“COVID will be with us for the foreseeable future”: Ottawa’s health budget bears the costs of the pandemic for the duration of 2021

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“I want the people of Ottawa to know we can do this. We can learn to live with COVID, to coexist with COVID with care. The health of our people depends on it. ”

This message, that COVID-19 will last for some time, was echoed in the draft budget tabled at Monday’s board meeting.

Ottawa Public Health plans to spend an additional $ 23.7 million in 2021 – similar to the additional amount spent this year – to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This includes the additional cost of screening, screening, academic support, infection prevention and control in long-term care homes, communication and more specifically the pandemic.

The budget, she said, “assumes that we will respond to the pandemic for the duration of 2021”.

Ottawa Public Health, which is funded by both the province and the city in a 70-30 share, will ask the province to pay all costs related to the pandemic for 2020 and 2021.

The proposed budget does not include the costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines.

“Such fiscal impacts are currently unknown,” Etches said in the budget document. “A full cost and description of the activities required to administer a new vaccine will be provided to the Board of Health once the provincial immunization plans are known.

Etches said the assumption is that the city will continue to see epidemics and live with the threat of COVID-19 throughout 2021.

“COVID will continue to be in our community for the year and we will continue to work to keep the managed level.

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