Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.
- Christmas weekend gathering at Ottawa restaurant leads to 19 charges
- Public Health Ontario reports Ottawa, Ontario set new one-day records for COVID-19 cases on Thursday
- Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips resigns following secret pandemic getaway
- Travellers to Canada will soon need negative COVID-19 test before boarding flight to Canada
COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):
- New cases: 63 new cases on Thursday (Public Health Ontario reported 194 new cases in Ottawa)
- Total COVID-19 cases: 9,929
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 40.7
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 2.5 per cent (Dec 23-29)
- Reproduction Number: 1.06 (seven day average)
Who should get a test?
Ottawa Public Health says there are four 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.
Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:
Ottawa's assessment centres will remain open for the holiday season. However, sites will have adjusted operating hours until Monday, Jan 4.
To book an appointment, visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx
The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre
Closed Jan. 1
Shortened days (8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) for both Ottawa Hospital and CHEO centres Jan. 2 and 3.
COVID-19 Drive-thru assessment centre at National Arts Centre
Closed: Jan. 1
Open: Jan. 2, 3, 4
The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open New Year's Day 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed Jan. 2-3
The Heron Care and Testing Centre will be closed: Jan. 1 to 3
The Ray Friel Location: Open: Jan 1-3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Community Centre will be closed Jan. 1 to 3.
Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath
Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallow, 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 bylaw officers issued 21 tickets for violations of COVID-19 rules over the Christmas weekend.
"Nineteen charges for a private gathering at a restaurant on Carling Avenue in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act," Bylaw Director Roger Chapman said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.
He did not provide the name of the restaurant or the date of the gathering.
Between Dec. 24 and 28, Chapman says Ottawa Bylaw issued a charge for a residential social gathering in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act. There was also a charge issued to a retail business open in contravention of the Ontario COVID-19 rules.
Ottawa Public Health says a "large number of case reports" late Wednesday is responsible for a discrepancy in COVID-19 case numbers reported for Ottawa on Thursday.
Public Health Ontario reported 194 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, while Ottawa Public Health reported 63 new cases. The 194 new cases of COVID-19 reported by Public Health Ontario is a one-day record for new cases in Ottawa.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health says OPH and the Ontario provincial COVID-19 dashboards use different database systems, which pull data at different times of day.
"OPH received a large number of case reports late Wednesday, which is reflected in the provincial counts, and not in the COVID-19 Ottawa database counts. OPH anticipates the discrepancy between the provincial and OPH dashboard case counts on Dec. 31 to be adjusted in the days to come."
OPH adds the data on the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 dashboard reflects data that has been verified by case management and contact tracing work.
Rod Phillips resigned as Ontario's finance minister on Thursday, hours after returning to Canada following a vacation in the Caribbean.
"Today, following my conversation with Rod Phillips, I have accepted his resignation as Ontario's Minister of Finance," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a statement.
"At a time when the people of Ontario have sacrificed so much, today’s resignation is a demonstration that our government takes seriously our obligation to hold ourselves to a higher standard."
Phillips told reporters in Toronto his vacation in St. Barts "was a significant error in judgement – a dumb, dumb mistake, I apologize for it, I regret it."
Starting Jan. 7, anyone arriving in Canada will need to have a negative COVID-19 test before boarding the flight.
The federal government announced the start date for the new requirement for a negative COVID-19 test before flying to Canada.
Flyers aged five and up will need have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of their scheduled departure and must show the results to their airline before they board their flight.
Travellers will still be required to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.