COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Feb. 28, 2021

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

Fast Facts:

  • Front-line workers wait in long, snowy line for COVID-19 vaccine following a “minor booking issue” in Ottawa on Saturday
  • Ottawa’s top doctor addresses concerns about the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, saying “62 per cent effectiveness is still better than zero”
  • Ottawa Public Health reports 62 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday
  • St-Albert Cheese Cooperative re-opens factory store after COVID-19 outbreak

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

  • New COVID-19 cases: 62 new cases on Saturday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 14,650
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 35
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 2.0 per cent (Feb. 19 to Feb. 25)
  • Reproduction Number: 0.98 (seven day average)

Testing:

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 https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx

  • 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.

Symptoms:

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 Hospital blames a “minor booking issue” for the long line outside the COVID-19 vaccination centre at the Civic campus.

Dozens of people lined up in a snowstorm on Saturday to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Ottawa Hospital says people in line were hospital and community-based health care workers, staff and essential caregivers from long-term care homes, and staff from high-risk retirement homes.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, the Ottawa Hospital said the lineup was the result of a booking error.

“The Ottawa Hospital’s vaccine clinic experienced a minor booking issue (Saturday) morning which caused the line up to be longer than usual,” the Ottawa Hospital said. “Appointments are continuing as scheduled.”

Line for vaccines Ottawa Feb 27

Ottawa’s top doctor is addressing some concerns about COVID-19 vaccine efficacy, just days after Health Canada approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

“62 per cent effectiveness is still better than zero per cent,” said Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health during an interview on CTV News at Six on Saturday.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has already faced questions about its efficacy. Health Canada said receiving two doses of the vaccine is between 59 and 62 per cent effective. Pfizer-BioNTech has said its vaccine is 94.5 per cent effective after two doses.

Dr. Etches says the effectiveness compares to the seasonal flu shot.

“We know that compares to other vaccines we have, like the annual influenza vaccine is sometimes only around that level of effectiveness. So you know, the more protection that we can add in to the population and build immunity at this point, the better.”

AstraZeneca

Sixty-two more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday.

Ottawa Public Health reported no new deaths linked to the virus.

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Ottawa on March 11, 2020, there have been 14,650 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 439 deaths.

The St-Albert Cheese Co-op plans to resume production in a limited capacity on Monday after a COVID-19 outbreak.

The factory east of Ottawa temporarily closed after three employees tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit tested all employees, and St-Albert Cheese Co-op director general Eric Lafontaine says the early signs are positive.

“Right now we’re still waiting the final result of the health unit, but so far what we got in is mostly 90 per cent, and 90 per cent is negative so that’s a really good sign, so we know it didn’t spread across. That’s the most important thing.”

The factory store at the St-Albert Cheese Co-op reopened on Saturday.

St-Albert Cheese Co-op

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