People make their way along Somerset Street during the first day of the Ontario stay home order in Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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

Fast Facts:

  • The City of Ottawa will be prioritizing second doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks amid supply issues from Pfizer.
  • Ottawa Public Health reported 85 new COVID-19 cases on Monday following several days of triple-digit case counts.
  • The National Capital Commission is asking residents to only use amenities close to home, including the Rideau Canal Skateway.
  • Ottawa Bylaw handed out five fines and five verbal warnings in the first weekend of the new stay-at-home order.

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

  • New cases: 85 new cases on Monday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 12,371
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 82.7
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.0 per cent (Jan. 11 - Jan. 17)
  • Reproduction Number: 0.94 (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 UK, or have come into contact with someone who recently traveled to the UK, 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.

Symptoms:

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

City to prioritize second shots amid Pfizer vaccine cuts

City officials tell CTV News that a temporary cut to shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will affect Ottawa's ability to vaccinate more residents, and the focus will shift in the coming weeks to delivering the mandatory second doses to residents who have already received their first.

As of Monday morning, officials said there were only a few hundred doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine left in the city. Ottawa Public Health reported that 21,938 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered locally out of 22,245 received.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said Monday the next shipment of vaccines to Ontario would be reduced by 20 per cent and the following shipment would be 80 per cent smaller. Larger shipments are expected in late February and early March, Elliott said.

A memo to city council, which was co-signed by Emergency and Protective Services General Manager Anthony Di Monte and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches, says that while there will be challenges in the coming weeks, significant progress was made on vaccinating residents of long-term care homes, with more than 92 per cent of residents receiving their first doses.

Ottawa sees fewer than 100 new COVID-19 cases as weekly trends start to decline

Ottawa Public Health said Monday that 85 more people tested positive for COVID-19.

The figure represents a smaller number of new COVID-19 cases compared to the previous five days, which had all seen triple-digit case counts.

Several weekly trends, including cases per 100,000 residents, the positivity rate, and the estimated reproduction number fell in Monday's report, and the COVID-19 wastewater monitoring is also showing a decline. 

However, it remains to be seen if these trends will continue.

The number of people in hospital climbed back to 40 on Monday, with a quarter in intensive care, and two more residents of Ottawa died of COVID-19.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
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Don't go out of your way to use the Rideau Canal Skateway this winter

The National Capital Commission is asking residents to stay close to home this winter if they want to use their outdoor amenities, including the Rideau Canal Skateway.

Exercise is considered an essential activity under Ontario's stay-at-home order and, with 7.8 km of ice to use, the Skateway does provide many opportunities to get outdoors and get your heart rate up.

However, the NCC is also saying, in the spirit of the stay-at-home order, that fans of the popular attraction should only visit the Skateway if they live close by.

In other words, traveling from the suburbs to downtown Ottawa to skate on the canal is strongly discouraged.

The Skateway remains closed as crews prepare it for opening. When it does open, it will not have snack stands, skate rentals, or gathering places like in previous years. 

Five tickets, five warnings handed out in first weekend of stay-at-home order

It appears most people in Ottawa are staying home as ordered by the provincial government, with Ottawa Bylaw saying they handed out a small number of fines this past weekend.

Ottawa Bylaw told CTV News that five $880 fines were issued between Jan. 14 and Jan. 17 under the Reopening Ontario Act. Four were for indoor gatherings at private residences and one was for an open non-essential business. Five verbal warnings were also issued.

Bylaw officers responded to 210 calls in that time.