COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Feb. 24, 2021

OTTAWA — Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.

Fast Facts:

  • Ottawa Public Health is looking for six people who shared a ride from Toronto to Ottawa on Feb. 16 after one passenger tested positive for COVID-19.
  • There were no new cases of COVID-19 reported in anyone 60 or older in Ottawa on Tuesday.
  • The chair of Ottawa’s largest school board wants to see education workers prioritized in the province’s vaccine rollout.
  • The City of Ottawa has given first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to all eligible residents of retirement homes.
  • Rumours of a large wedding in downtown Kingston with hundreds of attendees from out of town are unfounded, Kingston’s top doctor says.

COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):

  • New COVID-19 cases: 25 new cases on Tuesday.
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 14,429
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 36.6
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 2.3 per cent (Feb. 10 – Feb. 16)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.11 (seven day average)

Testing:

Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says there are five reasons to seek testing for COVID-19:

  • You are showing COVID-19 symptoms. OR
  • You have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by Ottawa Public Health or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app. OR
  • You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health. OR
  • You are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care. OR
  • You have traveled to the U.K., or have come into contact with someone who recently traveled to the U.K., please go get tested immediately (even if you have no symptoms).

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:

There are several sites for COVID-19 testing in Ottawa. To book an appointment, visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx

  • The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre: Open Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Drive-thru assessment centre at National Arts Centre: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • The Heron Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

COVID-19 screening tool:

The COVID-19 screening tool for students heading back to in-person classes can be found here.

Symptoms:

Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath

Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallowing, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pneumonia, new or unexplained runny nose or nasal congestion

Less common symptoms: unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, headache, delirium, chills, red/inflamed eyes, croup

Ottawa Public Health says it is looking to get in touch with six people who took a rideshare from Toronto to Ottawa last week, after one person recently tested positive for COVID-19.

A PSA from the City of Ottawa says the individual who tested positive was contagious when they shared a ride with six other people, including the driver, on Feb. 16 using a private rideshare service advertised on Kijiji.

“Ottawa Public Health is looking to contact the six individuals who should immediately self-isolate and contact Ottawa Public Health by calling 613-580-6744 for further testing,” the PSA said.

The white van left Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre at around 1 p.m. Feb. 16 and arrived in Ottawa at around 6 p.m. with stops at the Bayshore Shopping Centre, the CF Rideau Centre, and the St. Laurent Shopping Centre.

Car driving on snowy road

Ottawa Public Health said Tuesday that 25 more people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19, though none were 60 or older. 

OPH’s COVID-19 dashboard now reports 14,429 total laboratory-confirmed cases since the pandemic began.

No new COVID-19 deaths were reported on Tuesday. To date, 437 residents of Ottawa have died throughout the pandemic. 

The lower case count caused a slight dip in the weekly trend of new cases per 100,000 residents, though the figure has been rising in the past several days and is approaching the “Red-Control” level under the province’s COVID-19 framework. Ottawa’s testing positivity rate and estimated reproduction number are also closer to the red zone than the yellow zone.

The chair of Ottawa’s largest school board wants to see education workers prioritized in the province’s COVID-19 vaccination process.

In a letter to health minister Christine Elliott and education minister Stephen Lecce, released Tuesday, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board chair Lynn Scott said that vaccinating teachers and other education workers would help keep schools open.Scott’s letter was written just days after the province announced changes to its vaccination priorities, including health-care workers, first responders, and seniors 80 years of age and older.

Currently, education workers are set to be part of the second phase of the province’s vaccination rollout, which is scheduled to begin in April. Scott wrote that a public commitment to ensuring education workers receive vaccines is important, especially given the spread of variant strains.

Lecce said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa that education workers will be part of the next phase of the province’s vaccination plan.

High school students arrive for school

Residents of Ottawa retirement homes should all have their first doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

The news came in a memo to city council on Tuesday, attributed to Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches and Emergency and Protective Services General Manager Anthony Di Monte, which said they expected the first round of inoculation to be complete by the end of the day Tuesday.

The city has been vaccinating retirement home residents since Feb. 7. The effort began with 37 retirement homes identified as “high-risk”, using criteria such as having a memory care unit, being co-located with a long-term care facility, or being vulnerable due to other available information, the memo explained.

More than 91 per cent of long-term care home residents have received both shots.

More details about the city’s vaccine rollout plans are expected to be announced at city council today.

COVID-19 vaccine

Kingston’s top doctor says recent reports of a large wedding at a downtown Kingston hotel are unfounded.

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health officials said they received calls over the weekend saying that there was a large wedding with “hundreds” of people visiting from locked-down regions of Ontario.

Rumours about the alleged event were also circulating online.

“We did send, through a partnership with the City of Kingston, a bylaw officer and it was not true,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, the region’s medical officer of health. “There was no wedding and there was no masked gathering, and they didn’t have a significant number of out-of-towners in their hotel.”

Bride Groom, Wedding Topper, Generic

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