Ottawa Paramedic Service deals with COVID-19 outbreak

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) declared the Ottawa Paramedic Service in a state of outbreak relating to COVID-19 last Wednesday.

Ottawa’s Emergency and Protective Services general manager Anthony Di Monte shared the news with city council Nov. 4.

A workplace outbreak is declared when two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with an epidemiological link in the workplace (e.g., same work area, same shift) within a 14-day period where both cases could have reasonably acquired their infection in the workplace.

This current declared outbreak status is based on two related cases and is not widespread throughout the workplace,” Di Monte wrote in a memo to council obtained by West Carleton Online. “The Ottawa Paramedic Service has undergone a thorough risk assessment with an Ottawa Public Health Inspector who has reassured the servicethey already have very strong infection prevention and control practices in place. As a result, Ottawa Public Health does not recommend that the Service implement any further mitigation strategies at this time.

The Ottawa Paramedic Service will continue to follow the advice of Ottawa Public Health and directives from the Ministry of Health. These include:

  • Shift start COVID screening processes;
  • Enhanced cleaning of common areas and high touch surfaces;
  • Encouraging staff to maintain physical distance between co-workers when possible;
  • Mandatory mask wearing especially when in paramedic vehicles.

“Health and safety are our top priority and we will continue to follow the Ministry of Health and OPH guidelines to help ensure our staff and those we serve are protected while delivering front-line/essential services to our community,” Di Monte said. “I will continue to update you as new information is received.”