Our friends at Ottawa Tourism today hosted a teleconference to update members on the COVID-19 situation, which has been dominating global headlines for weeks.
Ottawa’s medical health officer, Dr. Vera Etches, joined the call and confirmed that there are no cases yet identified here in Ottawa, and – as such – there is not yet reason to cancel big, public events.
Dr. Etches pointed out that there has been only one case of community transmission in Canada (at a nursing home in British Columbia) and no documented cases of transmission based on air travel.
Ottawa Public Health is advising 14 days of self-monitoring (not self-quarantine) to anyone returning from international travel, but nothing particular at this point for in-Canada travel.
This, of course, can and may change quickly. Health officials are looking at a three- to six-month planning horizon at the moment, though there is some suggestion that the virus spreads less quickly in warm weather. So, the coming spring/summer may be helpful in that regard.
There can be no doubt that there has been a lot of coverage and a lot of fear around COVID-19. There has also been a lot of misinformation circulating online and elsewhere.
That makes calls like this morning’s even more welcome.
Practical, factual, dispassionate info – well presented – is something the world can use much more of these days. (And not just in discussions around COVID-19.)
The call also made clear that there is no reason to panic nor to cancel trips to Ottawa. (In fact, if you are worried about travelling to other parts of the world where there are cases, now could be a fine time to visit the Capital.)
Ottawa Tourism members already take steps to prevent the spread of infection as part of their daily business. Those germ-fighting measures may be stepped up somewhat, in line with guidance from health authorities, and so may communications with patrons so they are reassured.
Just this morning, we received this note from a local yoga studio:
Expect to see lots more communications like this in the coming weeks.
It is important in all of this to keep perspective, to keep calm, and to seek out factual information. Follow the advice of medical professional. Fight fear and misinformation with reason and fact.
The situation is ever-changing. So vigilance is advised. But, for now, Ottawa is fully open to welcome business and leisure travellers alike. And we at Capital Concierge stand ready to help you make the most of every minute you are here. Get in touch today.