(A Canada Post map of the K2V mail delivery area that has raised questions as to why this area is considered an Ottawa ‘hot spot’.)
The addition of the K2V postal code being listed as a ‘hot spot’ in the community has stirred much controversy in the last few days. Is it political or is it a fact that the area is indeed an area of concern for Ottawa Public Health?
The provincial Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, indicated that it is not a game of politics in response to those who say it was designated so as a conservative held riding. The controversial area is in the riding of Hon. Merrilee Fullerton, the Minister of Long-Term Care and conservative member of the provincial legislature.
Elliott said that the decision to include the K2V postal code was made on the recommendation of Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer of Health; and, Dr. David Williams, the provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health and the science advisory table.
We reached out to Councillor Gower for his opinions on the situation. He told Stittsville Central, “It’s still not clear why the K2V postal code was included in the list of provincial “hot spots” for vaccine priority. None of the health indicators that I’ve seen would suggest that residents are at any higher risk in this neighbourhood than in others, nor has Ottawa Public Health previously identified this area as a priority neighbourhood”.
The area in question is not a neighbourhood described by Minister Elliott as having apartment buildings with seniors as residents. It is in fact a commercial area with businesses and the Canadian Tire Centre within its parameters.
Ottawa Public Health issued a statement saying that: they are ‘engaging with the province’ in the selection of Ottawa forward sortation areas (FSAs). FSAs are the first three digits of a postal code.
Counciller Gower has asked the Ontario Ministry of Health, “for more information about why this neighbourhood was identified in the hot spot list. It’s only fair to residents that they have access to as much information and data as possible”.
“It’s also important to note that COVID-19 is prevalent in every community in Ottawa, including Stittsville. You can see updated stats about Stittsville and other parts in Ottawa here: https://www.neighbourhoodstudy.ca/covid-19-in-ottawa-neighbourhoods/,” Councillor Gower emphasized.
Along with the K2V ‘hot spot’, two other named Ottawa areas will receive priority vaccine access.