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

Fast Facts:

  • Active COVID-19 cases in Ottawa dropped below 300 on Tuesday.
  • St. Benedict Catholic School reopened Tuesday following a significant COVID-19 outbreak.
  • A new study suggests a majority of restaurants need pandemic subsidies to continue if capacity restrictions remain in place.
  • OC Transpo will be conducting a mask blitz this week.

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 19 cases on Tuesday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 30,335
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 24.0
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.7 per cent (seven-day average)
  • Reproduction Number: 0.98 (seven-day average)

Testing:

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 are a patient and/or their 1 accompanying escort tra­velling out of country for medical treatment;
  • 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.

Long-term care staff, caregivers, volunteers and visitors who are fully immunized against COVID-19 are not required to present a negative COVID-19 test before entering or visiting a long-term care home.

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

  • Temporary Pop-Up Testing COVID-19 Assessment at McNabb Arena on Percy Street: Open daily until Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre: Open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre at 300 Coventry Road: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre (Kemptville) – 15 Campus Drive: Open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 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, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday

COVID-19 screening tool:

The COVID-19 screening tool for schools in Ottawa and eastern Ontario. All students, teachers and school staff must complete the COVID-19 School screening tool daily.

Symptoms:

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

Active COVID-19 cases in Ottawa drop below 300

Ottawa Public Health says 19 more people in the city have tested positive for COVID-19 and the number of known active cases is below 300.

To date, OPH has reported 30,335 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. No new deaths were confirmed on Tuesday, keeping the city's pandemic death toll at 598 residents.

Another 51 existing cases are considered resolved.

Hospitalizations were up slightly with six people hospitalized with active COVID-19. There are three COVID-19 patients in the ICU.

Daily case counts are typically lower on Tuesdays.

Across the province, Public Health Ontario reported 390 new cases and zero deaths on Tuesday, as well as 512 newly resolved cases. As there was no reporting on Thanksgiving Monday, Ontario also released figures showing 458 new cases and two new deaths on Monday along with 551 resolved cases.

Twenty-three new cases were reported around the region on Tuesday, including six in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, six in Hastings Prince Edward, nine in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, and two in Renfrew County. 

 

St. Benedict school reopens following closure due to COVID-19 outbreak

Students at St. Benedict Catholic Elementary School are back in class after the school was closed due to the city’s worst COVID-19 outbreak this fall.

The school was closed on Sept. 28, following an outbreak of COVID-19, which affected 37 students across many of the grades and classes.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board is reporting through its COVID-19 dashboard that there are no longer any active cases at the school. But still, for many of the parents whose children attend class at St. Benedict, there is a concern that an outbreak could happen again.

The OCSB says that, as an added measure, students at St. Benedict are now required to wear masks outside during recess, adding that this rule is above the provincial regulation.

Ottawa Public Health requires students at all schools to complete an online COVID screening questionnaire ahead of class each day and, as an added layer of protection, for the next two weeks, students will need to bring a paper copy to class every morning.

In all outbreak situations, OPH says it completes a thorough investigation and site inspection. Following its investigation at St. Benedict’s School, the report found that all proper infection control measures, including cleaning, disinfection and signage, have been reviewed with the school administration to make sure that best practices are in place to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

St. Benedict Catholic School

Study shows 80 per cent of restaurants still need subsidies to survive winter months

Throughout the pandemic, restaurants have benefitted from federal and provincial subsidies to keep their doors open, but those subsidies are coming to an end

A Restaurants Canada survey shows many are not likely make it though the winter if the federal subsidy is cancelled at the end of this month.

“The most recent survey we’ve found that 80 per cent are just getting by, or losing money,” says James Rilett, Restaurants Canada VP for central Canada. “Debt loads because of higher prices of foods and energy prices. What we’re saying is we definitely need the support systems that the federal and provincial governments have put in to continue so that we can try and get though this period of unprofitability.”

The restaurant industry questions how sports stadiums and movie theatres can have full capacity, with food and drink options, but restaurants cannot.

But the Ontario Ministry of Health says having 20,000 cheering fans in a sports arena isn’t as dangerous as a restaurant dining room saying, “They are higher risk settings - prolonged close contact in enclosed spaces where face coverings are removed for the entire duration when seated.”

The federal government is now in talks with industry, there’s speculation subsidies may continue into late November.

Zak's

OC Transpo conducting mask blitz this week

There will be a two-day mask blitz on OC Transpo this week aimed at reinforcing mask use on the R1 bus that is replacing the LRT.

In a memo, acting general manager of transportation services Michael Morgan says OC Transpo has received feedback from customers regarding mask use on the R1, so special constables will be out in force on Wednesday and Thursday to check for mask use.

The R1 service is in place because the Confederation Line has been offline since Sept. 19 because of a derailment.

Special constables at Blair, Tunney's Pasture and Hurdman stations will have the authority under the city's transit bylaw to issue fines of $260 to customers who are not wearing masks. The can also refuse someone access to the transit system if they do not comply. They will also reinforce how to wear masks properly and can also provide customers with a disposable mask if they do not have their own.

Young children and customers who identify themselves as having a disability or medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask will not be issued a fine.

OC Transpo