File photo of downtown Ottawa. (Photo by Robbie Palmer of Unsplash)

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

Fast Facts:

  • Gatineau and the Outaouais move into the orange zone in Quebec's COVID-19 restrictions framework, allowing restaurants and gyms to reopen
  • Starting Monday, school boards must conduct asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in at least five per cent of schools every week
  • Ottawa Public Health reports the highest one-day spike in COVID-19 cases in February.
  • Starting Monday, travellers returning to Canada will be required to take a COVID-19 test at the airport at their own expense, and spend three days of their quarantine at a supervised hotel while awaiting the results

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 80 new cases on Sunday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 14,349
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 36.9
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.8 per cent (Feb. 10 – Feb. 16)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.05 (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 U.K., or have come into contact with someone who recently traveled to the U.K., 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.

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

Gatineau prepares for move to orange zone for first time in months

Gatineau and the Outaouais move into the "orange" zone in Quebec's COVID-19 restriction framework on Monday, easing restrictions for restaurants and gyms.

Restaurants will be allowed to open for in-person dining with a maximum of two adults per table.

The curfew will start 90 minutes later, and be in effect from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.

On Feb. 8, Quebec relaxed the COVID-19 restrictions to allow non-essential stores and hair salons that have been closed since Christmas to reopen.

57 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa schools as Ontario issues new orders for asymptomatic testing of staff and students

The Ontario government is rolling out new rules for asymptomatic testing in schools across Ontario.

Starting today, school boards will be required to conduct asymptomatic testing of staff and students in at least five per cent of schools within their jurisdiction every week.

Ottawa Public Health conducted a two-day rapid testing clinic at St. Patrick's High School, targeting schools in the Alta Vista and St. Laurent area over the weekend. It was the fourth straight weekend public health and its health partners conducted a rapid testing clinic in areas of Ottawa.

Public health released new data on Friday that showed rapid testing clinics targeting students, staff and their families at 47 schools in Ottawa identified nine cases of COVID-19. A total of 994 students were tested for COVID-19 during clinics over the previous three weekends, with nine students testing positive.

Ottawa sees highest single-day COVID-19 case count in two weeks

Ottawa Public Health reported the highest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases in Ottawa in February.

Eighty new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Sunday, along with no new deaths linked to the virus.

The previous high for cases in Ottawa in February was on Feb. 7, when 73 new cases were reported.

Since the first case of COVID-19 on March 11, there have been 14,349 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 436 deaths.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
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Travellers complain of unanswered calls, long wait times to book quarantine hotels

Travellers flying into Canada face new quarantine rules today in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Under the new rules, travellers will be required to take a COVID-19 test at the airport at their own expense. Then, they're required to spend the first three days of their quarantine at a supervised hotel while awaiting the results.

Travellers must cover the cost of the quarantine, which could cost upwards of $2,000.

The federal government says travellers are required to book their government-authorized hotel stay in advance.