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

Fast Facts:

  • Ottawa has surpassed 600 COVID-19 deaths.
  • Small business owners in downtown Ottawa say they won't survive if federal government workers don't return to their offices.
  • A temporary road test centre will open in Ottawa on Monday to help clear a massive backlog of road tests due to the pandemic.

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 24 cases on Wednesday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 30,359
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 23.4
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.8 per cent (seven-day average)
  • Reproduction Number: 0.95 (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 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

  • 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.


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 surpasses 600 COVID-19 deaths

The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa has surpassed 600 residents.

Ottawa Public Health reported three new COVID-19 deaths in the city on Wednesday, pushing the pandemic death toll to 601. According to the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 Dashboard, the victims were two men and a woman between the ages of 50 and 79.

Five COVID-19 deaths have been reported by OPH in October so far, up from three in September.

OPH reported 24 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and said another person was in the hospital. To date, Ottawa has seen 30,359 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Ottawa Public Health does not release the vaccination status of individuals whose cases are reflected in its daily reports. The public health unit does report broad five-week trends of vaccination status among people with confirmed cases. The most recent update is as of Oct. 8.

Across the province, Public Health Ontario confirmed another 306 cases of COVID-19 Wednesday and 12 new deaths. Another 527 existing cases are now considered resolved.

Around the region, Public Health Ontario confirmed 24 new COVID-19 cases, including nine in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, two in Hastings Prince Edward, 10 in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, two in Leeds, Grenville & Lanark, and one in Renfrew County. 


Small businesses downtown struggling to survive with no sign of a return to federal offices

For the last year and a half, the federal government buildings in downtown Ottawa have been practically empty and the streets are quiet, instead of bustling.

Small business owners, especially downtown, say they need those workers back to survive.

In the summer, 200 federal employees returned to office buildings in the national capital region as park of a back-to-workplace pilot project.

Government figures show there are 127,000 people employed by the federal government in the national capital region.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada says the federal government has not relayed any information about a fuller back to work plan.

Many small business owners say they’re holding on by a thread, hoping that these downtown buildings return to a full workforce as soon as possible.

Queen Street Fare

Temporary road test centre to open in Ottawa on Monday

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation says it will be opening a temporary road test centre in Ottawa this coming Monday.

There is a backlog of more than 550,000 road tests across Ontario because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The MTO says the temporary centre in Ottawa is aimed at clearing some of that backlog.

The temporary road test site will open at 3310 McCarthy Road, Unit 1008, on Oct. 18. It will offer class G2 road tests seven days a week between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Customers will be able to book road tests online at beginning Thursday, Oct. 14.

All DriveTest customers will be required to wear face masks, use hand sanitizer and complete the COVID-19 customer screening.

This comes after temporary road test centres were opened across the GTA earlier this year to help clear the backlog. It also comes as the DriveTest centre in Renfrew, Ont. is set to shorten its hours. The MTO says the Ottawa site will be able to support drivers from Renfrew, Smiths Falls, Winchester and other surrounding communities.

Backlog persists at DriveTest Centres