Infectious disease specialist Dr. Abdu Sharkawy tells CTV Morning Live people should be avoiding any special gatherings and limiting trips due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. (Jeremie Charron/CTV News Ottawa)

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

Fast Facts:

  • Ottawa sees a slight drop in COVID-19 cases, with 70 new cases on Saturday
  • Young Ottawa residents account for half of Ottawa's monthly COVID-19 case record
  • COVID-19 measures need to target the root cause of transmission: Dr. Etches
  • Resident of Hawkesbury long-term care home dies due to COVID-19
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit "strongly recommending" no trick-or-treating on Halloween

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:

The COVID-19 assessment centre at 151 Brewer Way is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Appointments are required in most cases but LIMITED walk-up capacity is available.

To book a test for an adult, click here.

CHEO Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena – 151 Brewer Way is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Testing is available by appointment only.

To book a test for a child under the age of 18, click here.

The COVID-19 care clinic at 595 Moodie Dr. is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday for people with escalating symptoms and in need of medical attention.

To book an appointment, click here. 

The COVID-19 care clinic at 1485 Heron Rd. is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday for people with escalating symptoms and in need of medical attention.

To book an appointment, click here.

The COVID-19 drive-thru assessment centre at 300 Coventry Road is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To book an appointment, click here.

See here for a list of other testing sites in Ottawa and eastern Ontario.

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 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

Slight drop in new COVID-19 cases in Ottawa on Saturday

Ottawa Public Health reported 70 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, while the seven-day average dropped compared to the same period last week.

No new deaths were reported on Saturday.

Since the first case of COVID-19 on March 11, there have been 5,969 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 301 deaths.

From Oct. 11 to 17 inclusive, Ottawa saw an average of 85 new COVID-19 cases per day, down from an average of 106 cases per day from Oct. 4-10. 

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
Infogram

Young Ottawa residents account for half of Ottawa's monthly COVID-19 case record

Ottawa set a new record for COVID-19 cases in a single month just 16 days into October, with people under the age of 30 accounting for 48 per cent of all new cases of the virus.

Ottawa Public Health has reported 1,581 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Oct. 1. In September, there were 1,413 laboratory-confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Ottawa.

Statistics available on Ottawa Public Health's COVID-19 dashboard shows 756 of the 1,581 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 this month involve residents under the age of 30.

There have been 393 cases involving residents ages 20 to 29, a total of 234 cases with residents ages 10 to 19, and 129 cases of COVID-19 involving residents under the age of 10.

  COVID-19 cases in Ottawa - October
Infogram

Ottawa Public Health looking at how to target COVID-19 transmission without impacting businesses: Dr. Etches

Ottawa's medical officer of health suggests the 28-day shutdown of indoor dining at bars and restaurants and the closing of gyms and movie theatres is a chance to learn more about COVID-19 transmission and how to stop it.

On Oct. 10, the Ontario Government moved Ottawa, Toronto and Peel Region to a modified Stage 2, closing indoor dining at restaurants and bars, movie theatres and gyms for at least 28 days.

CTV News at Six anchor Stefan Keyes asked Dr. Vera Etches Saturday evening if there is any data to suggest the new restrictions have helped reduce COVID-19 transmission in the community.

"I think we need more time. The infections that are being reported now really relate to transmission that happened a couple of weeks ago. So it's too early to judge the impact of the restrictions," said Dr. Etches.

"I can tell you there's lots of thinking about how to target the root of the transmission of the virus and try to keep businesses from being affected as negatively. The root always is what brings us close together, less than two metres away from someone when we're not wearing a mask indoors. So if we can avoid those kinds of activities with people outside our household that will make a difference."

The medical officer of health was asked during CTV News at Six Saturday evening if there was a data threshold that could trigger an extension of the COVID-19 restrictions for bars, restaurants, gyms, indoor sports and movie theatres.

"I think we're still wide open on all of the possibilities of what to do next, in conversation with the province. We want to minimize hospitalizations and deaths, and we certainly are seeing a lot of outbreaks start up because of the level of COVID in our community," said Dr. Etches.

"We need to bring the level down. We know we need to tackle where transmission is happening and what the biggest contributions are, so it's not as simple as looking at an extension or not. We want to learn from this period about what the impact is."

Resident of Hawkesbury long-term care home dies due to COVID-19

A resident at a long-term care home in Hawkesbury has died due to COVID-19.

The United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) announced the first death related to COVID-19 at the Prescott and Russell Residence on Saturday evening.

 "The UCPR extends its sincere sympathies to the family of the resident," said the UCPR in a statement."

A total of 35 positive cases of COVID-19 were reported at the long-term care home on Oct. 14, including 27 residents.

Eastern Ontario Health Unit 'strongly recommending' no trick-of treating on Halloween

Ghosts, goblins and super heroes in Alexandria, Cornwall, Casselman, Hawkesbury, Rockland and other areas of eastern Ontario are being asked to stay home on Halloween night to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit says due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a recent increase in cases, it's "strongly recommending" residents avoid traditional ways of celebrating Halloween, including no trick-or-treating.

In a statement, the health unit says going out trick-or-treating or handing out treats increases your family's risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 because it exposes you to others.