COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Jan. 5, 2021

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

Fast Facts:

  • The City of Ottawa says it is ready to deliver COVID-19 vaccines and aims to have 680,000 residents vaccinated by Canada Day.
  • Ottawa Public Health reported more than 100 new cases in the city for the fourth day in a row.
  • Every Ottawa city councillor and the mayor have told CTV News that they did not travel abroad over the holidays.
  • The operators of the Mount Pakenham Ski Resort say their business is fleeing to Quebec as they remain closed due to the provincewide shutdown in Ontario.
  • Donald Trump Jr. weighed in on a video showing an arrest in Gatineau, Que. over a private gathering and warned Americans to “wake the hell up.”

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

  • New cases: 104 new cases on Sunday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 10,472
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 64.3
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.2 per cent (Dec 28, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.29 (seven day average)

Testing:

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:

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.

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Community Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Symptoms:

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

More than two-thirds of Ottawa residents could be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Canada Day, officials said on Monday, as preparations ramp up for the largest inoculation campaign in the city’s history.

A memo from emergency services head Anthony Di Monte and medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says 680,000 Ottawa residents could be immunized by the beginning of July.

The memo calls this an “optimistic projection,” saying that Ottawa could receive fewer vaccines than the per capita numbers because other areas of the provinces have been harder-hit by the virus. The numbers are based on current provincial estimates and vaccine supply availability, “two variables that are highly susceptible to change.”

The City also aims to set up four vaccination clinics around Ottawa to go into operation as soon as the province gives the green light.

COVID-19 vaccine

Ottawa Public Health said on Monday that 104 more people in Ottawa tested positive for COVID-19, marking the fourth straight day of triple-digit case counts.

One more person in Ottawa with COVID-19 has died.

The public health unit’s metrics also show an increase in the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the city as well as a rise in active infections. The estimated reproduction number–the number of additional people each person with the virus infects–fell slightly but remains above 1, meaning the virus is spreading in the community.

Ottawa has seen a total of 10,472 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. 393 people in the city have lost their lives to the virus.

It appears municipal politicians in Ottawa kept to themselves this Christmas.

CTV News Ottawa reached out to all city councillors and the mayor to ask about how they spent their holidays, following news of several provincial and federal politicians travelling abroad around Christmas time.

Every councillor and the mayor responded to say they did not travel abroad this December and opted to spend Christmas and New Year’s with their households, per public health guidance.

The news about politicians leaving the country during the holidays has led to some high-profile resignations, including Rod Phillips stepping down as Ontario finance minister.

Ottawa City Hall

Ontario ski hill operators say they’re being left in the cold by the provincial government as their business heads to Quebec.

“We’ve had to lay off staff and, to me, it’s pretty unfair, three days before Christmas, to tell them that this is going to be your last day,” says Andrew Burns, director and head of operations at Mount Pakenham Ski Resort, a short distance west of Ottawa.

The resort would normally be packed with skiers and snowboarders right now but, instead, the hills are bare as they remain closed until the provincewide shutdown ends.

The Ford government shut down non-essential businesses in Ontario on Dec. 26, 2020 to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Ski hills were told to close as part of the lockdown. Staff say it is just forcing skiers in the area to cross over to Quebec, where hills remain open.

Staff at Pakenham say they’re losing roughly $5000 a day during the closure.

Mount Pakenham closed

The eldest son of U.S. President Donald Trump weighed in on social media on a news story that took place in the National Capital Region of Canada.

Taking to Twitter, Donald Trump Jr. shared a video that shows a confrontation between Gatineau, Que. police and residents who were having a private gathering on New Year’s Eve, which is prohibited under Quebec’s COVID-19 rules.

“This is insanity and it’s coming here soon if you don’t wake the hell up,” Trump Jr. told his 6.6 million Twitter followers on Sunday.

The video was posted to social media on New Year’s Day and garnered tens of thousands of views. Gatineau police commented on Jan. 2 to say that the video shows only a part of their visit to the home, which was prompted by a complaint, and alleged that one of the invidividuals assaulted an officer.

Two people were charged as a result of the incident and six people were issued $1500 fines for breaking public health rules.

Gatineau police New Year's Eve

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