Josephine Hall
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Hello and welcome to COVID Communiqué 49. At this point, both the Ontario and Quebec parts of the diocese are under some of the toughest safety restrictions we’ve seen yet, including a ban on interprovincial travel ordered by Ontario and a curfew in Quebec. Please rest assured the Diocese of Ottawa’s Red stage protocols (in particular, no in-person services or gatherings except for the purpose of preparing an online service) conform with or exceed the COVID-19 regulations of both provinces. 

These tight restrictions, of course, are due to the greatly increased threat posed by the COVID-19 variants that are sweeping the country and threaten to overwhelm hospitals and the people who work in them. They may also be starting to make many of us feel overwhelmed. Please, take time to care for yourself. Your parish and community are feeling the strain; you need to be rested and resilient to continue supporting them. 

In news this week, we have to announce that the Diocesan Confirmation Service planned for May 22 is cancelled and will be rescheduled later in the year. Of note, cemetery interments in Ontario are limited to a maximum of 10 people, while in Quebec funerals indoors or outdoors are capped at 25 people. Neither province includes funeral home/cemetery staff in that total, but social distancing must be observed. This may affect the plans of some people who planned spring burials under an earlier set of restrictions; if you have concerns about families adhering to the restrictions, or other matters, please contact the helpline:  [email protected] 

COVID Communiqué is produced by our senior staff:
Shane Parker, Bishop
Beth Bretzlaff, Dean
Linda Hill, Executive Archdeacon
Sanjay Grover, Director of Financial Ministry
Peter John Hobbs, Director of Community Ministries
Jane Scanlon, Director of Communications & Stewardship Development
Carol Sinclair, Director of Human Resources
Michael Garner, Public Health Advisor