V-Day in Ottawa, Eastern Ontario moves to the orange zone and a cold end to fall: Five stories to watch in Ottawa this week
Paula McMahon prepares a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as the mass public vaccination program gets underway, at the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020. Health Canada approved the vaccine Wednesday. (Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via AP)
OTTAWA -- Health care workers in Ottawa will be among the first in Canada to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, bone-chilling temperatures in Ottawa and counting down to Christmas.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five stories to watch in Ottawa this week.
V-DAY IN OTTAWA
Health officials have dubbed Tuesday in Ottawa and across Canada "V-Day", the first day Canadians will receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Three-thousand doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Ottawa on Monday, while another three-thousand doses will arrive in Toronto. It is enough to vaccinate 3,000 health care workers in long-term care homes in both cities.
Mayor Jim Watson says Ottawa Public Health will set up appointments with workers in long-term care homes, and they will be required to travel to the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking on CTV News at Six on Saturday, Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch said Ontario has prioritized the "highest of the high-risk category" to receive the COVID-19 vaccine first.
"I think we're going to see a data driven approach that's going to highlight, for example long-term care facilities that are in Ontario red zones or in Ontario grey zones, which are under lockdowns first."
The federal government says it is in negotiations with Moderna for early delivery of its COVID-19 vaccine once approved by Health Canada.
CODE ORANGE: EASTERN ONTARIO JOINS OTTAWA IN THE "RESTRICT ZONE"
New restrictions on bars, restaurants, fitness centres, sports and other businesses in Alexandria, Cornwall, Casselman, Clarence-Rockland, Prescott-Russell and Hawkesbury begin on Monday.
The Ontario government will move the Eastern Ontario Health Unit back into the "orange-restrict" zone of the COVID-19 restrictions.
Under the "restrict" level, last call for bars and restaurants is at 9 p.m., and establishments must close at 10 p.m. Capacity restrictions limit the number of people sitting at a table to four people.
Ottawa remains in the "orange-restrict" zone.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit will move into the "yellow-protect" zone on Monday.
WINTER READY? TRANSIT COMMISSION RECEIVES UPDATE ON CONFEDERATION LINE
Will the Confederation Line be ready to handle the cold and snowy Ottawa winter?
The Transit Commission will receive an update Wednesday morning on the Confederation Line and OC Transpo buses.
Service was partially shutdown on the Confederation Line on weekends in November to allow Rideau Transit Group/Rideau Transit Maintenance to upgrade the switch heaters in the east-end.
In November, Director of Transit Operations Troy Charter told the Transit Commission there has been "significant progress" in addressing issues under seven categories: Vehicle Brakes, Overhead Catenary System, Switch Heater Failures, Vehicle Traction Power, Vehicle Passengers Doors, Vehicle Auxiliary Power, and Vehicle HVAC.
On the issue of switch heaters, Charter said the upgrades to gas-powered heaters were on track to be completed by the start of December.
Last winter, several issues with switches along the Confederation Line in Ottawa's east end caused delays for commuters.
EARLY ARRIVAL OF WINTER! BONE CHILLING TEMPERATURES FOR THE FINAL WEEK OF FALL
The final days of fall in the capital will feel like the middle of winter.
Environment Canada says bone-chilling temperatures will move into Ottawa starting Monday night, with temperatures dipping to minus 20C Tuesday night and minus 18C Wednesday night.
Daytime highs will be minus 11C on Tuesday, minus 13C on Wednesday and minus 9C on Thursday.
Seasonal temperatures are in the forecast for Friday and the weekend.
The first day of winter is Monday, Dec. 21.
Environment Canada's monthly temperature forecast calls for seasonal temperatures in Ottawa over the next four weeks.
COVID-19 HOLIDAY SEASON
With Hanukkah celebrations underway and Christmas fast approaching, health officials are urging people to celebrate the holidays safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I want to be very clear: this year, and hopefully this year only, Ottawa Public Health recommends that you celebrate the holidays only with those in your household plus one or two essential supports if needed," said Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa's Medical officer of Health.
"If you decide to celebrate with those outside your household, please assess the risks for everyone involved."
Dr. Etches says if you plan to travel over the holidays, consider the level of COVID-19 in both your community and your destination's community.
This is the final week of school before the holiday break at Ottawa's four school boards. Classes will resume after the start of the New Year.
EVENTS HAPPENING IN OTTAWA THIS WEEK
The Ottawa Torah Centre hosts a Hanukkah drive-in theatre. An RSVP is required to get a spot.
Ottawa's Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management meets – 9:30 a.m. (Meeting available on YouTube)
Ottawa Carleton District School Board meeting – 7 p.m. (Meeting available on YouTube)
Ottawa Catholic School Board meeting – 7 p.m.
Ottawa's Transit Commission meets – 9:30 a.m. (Meeting available on YouTube)
Ottawa Police Services Board – Human Resources Committee – 1 p.m.