A pedestrian makes their way along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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

Fast Facts:

  • Council will vote Wednesday on a motion to extend Ottawa's mandatory mask bylaw three more months
  • Ottawa Public Health reported 92 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday; active cases fall below 1,000
  • Health Canada approves Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience's rapid COVID-19 test
  • Pfizer delays disrupt COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Kingston
  • A popular Ottawa sledding hill was empty on the first day of a ban on tobogganing

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 92 new cases on Saturday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 12,853
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 65.0
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 3.2 per cent (Jan. 15 - Jan. 21)
  • Reproduction Number: 0.88 (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.

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

Masks mandatory indoors until end of April: Council asked to extend Ottawa's mask bylaw three more months

You could be required to wear a face mask in Ottawa's enclosed public spaces and on public transit until at least the end of April.

Councillors Matthew Luloff and Keith Egli will introduce a motion at Wednesday's Council meeting to extend Ottawa's Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw for three months.  Egli tells CTV News Ottawa the motion will recommend extending the mandatory mask bylaw until April 29.

In July, Council passed the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw, one week after Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches issued an order for masks to be worn in public places. The city's mask bylaw requires people wear masks in all enclosed public spaces, including indoor public areas of recreational facilities, shopping malls, retail stores, restaurants and cafes.

The mask bylaw also applies to public transit property, including buses, the O-Train, stations, shelters, platforms and Para Transpo.

Active COVID-19 cases in Ottawa fall below 1,000; 92 new cases Saturday, 3 new deaths

Ottawa Public Health reported 92 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday.

Three new deaths linked to the virus were also announced.

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Ottawa on March 11, there have been 12,853 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 419 deaths.

OPH also reported more than 100 new resolved cases on Saturday, bringing the city's number of known active cases to below 1,000 for the first time in two weeks.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
Infogram

Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience says rapid COVID-19 test approved by Health Canada

Health Canada has approved the sale of Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience's rapid COVID-19 test device.

The company developed a portable device that promised to deliver rapid results. After initially receiving approval in April 2020, the device was recalled a month later when Health Canada expressed concerns about its effectiveness.

On Saturday, Spartan Bioscience said in a statement that it had received Health Canada approval to sell its rapid testing device.

"The Spartan COVID-19 System offers the speed and ease of use of a rapid test, while using the technology of lab-based COVID-19 testing solutions," the company said. "The Spartan system will be able to provide quality results to remote communities, industries and settings with limited lab access, helping relieve the burden on overwhelmed healthcare facilities."

Pfizer delays disrupt COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans in Kingston

Kingston's top doctor says the vaccine distribution in the region is being affected by the Pfizer production delays in Europe.

When Kingston received the first shipment of the vaccine this week, the goal was to vaccinate 5,000 long-term care home residents and 5,000 workers and essential support workers over the next few weeks.

Now, only residents will receive both the first and second doses of the vaccine.

While taking questions from media on Thursday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said workers remain at the top of the list.

"We want to assure all workers in long-term care and all essential caregivers: you are next on that list," said Dr. Moore.

To meet the new targets, Moore says the health unit will be receiving doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines from neighbouring health units for the first week of February.

Long lines at stores, empty sledding hills: How officials are cracking down in Ottawa this weekend during COVID-19

The Mooney's Bay Hill was empty on the first day of a City of Ottawa ban on sledding and tobogganing on the popular hill.

The city announced late Friday that sledding was prohibited on the hill after large crowds had gathered at the popular destination.

"I think it’s really a pity, because I think there’s a lot of people who live within walking distance, and it’s one of the only forms of entertainment, outdoor exercise that they can do," a passerby told CTV News Ottawa.

"There’s a sign up there that says it’s forbidden, so I didn’t do that,” said another person at Mooney's Bay.