I’ve received the following letter from Dr. Vera Etches, the City of Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer of Health:

Dear Mayor Watson and Members of Council,
I am writing to inform you that Ottawa now has one confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The individual in question is a male in his forties who recently travelled to Austria. He is experiencing mild symptoms and is currently self-isolating at home. Ottawa Public Health is currently conducting the necessary follow-up with any potential close contacts.
More information will be provided at a press conference later this afternoon. A media advisory will follow with the details.
We recognize that this new development may cause heightened anxiety. We continue to encourage residents to visit and refer people to OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus for factual, up-to-date information.
Other sources of reliable information include:
• Ottawa Public Health
o Twitter: https://twitter.com/ottawahealth
o Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ottawahealth/
o Web: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/coronavirus
• Ontario Ministry of Health
o Twitter: https://twitter.com/ONThealth
o Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ONThealth/
o Web: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
• Health Canada / Public Health Agency of Canada
o Twitter: https://twitter.com/GovCanHealth
o Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HealthyCdns/
o Web: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
It is also important for residents to understand that coronavirus is spread through droplets, which travel a limited distance before falling to the ground. Residents can minimize their risks by:
• Washing their hands often with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
• Avoiding hand-to-face contact – particularly their eyes, nose, and mouth – unless they have just washed their hands;
• Covering their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their arm, not their hands;
• Staying home if they are ill; and
• Maintaining a distance of about 2 meters or more if they encounter someone who is ill or who appears to be ill.
Please call or email if you have any questions or require additional information.
Dr. Vera Etches