COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for April 21, 2021
OTTAWA -- Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.
- Ottawa police are no longer running 25/7 checkpoints at interprovincial crossings between Quebec and Ontario.
- Masks are now mandatory for anyone within five metres of a playground, with some exceptions for small children.
- Some of Ottawa's key COVID-19 monitoring trends are starting to go down.
- Ottawa is seeing an increasing number of outbreaks at local workplaces.
- Nearly three dozen OC Transpo employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since March.
COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):
- New COVID-19 cases: 186 new cases on Tuesday
- Total COVID-19 cases: 22,224
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 200.9
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 10.9 per cent (April 12 to 18)
- Reproduction Number: 0.99 (seven day average)
Who should get a test?
Ottawa Public Health says you can get a COVID-19 test at an assessment centre, care clinic, or community testing site if any of the following apply to you:
- You are showing COVID-19 symptoms;
- You have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by Ottawa Public Health or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app;
- You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health;
- You are a resident, a worker or a visitor to long-term care, retirement homes, homeless shelters or other congregate settings (for example: group homes, community supported living, disability-specific communities or congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices and other shelters);
- You are a person who identifies as First Nations, Inuit or Métis;
- You are a person travelling to work in a remote First Nations, Inuit or Métis community;
- You received a preliminary positive result through rapid testing;
- You require testing 72 hours before a scheduled (non-urgent or emergent) surgery (as recommended by your health care provider);
- You are a patient and/or their 1 accompanying escort travelling out of country for medical treatment;
- You are an international student that has passed their 14-day quarantine period;
- You are a farm worker;
- You are an educator who cannot access pharmacy-testing; or
- You are in a targeted testing group as outlined in guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:
There are several sites for COVID-19 testing in Ottawa. To book an appointment, visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx
- The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre: Open Monday to Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- NOTE: The COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre at 300 Coventry Road is closed Wednesday, April 21 due to inclement weather
- The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Open Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (testing only)
- The Heron Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (testing only)
- COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Howard Darwin Centennial Arena: Open daily 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
- Southwest Ottawa COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Richmond Memorial Community Centre: Open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Centretown Community Health Centre: Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sandy Hill Community Health Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 pm.
- Somerset West Community Health Centre: Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Wednesday
Vaccine eligibility screening tool:
To check and see if you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Ottawa, click here.
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 swallowing, 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
Less than two days after police began stopping interprovincial drivers crossing into Ottawa, the Ottawa Police Service stopped monitoring the crossings 24/7.
Police say officers will instead be deployed on a rotating schedule of checkpoints throughout the city on a daily basis.
The changes come hours after Ottawa police began allowing thousands of drivers to cross the provincial border without stopping at provincial checkpoints.
According to city data from April 2019, roughly 185,000 vehicles cross the Ottawa-Gatineau border every day.
The first 24 hours of maintaining the checkpoints cost Ottawa police $113,000.
Anyone within five metres of a playground in Ottawa is now required to wear a face covering.
All children under two are exempt, as are any children under five who cannot wear masks or cannot be persuaded to do so.
Playgrounds are open under Ontario's stay-at-home order, following a reversal of their closure over the weekend. The City of Ottawa says while most park amenities aside from playgrounds remain closed, people are permitted to walk, run and cycle through parks, but they must maintain two metres of physical distance from anyone outside their household.
"While Bylaw and Regulatory Services will exercise enforcement discretion, Ottawa Public Health reminds parents and guardians to ensure that children on playground structures, swings and slides wear masks and maintain physical distancing," the City of Ottawa said in a public service announcement. "These regulations have been put in place to support current Provincial restrictions and help curtail the current surge of COVID-19 in our community."
Ottawa Public Health says 186 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 and one more person has died.
This is the lowest figure in a week. Last Tuesday, Ottawa Public Health reported 194 new cases of COVID-19 in the city. Daily case counts are typically lower on Tuesdays because of lower testing volumes over the weekend.
Some weekly monitoring trends are showing early signs of improvement. The weekly incidence rate of new cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days has dropped for the third day in a row and the estimated reproduction number for the virus--which shows how many secondary cases are caused by a single infected individual over his or her infectious period--is now below 1 for the first time since late February. Anything above 1 suggests the virus is spreading faster and each person who contracts COVID-19 is infecting more than one contact. When it is below 1, it suggests the spread is slowing.
To date, Ottawa has seen 22,224 total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began and 483 residents of Ottawa have died.
Ottawa Public Health is reporting a steady increase in the number of COVID-19 outbreaks in local workplaces.
In its latest update on Tuesday, Ottawa Public Health identified 16 active COVID-19 outbreaks within various workplaces, including construction, restaurants, offices, and manufacturing facilities.
- Workplace - Construction: 3 outbreaks
- Workplace - Restaurant: 3 outbreaks
- Workplace - Corporate/Office: 2 outbreaks
- Workplace - Manufacturing: 2 outbreaks
- Workplace - Warehouse: 2 outbreaks
- Workplace - Health: 1 outbreak
- Workplace - Distribution: 1 outbreak
- Workplace - Services: 1 outbreak
- Workplace - Transportation: 1 outbreak
The health unit reported 18 workplace outbreaks in all of March and 12 in all of February.
Speaking at Monday's board of health meeting, medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said OPH is being flooded with outbreaks at workplaces.
“Our team is now being inundated from workplaces where more than two people have tested positive. We’re also seeing outbreaks in offices where people could have potentially worked from home,” she said.
The board of health passed a motion Monday calling on the province to trim its list of essential workplaces and grant the city more power to inspect and close businesses that do not follow COVID-19 rules.
Board of Health Chair Coun. Keith Egli told CTV News at Noon the city would like to see a tighter list of workplaces that are required to remain open.
Following several confirmed cases of COVID-19 relating to OC Transpo bus operators in April, the service confirms other employees across the service have also been infected with the virus.
In total, 34 OC Transpo employees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus between March 1 and April 18.
OC Transpo provided a breakdown of confirmed cases, as follows:
- Bus operations (17)
- Facilities & Maintenance (14)
- Rail Operations (two)
- Customer Service (one)
In an emailed statement, OC Transpo General Manager John Manconi said the safety of customers and employees is a top priority and that numerous safety measures have been implemented to keep people safe.
Some of the additional measures include installing shields on buses, requiring masks, and enhanced cleaning, according to the statement.