COVID-19 in Ottawa; Fast facts for Oct. 4, 2020

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

Fast Facts:

  • COVID-19 assessment centres are closed in Ottawa and eastern Ontario today, unless you already have an appointment
  • New COVID-19 cases in Ottawa drop below 100 after record-breaking one-day surge
  • Infectious disease specialist suggests new COVID-19 measures for bars, restaurants and gyms “not going far enough”
  • Ottawa mom waits for COVID-19 test so daughter can return to class after a runny nose

Testing in Ottawa:

COVID-19 screening tool:

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


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

COVID-19 assessment centres in Ottawa and across Ontario are closed Sunday and Monday, unless you have an appointment for testing.

Ontario is moving to a new appointment-based system for accessing COVID-19 testing at COVID assessment centres.

Starting Tuesday, patients with COVID-19 symptoms will need to call one of Ontario’s assessment centres and speak to a nurse practitioner for screening before making an appointment for a test.

In Kingston, the COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre at Beechgrove Complex is using a manual appointment system on Sunday and Monday, with patients being screened by staff and assigned an appointment time. A new online booking system is expected to be ready on Tuesday.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit says the COVID-19 testing centre at Calypso Waterpark in Limoges will be closed on Sunday and Monday.  The Casselman testing centre will be closed on Monday.


One day after a record 142 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, the number of new cases fell back below 100.

However, the 96 new cases reported by Ottawa Public Health was the third highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic.

Two new deaths were also reported on Saturday.

There have been 4,626 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 293 deaths.

On the day new capacity limits were imposed on Ottawa’s bars, restaurants and gyms, an infectious disease specialist said the targeted measures do not go far enough to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“The virus is winning and we need to take this very seriously,” said Dr. Abdu Sharkawy of Toronto’s University Health Network.

Ontario announced new “targeted measures” for Ottawa, Toronto and Peel, limiting bar and restaurants to a maximum of six people per table, and 100 people maximum.

Speaking on CTV News at Six, anchor Christina Succi asked Dr. Sharkawy whether the capacity measures will help limit the spread of COVID-19 or if Premier Doug Ford is targeting the wrong places.

“I don’t think the premier is targeting the wrong places, but I would argue that these restrictions are not going far enough,” said Dr. Sharkawy Saturday evening.

“Two words that continue to be reiterated through this pandemic are historic and unprecedented and unfortunately, we’ve reached a historic and unprecedented crisis when it comes to public health and its capacity.”

Dr. Abdu Sharkaw

An Ottawa mom says the Ottawa Carleton District School Board won’t allow her daughter to return to school until undergoing a COVID-19 test, despite having a runny nose.

“The school is saying, ‘you have to get a test.’ And then the assessment centre is saying she can’t have one,” says Heather Larmer.

This week, Ontario changed the COVID-19 screening guidelines to say if a child has a runny nose and no other symptoms, they can return to class after 24 hours if the symptoms improve.

“The school and the school board is telling me, even though the government made that announcement, their policy has not been updated,” says Larmer.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board uses the COVID-19 self-assessment tool provided by Ottawa Public Health (OPH).

In a statement, the OCDSB says, “OPH had advised that they were in the process of updating the OPH screening tool to reflect the changes regarding the type and number of symptoms needed for a child to stay home.”

Ottawa Public Health updated its guidelines for COVID-19 screening late Friday night.

Heather Larmer

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