March 13, 2020 COVID-19 KNBA Update: recommendations for protecting your team against covid 19

Dear Kanata North Business Community,

Our team have been hard at work to gather up to date information as new recommendations have been made by our municipal, provincial and federal governments regarding the COVID-19 virus. We continue to work closely and consistently with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) on the development of protocols and steps that help to keep you, your families, our member companies and employees safe and healthy.

This situation is fluid and recommendations from all levels of government are evolving quickly.

As a result, our team have established a dedicated landing page on the KNBA website to post real time updates and information on covid-19 recommendations as it relates to our businesses.

I also understand that the business community are taking highly proactive measures to protect their employees and I want to recognize this. Our business and HR leadership in the Kanata North technology park have been working day and night to share and implement proactive measures amongst one another.

Please continue with these highly proactive measures. Social distancing has been recommended. Where operationally feasible to work from home it is the preferred approach at this time.

Your leadership at this moment makes me very proud to represent Canada’s largest tech park.

I would also like to recognize Dr. Etches and the Ottawa Public Health team for their continued collaboration, support and real time responsiveness to our business community in this time of heightened concern.

The team at Ottawa Public Health have over the past 24 hours established a website for workplaces. This covers important information like, how to prepare for COVID-19, considerations for work travel, what to do when returning from travel, and other helpful tips for your employees.

Today at 2 pm, Mayor Jim Watson, Ottawa Board of Health Chair Keith Egli, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vera Etches, City Manager Steve Kanellakos and (G.M.) Ottawa Emergency and Protective Services Anthony Dimonte, provided a technical briefing on the City’s plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have copied below a few of the material changes to recommendations received from Ottawa Public Health today.

  • The Canadian Federal Government, today, have advised to postpone or cancel all non-essential travel. Consider cancelling large work-related meetings or events – especially those that require travel to areas where COVID-19 is spreading.
  • At this time Ottawa Public Health recommendations for travel are as follows;
  • Ottawa Public Health also warns that all returning travellers are being asked by public health authorities to follow the public health guidance by taking the following actions:
    • Individuals who have travelled to Hubei Province (China), Iran, or Italy should not go to work and should self-isolate for 14 days following their departure.
    • Individuals who have travelled anywhere outside of Canada including the United States of America should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after they return to Canada. Individuals may attend school or work, but to watch carefully for any symptoms of illness. If symptoms develop, individuals should immediately distance themselves from others, contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744, and, if at work, also contact their occupational health department and/or supervisor.
  • The current recommendation from the Public Health Agency of Canada is NOT to book cruises if possible.
  • If the individual has had contact or potential contact with a case of COVID-19, then the individual should not go to work and should self-isolate and contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.

Additional Considerations

  • Ottawa Public Health has prepared a general sick notefor individuals needing to self-isolate at home. We ask that you please respect this public health guidance, as we continue to contain spread of the virus locally.
  • Keep workplaces clean and hygienic– increase frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces such as elevator buttons, key boards, mouse, phones, desks, computers, seating areas, lunch tables, kitchens, washrooms, etc.
  • There may be benefit to increasing the spatial separation between desks and workstations as well as individuals (e.g., employees, customers) from each other, ideally a 2 metre separation should be maintained, unless there is a physical barrier (e.g., cubicle, Plexiglas window).

Credible Sources of Information from our Public Health Officials

Councilor Sudds and the City of Ottawa will be sharing information as it becomes available. You can also stay up to date on information by following these credible sources of information:

Ottawa Public Health

Ontario Ministry of Health

Health Canada / Public Health Agency of Canada

Managing disruptions to productivity and business

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety have produced a business continuity planning framework found here;

As well as guidelines for supporting work from home flexibility with your employees found here;

We have also highlighted a few key considerations outlined by PWC to support you when determining contingency plans for WHM.

Resources for supporting your employees’ mental well-being

As the #COVID19 situation unfolds, please be mindful of its impact on your #MentalHealth. It’s normal for situations like this to affect you and it’s completely OK to ask for help. If you need support, Distress Centre Ottawa is available 24/7 at 613-238-3311 or

The team at Snapclarity, a preventative mental healthcare platform, have pulled together additional resources to support employers and employees navigating mental health concerns during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Support for small business

Our small businesses, restaurants, retailers and hospitality industry will be heavily impacted over the coming days and weeks by COVID-19. Where possible consider picking up a coffee through a drive through, order takeout from skipthedishes and/or Ubereats, and buy gift cards to #shoplocal at a future date.

I will be meeting with Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor El-Chantiry and senior City staff for a teleconference update on Monday at 1:00pm. Mayor Watson and Councillor El-Chantiry will share the City’s plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and explore how the City can support tourism and small businesses through these challenging times.

Thank you for your continued engagement and connection to supporting one another during this time of heightened concern. It is truly inspiring to see our community come together.


Jamie Petten
President & Executive Director
Kanata North Business Association