All eyes on COVID-19 in Ottawa and the investigation continues into O-Train wheel hub failures: Five stories to watch this week

Keeping an eye on the COVID-19 situation in Ottawa following the long weekend and festival season ramps up to start August.

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

COVID-19 levels high in Ottawa

All eyes will be on the COVID-19 situation in Ottawa coming out of the Colonel By Day long weekend, as Ottawa Public Health warns COVID-19 levels remain “very high.”

“The levels of COVID-19 in our community are still very high, and it remains very important that we all use the layers of protection that we know can help limit transmission,” OPH said on Thursday.

Ottawa residents are being encouraged to wear a mask indoors and outdoors when physical distancing isn’t possible, stay home when you’re sick and get your first and second booster doses.

Ottawa’s COVID-19 positivity rate was 19.7 per cent on July 27.

COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children aged six months to under five in Ottawa and across Ontario.

Public health is also monitoring COVID-19 outbreaks, with 75 outbreaks in long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals and other settings.

The largest active COVID-19 outbreak in Ottawa is at Billings Lodge Retirement Community, where 48 residents and 15 staff members have tested positive. A COVID-19 outbreak at Carleton Lodge includes 41 residents and 11 staff members.

Slow rolling O-Train

The O-Train is moving at a slower speed along the 12.5 km track this week, as the investigation continues into the failure of a wheel hub assembly on a train.

OC Transpo pulled 20 cars from service on July 23 for further inspection after the failure was discovered on one wheel hub.

“RTG and Alstom continue to replace the axel hubs; there are currently 22, or 11 double-car trains, cleared and in service,” OC Transpo general manager Renee Amilcar said on Saturday.

“RTG and Alstom continue the replacements over the weekend, and we anticipate having more cleared and in service next week. No further issues have been discovered during the replacement of the axle hubs.”

Rideau Transit Group and Alstom requested implementing a temporary speed restriction along sections of the track, adding an extra four to five minutes to the trip.

The Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the incident.

An east-bound OTrain pulls in to Rideau Station on the Confederation Line of the Light Rail Transit system in Ottawa, ON. (Brenda Woods/CTV Ottawa)

Five councillors running unopposed

With three weeks left until the deadline to register for the city of Ottawa municipal election, five current councillors’ remain unopposed in their wards.

The deadline for candidates to register to run in the city of Ottawa municipal election is Aug. 19, and Election Day is Oct. 24.

Councillors are currently running unopposed in the following wards:

  • Orleans East-Cumberland – Matthew Luloff
  • Orleans West – Innes – Laura Dudas
  • Beacon Hill-Cyrville – Tim Tierney
  • Rideau-Rockcliffe – Rawlson King
  • River – Riley Brockington

There are currently 11 candidates running for mayor.

The riding of Knoxdale-Merivale has the highest number of declared candidates in the race, with six people running to fill the seat left by the retiring Keith Egli.

Ottawa City Hall. (File photo)

Rideau Canal Celtic Cross Ceremony

The Ottawa and District Labour Council will hold a ceremony on Monday to remember the workers and their families who died building the Rideau Canal.

Monday is known as Colonel By Day in the city of Ottawa.

The annual Celtic Cross Ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at the Rideau Canal Celtic Cross Monument alongside the Rideau Canal.

“The building of the Rideau Canal required a yearly work force of up to 7,000,” the Ottawa and District Labour Council said. “During its seven-year construction as many as 1,000 workers lost their lives due to accidents and disease. Their deaths went largely unrecorded and many lay in unmarked graves along the canal’s length.”

Boats docked along the Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa. (Josh Pringle/CTV News Ottawa)

AUGUST FESTIVALS

Several festivals wrap up and kick off this week in Ottawa, as the second full month of summer begins.

The Ottawa Chamberfest wraps up on Thursday at venues across Ottawa.

The following festivals kick off this week:

  • Navan Fair – Aug. 4-7
  • Ottawa Greek Festival – Aug. 5-15
  • Classic Theatre Festival – Aug. 5-28
  • Casino Lac Leamy Sound of Light festival – Aug. 3-20
Casino du Lac-Leamy Sound of Light Portugal Fireworks on Aug. 9, 2014. (Derek Winfield/CTV Viewer)

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