OTTAWA -- Ottawa Public Health has written a sick note for people needing to go into self-isolation at home due to COVID-19.

The move comes after the Government of Canada issued a Global Travel Advisory, asking Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

All travellers returning to Canada from anywhere outside of Canada (including the United States) are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to Canada.

Ottawa Public Health is advising any residents with respiratory symptoms to stay on self-isolation until 24 hours after the symptoms have fully resolved.

In the sick note to employers, Ottawa Public Health says “we appreciate your cooperation in excusing your employees from work or accommodating alternative work arrangements (if an employee is well enough, and able to work from home) under the following circumstances":

  1. Any employee who has travelled outside of Canada, including the United States of American, are being asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days upon their return
  2. Residents are asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they live, provide care for, or have spent extensive time with someone who:
  3. Has tested positive for COVID-19, or
  4. Is suspected to have COVID-19, OR
  5. Who has respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) that started within 14 days of travel outside of Canada

Ottawa Public Health concludes the letter by saying “due to the volume of returning travellers, please treat this letter as a sick note based on the criteria listed above.”

The department is also asking workplaces to post signage to alert workers of any signs and symptoms of acute respiratory illness and display posters promoting hand-washing and respiratory hygiene.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia in both lungs