OTTAWA -- Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.

Fast Facts:

  • Ottawa's medical officer of health insists curbside pick-up is a "low-risk" activity as she calls for a review of essential businesses allowed to open during the pandemic
  • Canada imposes ban on passenger flights from India, Pakistan for 30 days
  • Ottawa sees spike in new COVID-19 cases on Thursday following two days with less than 200 cases
  • Ottawa's top doctor is waiting to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment  

COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):

  • New COVID-19 cases: 281 cases on Thursday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 22,686
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 178.3
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 11.7  per cent (April 14 to April 20)
  • Reproduction Number: 0.94 (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

  • The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre: Open Monday to Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre at 300 Coventry Road: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 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

Ottawa's top doctor wants non-essential businesses closed during stay-at-home order

Ottawa's medical officer of health says while curbside pick-up from businesses is a low-risk activity, Ontario needs to look at where COVID-19 is transmitted.

Board of Health Chair Keith Egli sent a letter to the Ontario government on Tuesday, requesting Ontario only allow businesses that provide groceries, medications and products or services that are essential for health and safety to open.  

In a follow-up memo to council on Thursday, Dr. Vera Etches said "the concern is not with transmission to clients via retail and restaurant curbside pickup which is a low-risk practice. The concern is transmission between co-workers and to protect workers who are at greater risk."

In the memo Thursday, Etches said Ottawa Public Health staff are preparing their own Section 22 order to “better enable city bylaw officers to enter and inspect businesses” if the province decides not to pursue the board’s recommendations.

Closed sign

Canada imposes ban on passenger flights from India, Pakistan for 30 days

The federal government is imposing a 30-day ban on passenger flights from India and Pakistan as COVID-19 infections continue to surge in those countries.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced Thursday evening that they are imposing the temporary ban as more passengers arrive in Canada with positive test results from those two countries.

Air India flight

Ottawa sees spike in new COVID-19 cases on Thursday

Ottawa Public Health reported 281 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, ending a string of two straight days with fewer than 200 new cases of coronavirus.

Two new deaths linked to the virus were announced.

A total of 175 of the 281 cases involve residents under the age of 40.

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Ottawa on March 11, 2020, there have been 22,686 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 486 deaths.


Ottawa's top doctor waiting to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

While Ottawa residents in their 40s race out to get the COVID-19 vaccine at pharmacies, the city’s medical officer of health will wait to receive her first dose because she is able to work from home.

"I'm home right now, we'll focus on those others who are out there providing essential services," said Dr. Vera Etches in an interview on CTV Morning Live when asked if she has booked an appointment to receive the vaccine.

Etches is now eligible to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at doctor's offices and pharmacies after Ontario lowered the age eligibility earlier this week.

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna, Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Couns. Jenna Sudds and Glen Gower are among the local politicians who have posted photos on social media this week receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy or doctor's office.