A woman walks past a mural in downtown Ottawa, Thursday January 14, 2021 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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

Fast Facts:

  • The City of Ottawa is vaccinating first responders as work is proceeding on retirement homes.
  • Ottawa's COVID-19 trends are approaching the "Red-Control" level.
  • The Ontario government says it's up to local health units to come up with their own COVID-19 vaccine strategies
  • A man in western Quebec who said he was assaulted led police to a cottage party and some additional details about his own actions.

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 55 new cases on Monday.
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 14,404
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 37.3
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 2.3 per cent (Feb. 10 – Feb. 16)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.15 (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

Progress made on vaccinating first responders in Ottawa

First responders in Ottawa are now receiving their first COVID-19 shots as the city’s vaccination campaign makes progress, city sources tell CTV News Ottawa.

A shipment of more than 9,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was delivered to Ottawa last Wednesday, and sources say work on long-term care homes is complete and efforts are underway to vaccinate first responders.

All Ottawa paramedics have received their first doses and the city is now working on vaccinating local firefighters. More than 500 firefighters received their first doses over the weekend.

OPH data show 91 per cent of all long-term care residents have had both shots of the vaccine and 84 per cent of retirement home residents have had their first.

Sources tell CTV News Ottawa that the city will turn its focus this week to the plan for vaccinating the 80 and older population, which will include efforts in neighbourhoods with higher rates of infection and racialized communities, starting in March.

More details will be announced Wednesday at city council.

Ottawa's weekly COVID-19 trends are approaching the red zone

Ottawa Public Health is reporting 55 more people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19 and one more person has died.

The new figures Monday bring the city's totals to 14,404 cases and 437 deaths since the pandemic began.

Ottawa Public Health data show COVID-19 trends have been on the rise in Ottawa in the past week. The weekly incidence rate per 100,000 residents has gone up to 37.3, and the testing positivity rate is now at 2.3 per cent. The estimated reproduction number has a seven-day average of 1.15, which suggests the virus is spreading more quickly. While figures currently remain in the "Orange-Restrict" level, Ottawa is now closer to "Red-Control" than it is to "Yellow-Protect". 

On Feb. 15, OPH reported a rate per 100,000 of 28.5 cases, a testing positivity rate of 1.6 per cent, and a reproduction number of 1.00

No new cases of any variants of concern were confirmed in Ottawa on Monday. To date, Ontario has confirmed eight cases of the B.1.1.7 (UK) variant and one case of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant in Ottawa.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
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Local health units are charged with coming up with their own vaccine plans, Ontario gov't says

Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination plan is being splintered off into 34 different sets of delivery models as the province tasks each local public health unit with creating their own strategy for administering the vaccine to residents of their regions.

The province’s Progressive Conservative government said each local medical officer of health has already submitted a plan for how they will inoculate priority groups in the weeks and months ahead, which are all being characterized by the government as being “unique.”

“The plans vary, as you can imagine, because the rollout in Toronto will be very different from the rollout in North Bay, Thunder Bay and so on,” Health Minster Christine Elliott told MPPs during Question Period.

The province is receiving more than 230,000 doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine this week, allowing the government to thaw out it’s inoculation strategy, weeks after vaccine shortages put the plans on ice.

Quebec police break up cottage party after naked party-crasher complains about assault

Police in western Quebec say what started as an investigation into an assault led to more than a dozen COVID-19 tickets as officers broke up a cottage party.

MRC des Collines police said in a Facebook post that offers were called to a home in La Pêche, Que. on Saturday night after a 34-year-old man said he had been assaulted at a nearby cottage. His injuries were not life-threatening.

On the way to meeting the man, police stopped and ticketed five people from Ottawa for breaking curfew. They followed the tracks from that car back to the cottage, where they found nine people, who were ticketed for having a private gathering, which is prohibited under the region's lockdown rules.

At the cottage, police learned the assault victim had come to the party univited, stripped off all his clothes, and attempted to join some women in a hot. He was allegedly assaulted while trying to get into the house.

In all, seventeen tickets were handed out, including to the man who called about the assault, who was ticketed for breaking curfew and disturbing the peace.