Photo by Jason Mowry on Unsplash

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

Fast Facts:

  • Mayor Jim Watson urges Ottawa residents to watch Sunday's Super Bowl with household members only
  • Ottawa Public Health reports 58 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday
  • A new study finds the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective against the South African COVID-19 variant
  • Ottawa Bylaw officers are patrolling the Rideau Canal Skateway to enforce the COVID-19 measures  

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 58 new cases on Saturday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 13,597
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 29.6
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.6 per cent (Jan. 29 – Feb. 4)
  • Reproduction Number: 0.90 (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.
  • The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Community Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 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

Mayor urges Ottawa residents to watch Sunday's Super Bowl with household members only

Mayor Jim Watson is throwing a penalty flag on the idea of gathering with friends or family to watch the Super Bowl.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs meet in the NFL championship game. The Super Bowl is normally a big day for large gatherings with friends at home or at bars and restaurants.

Watson says that with COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate falling, now is not the time to start violating the stay-at-home orders and limits on social gatherings.

"We have actually followed the rules very well, there's always exceptions. Please don't have a Super Bowl party this weekend; this is not the time to do it, stick to your household because we don't want to see a spike," said Watson during an interview on Newstalk 580 CFRA's Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron.

"Every time there is an event; whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve, spring break - all have the potential to be super-spreader events. Let's plan for really great parties in 2022, but please do not have a Super Bowl party with bringing friends in."

Ottawa Bylaw is using social media this weekend to remind people that under Ontario's COVID-19 lockdown measures, indoor organized public events and social gatherings are prohibited, except with members of the same household.

Attention football fans: enjoy the big game safely this weekend! Remember, indoor gatherings with fans other than your own household are not permitted for your and everyone else’s safety, regardless of which team you’re rooting for �� #COVID19 #SuperBowl  https://t.co/NZoLphiucS pic.twitter.com/e0BtQgcz4B

— Ottawa By-law (@OttawaBylaw) February 6, 2021

58 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa as weekly trends keep falling

Ottawa Public Health reported 58 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the 16th straight day with fewer than 100 new cases of COVID-19.

No new deaths linked to the virus were announced.

Since the first case of COVID-19 on March 11, there have been 13,597 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 422 deaths.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
Infogram

Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective against South African variant: study

British drug maker AstraZeneca says its COVID-19 vaccine appears to offer only limited protection against mild disease caused by the South African variant of COVID-19.

The study from South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand and Oxford University showed the vaccine had significantly reduced efficacy against the South African variant.

Skating patrol: Ottawa Bylaw officers patrolling the Rideau Canal Skateway this weekend to enforce COVID-19 measures

Ottawa Bylaw officers are out on the Rideau Canal Skateway this weekend, making sure people are following all COVID-19 measures while skating on the world's largest skating rink.

"Ottawa Bylaw agents will be present on the ice to help ensure that distancing measures are being followed and that gatherings are avoided," said the NCC on Twitter.

"We've also installed over 300 signs on the canal to properly inform users of the measures in place for the season."

Here is a look at some of the measures in place for skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway:

  • Mask use recommended on the skateway
  • Hand-washing and use of on-site hand sanitizer recommended
  • Bi-directional double staircases
  • Yield to oncoming traffic on single staircases
  • 100 additional benches
  • Carry your belongings with you