COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast facts for Sept. 16, 2020

People line up outside a Covid testing facility in Ottawa, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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

Fast Facts:

  • Mayor Jim Watson is calling for stiff crackdowns on private gatherings as COVID-19 case numbers surge.
  • 52 new cases and four new deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Ottawa on Tuesday.
  • The COVID-19 testing lead at the Ottawa Hospital is asking for retired medical professionals to come back to work and help expand testing capacity.
  • New cases have been reported in Ottawa schools, but no outbreaks had been declared.

Testing:

  • The COVID-19 assessment centre at 151 Brewer Way is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today.
  • The COVID-19 care clinic at 595 Moodie Dr. is open today from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • The COVID-19 care clinic at 1485 Heron Rd. is open today from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • The drive-thru COVID-19 testing centre at RCGT Park is open today from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. but you need to book an appointment.

COVID-19 screening tool:

  • The COVID-19 screening tool for students heading back to in-person classes can be found here.

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

Crackdowns coming on private gatherings

In the face of a significant rise in new positive COVID-19 case numbers in the nation's capital, Ottawa's mayor is proposing a stiff crackdown on private gatherings, which are getting the blame for the rise in transmission.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he will be making announcements over the next day or two to about measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the province's hotspots, including Ottawa.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said he's pushing for a lower limit on indoor gatherings in private residences: 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors.

52 new cases, 4 new deaths reported in Ottawa

Ottawa Public Health is reporting 52 new cases of COVID-19 and four new deaths in Ottawa.

The new deaths are all linked to a COVID-19 outbreak at the West-End Villa long-term care home, where five residents have died.

With the four new deaths reported on Tuesday, the death toll has risen to 272 residents. This is the largest single-day increase in deaths from COVID-19 in Ottawa since early June.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
Infogram

Calling medical retirees back to work to expand COVID-19 testing

Health officials in Ottawa who oversee COVID-19 testing say more qualified staff are needed in order to expand capacity.

Speaking to reporters at a media availability on Tuesday, Dr. Alan Forster, Vice President at the Ottawa Hospital and Testing Strategy Lead, said staff are being hired and trained to extend hours at the assessment centre at the Brewer Arena.

Nevertheless, he said that expanding testing capacity, and opening new testing sites, depends on the pool of medical professionals in the region. He called on others, including retirees, to offer their services in the fight against COVID-19.

New cases in schools but no outbreaks

New cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at six Ottawa schools, according to data from the Province of Ontario and from local school boards.

They are:

  • Marius-Baribeau Catholic Elementary School: 1 case
  • Montfort Catholic Elementary School: 1 case
  • Franco Ouest Catholic High School: 1 new case, 2 cases total
  • St. Leonard Elementary School: 1 case
  • Monsignor Paul Baxter School: 1 case
  • Gabrielle-Roy Elementary School: 2 cases

There are no confirmed outbreaks at any schools at this time.

An outbreak in a school is defined as follows:

"Two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care)."