Covid-19 in Condos - April 7, 2020
Thank you to all those of you who continue to practice physical distancing while remaining socially connected.
Thank you also to all those in self-isolation and in mandated isolation (quarantine). We appreciate the sacrifices which you are making to keep all of us safe.
It is MANDATORY for travellers returning to Canada to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. The latest information on the requirement for isolation after travel can be found below:
The Federal Government has made an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act, as well as other mandatory directives from the federal Public Health Authority, mandating that those who have returned from travel abroad, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 self-isolate. Please see: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html
The Province on Ontario has enacted a Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and has mandated self-isolation for those who travelled outside of Canada. Please see: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-5
The City of Ottawa and its Public Health authority have issued orders mandating self-isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19. Please see: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/self-isolation-instructions-for-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.aspx#2-I-have-recently-travelled-anywhere-outside-of-Canada-including-the-United-States-of-America.
KNOWN CASES IN YOUR COMMUNITY
As the number of Covid positive cases continues to rise in Ottawa, it is reasonable to assume that we will continue to see positive cases in our condominium communities.
If there are known cases of Covid-19 positive people in your building - you will have received a building-specific Notice alerting you to this development. In such instance, we will also have communicated with the affected Owners/Tenants and provided them with detailed information on their legal responsibilities including quarantine instructions and confirmation that they must communicate with all building occupants with whom they have had contact over the last 14 days.
Please rest assured that despite the long weekend approaching - we will remain available over the weekend to ensure that Notices are issued to our communities without delay if confirmation of positive cases is received over the weekend period. “WE GOT YOUR BACK :)”
PRESUMPTIVELY COVID-19 POSITIVE?
ANYONE who is presumptively positive (and by this I mean: you KNOW or you THINK you have Covid-19 because you are exhibiting symptoms of the disease) should also place themselves in immediate self isolation, use the Ontario Provincial Covid-19 self-assessment tool available HERE and if required, contact public health officials.
COVID-19 POSITIVE? - Your Legal Obligation to Self-Isolate
As someone having been diagnosed with COVID-19, you are required by law to isolate yourself at home for 14 days from the date of your positive test results (or a date as confirmed in writing by a public health authority in Ottawa), to avoid spreading the virus to others.
Please refer to:
The Federal Government has made an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act, as well as other mandatory directives from the federal Public Health Authority, mandating that those who test positive for COVID-19 self-isolate. Please see: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/symptoms.html#i
The Province on Ontario has enacted a Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and has mandated self-isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19. Please see: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus
The City of Ottawa and its Public Health authority have issued orders mandating self-isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19. Please see: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/self-isolation-instructions-for-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.aspx
IN OTHER WORDS: if you are Covid-19 positive, you and all other occupants of your unit are prohibited from leaving your unit for the required 14 day quarantine period.
Aside from very specific circumstances (set out in our Blog post of April 1st) there is to be no exception to this quarantine period.
FAILURE TO SELF ISOLATE / QUARANTINE?
Many Owners and Residents are reaching out to us and to our Boards to report cases of non-compliance. While we certainly DO want to know if someone is egregiously flaunting legal requirements - it is important to make the right call…
To report violations of the Ontario Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act please contact 3-1-1. (This is to report instances of gatherings of more than 5 people or people gathering in public spaces, etc)
To report violations of the Federal Quarantine Act - please call the Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222 ext 7502. (This is to report instances where travellers returning to Canada are not complying with isolation requirements and to report Covid-19 positive people who do not comply with quarantine requirements.)
WIPES, WIPES AND MORE WIPES! I simply can't say this enough...
A reminder wipes are not flushable - despite what the advertising on the packaging may say. Facial wipes, baby wipes and now more recently disinfectant wipes are clogging the building’s sanitary drains.
A REMINDER ABOUT COMMON ELEMENT DOORS - INCLUDING UNIT DOORS
In accordance with Fire Code requirements all fire separating doors (including stairwell, facilities, vestibule and unit doors) MUST remain closed and latched at all times while not in use. DO NOT prop your unit door open. DO NOT prop stairwell doors open.
MAKE UP AIR UNITS (MUAs)
We have received many inquiries about how fresh air circulates through high rise buildings.
In a typical high-rise design, the roof-top make up air unit "MUA" draws fresh clean air from the outside and circulates this air through common element ductwork, pushing the new clean air into hallways and then eventually into units through gaps around and under the unit door.
It is important that Owners not block or seal their unit doors to prevent clean fresh air from entering their suites as this interferes with the system's ability to refresh (or replace) building air at Code-mandating rates. It also significantly interferes with building pressurization.
In suites where there is an in-unit recirculation fan, this fan should be left on. The circulation of air in your unit will help alleviate condensation on windows and will help disperse the heated (or cooled) air throughout your unit.
GOVERNANCE / MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE
On Saturday April 4th the Provincial government amended its’ list of essential businesses.
We were very happy to see that the new definitions of property management and essential property maintenance have been narrowed and that they now more closely align with the protocols which DES Services had already put in place in its communities almost three (3) weeks prior.
It has been our view that it is vitally important that daily contact with your site staff be limited in every way possible in order to:
preserve their safety;
prevent them from contracting the virus and
allow them to continue being able to provide vital services to your community
The new Provincial work restrictions stipulate that work which is strictly necessary to manage and maintain:
the basic operations of the building;
the life safety and security systems of the building;
the sanitation systems and procedures; and
the response to common element emergencies
may proceed. All other work must be deferred. This ensures that site staff and cleaning contractors in each building are able to limit their contact with trades personnel and will reduce contractor traffic through our buildings.
To our contractors:
We look forward to being able to resume normal operations on each of our sites and wish you all the best while you await authorization to resume work in the coming weeks/months. We miss you already and we will be here when you get back!
THANK YOU - THANK YOU - THANK YOU!
Thank you to everyone who is contributing on a daily basis to keeping our communities, clean, safe and liveable. To our custodial staff, cleaning contractors and to all of the volunteers - thank you. YOU ROCK!
Crisis and Distress Line Contact Information
There is a lot going on. It is OK not to be OK - talking about it helps!
Happy to talk it out if you need help - but there are also these resources (below)
Best Wishes ...
Martin and I wish you all the very best as we approach a festive and holy time for so many members of our communities. Whether you are celebrating a religious holiday or you are simply celebrating spring - be well, be happy and be kind to one another by staying AWAY from one another!
Stay safe & wash your hands!
J (the Den Mother) - gosh I hope the Easter Bunny still knows where to find me with all this nonsense…
DES Services Inc.
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