Below you will find today’s updates on the COVID-19 situation. 

My team and I are monitoring the situation closely and sharing resources and information here in our daily newsletter, on our COVID-19 Information Hub, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Our goal is to help you have the latest facts at your fingertips during this challenging time.


  • 211 is here for you
  • COVID-19 testing criteria expanded further
  • Look out for less common symptoms of COVID-19
  • Should I wear a mask?
  • New hours at Brewer Assessment Centre
  • More companies will now qualify for a loan
  • Reminder: Hotline for businesses
  • New rent assistance program coming for small business
  • Some conservation area trails remain open
  • You may see more wildlife these days – what to do


211 is here for you

  • 211 is a 24-hour helpline available in 150 languages.
  • If you need help finding food banks, mental health resources or financial relief programs, dial 211 and they will point you in the right direction.
  • Live Chat is also available Monday to Friday from 7am to 9pm here.
  • You can also use the Search Help Tool at 211ontario.ca.
  • You are not alone


COVID-19 testing criteria expanded further

  • Last night the Ontario government expanded the list of those who can be tested for COVID-19 if they are showing symptoms. Here is the updated list:
    • Healthcare workers or staff who work in health care facilities and members of their households.
    • Residents and staff in long-term care homes, retirement homes, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, mental health institutions, hospices, and other congregate living settings and institutions.
    • Hospitalized individuals and those who likely will be hospitalized.
    • Members of remote, isolated, rural and/or indigenous communities.
    • Caregivers and care providers.
    • First responders such as firefighters, police and paramedics.
    • Individuals with frequent healthcare contact such as patients with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy, dialysis therapy, pre- or post-transplant, pregnancy, and newborns.
    • Close contacts of confirmed or probable cases.
    • Returning international travellers who seek medical attention.
    • Critical infrastructure workers – this includes grocery stores, food services, maintenance and transportation workers, and utilities.
  • For more information see Ottawa Public Health’s website here.


Look out for less common symptoms of COVID-19

  • COVID-19 has common symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
  • COVID-19 also has less common symptoms such as:
    • unexplained fatigue
    • delirium (a serious medical condition that involves confusion, changes to memory, and odd behaviours)
    • falls
    • acute functional decline
    • worsening of chronic conditions
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • abdominal pain
    • chills
    • headaches
    • croup
    • loss of taste/smell
  • For more information visit Ottawa Public Health’s website here.
  • If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment tool.


Should I wear a mask?

  • Dr. Etches said today that she continues to be asked for clarity about whether people should wear a mask. She offered the following information:
    • When you can’t maintain physical distancing, wearing a homemade cloth mask is an extra step you can take to protect others around you.
    • It will reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from you to others.
  • Homemade masks refer to any mask or facial covering that can easily be made using supplies around the house, including t-shirts, pant legs, or handkerchiefs.
  • See tips on making your own mask here.


New hours at Brewer Assessment Centre

  • The Brewer Arena Assessment Center is the primary location for swabbing people who need to be tested for COVID-19. If you can manage your symptoms at home (e.g. your symptoms are generally mild), get tested at Brewer Arena if you meet the latest COVID-19 testing criteria.
    • Brewer Park Arena Location and hours:
    • 151 Brewer Way (Accessed from Bronson Avenue opposite Carleton University)
    • Open 9 AM to 3:30 PM, 7 days a week (it was previously open from 9 AM-8 PM)
  • Dr. Etches said today that labs are currently turning around COVID-19 tests within 24 hours of receiving them.


More businesses will now qualify for a loan

  • The federal government has expanded the eligibility criteria the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).
  • The CEBA provides a $40,000 loan that is interest-free until Dec. 31, 2022. The program opened to applicants on April 9.
  • Up until now, businesses needed to prove that they paid between $50,000 and $1 million in payroll in 2019.
  • NEW TODAY: Businesses who paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in payroll in 2019 are eligible to receive the loan.
  • If a business can repay the loan by the end of 2022, up to $10,000 will be forgiven.
  • Businesses can apply through their banks or credit unions.
  • So far more than 195,000 loans have been approved through this.
  • Official news release here.


New rent assistance coming program for small businesses

  • This morning Prime Minister Trudeau announced a new program: the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CEBRA).
  • The program will help small businesses cover their rents for April, May, and June.
  • The Federal government is partnering with provinces and territories to roll out the new program.

Reminder: Hotline for businesses

  • Businesses with questions about how COVID-19 impacts their business or employment can call the “Stop the Spread” information hotlineat 1-888-444-3659
  • The hotline is open from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m 7 days a week.


Some conservation area trails remain open

  • People can continue to get outdoors at the following Conservation Area trails that remain open and maintained for passive recreational use (walk-through access only):
    • Two Creek Forest Conservation Area (Morrisburg)
    • Oschmann Forest Conservation Area (Ormond)
    • Robert Graham Conservation Area (Glen Stewart)
    • Warwick Forest Conservation Area (Berwick)
    • J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area (Russell)
    • W. E. Burton Conservation Area (Russell)
    • Reveler Conservation Area (Crysler)
    • Nokomis Park (Limoges)
  • All other SNC Conservation Areas not listed are closed.
  • Please note that all outdoor washrooms, play structures, seating areas, boardwalks and gazebos are closed.
  • SNC requests that visitors take extra care, maintain distancing (two metres away from anyone outside your household) and be respectful of other trail users.
  • Dogs are not permitted to be off leash on trails.
  • More information at: www.nation.on.ca/coronavirus


You may see more wildlife these days – what to do

  • As more people stay home, it is possible to see increased wildlife activity in your area.
  • Most of the time wildlife is not a threat, but what to do you do if you encounter a coyote, wolf or fox?
  • The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the best way to stay safe is never to approach or touch a wild animal. If you see a coyote, wolf or fox, keep your distance and the animal will most likely avoid you.
  • More information on how to prevent conflicts with wildlife can be found at www.ontario.ca/page/prevent-conflicts-wildlife.