COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Jan. 13, 2021

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

Fast Facts:

  • A provincewide stay-at-home order will come into effect in Ontario at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. 
  • City of Ottawa staff are reviewing the stay-at-home regulations and will provide an update on enforcement soon.
  • Ottawa saw a dip in daily COVID-19 case numbers but weekly trends remain high.
  • A new shipment of COVID-19 vaccines has arrived in Ottawa.
  • Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says he has a plan to get fans into the Canadian Tire Centre but "now is not the time."

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

  • New cases: 63 new cases on Tuesday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 11,568
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 90.7
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.6 per cent (Jan. 4 - Jan. 10)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.06 (seven day average)

Testing:

Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says there are five reasons to seek testing for COVID-19:

  • You are showing COVID-19 symptoms. OR
  • 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. OR
  • You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health. OR
  • You are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care OR
  • You have traveled to the UK, or have come into contact with someone who recently traveled to the UK, please go get tested immediately (even if you have no symptoms).

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

The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre

Open Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

COVID-19 Drive-thru assessment centre at National Arts Centre: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Heron Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Community Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Symptoms:

Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath

Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallow, 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

Ontario in emergency: Stay-at-home order to come into effect Thursday

The Ontario government has issued a second state of emergency as COVID-19 caseloads rise across the province and, with it, comes a stay-at-home order.

The order will come into effect at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 14 and will remain in effect for 28 days. All residents of Ontario are required to remain home unless leaving for essential supplies such as groceries or medicine, going to an essential workplace, a medical appointment, or exercising. 

Ontarians caught violating the stay-at-home order could face a fine and prosecution, including up to a year of jail time.

Schools in Ottawa are still set to resume in-person classes on Jan. 25 but masks will become mandatory for children in Grades 1 to 3. Child care centres will also remain open.

All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m.

The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.

City staff reviewing stay-at-home order

City of Ottawa staff must still review the new stay-at-home order from the provincial government before announcing how it will be enforced locally. 

Mayor Jim Watson and other City staff told reporters Tuesday that senior leadership at the city would be meeting to discuss the new regulations.

General Manager of Emergency and Protective Services Anthony Di Monte said the new regulations may include the closure of some outdoor amenities like skating rinks, but that would all be part of the discussion. He also suggested ticketing will be ramping up, but was cautious not to make any guarantees as staff review the new regulations.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said people should consider exercising closer to home and avoiding crowded spaces.

One-day dip in COVID-19 cases but trends remain high

Ottawa Public Health reported its lowest daily number of new COVID-19 cases so far this month but other key trends remain high.

OPH added 63 new cases to its COVID-19 dashboard on Tuesday and no new deaths.

However, the rate of weekly cases per 100,000 residents is still above 90, well into "red" territory, and the positivity rate remains high, at 4.6 per cent.

The number of known active cases of COVID-19 has dropped below 1,200 but remains at more than 1,100.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
Infogram

More vaccines arrive in Ottawa

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says a new shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Ottawa Tuesday afternoon and will start going out to people today.

The Ottawa Hospital said Tuesday it had received and administered 16,575 doses of COVID-19 to date, including at its vaccination clinic at the Civic campus and at long-term care homes through Ottawa Public Health mobile teams. 

Watson said Tuesday that vaccination teams visited 12 of the city's 28 long-term care homes in the past week to give vaccines to residents, caregivers and staff.

The Ottawa Hospital's vaccination clinic is set to resume full operations on Friday.

Melnyk pitches plan for 6,000 spectators at Sens games, but says "now is not the time"

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk faced criticism on social media Tuesday after he tweeted out a statement saying that he had submitted a robust health plan that would allow 6,000 fans to attend Senators games at the Canadian Tire Centre.

His tweet, which he later deleted, came shortly before Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced his provincewide stay-at-home order and a second state of emergency due to rising COVID-19 cases.

Melnyk later clarified that he only wants to see fans in the seats when the time is right.

"That time is not now," he said.

"We understand as an organization that we must do our part to control this virus before we can entertain plans to bring fans back into our arena," he said. "When the day comes that we can allow fans back to games in a safe way, you can rest assured that our organization will be ready."