A sign in downtown Ottawa recommends mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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

Fast Facts:

  • Ontario imposes new capacity limits on Ottawa bars, restaurants, gyms and event venues
  • Ottawa Public Health reports a record 142 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, along with two new deaths
  • Ottawa's top doctor urges people to reconsider weekend plans as Ontario pauses social bubbles
  • Ontario shifts COVID-19 assessment centres to appointment only starting next week
  • City of Ottawa postpones fall recreation and arts programming registration due to COVID-19 situation

Testing in Ottawa:

COVID-19 screening tool:

The COVID-19 screening tool for students heading back to in-person classes can be found here.


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

Ontario imposes new limits on Ottawa bars, restaurants and gyms

As of 12:01 a.m., bars, restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, fitness centres, banquet halls and event spaces in Ottawa face new capacity limits.

Ontario introduced targeted restrictions on the COVID-19 hot spots in Ottawa, Peel and Toronto in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The new measures include:

  • Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments will be limited to a maximum of 100 patrons with no more than six patrons per table.  Establishments must also ensure patrons lining up and congregating outside of the establishment maintain physical distancing
  • Gyms and other fitness settings must limit capacity to a maximum of 50 people. Group exercise classes at gyms and other fitness settings are restricted to 10 individuals
  • The number of people allowed at meeting and event facilities, including banquet halls, is limited to six people per table and 50 people per facility.

Record 142 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday

Ottawa Public Health reported 142 more Ottawa residents tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, the highest one-day spike in new cases since the start of the pandemic.

Two new deaths were also reported.

Sixty-three of the 142 new cases of COVID-19 involved Ottawa residents between the ages of 20 and 39. 

Since the first case of COVID-19 on March 11, there have been 4,530 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 291 deaths.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa

Ottawa's top doctor urges people to reconsider weekend plans as Ontario pauses social bubbles

Ottawa's top doctor is urging people to reconsider weekend plans with people outside their households, including not going to bars and restaurants with friends.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches’s renewed plea for people to limit their social contacts came hours before Ontario put a pause on social circles for residents across the province.

Dr. Etches asked residents Friday to limit their social contacts to help limit the spread of novel coronavirus and take pressure off our health care system.

"Please, if you have plans to gather with friends or acquaintances this weekend, I'm asking you to reconsider," she said, while warning that Ottawa's health care system is in "crisis" due to COVID-19.

Ontario's COVID-19 assessment centres will be only open by appointment starting next week

COVID-19 Assessment Centres in Ottawa and across Ontario will transition to appointment-based testing for COVID-19 starting next week.

Premier Doug Ford announced changes to the testing procedures in a bid to reduce the testing lineups and cut down on the processing backlog.

Ottawa Public Health outlined the new testing plan:

Oct. 4: Walk-in testing services will be discontinued at COVID-19 Assessment Centres

Oct 6: Assessment Centres will transition to appointment-based testing

IMPORTANT: Provincial COVID-19 Update

Follow this link to read more: https://t.co/oxK4k8yVaN pic.twitter.com/7t9EG5hfzc

— Ottawa Public Health (@ottawahealth) October 2, 2020

Ottawa postpones fall recreation and arts registration due to COVID-19 situation

Registration for City of Ottawa fall swimming, recreation and arts programming has been postponed due to the rising COVID-19 case count in Ottawa.

Registration was scheduled to begin on Monday for activities for all ages: preschoolers, children, youth, families, adults and adults 50 plus.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, the city said Ottawa Public Health did not recommend postponing the registration period due to COVID-19.

"Staff assessed the current trend in rising infections, and the move towards additional restrictions on social gatherings, and determined that the postponement of fall recreation and arts programming was appropriate," said Dan Chenier, Recreation and Cultural Facility Services general manager.

"This will allow us to properly understand over the coming weeks how increased restrictions might limit or prevent programs from being offered."