OTTAWA — Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.
- Health Canada has approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine; Ontario is expecting 53,000 doses.
- Ottawa Public Health reported a jump in new COVID-19 cases Wednesday.
- The NHL released its return to play schedule, but Ontario’s sports minister says talks are ongoing regarding play in Ottawa and Toronto.
- OC Transpo has cancelled its free New Year’s Eve service in light of the provincewide lockdown that comes into effect on Boxing Day.
COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa:
- New cases: 48 new cases on Wednesday.
- Total COVID-19 cases: 9,448
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 27.4
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.2 per cent (Dec 14-20)
- Reproduction Number: 0.92 (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
Health Canada has approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in Canada.
This comes two weeks after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was given approval in Canada. Several thousand doses of the Pfizer vaccine have already been administered.
Ontario is expecting to receive 53,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine before the end of December.
The Moderna vaccine is being called a “game changer” in the fight against COVID-19 because, unlike its Pfizer-BioNTech counterpart, it doesn’t need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, making it easier to deliver it directly to long-term care homes or remote locations.
Ottawa Public Health reported 48 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, a notable jump from the 16 that were reported on Tuesday.
One more person in Ottawa has died from the virus.
However, OPH also reported a drop in the positivity rate and a lower reproduction number.
Ottawa’s positivity rate for the week of Dec. 14 to 20 was 1.2 per cent, meaning the city is moving closer to “Yellow-Protect” territory under the provincial framework.
Of course, a 28-day provincewide shutdown will move Ottawa to lockdown status as of 12:01 a.m. Dec. 26.
The NHL released its schedule for the 2020-21 season Wednesday, but Ontario’s minister of sport said discussions are still ongoing about how the all-Canadian North division will operate.
Ontario is scheduled to enter a province-wide lockdown on Saturday that will last for 28 days in its most heavily populated regions. The NHL had previously announced that its new season will start on Jan. 13, 10 days before the lockdown is scheduled to lift in Toronto and Ottawa.
Sport Minister Lisa MacLeod said federal and provincial governments are still meeting about the NHL’s return-to-play plan but that the logistics are complex.
The Ottawa Senators are scheduled to start their season Jan. 15 against visiting Toronto, the first of two games in as many days between the Ontario rivals in the nation’s capital.
OC Transpo has reversed course on offering free transit service on New Year’s Eve.
The annual offering is meant to reduce the risk of impaired driving by giving people a free option to take transit home on a night during which alcohol tends to flow as freely.
However, with the provincewide shutdown coming Boxing Day and expected to last for 28 days, OC Transpo said it would not be offering free service, as residents are encouraged to remain home and only travel for essential reasons.
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