COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast facts for Oct. 17, 2020

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

Fast Facts:

  • Two downtown Ottawa hotels close during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Ottawa sets monthly record for COVID-19 cases mid-way through October
  • Ontario moves York Region to modified Stage 2 amid concerns over rising COVID-19 cases
  • 75-year-old Pembroke man kicked out of Stapes for not wearing a mask, despite a doctor’s note
  • COVID-19 pandemic forces the cancellation of The Sawmill at Lansdowne


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:

The COVID-19 assessment centre at 151 Brewer Way is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Appointments are required in most cases but LIMITED walk-up capacity is available.

To book a test for an adult, click here.

CHEO Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena – 151 Brewer Way is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Testing is available by appointment only.

To book a test for a child under the age of 18, click here.

The COVID-19 care clinic at 595 Moodie Dr. is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday for people with escalating symptoms and in need of medical attention.

To book an appointment, click here. 

The COVID-19 care clinic at 1485 Heron Rd. is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday for people with escalating symptoms and in need of medical attention.

To book an appointment, click here.

The COVID-19 drive-thru assessment centre at 300 Coventry Road is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To book an appointment, click here.

See here for a list of other testing sites in Ottawa and eastern Ontario.

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

As Ottawa hotels deal with hundreds of empty rooms a night, two downtown Ottawa hotels have closed for good.

CTV News Ottawa has learned both the Albert at Bay Suite Hotel at 435 Albert St. and the Best Western Plus at 377 O’Connor St. have been sold and are closing permanently.

Ownership group member Jake Levinson tells CTV News Ottawa the COVID-19 pandemic played a big role in the sale and closure, but it was not the only reason.  Levinson says talk about selling the hotels started before the pandemic began.

The Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association says business is down at hotels across the region this year.

“They’re down anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent depending on the week. I characterize it as a bit of a train-wreck, although that’s an insult to train-wrecks these days,” Steve Ball, President of the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association during an interview with CTV News at Five.

“It’s tough, and it’s only going to get tougher through the winter months.”

Albert at Bay Suites Hotel

Sixteen days into October, Ottawa has already set the record for most cases of COVID-19 in a single month.

Ottawa Public Health reported 99 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, and three more deaths linked to novel coronavirus.

There have been 1,511 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa in October, surpassing the September record of 1,413 new cases.

Since the first case of COVID-19 on March 11, there have been 5,908 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 301 deaths.

One week after Ottawa moved back to a modified Stage 2 due to rising COVID-19 cases, Ontario has imposed similar restrictions on York Region, north of Toronto.

Premier Doug Ford announced York will move to a modified Stage 2, forcing the closure of indoor dining, gyms and movie theatres.

“Effective Monday morning at 12:01 a.m. York Region will move into a modified version of Stage 2 for a period of 28 days. My friends, this was not an easy decision to make. And I know this will be very, very difficult for many people to hear,” said Ford on Friday afternoon.

Doug Ford

Rick Powers says he will never shop at Staples again after being asked to leave the Pembroke store for not wearing a mask.

The 75-year-old tells CTV News Ottawa he was confronted by an employee for not wearing a mask while shopping for a printer on Oct. 8.

“The guy came over, one of the store people and said you have to wear a mask. I said I don’t wear a mask. He said you’ve got to leave,” recounts Powers. “I was going to go out and I said, whoa just wait a minute, and I showed him my doctor’s letter. The employee called the manager over. He looked at the letter and said ‘I don’t care; we wear masks in here or leave.’ And I left.”

Powers’ note from his doctor reads as follows, “To whom this may concern, the above person is unable to wear a face covering due to medical reasons.” Powers says he received the note from his doctor after developing breathing problems after multiple surgeries.

Face mask

A new Halloween attraction at Lansdowne Park has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just hours before it was scheduled to open, Saunders Farm and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group announced the postponement of The Sawmill at Lansdowne.

In a statement, Saunders Farm and OSEG said with cases of COVID-19 continuing to rise in Ottawa and across Ontario, they decided to postpone The Sawmill until next year due to rising COVID-19 cases.

“We are tremendously disappointed that we won’t be able to terrify and delight our guests at Lansdowne this year. Ultimately, the safety of our guests and of our staff is of paramount importance. We know now isn’t the time to be taking extra risks,” said Mark Saunders, owner of Saunders Farm.

Fall at Saunders Farm

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