COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Feb. 17, 2021

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

Fast Facts:

  • Ottawa saw 31 new cases of COVID-19 as the city reopened in the “Orange-Restrict” level.
  • The City of Ottawa says it needs more vaccines before it can start inoculating seniors 80 and older en masse.
  • Concerns of a potential variant-driven third wave loom over loosening restrictions.
  • Inclement weather in the U.S. delayed some vaccine shipments to Canada.

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 31 new cases on Tuesday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 14,038
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 29.3
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.6 per cent (Feb. 8 – Feb. 14)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.07 (seven day average)


Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says there are five 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. OR
  • You have traveled to the U.K., or have come into contact with someone who recently traveled to the U.K., please go get tested immediately (even if you have no symptoms).

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 Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Drive-thru assessment centre at National Arts Centre: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • The Heron Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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 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

As Ottawa’s stay-at-home order lifts, the city saw just under three dozen new cases of COVID-19.

One more death from the virus was also reported on Tuesday, alongside the 31 new cases.

The weekly average of new cases per 100,000 residents ticked up slightly, and the COVID-19 wastewater monitoring project is showing an upswing in recent days, though the number of known active cases fell slightly on Tuesday after five days of incremental increases.

Ottawa saw no new cases of any COVID-19 variants on Tuesday, according to the province. The City has seen seven cases of B.1.1.7 and one of B.1.351 to date.

The City of Ottawa says while it is good news that Ontario moved all adults 80 and older into phase one of the vaccination rollout, the current supply is not able to meet that demand.

In a memo to city council on Tuesday, city staff said they are adjusting vaccination plans as required, but noted that Ottawa presently cannot accommodate wider vaccinations yet.

“Right now, it is important to note that current vaccine supply does not allow for the immediate vaccination of older adults,” the memo said.

More information is expected to be delivered at city council on Feb. 24.

COVID-19 vaccine

Fears are mounting that Canada could see a third wave of COVID-19 infections in the coming weeks, as variants of the novel coronavirus spread even to remote regions of the country.

Though case counts are dropping and vaccinations are expected to pick up again this week after a month-long slowdown, mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are threatening the progress made this month.

Ottawa has so far seen seven cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K. and one case of the B.1.351 variant, which was first identified in South Africa. 

Experts are concerned that vaccinations won’t be able to outpace the spread of coronavirus variants as parts of the country slowly begin to reopen. Ottawa and much of Ontario moved to reopen Tuesday, while Quebec announced an easing of restrictions including moving Gatineau out of Red status.

COVID-19 in Ottawa

A shipment of COVID-19 vaccines destined for Canada was not delivered on time because of a winter storm that battered the United States, Pfizer said.

The company told CTV News that the closure of a UPS facility in Kentucky is responsible for the one-day delay, but all other shipments are proceeding as scheduled.

While the COVID-19 vaccine shipments from Pfizer originate in Europe, they pass through the Kentucky facility on their way to Canada.


–With files from’s Jonathan Forani and Rachel Aiello.

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