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

Fast Facts:

  • Students in Ottawa and eastern Ontario will not return to class for in-person learning until Jan. 25
  • Ontario sets new record for COVID-19 cases on Thursday; 68 new cases in Ottawa
  • New rules take effect today limiting the number of people on Ottawa's outdoor skating rinks and toboggan hills to 25 people
  • The National Capital Commission implements new rules for Gatineau Park ahead of Quebec's curfew
  • Ottawa Senators receive green light to play home games at Canadian Tire Centre

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

  • New cases: 68 new cases on Thursday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 10,750
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 73.5
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.4 per cent (Dec 30, 2020 - Jan. 5, 2021)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.07 (seven day average)

Testing:

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:

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

Students in southern Ontario will not return to class for in-person learning until Jan. 25

Students in Ottawa and eastern Ontario will continue online learning for another two weeks.

The Ontario government announced elementary schools in the southern part of the province (south of Sudbury) will remain closed until Jan 25, two weeks later than the original reopening date.

Secondary students will return to class for in-person learning on Jan. 25.

Ontario sets new record for COVID-19 cases; 68 cases in Ottawa

Ottawa Public Health is blaming a "large number of case reports" late Wednesday for a major discrepancy in reported new COVID-19 cases in Ottawa.

Meantime, Ontario set two new COVID-19 records on Thursday for total number of cases and deaths linked to the virus on a single day.

Health officials confirmed a one-day record 3,519 cases of COVID-19 across Ontario on Thursday, up from 3,266 infections reported on Wednesday. Eighty-nine more deaths related to COVID-19 were reported, a one-day high.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 68 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and one new death linked to the virus. Public Health Ontario had announced 164 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

In a statement on Twitter, Ottawa Public Health said "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 Jan. 7 to be adjusted in the days to come."

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
Infogram

25-person limit, no hockey allowed on Ottawa's outdoor rinks

New rules take effect today on Ottawa's outdoor skating rinks and sledding hills in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches issued a class order to limit people on outdoor skating rinks to 25 people.

The city says only skating is allowed on all outdoor rinks this winter with no sticks, balls or other sports equipment permitted on the ice.

Gatineau Park will remain open during Quebec curfew; parking lots closing at 7 p.m.

Gatineau Park will remain open for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and other winter activities during Quebec's four-week curfew, but hours will be reduced.

The National Capital Commission says Gatineau Park will be open during the curfew, but all parking lots will close at 7 p.m. starting Jan. 9.

Ontario allows Senators to play home games at Canadian Tire Centre during COVID-19 pandemic

The Ottawa Senators will be allowed to play home games at Canadian Tire Centre this season.

Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Lisa MacLeod announced the Ontario government will allow the Senators and Maple Leafs to play home games in their respective arenas this season and host the other Canadian teams for games. 

"This approval was granted after close scrutiny of the rigorous health and safety protocols that will be adopted to keep players, staff, and our communities safe from the spread of COVID-19 while permitting Ontario's NHL teams to play the game we all love to watch," said MacLeod in a statement on Twitter.

#Hockey news in Ontario ��

The Ottawa @Senators and Toronto @MapleLeafs will be able to play home games in their respective arena's as they compete in the @NHL North Division. My statement here: pic.twitter.com/Q6bOGJeamV

— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) January 7, 2021