COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Jan. 4, 2021

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

Fast Facts:

  • Ottawa Public Health reported a new record high number of COVID-19 cases and a doubling of ICU admissions on Sunday.
  • Students in Ottawa are returning to the lessons today, but only virtually amid a provincewide lockdown.
  • A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at an esthetician’s business in Petawawa.

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

  • New cases: 184 new cases on Sunday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 10,368
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 60.8
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 3.9 per cent (Dec 25-31)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.46 (seven day average)


Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says there are four 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.

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:

Ottawa’s assessment centres will remain open for the holiday season. However, sites will have adjusted operating hours until Monday, Jan 4.

To book an appointment, visit

The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre

Jan 3: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Jan 4: 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

COVID-19 Drive-thru assessment centre at National Arts Centre: Open: Jan 3-4 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Closed Jan. 3. Open Jan. 4 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Heron Care and Testing Centre: Closed Jan. 3. Open Jan. 4 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Ray Friel Location:  Open: Jan 3-4 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Community Centre will be closed Jan. 3. It will be open Jan. 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


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

Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallow, 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 reported 184 more people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19, the highest number reported in a single day by the health unit since the pandemic began. 

The previous high watermark was 183 cases, reported on Oct. 8, 2020.

OPH also reported that of the 12 people in hospitals in the city with COVID-19 complications, half of them are in intensive care. The number of people in the ICU doubled to six on Sunday from three on Saturday.

Trends also show a rising number of cases per 100,000 residents and an increasing reproduction number. The current data suggest that every two people who contract the virus spread it to roughly three other people.

School resumes today for tens of thousands of students in Ottawa and eastern Ontario, but students will not be returning to the classroom after the Christmas break.

As part of the Ontario government’s lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19, elementary and secondary students will not return to school in person on Jan. 4 as planned.

In-person classes are scheduled to resume Monday, Jan. 11 for elementary students, and the week of Jan. 25 for secondary students.

Empty classroom

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at an esthetician’s business in Petawawa.

According to a press release from the RCDHU, two clients and a staff member of the workplace have tested positive for COVID-19.

Close contacts of the affected individuals have been instructed to self-isolate and arrange for COVID-19 testing.

The RCDHU did not name the business where the outbreak occurred. 

covid-19 test coronavirus

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