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

Fast Facts:

  • 200 employees at Ottawa hospitals suspended for failing to comply with new COVID-19 vaccination policies
  • Drive-thru COVID-19 testing centre on Coventry Road closed for the winter
  • 45 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday
  • Ottawa's top doctor urges parents to limit extra-curricular activities, sleepovers for unvaccinated children

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 45 cases on Friday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 30,427
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 22.9
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.8 per cent (seven-day average)
  • Reproduction Number: 0.90 (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

  • COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Arena at 180 Percy St.: Open Monday to Sunday 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 drive-thru assessment closes on Saturday.
  • 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

47 employees at Ottawa's children's hospital suspended without pay for violating vaccine mandate

Two hundred and three unvaccinated employees have been suspended from three Ottawa health care facilities for violating COVID-19 vaccination policies.

At CHEO, 47 employees have been placed on unpaid leave, and could be fired in two weeks, for failing to comply with the policy.

As of Friday, 99.3 per cent of full-time personnel and 97.6 per cent of part-time and casual personnel are immunized at CHEO. The hospital has a total of 3,865 personnel on site.

At the Queensway Carleton Hospital, 37 employees will be placed on unpaid leave for violating the vaccine mandate.  The hospital in Ottawa's west end announced Friday afternoon that 98 per cent of staff are fully vaccinated and complying with the new policy for staff.

Bruyere Continuing Care has suspended 119 employees who are unvaccinated.  As of Friday, 91 per cent of the 2,298 employees at Bruyère are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while an additional three per cent of employees are "on track" to being fully vaccinated in the coming days.

CHEO

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Ottawa

The COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre on Coventry Road closes for the winter today.

"With the winter months and colder weather approaching, it is not feasible to continue operating an outdoor testing location in Ottawa," said the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce in a statement.

The task force says the resources will be consolidated, and in some cases redeployed, to support other testing initiatives.

45 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday

Ottawa Public Health reported 45 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, the highest one-day increase in new cases in five days.

Eighteen of the 45 new cases involve residents under the age of 20, while 11 cases involve residents 40 to 49 years old.

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Ottawa in March 2020, there have been 30,427 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 601 deaths.

 

Ottawa's top doctor urges parents to limit extra-curricular activities, sleepovers for unvaccinated children

Ottawa's medical officer of health is urging parents of unvaccinated children to limit close contacts, including extra-curricular activities with different groups and sleepovers, to stop transmission and keep COVID-19 outbreaks in schools "rare and limited."

In a letter to parents Friday afternoon, Dr. Vera Etches says her outlook for fall is one of "cautious optimism", noting first dose vaccination rates among residents 12 and older is approaching 90 per cent and hospitalizations remain low.

However, Etches says children under 12 remain unvaccinated and COVID-19 rates are highest in children 5 to 11 years-old.

"I know it can be concerning when you hear of COVID-19 cases in schools. We need your help to keep outbreaks rare and limited, so children and youth do not miss in-person school by having to stay home after an exposure to COVID-19."

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