OTTAWA — Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.
- Premier Doug Ford is criticizing Mayor Jim Watson and Dr. Vera Etches for opposing the province’s 28-day lockdown.
- Ottawa saw the lowest level of new COVID-19 cases in a week, but a slight uptick in hospitalizations on Tuesday.
- The province is cutting hydro rates in January and offering financial support to parents of high school students during the lockdown.
- Cabinet Minister Lisa MacLeod says the province will review the lockdown in Ottawa after 14 days.
COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa:
- New cases: 16 new cases on Tuesday
- Total COVID-19 cases: 9,400
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 27.0
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.4 per cent (Dec 11-17)
- Reproduction Number: 0.96 (seven day average)
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:
Ottawa’s assessment centres will remain open for the holiday season. However, sites will have adjusted operating hours between Wednesday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Jan 4.
To book an appointment, visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx
The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre
- Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1
- Shortened days (8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) for both Ottawa Hospital and CHEO centres on Dec. 24, 26, 27, 31 and Jan. 2 and 3.
- Shortened days (8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) for the Ottawa Hospital site Dec. 28 to 31
COVID-19 Drive-thru assessment centre at National Arts Centre
- Closed: Dec. 25 and Jan. 1
- Shortened Day (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) December 24 and 31
The Moodie Care and Testing Centre will be closed: Dec. 25-27 and Jan. 2-3
The Heron Care and Testing Centre will be closed: Dec. 23-27 and Jan. 1 to 3
The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre will be closed on Dec. 25
The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Community Centre will be closed Dec. 25 to 27, and Jan. 1 to 3. There will be shortened days on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.
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 Premier Doug Ford is suggesting politics is at play in Ottawa mayor Jim Watson’s opposition to Ottawa joining the rest of southern Ontario in a 28-day provincewide lockdown.
Earlier Tuesday, the premier’s office blasted Watson and medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches for expressing opposition to a lockdown in Ottawa in a series of talking points obtained by CTV News.
“It is reckless and irresponsible for Ottawa’s Mayor and Medical Officer to denounce Ontario’s provincewide shutdown,” the talking points say. “Some politicians and pundits may be okay with body bags piling up on their front door steps but we are not.”
Ford was not as harsh as the talking points when responding to a question about Watson’s comments, but stood firm on his decision about the lockdown.
“To get in an argument, a back-and-forth over—honestly, in my opinion, it’s a little bit of politics going on—I don’t care about politics. I’m here to protect people’s lives,” Ford said.
Ottawa Public Health reported on Tuesday that 16 more people in the city tested positive for COVID-19, the lowest figure in over a week.
However, the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 increased for a second day in a row to 20 after dropping to a low of 18 on the weekend. There remain zero COVID-19 patients in the ICU.
No new deaths were reported in Ottawa for a fourth straight day, leaving the city’s death toll from the pandemic at 389 citizens.
The Ontario government says it will apply an automatic cut to hydro rates in the province during the lockdown, and also says parents of high school students will be eligible for financial support.
Electricity rates will reduced to a discounted off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for all time-of-use and tiered customers for a 28-day period and will be applied to bills automatically.
Parents of secondary school students will be able to apply for a one-time $200 payment per child to help offset education costs during the second wave of the pandemic on the government’s Support for Learners website starting in January.
Nepean MPP and provincial cabinet minister Lisa MacLeod says the lockdown situation in Ottawa will be reviewed after two weeks.
However, the minister for culture, tourism and sport also stressed that exempting Ottawa from the initial provincewide shutdown would have been a mistake.
Speaking on CTV Morning Live on Tuesday, MacLeod said she heard from Watson early Monday morning and relayed his frustration to Premier Doug Ford.
“I did ask, at the request of our mayor, if we could look at areas like Ottawa and other parts of eastern Ontario and review the cases over a two-week period and the premier agreed,” MacLeod said. “We made a decision as a cabinet that we would continue to look at this. I think that was a positive win for the city of Ottawa and for our mayor.”
The mayor’s office also confirmed a review would take place, in a statement to CTV News on Tuesday.
“Both Premier Ford and Ministers MacLeod and (Merrilee) Fullerton conveyed to the Mayor their willingness to revisit near the end of 14 days,” the statement from the mayor’s office said.
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