COVID-19 cases at dozens of Ottawa schools and meet the capital's newest millionaire: Top five stories this week
OTTAWA -- COVID-19 cases in Ottawa schools spike, the Ottawa Hospital apologizes for sharing the names of unvaccinated employees and a rented movie returned to a Kingston store nine years late.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the top five stories on our website this week.
COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at four Ottawa French language schools less than three weeks into the school year.
In addition, as of Friday there were active COVID-19 cases at 49 schools across Ottawa's four public school boards.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce told CTV News Ottawa this week the government has spent more than $600 million on upgrades to ventilation in schools, and is prepared to do more to keep children in school this fall.
"If it is recommended to elevate our already cautious protocol, I'm comfortable doing so," said Lecce, adding he is in constant communication with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore.
"We stand ready to do anything and everything required of us to ensure your child can remain in school and remain safe."
Ottawa Public Health has declared COVID-19 outbreaks at four schools. The schools are:
- École élémentaire catholique de la Découverte – Two student cases
- École élémentaire publique Michaëlle-Jean – Four student cases
- École élémentaire catholique Marius-Barbeau – One student case, one staff case
- École élémentaire catholique Franco-Cite – Six student cases
Amid condemnation from officials, a few dozen protesters rally against vaccine mandates outside Ottawa Hospital
A few dozen people rallied outside the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus on Monday to protest COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates.
The protest was advertised in advance and was widely condemned by politicians and health officials.
"It's hard not to feel a little defeated," said ICU nurse Alison MacIvor, adding dealing with anti-vaccine sentiments is growing tiresome for health care workers.
The Ottawa Hospital issued a statement on Twitter ahead of the protest.
"Those demonstrating outside of the hospital are putting not only staff and physicians at risk, but also the hundreds of patients who come to the hospital for care every day," the thread said. "While we respect everyone’s right to free speech, we disagree with the position that these demonstrators have taken.
"We encourage everyone to get vaccinated, as it is the best form of protection from serious illness, hospitalization and death due to COVID-19."
The Ottawa Hospital apologized to employees whose names were mistakenly visible on a mass email to unvaccinated staff last week.
The letter from the hospital's human resources department, obtained by CTV News Ottawa, said a system-generated email sent Sept. 8 to "employees who have declined the COVID-19 vaccination" included staff email addresses in the "To" section and not as blind carbon copies.
The original email, which CTV News Ottawa has not seen, was an invitation to complete an educational module about COVID-19 vaccination.
The Ottawa Hospital said the email was "immediately recalled and all copies were deleted."
The hospital did not confirm how many staff members were affected, but a source told CTV News Ottawa there were 391 names on the list.
Nine years after it was rented, Role Models on Blu-ray was returned to a video rental store in Kingston.
Tom Ivison of Classic Video in downtown Kingston was going through his weekly returns, when he saw something unusual.
“(I) had several piles, I’m working my way through them and I notice one case in rough condition,” he explains. “I typed in the number to return the movie, looked back a minute later and that's when I saw.”
Ivison says the 2008 film starring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott was signed out on Nov. 2, 2012.
As for the late fees on a movie returned nine years overdue, it's $2,757.
If the man, only publicly known as "Eric", picked any time to return it, it’s now. During the pandemic, Classic Video is waiving all late fees and the returnee won’t have to pay a cent.
An Ottawa man is $1 million richer.
Richard Wiles picked up his prize this week after winning the guaranteed $1 million prize in the Aug. 7 Lotto 6/49 draw.
The winning ticket was purchased at the MacEwen Gas Station on Dunrobin Road.