As Ottawa yesterday confirmed its first case of COVID-19, we will continue to monitor the situation closely in order to help keep our community as safe and healthy as possible. Currently, the risk to the public is still low, but to reduce the chance of spreading germs that can cause the novel coronavirus, we ask that you refer to the Ottawa Public Health guidelines at and continue reading our recommendations below Serenity Renewal for Families. We have volunteers who are coming in on a regular basis and sanitizing our space. We will be discouraging hugging and handshaking and will be creating extra space between our clients in workshops. We encourage everyone to wash their hands before coming into the office for counselling or workshops.

To our Clients: If you are not showing any signs of illness (e.g. fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath), please use your own discretion in regards to attending your counselling appointments in person. If you are not feeling well, stay home and contact your doctor to determine your next steps. If you have any questions or concerns about your counselling appointments, just give us a call at 613-523-5143.

To Other Visitors: Some of the people you meet at the Serenity Renewal for Families may have a pre-existing health condition or compromised immunity. This means if they are exposed to COVID-19, they may be more likely to experience severe illness or complications. We encourage anyone who is planning to come to the office for a meeting, to have their meeting by phone or via email instead, and to follow recommended community guidelines for keeping themselves and the people around them healthy. This is especially important for anyone who has recently travelled outside of Canada, to any country.

To All: Follow public health guidelines for good hygiene at all times, starting with the steps here. If you are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness, public health officials urge you to avoid close contact with others and stay home. If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, including cough, fever, runny nose, and/or shortness of breath and your symptoms are not immediately severe, call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or your own physician before presenting to any emergency department or doctor’s office in person. Take special care to avoid hospitals, long-term care homes, and other areas where you may put more vulnerable people at risk.

If you are feeling nervous about all of this information, rest assured our public health teams are doing everything they can to keep the community healthy and to keep lines of communication open. Follow public health guidelines for keeping yourself healthy, follow @OttawaHealth on social media and online for the most up-to-date information, and stay home if you are not feeling well. If you are experiencing emotional distress, it never hurts to get in touch with the Ottawa Distress Centre at 613-238-3311.

For anyone planning to attend one of our upcoming programs or workshops, we will be in touch with you directly in advance of the event should anything change.