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EOLO Update: Renewed provincial lockdown

  • Tue, December 22, 2020 4:52 PM
    Message # 9446988
    Christian Szpilfogel (Administrator)

    Hi All,

    John Dickie (Dickie & Lyman, EOLO) asked me to pass this along to the OREIO membership:

    From: John Dickie

    To: OREIO members

    Re: Renewed provincial lockdown

    Date: December 22, 2020

    On December 21, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a renewed lockdown to begin on 12:01 am on Saturday, December 26, and to last until Saturday, January 23, across all of “Southern Ontario”, including Ottawa, Kingston and Eastern Ontario.  (For Northern Ontario, the lockdown is scheduled to end on Saturday January 9.)

    As Mayor Watson has said very clearly, it is disappointing that Ottawa is to be subject to the same restrictions as Toronto and the GTA, when our COVID-19 case counts and hospitalization rates are so much lower than theirs are.

    Rental Housing an essential service

    For rental housing providers, the key information is that we are deemed be an essential service, and can (and should) continue to operate. We are to operate remotely as much as possible, and to follow various safety precautions to protect tenants and others. The safety precautions are similar to what is currently in place, with some additional measures. More details are set out below.

    Essential services (which can remain open) include:

    • ·       “Maintenance, repair and property management services that manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and operation of” residential, commercial, industrial and institution properties and buildings.
    • ·       The court system and Government services (which should include the Landlord and Tenant Board)
    • ·       Professional services that support the legal system
    • ·       Supply chains and support services for other essential services
    • ·       Snow clearing services
    • ·       Shipping, moving and delivery services

    Unfortunately, hardware stores are not to open for in-person shopping, but are limited to curb-side pickup.


    Physical distancing, mask wearing and PPE for eyes

    To avoid the transmission of COVID-19, everyone, other than people who live in the same household, is to remain 2 meters away from everyone else at all times. In a public or common area inside any building, face masks securely covering nose, mouth and chin are to be worn to address instances when people may come within 2 meters of one another

    Workers who are not separated from others by a plexiglass or other barrier, and are required to come within 2 meters of an unmasked person, are to wear personal protective equipment that provides protection for the eyes, nose and mouth. An example is a face shield.


    Screening workers (or tenants)

    Like all other employers, rental housing providers are required to screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure when they arrive for work (or start work). On-site employees should self-screen and record the results. A screening form is available at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/workplace_screening_tool_guidance.pdf.

    Building amenities

    All indoor recreation facilities are to be closed for the lockdown period, including party rooms, indoor pools and indoor fitness centres.

    Laundry rooms should remain open. Outdoor recreation facilities can remain open, including outdoor fitness and play equipment, decks and patios. Users must remain at least 2 meters from other users of the facility.

    Building and unit refurbishment work

    All construction work can continue. Presumably that includes any repair or refurbishment work done when rental units turn over. As well, major repairs and other repairs to common areas can continue to be performed. However, rental operators may be well advised to evaluate carefully the need for the work, since tenants will not have other places to which to go, to escape noise, vibration and dust.

    Continuing measures to protect tenants

    Rental housing providers in Ottawa are required to continue:

    • the common area cleaning recommended by Ottawa Public Health
    • the posting of notices requiring face masks in common areas
    • the provision of hand sanitizer at all building entrances into a common area
    • precautions when entry is made into rental units for repairs, maintenance, inspections or showings.

    Precautions for entry into occupied rental units (for showings or repairs, etc)

    For entry into occupied rental units, the following precautions should be taken:

    • screen the tenants in the unit, for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure (as per the question form at the link above)
    • screen the person who is to enter the unit, for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure
    • ask the tenants to vacate the unit for the entry
    • if the tenants cannot or will not vacate, remind the tenants, and the person entering the unit, that they need to stay at least 2 meters away from other people during the showing
    • ensure that the tenants and the person being shown the unit, wear face masks
    • as an added precaution if the tenants cannot or will not vacate, or refuse to wear face masks, provide the person entering the unit, personal protective equipment that provides protection for the eyes, nose and mouth, such as a face shield.

    For a detailed statement of the new requirements, you can visit: Provincewide Shutdown OR https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-shutdown-details-pdf-1.5850224.

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