Ottawa's 311 centre receives thousands of calls relating to COVID-19 in 2020
OTTAWA -- Ottawa residents flooded Bylaw Services with thousands of calls about COVID-19 enforcement and mask violations last year.
According to data on the City of Ottawa's open data website, the city's 311 call centre received 13,391 calls in 2020 for COVID-19 related issues, including people not wearing masks and questions and inquiries about enforcement of the provincial restrictions.
Ottawa Bylaw is responsible for educating and enforcing the COVID-19 rules and regulations put in place by the Ontario government and Ottawa Council during the pandemic.
A total 11,173 calls to 311 were directed to Ottawa Bylaw for "provincial enforcement" of COVID-19 measures.
The 311 line received 59 calls on New Year's Eve and 14 calls on Christmas Day about provincial enforcement of COVID-19 measures. The Ontario government implemented a lockdown on Dec. 26 in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19, which included a ban on indoor gatherings with members outside of your household.
The open data report doesn't say what wards the calls came from, or whether it was a complaint or a question about the provincial rules.
An additional 2,219 calls to Ottawa's 311 centre were in regards to Ottawa's Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw.
There were 2,083 calls to Ottawa Bylaw regarding "no mask on person" and 18 calls for "no mask on person – transit." The 311 line also received 55 calls about no alcohol hand sanitizer in businesses and 62 calls about mask signs not posted in businesses and other public spaces.
Under Ottawa's Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw, operators of enclosed public spaces are required to post signs with specific messaging about the bylaw at all public entrances. Operators must also provide alcohol-based hand rub at all public entrances.
Overall, Ottawa's 311 centre received 297,644 calls in 2020. The report shows the calls covered several issues, including animals, noise complaints, garbage and recycling, roads and parking.