WEST CARLETON – Public events continue to be cancelled in West Carleton as residents look to secure themselves from the COVID-19 influenza that now has five confirmed cases in the Ottawa area.
All three levels of government are working to enact new policy to deter the spread of the coronavirus. Two new confirmed cases were reported in Ottawa yesterday (March 13) to bring the total of known COVID-19 cases in Ottawa to five.
In West Carleton all city owned public facilities in West Carleton are now closed and that includes the community’s recreation and community centres. An important meeting regarding flood preparations and the 2020 spring freshet scheduled for April 4 has also been cancelled.
Constance Buckham’s Bay Community Association (CBBCA) President Len Russell provided West Carleton Online with an update today (March 14).
“In compliance with direction from the City of Ottawa the NorthWind Centre will be closed to the public from Monday March 16 until at least April 5,” Russell said. “All programs and events scheduled at the centre are suspended including All-In, the Fitness Centre, private events, Book Chat, Bridge Club, Brownies, Conversation & Coffee, Crafting with Colleen, Easter Crafts, the Flood Preparedness Meeting, Inner Moon Yoga, Library, March Break events, Playgroup, Rural Root rehearsals, Song Circle, Sparks, Sparks TKD, Speech Therapy, Square Dancing, Youth Lounge and WOCRC services & activities.”
Russell said any cancellations come with an automatic refund.
“All of the CBBCA’s Fitness Centre, All In, and VIP members will automatically receive a refund for any prepayment during the affected period,” Russell said. “Any check payment customers will have future checks put on hold and your expiry date will be extended.”
Russell says some upcoming events are expected to proceed as normal.
“Please continue normal registrations for youth Ball and the Dragon Boat Festival; no interruption to these programs is anticipated at this time,” he said.
Father John Orban, the Parochial Administrator for St. Michael, Fitzroy Harbour and St. Gabriel, Constance Bay Parishes, said there will be no Sunday services this weekend (March 15).
“Since my previous (communication) regarding Sunday masses this weekend I have received another letter from our Archbishop excusing all obligations to attend public mass this weekend,” Orban released in a statement. “Public weekday masses will continue as usual. Further direction for next weekend’s masses will be provided next week.”
Orban said he will be sure to greet churchgoers who are not aware of the cancellations.
“I will be present in the church during the usual Sunday mass times today and tomorrow to inform others who may show up about the situation and to offer a time of prayer and assistance for those in need,” he said.
The Parish of Fitzroy Harbour, made up of the congregations of St. Thomas Anglican Church, Woodlawn, and St. George’s Anglican Church, Fitzroy Harbour, have also cancelled Sunday services.
Yesterday (March 13), the West Carleton Family Health Team (WCFHT) changed their urgent care service policy in an effort to mitigate the COVID-19 spread. Later last evening, WCFHT executive director Chris LeBouthillier gave West Carleton Online an update.
“While we have been preparing for COVID-19 since January, the rapid changes in screening recommendations and guidelines and the potential implications to staff and patients have led us to decide to take this brief pause to reexamine our process,” LeBouthillier told West Carleton Online. “In particular, our weekend Urgent Care Clinic is typically staffed by one physician and one medical support person (nurse, medical assistant, etc.) and functions on a walk-in basis. 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. We are examining alternative models of urgent care to find the right fit moving forward.”
The WCFHT is dedicated to serving the West Carleton community and wanted to ensure service was still available.
“Our patient safety remains our priority and we will be available by phone during this time,” LeBouthillier said. “We also invite our patients to visit Ottawa Public Health online or contact Telehealth for non-urgent concerns.”
Known WC schedule changes and cancellations
- St. George’s Anglican Church Irish Stew Dinner March 17
- Men’s Ministry Breakfast Meeting March 21
- Constance Bay April 4 flood meeting
- Spring Craft and Vendor Sale April 18
- All city owned public buildings are closed except for the West Carleton Community Complex which, for now, will continue to operate under normal business hours
- The West Carleton Family Health Team is transitioning its Urgent Care Clinic to Phone Appointments Only this weekend (March 14)