Ottawa’s rising COVID-19 rates and 2 a.m. last call this spring and summer: Five stories to watch in Ottawa this week

OTTAWA — Ottawa marks one year since the first case of COVID-19, vaccines continue to go into arms in the capital and 2 a.m. last call on bar and restaurant patios.

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

Red warning: All eyes on rising COVID-19 indicators

As COVID-19 rates in Ottawa inch closer to the “red-control” threshold, the medical officer of health warns novel coronavirus levels are rising at “alarming rates.”

The rising COVID-19 rates come as Ottawa prepares to mark the one-year anniversary since the first case of COVID-19 in the community.

Dr. Vera Etches says the “very rapid rise” in the level of COVID-19 in the wastewater is an indicator of rising rates, and Ottawa risks facing new restrictions in the coming weeks.

“What it means is what we’re doing right now, collectively as a million people, isn’t quite enough anymore to keep the level of COVID-19 down and it’s gone into this rapid rise that we see with this virus and we need to have more stringent measures to keep it under control,” said Etches during an interview with CTV News Ottawa on Friday.

“The way of doing that is under the provincial framework moving into red, but the other way that is under our control is to really focus on limiting our close contacts outside of our household.”

As of Sunday, Ottawa’s COVID-19 rate was 37.3 cases per 100,000 people, while the positivity rate is 2.1 per cent. The threshold to move into the red zone is a weekly incidence rate of 40 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate greater than 2.5 per cent.

On Monday, Renfrew County will move into the “yellow” zone, which imposes a last call of 11 p.m. on bars and restaurants and a limit of six people per table.

COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Ottawa

The city of Ottawa will continue to ramp up its COVID-19 vaccine rollout this week, targeting residents over the age of 80 in high-risk neighbourhoods.

The city will announce on Monday the locations for the next COVID-19 pop-up clinics in neighbourhoods.

According to the city, only residents who were born in or before 1941, or who are adult recipients of chronic home care, and who live in the following communities are currently able to book appointments:

  • Emerald Woods
  • Heatherington
  • Ledbury
  • Heron Gate
  • Ridgemont
  • Riverview
  • Sawmill Creek

Once more COVID-19 vaccines are available in Ottawa, this is the alphabetical list of the next high priority neighbourhoods to be offered COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Bayshore – Belltown
  • Britannia Village
  • Carleton Heights – Rideauview
  • Carlington
  • Carson Grove – Carson Meadows
  • Greenboro East
  • Hawthorne Meadows – Sheffield Glen
  • Hunt Club East – Western Community
  • Hunt Club Park
  • Lowertown
  • Manor Park
  • Overbrook – McArthur
  • Parkwood Hills – Stewart Farm
  • Sandy Hill
  • Vanier North
  • Vanier South
  • West Centretown
  • Whitehaven – Queensway Terrace North

As of March 5, the city had received 71,180 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. A total of 57,670 doses had been administered (first and second doses).

Ottawa COVID-19 vaccinations

Online or in-person learning at Ottawa public school board in September

The clock is ticking for parents with children enrolled in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board to decide whether they will attend school virtually or in-person this fall.

The board is giving parents until March 14 to decide the learning option for September.

The board will offer virtual elementary and secondary schools for students who wish to learn in the model next school year. The elementary Middle French Immersion and the Alternative Program will not be available for virtual schooling.

“Over the course of the 2021-2022 school year, we hope to resume regular operations incrementally and as it is safe to do so, continuing to work closely and be guided by the advice from Ottawa Public Health,” said a letter to parents from the OCDSB.

OCDSB Generic

Addressing homelessness in Ottawa

Ottawa city council will finalize a 10-year housing financial plan to increase housing and reduce homelessness.

The 10-year plan has a goal to create between 5,700 and 8,500 affordable housing options targeted to both low to moderate income households.

Staff say the goal is to reduce overall homelessness by 25 per cent over 10 years.

City of Ottawa

2 a.m. last call on patios

Council will vote Wednesday to set last call at 2 a.m. at all restaurant and bar patios on city of Ottawa property this spring and summer.

As part of the “2021 Patio Innovation Program” to help establishments during the COVID-19 pandemic, staff recommended standardizing patio hours across the city. Currently 40 per cent of patios on city property have an 11 p.m. last call, while five per cent close at either 12 a.m. or 1 a.m.

Staff said the 2 a.m. closing time only comes into effect if Ottawa moves into the green zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 opening framework. The yellow, orange and red zones include earlier last calls for patios.

The city’s right of way patio bylaw requires audio speakers to be turned off by 11 p.m., regardless of closing time on the patio.  In 2020, there were nine music complaints and six outdoor patio noise complaints related to patios on city of Ottawa property last summer.

The city will step up enforcement of the patio permits this summer, including a three strike system to address complaints. The Patio Innovation Program says the first strike is a verbal warning, a second offence results in an 11 p.m. closing time on the patio or a modification to the permit to address the issue. The third offence for noise bylaw infractions would result in the patio permit being revoked.

Outdoor Patio

Events in Ottawa this week

Monday

International Women’s Day celebrations.

Mayor Jim Watson hosts the annual International Women’s Day celebration with Coun. Theresa Kavanagh. It’s available on the city of Ottawa’s YouTube page.

Ottawa Senators at Edmonton Oilers. 9 p.m. on TSN 5 and TSN 1200.

Tuesday

Ottawa’s built heritage sub-committee meeting – 9:30 a.m.

Ottawa Public Library Board meeting – 5 p.m.

Ottawa Carleton District School Board committee of the whole meeting – 7 p.m.

Ottawa Catholic School Board meeting – 7 p.m.  

Wednesday

Ottawa city council meets – 10 a.m.

Ottawa Senators at Edmonton Oilers. 8 p.m. on TSN 1200.

Friday

Ottawa Senators at Edmonton Oilers. 9 p.m. on TSN 5 and TSN 1200.

Sunday

Ottawa Senators host Toronto Maple Leafs. 7 p.m. on TSN 1200.

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