Police turn away 2,000 drivers at the border and Ottawa's top doctor believes students could return to school: Top five stories this week
A driver shows identification to an Ottawa police officer as a checkpoint as vehicles enter the province from Quebec Monday April 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
OTTAWA -- A Quebec woman is accused of abducting a newborn from an Ottawa home, 2,000 vehicles turned away at Ottawa-Gatineau crossings and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the five most viewed stories on our website this week.
A Quebec woman is facing charges after Ottawa police allege she broke into a home and abducted an eight-day-old infant.
Ottawa police say the accused had met the victim on a social media group for new mothers and dropped off a gift at a west end Ottawa home on May 7.
"The woman returned to the family’s residence on Sunday (May 9) and forcefully entered the home, used bear repellent spray to subdue the occupants, abducted the baby and left," said police in a media release.
Neighbours, alerted by the commotion, were able to chase the accused down and detain her until police arrived. The baby was assessed by paramedics and found to be unharmed.
The 32-year-old woman is facing charges of abduction, assault, breaking and entering and weapon possession.
Ottawa's COVID-19 vaccine eligibility ramped up this week, as several new groups became eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
The eligible groups this week included:
- Residents 40 and older across Ottawa
- Individuals with at-risk health conditions
- Group 2 of "cannot work from home", including OC Transpo and Para Transpo workers and retail workers
As of Wednesday, the city said approximately 132,000 appointments have been booked to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at city clinics between May 1 and 31.
Approximately 49 per cent of Ottawa residents aged 18 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Ottawa police turned away 2,086 drivers at Ottawa-Gatineau interprovincial crossings for reasons officers deemed were not essential since deploying checkpoints in mid-April.
Those drivers were among more than 44,700 drivers screened at bridges and ferry crossings between April 19 and May 12, the Ottawa Police Service said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.
The service estimates the cost to patrol the five interprovincial bridges and two ferry crossings will be at least $650,000.
The Ontario government implemented new restrictions on interprovincial travel as part of steps to reduce COVID-19 transmission. As of April 19, travel from Manitoba or Quebec into Ontario is restricted.
Ottawa Public Health reported the youngest death linked to COVID-19 in Ottawa this week.
A woman in her 20s died after testing positive for COVID-19. The health unit would not provide any further details about the woman, citing medical privacy.
"We mourn all those who have died of COVID-19. Every death is tragedy. This is a sad day and a reminder of the impacts on the family and friends of the people who have died during the pandemic," the statement said.
"We recognize this is a difficult time. While we are getting closer every day, it will take time to reach community immunity. Until more people are protected with vaccines and the rate of COVID-19 in the community decreases, it is important to continue following the public health measures that keep us safe from COVID-19 and its variants: get tested if you show symptoms, stay home if you are sick, wash your hands, wear a mask, and maintain physical distancing from those outside your household."
Ottawa's medical officer of health suggested this week that students could return to class for in-person learning before the end of the school year, as COVID-19 levels slowly decline in the capital.
"It's looking positive to be able to open schools towards the end of May, if the rate of COVID continues to come down in the community," said Dr. Vera Etches on Wednesday.
All publicly funded elementary and secondary schools across Ontario have been closed since the end of the April break. Premier Doug Ford announced on April 12 that schools would be closed indefinitely amid soaring COVID-19 case counts.
On Thursday, Ford announced an extension of the stay-at-home until at least June 2, meaning schools will remain closed until the first week of June.