OTTAWA -- Ottawa's top doctor urges residents to continue to limit social contacts for three more months, a Perth grandmother is Ontario's newest millionaire and the O-Train is headed to the scrap heap. looks at the five most viewed stories on our website this week.

Etches calls for three more months of physical distancing, limiting close contacts in Ottawa

Ottawa's medical officer of health warned this week that COVID-19 levels are rising at "alarming rates", and is urging people to continue practicing physical distancing for three more months while the COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out.

Ottawa's COVID-19 rate rose to 39.5 cases per 100,000 people on Friday, before dropping slightly to 38.9 cases on Saturday. The 80 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday were the highest one day spike in new cases since Feb. 21.

On Wednesday, Dr. Vera Etches warned the "amount of COVID overall in the community" is growing, and Ottawa is approaching the red level in Ontario's COVID-19 framework, which would impose new restrictions on social gatherings, bars and restaurants.

On Friday, Dr. Etches told CTV News at Six that Ottawa is on the verge of a third wave of the pandemic.

"That is what I would expect based on the very rapid rise in the level of COVID-19 in our wastewater. It's been reliably predicting when the testing that follows will detect more cases."

Etches admitted the COVID-19 pandemic and limited social contacts to avoid spreading the virus has been hard work.

"So I want to ask people very clearly to keep it up for another three months. Let's set ourselves that goal that we're going to limit our close contacts for three more months and then we should really see that protection of older adults start to kick in from the vaccination program."


COVID-19 vaccinations begin for the general public in Ottawa

The city of Ottawa ramped up its mass vaccination campaign this week, administering the first COVID-19 vaccines to the general public.

Pop-up vaccination clinics opened on Friday for residents over the age of 80 in seven high-risk neighbourhoods.

More than 1,600 appointments have been booked to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The city has announced that residents who were born in or before 1941, or who are adult recipients of chronic home care, and who live in the following communities are eligible to receive the vaccine:

  • Emerald Woods 
  • Heatherington 
  • Ledbury 
  • Heron Gate 
  • Ridgemont 
  • Riverview 
  • Sawmill Creek

On Tuesday, the city unveiled the list of high priority neighbourhoods that would be offered COVID-19 vaccines through pop-up clinics next, once more COVID-19 vaccines are available. 

  • Bayshore - Belltown
  • Britannia Village
  • Carleton Heights - Rideauview
  • Carlington
  • Carson Grove - Carson Meadows
  • Greenboro East
  • Hawthorne Meadows - Sheffield Glen
  • Hunt Club East - Western Community
  • Hunt Club Park
  • Lowertown
  • Manor Park
  • Overbrook - McArthur
  • Parkwood Hills - Stewart Farm
  • Sandy Hill
  • Vanier North
  • Vanier South
  • West Centretown
  • Whitehaven - Queensway Terrace North

Meantime, Eastern Ontario's top doctor suggested that with Canada extending the period between COVID-19 doses and more vaccines arriving in Canada, all residents in his region could receive a first dose soon.

"I would say probably May," said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

Ottawa COVID-19 vaccinations

Perth grandmother wins $1 million Lotto 6/49 prize

A Perth grandmother who won $1 million wanted to immediately tell her children and grandchildren, but she had to wait.

When she dropped by to share the news, no one was home.

"I left a note saying, 'I won $1 million! Call mom at 6 p.m.!'' Marian Dowdall said.

Dowdall won the guaranteed $1 million prize in the Feb. 6, Lotto 6/49 draw.

Marian Dowdell

Ottawa throwing out the original O-Train Bombardier trains

It's the end of the line for the original O-Train.

The city of Ottawa issued a tender looking for a company to dismantle and dispose of the three Bombardier Talent Trainsets after being unable to find a buyer.

The Bombardier Talent diesel-powered trains carried passengers on the original O-Train when it launched in 2001, the 8-kilometre corridor between Greenboro and Bayview Transitway Stations.

The Bombardier Talent trains were replaced by the Alstom Coradia LINT trains in March 2015 as part of a $60 million expansion of the O-Train Trillium Line. The Alstom Coradia Lint trains are being full refurbished for the new O-Train Trillium Line extension into Riverside South.


You can buy a 208-litre drum of olive oil at Ottawa's newest Costco

Costco opened a new store in Ottawa this week, targeting businesses and their employees.

The new Canadian Business Centre on Cyrville Road in Gloucester is the third centre opened by Costco Wholesale across Canada.

Costco says the new store offers items for restaurants, convenience/grocery stores and offices.  Items for sale include 208-litre drums of olive oil, three-kilogram containers of cream cheese, 10-kilogram jars of peanut butter, four-litre bottles of maple syrup and giant 4.5-kilogram Toblerone chocolate bars.