Ottawa adds 66 new coronavirus cases, 2 deaths to start October

Ottawa’s coronavirus case count continues to rise amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the nation’s capital.

Ottawa Public Health reported 66 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 4,388 locally.

There are now 677 active cases of the virus in Ottawa, a slight dip from Wednesday.

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Two more people have died in relation to COVID-19, raising Ottawa’s death toll of the pandemic to 289.

Seventeen people are now in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa, three of whom are in the intensive care unit.

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No new outbreaks in schools or long-term care homes were reported in Ottawa on Thursday, according to OPH’s COVID-19 dashboard.

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The long lineups that have marked Ottawa’s coronavirus testing centres in recent weeks are showing signs of improvement at two sites.

The Queensway Carleton Hospital and l’Hôpital Montfort both tweeted Thursday that lineups were relatively short in the mid-afternoon at the Moodie and Heron care clinics and encouraged those who might’ve been standing by for a test to come get assessed at one of the sites.

A spokesperson for Montfort told Global News that fewer people were coming to get tested and pointed to new provincial assessment criteria, which discourages asymptomatic residents from seeking a test, as a likely cause of the shorter lines.

Staff at Queensway Carleton Hospital’s Moodie Drive testing site seem to agree.

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“The new testing criteria and tapping pharmacies to test asymptomatic people has definitely helped reduce the lines at the West COVID-19 Care Clinic this week. We also played host to a pop-up site for the past three days, which helped,” said a QCH spokesperson.

The Queensway’s spokesperson thanked residents for following the new guidelines and helping the testing centre prioritize symptomatic patients.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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