Ottawa is now dealing with the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, but thanks to readily available vaccines, things look very different from other waves.
The vast majority of institutions are currently open, and many have introduced vaccination policies for both staff and the public.
So if you’re wondering about the rules of the big fall music festival, or want to know if your child’s teacher needs both shots, bookmark this page. We update it regularly to provide you with the latest information.
One thing to note: COVID-19 vaccination policies typically do not apply to people who may show medical reasons that prevent them from being vaccinated.
People in western Quebec should also be aware that their province introduced a vaccine passport system that began on September 1st. Ontario’s evidence of vaccination system began Sept. 22.
- City of Ottawa staff and city council members must be fully vaccinated by November 1st. Those who have not been vaccinated before this date will not be allowed to continue working. Four unions have complained about this.
- That City of Gatineau follows Quebec’s vaccine policy, which currently does not require municipal employees to be vaccinated.
- The nation staff should be fully vaccinated before November 22, and if they are not, they should be tested twice a week at their expense.
The health sector
Ontario health officials have instructed hospitals across Ontario to come up with a vaccination plan, and local health facilities have followed suit.
- Quebec health professionals who have not been adequately vaccinated before 15 October are suspended without pay.
- All staff at Ottawa Hospital must receive their first vaccine dose before 7 September and their second before 15 October. Visitors must present proof of vaccination from 27 September.
- On Queensway Carleton Hospital, all employees must have had both doses by October 15th. Visitors must show proof of being fully vaccinated by October 6th.
- The region’s children’s hospital, TITLE, has made double vaccination mandatory for staff, contractors, volunteers and students.
- That Bruyère Hospital imposes vaccines on anyone who works, teaches, conducts research, volunteers or is a member of the designated care program.
- Employees at Montfort Hospital must have their first dose before 7 September and their second before 15 October.
- Both Almonte and Carleton Place Hospitals require visitors to be fully vaccinated.
- That Brockville General Hospital will require everyone working on site at any of the hospital’s properties to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 31, which includes staff, professionals, contractors, volunteers and students.
- That Cornwall Community Hospital will require that all staff, physicians, contractors, volunteers and students be fully vaccinated by October 15th.
- That Kingston Health Sciences Center required staff, physicians and students to have a first dose by 22 September and to be fully vaccinated by 22 October. Hospital visitors must also be fully vaccinated by October 22nd. It was announced on September 24 that it had suspended 136 of its approximately 5,700 unpaid employees for failing to comply with the rules.
- That Winchester District Memorial Hospital requires that all staff, physicians, volunteers, students, contractors, and new hires be fully vaccinated by October 15th. As of Sept. 1, 100 percent of medical staff and volunteers were fully vaccinated, as were 97 percent of staff.
Ontario will require COVID-19 vaccinations for nursing staff throughout the province from November 15, removing the current opportunity to undergo regular COVID-19 tests.
Private nursing homes powered by Chartwell Retirement Residences, Extendicare, Responsive Group Inc., Revera Inc. and Sienna Senior Living will require employees to be fully vaccinated by October 12, and those who are not will be placed on unpaid leave.
As personal classes return, the province has established rules for unvaccinated teachers and instructed Ontario school boards to come up with their own vaccination policies.
- That Ottawa Catholic School Board requires all staff, bus drivers, frequent visitors, administrators and other professionals to either be fully vaccinated before 7 September or to accept regular tests and participate in a vaccination training program. Staff who could not be fired.
- Vaccines are mandatory for staff and volunteers Ottawa-Carleton District School Board but not for students. The rules have deadlines for September 30 for a first dose and November 15 for a second, with unpaid leave possible for those who do not follow them. By September 28, more than 90 percent of these employees were fully vaccinated, the board said.
- That Center-East Catholic School Board, Ottawa’s French Catholic school board, asks school staff for proof of vaccination, and anyone who has not been vaccinated must undergo training and regular screening.
Colleges and universities
- That University of Ottawa requires that all students, staff, faculty, and visitors receive their first dose of COVID-19 by September 7th and their second by October 15th.
- On Carleton University, everyone who shows up on campus must have had their first dose by September 8th and their second by October 15th.
- Algonquin College is mandatory for first doses for students, staff, contractors and visitors before 7 September and second doses before 12 October. The policy covers its campus areas in Ottawa, Perth and Pembroke.
- Students, staff and faculties at Queen’s University in Kingston must either be fully vaccinated by September 7 or have a plan in place. Visitors must also adhere to this policy.
- All students, staff, contractors and visitors to the three St. Lawrence College campus should be fully vaccinated in the fall, with students and faculty expected to have had at least one shot in time for Orientation Day on September 7th.
Many people in the travel sector – both workers and travelers – are covered by the federal vaccine rules announced in early October.
Sporting events are covered by Ontario’s vaccine passports.
Gatineau will require proof of vaccination for its arenas and pools, but not for parks and for the rental of leisure equipment. Here are more details in French from Radio-Canada, including city rules that affect this next section.
Arts and entertainment
- That Canadian Museum of Nature and Canadian War Museum requires only proof of vaccination for dining areas and special events. The museums in agriculture, aviation and science does not require proof.
- That National Gallery of Canada and Ottawa Art Gallery has not publicly announced a vaccine policy.
- Music festivals Bluesfest and CityFolk hold smaller, Canadian editions in September, and anyone wishing to participate must first show that they have been fully vaccinated.
- Along with its sawmill attraction in Lansdowne Park, Saunders Farm requires that all qualified staff and guests be fully vaccinated for its Frightfest at its rural property in Ottawa along with wearing a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor areas.
- That Ottawa Police Service has consulted with the Ontario Association of Police Chiefs on the adoption of a vaccination policy, but no decision has been announced.
- A policy is also on the way to Ontario Provincial Police members.
- Firefighters falls under the policy announced by the City of Ottawa.
- The province has said it all ambulance services must have a vaccination policy in place for paramedics by September 7th.
Shopping and dining