Covid-19 in Condos May 8, 2020

Thank you to everyone who continues to modify their schedules and lifestyles to practice physical distancing and/or self-isolation. Our collective efforts count!

As everyone is no doubt aware, the Provincial Government made several significant announcements this week:

  • The Emergency Order has been extended until May 19, 2020;

  • As of Monday May 4th, workers (contractors) responsible for building maintenance work (including landscapers) were permitted to return to work, provided they follow strict procedures and protocols;

  • As of May 8th, garden centres and nurseries have reopened to the public, provided they ensure safety and follow procedures and protocols;

  • As of May 9th hardware and safety supply stores have reopened to the public, provided they ensure safety and follow procedures and protocols;

  • On Monday May 11, retail establishments with a direct street access may begin offering curb-side pickups;

  • It has been confirmed that the Province is in the process of planning to resume previously scheduled surgeries and procedures (for non Covid-10 related illnesses);

  • Today it was announced that they are also permitting the reopening of professional sports training facilities, as long as their respective leagues have established health and safety protocols

The City of Ottawa also confirmed some modest changes in how parks and public spaces may be used. Details are available here.


As the various levels of government begin to turn their attention to whether/how to safely resume activities and re-open spaces, so too will your condominium Board.

Over the next several weeks, the work of assessing risk and planning for additional maintenance/cleaning will begin in each condominium, as Boards begin the process of determining whether or not certain facilities may re-open.

These decisions will be made in consultation with legal experts and with the guidance from public health agencies, and at a pace which makes sense for that specific condominium community and always of course, in compliance with the Emergency orders in place.


With the return on May 4th of all building maintenance contractors, the work to schedule landscaping work, exterior window washing and interior carpet and upholstery cleaning will begin shortly.

Where it is possible, work to power sweep and pressure wash garages will also resume, with time. This will likely be the last seasonal maintenance to be scheduled, as it still involves having each and every building Occupant travel through common elements to relocate vehicles, at a time when we are still trying our best to self-distance.


If you are not feeling well and are concerned that you have contracted the virus, please take the Province’s self assessment tool - available here.

After completing a short questionnaire you will be provided instructions on how to proceed with getting tested or how to isolate during your illness.

The City of Ottawa has announced new criteria for Covid testing . Ottawa Public Health now recommends that any Ottawa resident 60 years of age or older, who is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms can go for testing. COVID-19 testing is available at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena or the COVID-19 Care Clinics. Details here:


With the majority of Condominium Owners and Residents still sheltering in place, there has been a significant increase in the incidence of residential fires, including in high rise condominiums.

Since January 1, 2020 there have been 51 fire-related fatalities in Ontario - a 65% increase over the previous year. Since the beginning of the emergency order in March, there have been 17 fire-related fatalities.

The leading of cause of high fires remains:

  • Unattended cooking, and

  • Balcony fires

A few reminders:

  • Your unit door, all amenity and stairwell doors should remain securely latched when not in use

  • Never leave pots unattended on the stove

  • Do not microwave textiles and masks

  • Do not overload extensions electrical extension cords

  • Do not throw lit cigarette butts ever the balcony railing

In the event of fire alarms at your building, please follow the instructions from the Fire Plan which were distributed at various times over the years. If you require a copy of the instructions, please email me at Most importantly, if you are required to evacuate the building, please remember to ensure that you practice proper physical distancing measures (6 feet apart at all times).


With everyone focusing on physical illness and Covid-10 positive cases, it is easy to forget about mental health. It is always OK to not be OK. But it is even MORE ok at the moment! If you are having trouble coping - please reach out. The Ottawa Distress Centre can be reached by phone at 613-238-3311 or online at

On the eve of the Mother’s day weekend - I wish you all a peaceful, safe and happy celebration. Take care, stay healthy and wash your hands!

J (the Den Mother)

DES Services Inc.

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