COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for April 7, 2021

Health-care worker Thi Nguyen administers Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine to a patient at a COVID-19 clinic in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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

Fast Facts:

  • Ottawa residents 60 and older can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments through the provincial booking system starting today.
  • Ottawa saw another 176 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, as hospitalizations climb.
  • Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches is defending her decision not to close schools, saying the situation in Ottawa is manageable.
  • Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience is filing for creditor protection following concerns about the consistency of the company’s rapid COVID-19 tests. 

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 176 new cases on Tuesday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 18,436
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 124.2
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 7.8 per cent (Mar. 29 to April 4)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.10 (seven day average)

Testing:

Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says you can get a COVID-19 test at an assessment centre, care clinic, or community testing site if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are showing COVID-19 symptoms;
  • 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;
  • You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health;
  • You are a resident, a worker or a visitor to long-term care, retirement homes, homeless shelters or other congregate settings (for example: group homes, community supported living, disability-specific communities or congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices and other shelters);
  • You are a person who identifies as First Nations, Inuit or Métis;
  • You are a person travelling to work in a remote First Nations, Inuit or Métis community;
  • You received a preliminary positive result through rapid testing;
  • You require testing 72 hours before a scheduled (non-urgent or emergent) surgery (as recommended by your health care provider);
  • You are a patient and/or their 1 accompanying escort tra­velling out of country for medical treatment;
  • You are an international student that has passed their 14-day quarantine period;
  • You are a farm worker;
  • You are an educator who cannot access pharmacy-testing; or
  • You are in a targeted testing group as outlined in guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

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 Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 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 Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • The Heron Care and Testing Centre: Open Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  
  • COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Howard Darwin Centennial Arena: Open daily 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Centretown Community Health Centre: Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sandy Hill Community Health Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 pm.
  • Somerset West Community Health Centre: Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Wednesday.
  • COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre at 300 Coventry Road: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Vaccine eligibility screening tool:

To check and see if you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Ottawa, click here

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 swallowing, 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

Province expands vaccine rollout to adults 60 and older

Residents of Ottawa born in or before 1961 will be able to book an appointment for COVID-19 vaccine through Ontario's booking system starting today.

The province announced on Tuesday that all public health units using the booking system will be booking appointments for residents 60 and older as of 8 a.m. April 7.

You can book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment by using Ontario's online booking system or by calling 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007) Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

City officials confirm to CTV News Ottawa that they are prepared for the rollout to adults 60 and older to start. Officials say there are approximately 36,000 vaccines in hand, but add that appointments are expected to fill up quickly.

COVID-19 in Ottawa at record levels

Another 176 people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19 and one more person has died.

The weekly incidence rate of cases per 100,000 population continues to climb to record levels and is now above 124 cases per 100,000 residents.

Tuesday was the 13th straight day that Ottawa had reported a daily case count in the triple digits. It is the longest triple-digit case count streak of the pandemic so far.

Hospitalizations and active cases also increased on Tuesday.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
Infogram

COVID 'manageable' in Ottawa schools: Etches

As school boards across Ontario grapple with the decision to remain open or to close as the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic surges, boards in Ottawa are reporting 245 active COVID-19 cases within their school communities.

Even as schools close in Peel Region and Toronto, Ottawa's medical officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches says she believes schools in Ottawa should remain open, despite co-signing a letter to the province's chief medical officer of health that asked, among other thing, to move schools to remote or hybrid models in areas where outbreaks are significant.

In a letter to directors of education for the four boards, Etches said the situation in schools is currently manageable.

"The vast majority of COVID-19 in schools originates with community exposures. Situations identified in schools where there was a possible exposure do not usually lead to transmission in schools," Etches wrote. "Child-to-staff and child-to-child transmissions remain rare in the school setting. At this time, schools are not a major driver of transmission of COVID-19 and so closing them alone will not turn this current COVID-19 resurgence around."

Etches urged the school community to remain vigilant.

Eight schools in Ottawa had active COVID-19 outbreaks as of Tuesday.

Spartan Bioscience files for creditor protection

An Ottawa-based biotech company, Spartan Bioscience Inc., is filing for creditor protection and temporarily laying off staff following concerns about the consistency of the company’s rapid COVID-19 tests.

Spartan told CTV News on Tuesday that about 60 of its 90 employees and a number of students and interns would be laid off as the company deals with the issue.

The rapid tests were approved by Health Canada in late January. The company is working with the agency on a fix.