COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Aug. 31, 2021

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

Fast Facts:

  • The Ottawa Catholic School Board is now mandating mask use for kindergarteners.
  • The number of known active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa is back above 200 after a one-day dip.
  • Ontario has updated its COVID-19 screening guidelines for children attending school or daycare.
  • Ottawa’s mayor and board of health chair have written to the premier of Ontario asking for a COVID-19 vaccine passport system in the province.

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 45 new cases on Monday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 28,339
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 18.2
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.9 per cent (seven day average)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.01 (seven day average)


Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says you can get a COVID-19 test at an assessment centre, care clinic, or community testing site if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are showing COVID-19 symptoms;
  • 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;
  • You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health;
  • You are a resident, a worker or a visitor to long-term care, retirement homes, homeless shelters or other congregate settings (for example: group homes, community supported living, disability-specific communities or congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices and other shelters);
  • You are a person who identifies as First Nations, Inuit or Métis;
  • You are a person travelling to work in a remote First Nations, Inuit or Métis community;
  • You received a preliminary positive result through rapid testing;
  • You are a patient and/or their 1 accompanying escort tra­velling out of country for medical treatment;
  • You are a farm worker;
  • You are an educator who cannot access pharmacy-testing; or
  • You are in a targeted testing group as outlined in guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Long-term care staff, caregivers, volunteers and visitors who are fully immunized against COVID-19 are not required to present a negative COVID-19 test before entering or visiting a long-term care home.

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:

There are several sites for COVID-19 testing in Ottawa. To book an appointment, visit

  • The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre: Open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre at 300 Coventry Road: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre (Kemptville) – 15 Campus Drive: Open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Centretown Community Health Centre: Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sandy Hill Community Health Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 pm.
  • Somerset West Community Health Centre: Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday

COVID-19 screening tool:

The COVID-19 screening tool for summer camp children and staff. All campers and staff must complete the COVID-19 School and Childcare screening tool daily.


Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath

Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallowing, 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

The Ottawa Catholic School Board has issued new COVID-19 safety guidelines for students coming back to school in September.

In a letter to families, the OCSB said it would now be mandating mask use for all students, including those in kindergarten. Under provincial guidelines masks are mandatory for Grades 1 to 12 but are only recommended or kindergarten students. The OCSB previously announced guidelines in line with the province, but issued its updated masking rules on Monday.

Masks will also be required for all indoor sports and for outdoor sports where physical distancing cannot be maintained at all times. Under earlier guidelines, masks were recommended for indoor sports.

The OCSB also says students can participate in extracurricular activities but must wear masks if they cannot maintain distance between cohorts.

Lockers will also be allowed for students in Grades 7 to 12.

Students wearing masks

Ottawa Public Health says the number of people in local hospitals with COVID-19 related complications is on the rise. 

The local health unit said Monday that 45 more people in the city have tested positive for COVID-19. No new deaths were reported. There has not been a COVID-19 related death in Ottawa since July 8. Another 15 existing cases are now considered resolved.

Known active cases are back above 200 after a one-day dip below that number on Sunday. There are 10 people in local hospitals with COVID-19 for the first time since late June. The weekly incidence rate of new cases per 100,000 population continues to rise and the seven-day average testing positivity rate is also up. There are zero active COVID-19 outbreaks in Ottawa.

In the last 30 days, OPH has reported 183 cases of the Delta variant in the city. No one infected with the Delta variant in Ottawa has died.

The Ontario government updated some of the guidelines in its COVID-19 screening tool for children going to school or daycare.

The tool now lists five symptoms it says are most commonly associated with COVID-19: fever and/or chills; cough or croup; shortness of breath; decrease or loss of taste or smell; and nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, and headache are no longer on the list. If a child passes the other screening questions and has none of the five symptoms still on the list, the screening tool will say they can go to school.

However, Ottawa Public Health is urging parents to keep their kids home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if the screening tool says otherwise.

“Ottawa Public Health recommends that individuals with other symptoms of illness (not related to getting a COVID-19 vaccine in the last 48 hours) do not attend school, childcare or work until symptoms are improving,” OPH said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa. “OPH screening tools for individuals are currently being updated.”

Ottawa’s school boards say they are taking their cues from Ottawa Public Health. All students returning to classes in-person must undergo daily screening for COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID-19 in schools

Ottawa’s mayor and board of health chair have written to Premier Doug Ford calling for a provincewide vaccine passport, saying local small businesses will be at a disadvantage if the province doesn’t act.

The letter from Jim Watson and Keith Egli, dated Aug. 30, asks the premier to consider a provincial system to verify COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible.

This comes as Quebec’s vaccine passport system is set to come online. As of Wednesday, residents of Quebec 13 and older will be required to use the COVID-19 vaccine passport to access non-essential services, including indoor dining at restaurants, gyms, festivals, theatres and other places.

Watson and Egli noted the close relationship between Ottawa and Gatineau in their letter to the premier, saying local businesses would be at a disadvantage against businesses in Gatineau and that unvaccinated residents of Quebec may be more likely to visit Ottawa and create an increased risk of transmission.

A senior government source told CTV News Toronto late last week that the province will unveil a vaccine passport system, but the premier had yet to discuss the idea with his cabinet. Developments are expected this week.

Vaccine passport vaccine certificate

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