Keeping the vaccines flowing, staying at home, and a new American President: Five stories to watch this week

OTTAWA — The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Ottawa continues, but there are questions about supply. How are police and bylaw handling the new stay-at-home order? And, a day of prayer for a beloved spiritual leader.

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

Vaccine rollout continues

Residents of Ottawa will continue to roll up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccines but there are new questions about how much supply the city will have.

Last week, it was announced that Pfizer would be cutting shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine to Canada in half over the next month because of an expansion of its European factory. That means it’s unclear how many additional doses Ottawa will be receiving in the coming weeks.

On Saturday, Mayor Jim Watson told the CTV News at Six that between 5,800 and 6,000 doses were expected in the city on Tuesday, but now he’s unsure if that will be delivered.

The City’s vaccination teams have visited all 28 of the city’s long-term care homes and are expected to begin working with residents and staff of the city’s high-risk retirement homes soon.

COVID-19 vaccine

Will COVID-19 cases keep climbing?

It has now been three weeks since the provincewide shutdown began in Ontario and it remains to be seen if Ottawa’s curve will start to bend toward lower rates.

The number of active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa more than doubled in the first two weeks of January and the number of people in hospitals nearly quadrupled. However, the number of new cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period has been slowly dropping in the past few days.

It is still too early to tell whether the stay-at-home order that came into effect on Jan. 14 has had any effect on transmission.

Are people staying at home?

A provincewide stay-at-home order was put in place at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, requiring all residents of Ontario to remain home and only leave for essential reasons, such as groceries, medical appointments, to go to and from an essential workplace, or to get outside for exercise.

Local bylaw and police officers are tasked with enforcement of the new order.

On Saturday, Mayor Jim Watson told CTV News at Six that bylaw enforcement would focus on large gatherings as reported by the public.

“When they see parties going on, 10 or 12 cars outside of one residence, people are calling 311 to report it,” Watson said. “It’s not a snitch line; it’s for the betterment of the neighbourhood that we don’t have a super-spreader event that takes place in a particular neighbourhood.”

Stay Home

Day of Prayer for Rabbi Bulka

Ottawa learned last week that a beloved spiritual leader has been diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas and liver.

Rabbi Reuven Bulka gave his congregation the news in a letter following a recent stay in the hospital. He said he would travel to New York to be with family.

Faith leaders from across the capital are holding an inter-faith day of prayer for the beloved rabbi on Monday, Jan. 18.

“Rabbi Bulka is always there for every single one of us and now it’s our turn to be there for him in the power of prayer,” said Rabbi Idan Scher, who has led Congregation Machzikei Hadas since Rabbi Bulka’s retirement six years ago.

Rabbi Reuven Bulka

Inauguration Day in the U.S.

All eyes will be on Washington D.C. this Wednesday for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.

It comes just two weeks after a mob of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in anger over the election result.

Law enforcement officials in the U.S. are preparing for the potential of further violence in the lead up to the inauguration, not only in Washington, but at state capitols across the country.

There were no disturbances at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa on Jan. 6, though some Trump supporters did rally in Canadian cities that day, including Toronto, Calgary and Red Deer, Alberta.

Joe Biden

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