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

Fast Facts:

  • Ottawa Public Health reported 180 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and six new deaths linked to the virus
  • A new report from Toronto's SickKids Hospital says school closures should be "last resort for pandemic control"
  • Ten deaths linked to COVID-19 at Ottawa retirement residence
  • Rideau Canal Skateway on track to open early next week despite COVID-19 lockdown

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 180 new cases on Thursday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 12,674
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 73.5
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 3.5 per cent (Jan. 13 - Jan. 19)
  • Reproduction Number: 0.87 (seven day average)


Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says there are five reasons to seek testing for COVID-19:

  • You are showing COVID-19 symptoms. OR
  • 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. OR
  • You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health. OR
  • You are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care OR
  • You have traveled to the U.K., or have come into contact with someone who recently traveled to the U.K., please go get tested immediately (even if you have no symptoms).

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 Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

COVID-19 Drive-thru assessment centre at National Arts Centre: 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.

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.

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Community Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath

Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallow, 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 sees triple-digit increase in COVID-19 cases on Thursday

Ottawa Public Health reported 180 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with six new deaths linked to the virus.

The six new deaths announced were the highest one-day total for deaths linked to novel coronavirus in Ottawa since May.

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Ottawa on March 11, there have been 12,674 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 415 deaths.

Ontario health officials reported 2,632 new cases of COVID-19 across Ontario Thursday.


School closures should be 'last resort for pandemic control,' updated SickKids report says

A group of medical experts says the closure of schools for in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic should be a "last resort for pandemic control."

New guidelines released by Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children said the delay in reopening schools for in-person learning "must be as time-limited as possible."

Schools in 20 Ontario public health units will remain closed on Monday, including all schools in Ottawa.

The SickKids report says that in order to keep schools open even in regions in which community transmission is high, there must be "robust testing and contact tracing" alongside infection prevention and control measures.

The health experts say any child who is exposed to a student or staff members with a positive case of COVID-19 should be tested themselves, even if they are asymptomatic.


Ten deaths linked to COVID-19 at Ottawa retirement residence

Ten residents at Ottawa's Valley Stream Retirement Residence have now died due to COVID-19.

Ottawa Public Health reports 51 residents and 27 staff members have tested positive for novel coronavirus since the outbreak began on Jan. 2.

"We regret to confirm that ten residents have passed away with COVID-19 during the outbreak," said a statement from Revera, which operates the Nepean retirement residence.

"The team at Valley Stream offers its most sincere condolences to the families and friends of the residents who passed away."

Valley Stream

Rideau Canal Skateway on track to open early next week: NCC

The world's largest skating rink is expected to open early next week despite the COVID-19 lockdown in Ottawa.

During the National Capital Commission's Board of Directors meeting, NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum said the skateway will open soon, with the opening date finalized in the next 24 hours.

"We're moving ahead with the Rideau Canal Skateway's 51st season, albeit COVID-19 adjusted," Nussbaum said Thursday morning.

"We're on track to open the Skateway early next week. The opening date will be finalized, hopefully, in the next 24 hours."

The NCC plans to open the Rideau Canal Skateway during Ontario's stay at home order, which encourages people to stay close to home to help limit the spread of COVID-19.  The NCC has said there will be no snack stands, no skate rentals nor gathering points like fire pits along the canal.

Rideau Canal Skateway