Grove and the hospital will now only allow essential visitors and the restriction of two essential visitors for a resident/patient at one time

“We understand how difficult this change will be for our residents, patients and their families,” ARH President and CEO Eric Hanna said. “Our priority continues to be the health and safety of everyone we care for and this new additional measure will help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities.”

While visitor access is restricted, ARH will not charge patients to have a telephone in their room to help make it easier for them to stay connected with friends and family.

With active screening now in place at the Grove and the hospital, the hospital has reduced the number of open entrances to accommodate this new preventative measure.

Open entrances on the weekend

  • Entrance D (opened from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.)
  • Entrance E (Emergency Department)

Open entrances Monday to Friday

  • Entrance A (opened at 8 a.m.)
  • Entrance B (opened from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.)
  • Entrance D (opened from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.)
  • Entrance E (Emergency Department)

Individuals who come to the hospital must only use Entrance E if they need to access the Emergency Department or if another entrance is not open.

Visit the ARH website’s COVID-19 page for up-to-date information.

The West Carleton Family Health Team announced changes to their weekend Urgent Care Service to a phone-in only service Friday.

“Walk-in, by nature, does not offer a great opportunity to pre-screen patients and in this circumstance has the potential to put our staff and patients at risk,” WCFHT executive director Chris LeBouthillier told West Carleton Online yesterday. “We are examining alternative models of urgent care to find the right fit moving forward.”

WC Facebook help

CONSTANCE BAY – As is customary in West Carleton, when the community needs help, the community rises.

This time in the form of a local Facebook page called the Constance Bay CoVid Help Page. The page is designed to connect people who need help with those are ready to help.

The Facebook page offers a connection to helpful information and helpful people.

“As residents of Constance Bay, we would like to continue to help each other during difficult times,” page administrator Shannon Keeling said. “This page is to help connect people needing help to those that can offer it.”

List of WC closures, cancellations and schedule changes
  • All West Carleton area community centre and city-owned public buildings like the two indoor ice pads are closed. All local sports teams including the Warriors, Wolverines and Talons have halted their seasons and practices.
  • The West Carleton Community Complex will be open to the public on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • The Carp Commons Retirement Village is now screening visitors and preventing entry to anyone who has travelled outside of Canada in the last two weeks. Residents are allowed one visitor at a time who most remain in the host’s suite and wear a mask.
  • The West Carleton Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 616, has cancelled all events including TGIF dinners, darts and meetings.
  • The Friends of the Carp Hills have postponed their annual general meeting that was scheduled for March 25.
  • The West Carleton Arts Society has cancelled its annual art conference and workshop scheduled for April 1 to 4.
  • The Carp Farmers’ Market board of directors has not yet made a decision on its Easter Market scheduled for April 11 but will continue deliberations.
  • The Diefenbunker Museum has closed  until further notice.
  • The Huntley Township Historical Society has cancelled it’s March 17 St. Patrick’s Day Event.
  • The Corkery Fire Station, Ottawa Fire Station 84 is postponing its April 18 Open House.
  • The Ottawa Fire Service Recruit Information Meeting scheduled for March 19 at the Carp Fire Hall has been postponed.
  • Savvy Seconds will remain open but by appointment only.
  • The West Carleton Food Access Centre will be closed from March 28 to April 5 in order to work on resupplying its low reserves. The phone line continues to be monitored.
  • The Teck Talk for Everyone March 19 workshop has been postponed until later in the summer.


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