Students in O-Town should expect to see plenty of law enforcement officers this year. Police have confirmed there will be an “increased presence” of officers around Ottawa campuses this year, ensuring all students are following the City’s COVID-19 rules. Those caught breaking them could face fines of up to $880.
Next week, students enrolled at Algonquin College, La Cite Collegiale, Carleton University, and the University of Ottawa will return to campus.
And, according to local police, they won’t be the only ones.
This year, due to the pandemic, Ottawa police and the bylaw enforcement team will also be heading for college and university campuses.
Police Chief Peter Sloly confirmed on Wednesday that the City is deploying significant resources to ensure COVID-19 rules are being followed.
As well as wearing a mask in all indoor public spaces, students will be required to limit outdoor gatherings to 100 people, and indoor gatherings to 50 people.
Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $880.
"That is a very expensive fine for hosting a party that's gotten out of control with far too many people," said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.
Welcome back @AlgonquinColleg, @Carleton_U @CollegeLaCite and @uOttawa students! Please remember to do your part… https://t.co/bz92n2eMJc— Ottawa By-law (@Ottawa By-law)1599056040.0
It's large parties and significant gatherings that officials are particularly concerned with.
"This is a very different and difficult year for everyone, and I encourage all students in Ottawa to please be respectful of one another, not to hold these mass parties off campus at your homes," he said.
Those monitoring campuses for rule-breakers will include police officers, Ottawa bylaw and on-site security.
The increased presence of law enforcement comes as more and more young people in Ottawa are being diagnosed with COVID-19.
The mayor, speaking on Wednesday, said people under 30 are now the largest group contracting the illness.
"Of the nearly 3,000 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, those 30 and under make up almost 900 of those cases,” he said.
“This group includes many college and university groups."
If you’re returning to campus this year, things are definitely going to look a little different!
Stay safe, Ottawa.
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.