All eyes on COVID-19 before Christmas and councillors receive an update on LRT construction: Five stories to watch in Ottawa this week

Concerns about COVID-19 transmission in Ottawa heading into the holiday season, councillors receive an update on LRT construction and building the Toy Mountain.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five stories to watch in Ottawa this week.

OMICRON IN OTTAWA

With medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches raising concerns about rising COVID-19 case numbers and the arrival of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, all eyes will be on COVID-19 numbers in Ottawa approaching the holiday season.

Over the weekend, Ottawa Public Health confirmed there is evidence of community spread of the new Omicron variant of concern, adding there is transmission in a variety of settings.

Three new cases of Omicron were confirmed in Ottawa on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to eight.

The health unit urged people to continuing practising the same COVID-19 measures to reduce transmission.

“Wear a mask, maintain physical distance from others, limit close contacts, wash your hands, stay home when sick, and if you are experiencing symptoms, isolate and do not delay testing,” said OPH.

Ottawa has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases with 124 cases on Saturday and 106 cases on Friday. There were 98 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday.

There are currently outbreaks at 23 elementary schools and one secondary school.

To address the rise in COVID-19 cases at 11 schools in Barrhaven and Riverside South, rapid antigen tests will be provided to all students and staff to take three times a week leading up to the Christmas break.

Other schools have notified parents that each student will receive one box of Rapid Antigen Tests to take home for the holidays.

BOOSTER SHOTS FOR ADULTS 50 AND OLDER

As COVID-19 cases rise in Ottawa, thousands of residents will be eligible to receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week.

Starting Monday at 8 a.m., individuals aged 50 and over will be eligible to schedule a third dose appointment if it’s been at least six months since the last dose.

You can book an appointment at an Ottawa Community Clinic through the provincial pharmacy locator or at a pharmacy using the provincial pharmacy locator.

The Ontario government announced last week that all Ontarians aged 18 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting January 4.

COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Ottawa

OTTAWA LRT CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

Ottawa’s Finance and Economic Development Committee will hold a special meeting on Friday to discuss construction on Stage 2 of the Light Rail Transit project.

Mayor Jim Watson is calling a special FEDCO meeting to receive an update on the construction of the Trillium Line and the Confederation Line.

Stage 2 of the LRT project will see the Confederation Line extended to Tenth Line Road and Moodie Drive, with a line to Algonquin College. The Trillium Line will be extended from Bayview Station to Riverside South.

In March, the city was reviewing a possible 40-day delay on the Stage 2 Trillium Line LRT extension.  The north-south extension of the LRT is set to be complete in 2022.

A memo from staff also noted work on the Confederation Line extension had experienced scheduling impacts, but those issues had been resolved.

O-Train at Carling Station

FEDERAL FISCAL UPDATE

Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will release her fall economic and fiscal update on Tuesday, two months after the Liberal Party won a new minority mandate.

The fall update will provide the government’s outlook for an economy facing high inflation rates and rising cases of COVID-19.

The Liberals have previously promised to spend $100 billion in stimulus.

House of Commons

TOY MOUNTAIN WRAPS UP

It’s the final week to help build the Toy Mountain and provide toys to children in Ottawa for Christmas morning.

The CTV Ottawa/MOVE 100.3 Toy Mountain in support of the Salvation Army provides toys to over 20,000 children.

This year, the goal is to leave no child in Ottawa without a gift to open on Christmas morning.

You can help build the Toy Mountain by making a donation online to help buy toys in bulk or by donating a new toy. You can drop off a new, unwrapped toy at several locations in Ottawa including St. Laurent Shopping Centre, Place d’Orleans Shopping Centre and Carlingwood Shopping Centre.

For a complete list of Toy Mountain Drop Off locations, click here.

Toy Mountain Ottawa

EVENTS HAPPENING IN OTTAWA THIS WEEK

Monday

The Council of Public Schools in Eastern Ontario makes an announcement in Ottawa

Tuesday

Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presents the fall fiscal update

Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers – 7 p.m. on TSN 5 and TSN 1200

Ottawa Carleton District School Board meeting – 7 p.m.

Ottawa Catholic School Board meeting – 7 p.m.

Thursday

Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning – 7 p.m. on TSN 5 and TSN 1200

Friday

Special meeting of Ottawa’s Finance and Economic Development Committee

Last day of classes for the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and Ottawa Catholic School Board

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