March 12, 2020 COVID-19 KNBA Update: recommendations for protecting your team against COVID-19

As we continue to closely monitor the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak across Canada and around the world, the KNBA Board of Directors and our staff are working 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. We are taking these steps as a precaution with a focus on proactive and preventative measures as your health and safety is our top priority.

Please visit the OPH web page and community resource on COVID-19 (which is updated very consistently). Together with OPH, we are committed to taking proactive, preventative and prudent measures that aim to mitigate risk within our business community.

We have copied below a few key highlights on the proactive, preventative steps members of our business community are taking in addition to recommendations received today from Ottawa Public Health.

Is my business required to implement work from home protocols?

  • Some of our member companies are supporting flexible work from home guidelines as a proactive and preventative measure and are working together to implement alternate work approaches for those roles that require an onsite presence. In addition to increasing the use of virtual meeting tools more fully. However, we do want to express, based on Ottawa Public Health guidance provided today, that companies are not required to implement work from home protocols today.
  • Consistent with Ottawa Public Health guidelines, in order to reduce the spread of germs, including the flu and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Ottawa Public Health have recommended that companies encourage their employees to:
    • Wash their hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
    • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth unless they have just washed their hands with soap
    • Cover their cough and sneeze with a tissue or into their arm, not their hand
    • Stay home if they are sick
    • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if they are sick
      • It is still recommended to get the flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community.

If members of my team recently travelled outside of Canada, what should I do?

  • Some of our member companies, at their discretion as a proactive and preventative measure have completely suspended all business travel to any country with COVID-19 travel health notices by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) including to Iran, Hong Kong, China, Northern Italy, South Korea, Japan and Singapore; as well as the broader Asia-Pacific Region and Europe. However, we do want to express, based on Ottawa Public Health guidance provided today, that companies are not required to suspend all business travel today.
  • Consistent with Ottawa Public Health guidelines, employers should be aware that returning travellers are being asked by public health authorities to take the following actions:
    • If travel was to Hubei Province (China), Iran or Italy, then self-isolate (stay at home, do not attend school or work).
    • If travel was to Mainland China [excluding Hubei province], Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, or South Korea, then self-monitor (may attend school or work, but to watch carefully for any symptoms of illness).
    • All other travellers returning to Canada are advised to self monitor their health for 14 days when they return to Canada. If individuals who are self-monitoring develop symptoms, they have been asked to immediately distance themselves from others and to contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744. We ask you to support the guidance your employees have received from any health authority.
  • At any time should you or a member of your team begin to feel ill or experience flu-like symptoms, please go home and remain home to get well and/or seek medical guidance and treatment to help preserve the health of fellow members in our community.
  • There are other situations where your employees may be asked by Ottawa Public Health to self-isolate. If an actual case of COVID-19 is identified in Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health is responsible to conduct public health follow-up of close contacts, including any workplace exposures and will contact your organization as needed.
  • More details HERE.

 How can I access further resources and hand washing signage?

Finally, our team has linked below a video produced recently by Dr. Vera Etches, Chief Medical Officer for the City of Ottawa. This can be shared amongst your companies and employees.

March 12, 2020 – Statement from Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, on COVID-19 situation in Ottawa

Given the global and dynamic nature of COVID-19, we will be monitoring this situation closely every day with Ottawa Public Health and other authorities, and will share new information, next steps or updates to policies via email and our fact sheet with you regularly.

Additionally, due to the ongoing concerns and uncertainties related to COVID-19, we have decided to postpone this year’s Discover TechNATA Tech Expo and Talent Hunt Job Fair to a later date in the fall.

Following the recommendation from our Board of Directors we will postpone Discover TechNATA originally scheduled on April 8th, 2020 to a new date of October 5th, 2020 at the Brookstreet Hotel.

This has been a difficult decision although a necessary one as the health and safety of our business community members and event participants is of the utmost importance to the Kanata North Business Association. It is essential that we do everything possible to ensure a safe environment and world class event for all participants.

Discover TechNATA is an important event for our business community bringing together over 3000 job seekers, investors and business professionals to Canada’s largest tech park.

All participants, exhibitors and attendees, who have purchased a ticket to this year’s Discover TechNata event will have their tickets automatically transferred to the new date in October.

We are also exploring the opportunity to launch a “virtual career fair” that will match job seekers with potential employers in the spring. Please watch for more details over the coming weeks on this.

We know this is a very challenging time for everyone and the Kanata North Business Association is here to provide support. Please reach out any time with questions or concerns to myself or members of the team.


Jamie Petten
President and Executive Director
Kanata North Business Association