COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Jan. 26, 2021
A man walks past a mural in downtown Ottawa Thursday January 14, 2021. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA -- Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.
- Ottawa Public Health reported the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in a single day in nearly a month on Monday.
- Ontario health officials are changing their vaccination strategy amid a delay in shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
- Kingston's top doctor confirmed the first case of the new U.K. variant of the coronavirus in the region.
- Provincial inspectors handed out two dozen tickets during a safety blitz targeting big box stores.
- Ontario has officially extended its state of emergency another two weeks to Feb. 9.
COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):
- New COVID-19 cases: 48 new cases on Monday
- Total COVID-19 cases: 12,977
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 58.4
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 3.0 per cent (Jan. 18 - Jan. 24)
- Reproduction Number: 0.99 (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 https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx
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 Public Health reported its lowest daily number of new COVID-19 cases in nearly a month on Monday.
Officials added 48 new cases, the lowest figure since Dec. 29, 2020.
Several trends are showing signs of improvement in Ottawa, but the city is still firmly in "red" status under the Ontario government's colour-coded framework.
While the weekly incidence rate of cases per 100,000 residents is now below 60, it must drop below 40 to move Ottawa back to orange. The testing positivity rate is now 3.0 per cent. Orange status requires a positivity rate of below 2.5 per cent.
No new deaths were reported in Ottawa for the second day in a row and the number of active cases has fallen below 900 for the first time since Jan. 7.
With a limited supply of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in Ontario and no new doses being delivered this week, Ontario is changing its strategy and prioritizing getting first doses to residents in long-term care, high-risk retirement homes, and First Nations elder care homes ahead of workers and essential caregivers by Feb. 5, 10 days sooner than planned, depending on supply.
Approximately 47,000 long-term care home residents have received the first dose of the vaccine with another 17,000 or 18,000 still needing it, provincial health officials said Monday, adding about 3,000 residents have refused the first dose.
There are still about 50,000 people working in long-term care homes that have yet to receive the vaccine.
In places that have finished vaccinating long-term care home residents, like Ottawa, excess doses may need to be moved to other regions, officials said.
Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health is confirming that a case of the new COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. has been found in its region.
This is the first case of the U.K. variant, also known as B.1.1.7, to be confirmed in the KFL&A region.
In a press release Monday, the region's medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, asked anyone who has travelled outside of the region (i.e., beyond Hastings, Prince Edward, Leeds, Grenville, or Lanark counties), has had visitors from outside the region, or has moved to the region in the last 14 days to consider voluntary, asymptomatic testing for COVID-19.
Cases of the B.1.1.7 variant were first detected in Ontario in December, including in Ottawa. The variant was also detected at a long-term care home in Barrie, Ont., where more than 40 residents have died.
Provincial inspectors handed out two dozen fines to local businesses during a COVID-19 safety blitz this past weekend.
Inspectors visited 114 workplaces in the city during the weekend blitz, aimed at ensuring essential businesses that can continue to operate during the provincewide shutdown are following public health guidelines.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour said Monday that 24 tickets were given to businesses in Ottawa. The most common infractions were for inadequate screening, exceeding capacity limits, and lacking a COVID-19 safety plan.
Ottawa Bylaw assisted in the blitz. The City says officers handed out 10 tickets, nine of which were for mask violations and one of which was for inadequate signage of COVID-19 rules.
Ontario has officially extended the province's state of emergency and all orders associated with it, including the stay-at-home order, for an additional 14 days.
The state of emergency, that was declared under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) on Jan. 12, and the stay-at-home order will now expire on Feb. 9, the government said.
The announcement of the extension was expected after Premier Doug Ford said on Jan. 12 the state of emergency would be in effect for 28 days. The state of emergency must be legally extended by the government 14 days after it comes into effect.
If the order wasn't extended, it would have automatically expired on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m.