COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast facts for Oct. 1, 2020

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

Fast Facts:

  • One in four Ottawa residents who tested positive for COVID-19 in the first two weeks of September were exposed to the virus through social gatherings
  • Ottawa could see 200 new COVID-19 cases a day by mid-October
  • Ontario not ready to revert to Stage 2 despite COVID-19 modelling
  • Ottawa’s top doctor forgets to dress for work during a busy morning

Testing in Ottawa:

  • The COVID-19 assessment centre at 151 Brewer Way is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily. Parents must book an appointment for children testing.
  • The COVID-19 care clinic at 595 Moodie Dr. is open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • The COVID-19 care clinic at 1485 Heron Rd. is open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • The drive-thru COVID-19 testing centre at RCGT Park is open today from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. but you need to book an appointment.

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 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

COVID-19 Where are we exposed?

One in four Ottawa residents who tested positive for COVID-19 during the first two weeks of September were exposed to the virus through social interactions outside their household bubbles.

Ottawa Public Health provided a look at where people are being exposed to COVID-19 in Ottawa:

  • One in two people who tested positive have been exposed to the virus through their household.  Ottawa Public Health notes the first person with COVID-19 in the household obtained it while in the community.
  • One in four people who test positive are exposed to the virus from members outside of their household through social interactions in indoor or outdoor settings.
  • One in 10 people who test positive without an identified close contact may be exposed to the virus in areas where we are seeing neighborhood clusters.
  • Three per cent of people who tested positive for COVID-19 are linked to a school outbreak

Dr. Jennifer LeMessurier told reporters that social gatherings are a “major driver” of COVID-19 transmission in Ottawa.

COVID-19 in Ottawa

Ottawa’s medical officer of health says there has been an “alarming increase” of COVID-19 in Ottawa in September.

Ottawa Public Health reported 64 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with two deaths.

Speaking with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Vera Etches warned the number of cases of COVID-19 could rise by mid-October.

“Well the trajectory is following a path where cases are doubling every 10 days or so, so you could see us going up above 200 within that time period,” said Dr. Etches.

Premier Doug Ford says it’s not time to roll Ontario back to Stage 2 of the COVID-19 reopening plan, despite new modelling showing the province could reach 1,000 new infections per day by mid-October.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams told reporters that Ontario will “have some more actions coming” to flatten the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ontario Hospital Association called on Ontario to move Ottawa and Toronto back to Stage 2 earlier this week, while a group of doctors are urging the premier not to issue a new lockdown.

“We aren’t rolling back today, not saying that’s never going to happen, but that’s not the conversation we are going to have today,” Ford said, when asked about imposing new restrictions.

Ottawa’s medical officer of health says it’s time for a break, after arriving at Ottawa City Hall without a skirt following a busy morning at home.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, Dr. Vera Etches told the story of how she arrived at Ottawa City Hall without wearing a skirt.

“Oh my goodness! I was dressing in the dark this morning and distracted by setting up a surprise for my boys, rushing to talk …..”

“But I still can’t believe I made it to City Hall without my skirt on under my rain jacket! Yikes! Time for another break.”

Dr. Vera Etches

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