Where do I go for the latest information about the current situation in Ottawa?
The Ottawa Public Health website features the most current updates about the evolving situation in Ottawa. Please check the website regularly for changing information and tips for staying healthy.
Where do I go for the latest information about the current situation in Quebec?
The Official website of the Gouvernement du Québec has published information about COVID-19. Please check the website regularly for changing information and tips for staying healthy.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure.
How is COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is spread either directly from person to person or indirectly by touching a surface that has been contaminated with the virus. It is not spread through airborne transmission.
Do I have to come to work?
We need employees to continue to work to deliver the important services that residents rely on. Managers will work with employees to explore whether alternate work arrangements are available.
Can I work from my regular work location instead of at home?
The situation is evolving constantly. Please speak to your manager to determine whether you are able to access your regular work location.
Can I refuse to serve a customer who I suspect is ill?
You can continue to serve clients without putting yourself at risk. Practice physical (social) distancing and other precautions recommended by Ottawa Public Health. You can also ask the client to step back one to two meters while you serve them.
I am concerned that I am at risk of getting sick while at work or on the way to work. What are my options?
Speak with your manager or supervisor to learn what measures are in place to ensure safety in the workplace. You should also check the Ottawa Public Health website and follow their recommended precautions. You can also speak to your manager or supervisor about alternate work arrangements, including work from home and flexible work hours where possible.
What do I do if I believe a coworker is ill?
Speak to your manager, who will assess the situation.
Should I wear a mask while at work or around other people?
Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health does not recommend wearing surgical masks or respirators if you are well. Frontline health service providers, such as paramedics and long-term care home nurses, may wear them under specific circumstances and in line with established protocols.
Will there be changes to our medical coverage in Canada as a result of COVID-19?
Employees are advised to visit the Canada Life website for up-to-date information on coverage. Canada Life has shared that the best way to stay informed as a plan member is to be signed up for GroupNet for Plan Members.
I rely on public transportation to get to work and I know that ridership is low. What changes can I expect as it pertains to O-Train, bus, and Para Transpo service?
Service level adjustments will begin to roll out starting Wednesday, March 25. Please note the individual start dates for different modes:
As of Monday, March 30:
- Service will continue to be provided in all neighbourhoods;
- Weekday service will move to Saturday service levels on many routes;
- Many routes which normally operate only on weekdays will continue to run, but at modified service levels;
- Rural weekly Shopper services will continue as usual
- The first trip in the morning will be later than usual on many routes;
- Saturday and Sunday service will operate as usual; and,
- Complete schedules and details of impacts to specific routes will be available later on OCTranspo.com.
O-Train Line 1 the Confederation Line
As of Friday, March 27:
- On Friday, service will run until 1 am on Saturday morning (overnight bus service will be available);
- Otherwise, service start, and end times will remain the same;
- Trains will arrive every 6 to 8 minutes at peak periods and every 10 to 16 minutes at other times of the day and on weekends
- The number of dedicated R1 buses is being reduced to align with changed service levels on Line 1; and,
- Staffing levels of the red vested O-Train Ambassadors have been scaled back.
O-Train Line 2 - The Trillium Line
As of Wednesday, March 25:
- Trains will arrive every 15 minutes at all times during the service period;
- Service start and end times will remain the same; and,
- As we have done on our buses and Line 1 trains to protect the health of our operators and customers, we will be installing tape on Line 2 trains to block the area closest to the operator cab from the rest of the train.
As of Tuesday March 24:
- Para Transpo volumes are currently low and are being managed; and,
- All trip requests are being accommodated.
I am feeling very anxious about the current situation. Is there anyone I can talk to?
Dealing with family members, clients and colleagues during a pandemic can be very stressful. You may be worried about your health and the health of those you care about, while also wanting to provide excellent service to your clients. If you have concerns about how you are coping, speak with your family physician or a mental health professional.
The Employee and Family Assistance Program is available to provide support to you and your eligible family members by phone, online and video counselling.
Contact the provider at 1-844-880-9142 (TTY: 1-877-338-0275), through the My EAP app (available for Apple, Android and BlackBerry) or on workhealthlife.com.
How can I reduce stress during these unprecedented times?
The Employee and Family Assistance Program has identified nine helpful ways to reduce stress in stressful times:
- Find ways to unwind your body and mind. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, yoga, or any relaxing activity that you enjoy can help.
- Get moving regularly, whether it's a stroll at lunch or a yoga class after work. Exercise is good for your mind, body and spirit!
- Think positively. Situations may be out of our control, but we can control how we react to them.
- Eat regular, balanced meals. A good diet will keep your energy levels consistent and improve your ability to handle stress.
- Set reasonable boundaries for yourself. Think like a marathon runner, not a sprinter. If you are feeling exhausted or overwhelmed, speak to your manager or supervisor.
- Accept change and acknowledge the possibility that your day may not unfold as you imagined.
- Reach out to the people you feel close to. Even in times of social distancing we need to feel supported. Call or use video chat to stay in touch with those who matter to you.
- Accept the help of others and share your responsibilities and priorities at work and at home.
- Find the funny side if you can. Laughing is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to reduce stress.