WC family health team adjusts services, recreation facilities, library closes due to COVID-19

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

WEST CARLETON – The coronavirus’ reach has finally grasped West Carleton.

While no cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Ward 5, the closest confirmed case coming from Kanata North, the contagious virus is now affecting events, businesses and city-run buildings in the West Carleton community.

The West Carleton Family Health Team (WCFHT) is “transitioning our Urgent Care Clinic to phone appointments only,” the Carp=based health clinic released in a statement today (March 13).

“Due to the evolving coronavirus situation and changes in the guidance and recommendations, especially over the last few days, we have made the difficult decision that for the weekend of March 14 and 15 we are transitioning our Urgent Care Clinic to Phone Appointments Only with a physician,” the WCFHT said. “This is an effort to ensure we can appropriately screen our patients and avoid putting our most vulnerable patients at risk. Please call 613-839-3271 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a receptionist will book you a phone appointment with one of our physicians.”

The WCFHT is unsure how long this practice will continue.

“After this weekend we will be examining our weekend Urgent Care Clinic to determine how we can best balance the need to protect the vulnerable patients while ensuring patients who need to be seen are able to be seen,” they said. “We have been monitoring and responding to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and are taking precautions to protect our patients and staff. We are encouraging patients to avoid unnecessary clinic visits and communicate with us via the Patient Portal. Through the portal, you can send questions or concerns about a medication or medical issue and a doctor or nurse will typically respond within three business days.Patients can also request medication renewals, view lab results, submit blood pressure readings, view upcoming appointments and print immunization records online. Information about the Patient Portal can be found on our website. All patients of the WCFHT are encouraged to register.”

The City of Ottawa is closing all city-managed recreation and cultural facilities, and all Ottawa Public Library (OPL) branches, based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health’s guidance to limit mass gatherings,” city staff released in a statement today (March 13). “These proactive measures are being taken as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Staying ahead of the curve will require us to work together – the city and you – to help stop the spread in our communities.”

 All recreation and cultural facilities, including recreation complexes, community centers, arenas, swimming pools, theatres and museums will be closed, effective Monday, March 16. This includes both the W. Erskine Johnston Arena and the Cavanagh Sensplex as well as the Carp, Constance Bay and Fitzroy Harbour branch of the OPL.

The West Carleton Amateur Sports Club (WCSC), inside the Carp arena, has also closed as a result.

“Effective immediately, we will be closed to the public including ouur St. Patrick’s Day celebrations scheduled for Saturday, March 14 due to the spread of COVID-19, the cancellation of most events at the arena and now the arena itself,” the WCASC stated on social media today (March 13). “Thank you for a great year and be safe.”

The NorthWind Wireless Fibre Centre, the community centre in Constance Bay, has also closed its doors to the public.

“NorthWind will be closed from Monday March 16 until at least April 5 in accordance with direction from the city,” Constance Buckham’s Bay Community Association President Len Russell released in a statement. “We will automatically process refunds for affected CBBCA programs.”

City programs, including March break camps and fitness classes, will also be cancelled, starting Monday. There is no need for ticketholders to call 3-1-1 as tickets will be refunded automatically. Programming and rental fee refunds will also be processed automatically. All other inquiries can be sent by email to 123go@ottawa.ca.

All Client Service Centres and City Hall will remain open.

The City of Ottawa will be providing regular updates through on ottawa.ca and through our social media channels. Ottawa Public Health will also continue to provide updates related to COVID-19 in Ottawa on OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus. This is an evolving situation and the most current information will be shared with the public through all official City channels.

Ottawa now has 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. To date, all have been related to international travel. In addition to preventive measures that you can take at home, at work and in public settings, here are some steps your City is taking to limit the impact in Ottawa.

What the city is doing

Service Ottawa – The city is taking steps to help prevent the spread of the virus in our facilities. You can go on to myservice.ottawa.ca to pay your water bills and your interim property taxes. If you do not have an account, registration is simple – you can sign up with your email address. Once registered, you’ll need your account or property roll number to pay your bill.

  • City bills have other payment options besides the myservice.ottawa.ca accounts, which include:
  • Paying by credit or debit card online at ottawa.ca
  • Paying through your financial institution by creating a payee number on your institution’s mobile app or through an ATM machine

Residents can access many other services online as well. You do not need to come in person to a Client Service Centre if you want to:

  • Register or renew a pet registration
  • Apply or renew open air fire permit
  • Pay a parking or traffic ticket
  • Look up extension or reopening applications
  • Apply for a Food Premise Business License
  • Sign up for future recreation programs
  • Load up and manage a Presto Card

Long-term care facilities

Seniors are vulnerable for serious and life-threatening complications from COVID-19. An extensive screening process has been instituted in our long-term care facilities. Any visitors or staff who may be feeling ill, been in contact with anyone not feeling well, or recently travelled outside of Canada, should not visit the centres – to protect your loved ones and their fellow residents.

More extensive cleaning and sanitizing procedures at city facilities

The city has increased its cleaning and sanitizing processes in our facilities – allowing us to continue with programming over the weekend. For the safety of our employees and residents, please avoid entering our facilities and Client Service Centres if you are sick or not feeling well.

Public consultation meetings

In-person City of Ottawa public consultations will be cancelled – including for the Ward Boundary Review and the Community Safety and Well-being Plan. You can still participate in consultations by completing online surveys at engage.ottawa.ca.

Committee and Council Meetings

The city is also working to limit the number of Committee meetings. If agendas are updated, information will be available on ottawa.ca.

Provincial Offences Act court appearances

If you have a scheduled court appearance at Mary Pitt Centre, 100 Constellation Drive, but you are showing symptoms, please call 3-1-1 before your court time to receive further directions.

What you can do

If you are showing symptoms, please avoid taking public transit.

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. To reduce the spread of germs including the flu and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) we recommend that you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
  • If possible, stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick 
  • It is still recommended to get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community

For additional medical information, visit ottawapublichealth.ca/coronavirus.


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