COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Feb. 27, 2021

A pedestrian walks past The Bank of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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

Fast Facts:

  • Ottawa cops moving up the priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Ottawa remains in the orange-restrict zone this week as 56 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Friday
  • Health Canada approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for use in Canada
  • Ottawa summer unlikely to include large public events
  • Seven cases of COVID-19 reported at an Ottawa physical distancing centre this week

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 56 new cases on Friday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 14,588
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 34.7
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 2.0 per cent (Feb. 19 to Feb. 25)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.03 (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

Ottawa cops moving up the priority list for COVID-19 vaccine

Sources tell CTV News Ottawa that Ottawa Police Service officers are being moved into the phase 1 priority group to receive the COVID-19 vaccine first.

More details on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for police officers will be unveiled this week.

Last weekend, more than 500 Ottawa firefighters received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with vaccinations continuing through the week.

All Ottawa paramedics have received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

56 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, Ottawa remains in the 'orange-restrict' zone

The city of Ottawa will remain in the "orange-restrict" zone of Ontario's COVID-19 pandemic for another week as COVID-19 indicators stabilized.

Ottawa Public Health reported 56 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and no new deaths linked to the virus.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches says the current COVID-19 indicators will keep Ottawa in the orange-restrict zone.

"I think we've made it through this week holding in the orange, it's good. I appreciate all the hard work people are doing; this has been a year of hard work," said Dr. Etches on CTV Morning Live Friday morning.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
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Health Canada approves two AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines

The first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Canada soon.

Health Canada approved the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and a related shot by the Serum Institute of India for use of in this country.

The two-dose vaccines have been approved for use in people 18 years of age and older, including seniors, with the recommendation that the second dose be administered between four and 12 weeks after the first, officials said Friday.

Ottawa summer unlikely to include large public festivals

Ottawa's medical officer of health suggests we shouldn’t expect a return to large-scale events and festivals this summer as the COVID-19 vaccines roll out.

Appearing on CTV Morning Live Friday morning, Dr. Vera Etches was asked if she thinks we will have Canada Day celebrations and large festivals this summer, or will they be forced to cancel plans like last year.

"I think people will probably want to continue to celebrate Canada Day in smaller groups, as opposed to larger groups," said Dr. Etches. "For the festivals, the same idea. We want smaller events before we get to larger events."

University of Ottawa epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan says he won't be surprised to see a "comfortable" family barbecue on Canada Day, but large events won't happen this year.

"Large concerts? They’re not coming back for another year or so at the earliest," Deonandan says. 

So what does that leave? According to Deonandan, plenty. 

"Barbecues easily. Indoor parties, unlikely, but dinner parties capped at 10-15 people? I can see that happening later in the summer depending on what the statistics look like," he noted. 

Seven cases of COVID-19 reported at Ottawa physical distancing centre this week

Four security guards, an employee and two clients at a city of Ottawa physical distancing centre have tested positive for COVID-19

In memos to council, Community and Social Services General Manager Donna Gray outlines the COVID-19 cases at the Nicholas Street Physical Distancing Centre.

Ottawa Public Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Nicholas Street Physical Distancing Centre on Feb. 23.

"Because of the outbreaks in city shelters and the urgent need for spaces, Nicholas Street is now accepting limited new referrals for men and women as staff can cohort new residents in a separate area within the facility," said Gray.