COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast facts for Sept. 24, 2020

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

Fast Facts:

  • COVID-19 testing coming to 13 Ottawa pharmacies
  • Ottawa “close to red” zone for COVID-19 status: Dr. Etches
  • 65 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, second largest one-day jump in cases in September
  • COVID-19 outbreaks declared at four Ottawa schools, 48 schools with confirmed cases
  • COVID-19 forces cancellation of City of Ottawa’s Halloween Party, is Christmas next?

Testing:

  • The COVID-19 assessment centre at 151 Brewer Way is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
  • The COVID-19 care clinic at 595 Moodie Dr. is open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday
  • The COVID-19 care clinic at 1485 Heron Rd. is open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday
  • The drive-thru COVID-19 testing centre at RCGT Park is open today from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 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.

Symptoms:

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 tests will be available in up to 60 pharmacies across Ontario starting on Friday, including 13 in Ottawa.

The Ontario Government says Ontarians who make an appointment and have no COVID-19 symptoms will be able to get a free COVID-19 test at participating Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall and independent pharmacy locations.

A list of the 13 pharmacies offering COVID-19 tests in Ottawa is available here.

Shoppers Drug Mart

As Ottawa Public Health reported 65 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the medical officer of health said “we’re close to Red” status on the COVID-19 severity scale.

The Ottawa Public Health coloured coded system indicates the status of COVID-19 in Ottawa by “Green,” “Yellow,” “Orange” and “Red.”  Ottawa is currently in the “Orange” status for COVID-19, one step below the most severe level of the COVID-19 status. 

The “Orange” status signals decreasing spread and few outbreaks, some hospital capacity and some health care worker infections. A “Red” status means “increasing spread and outbreaks. Limited hospital capacity and many health care worker infections. Limited or no ability to isolate cases/quarantine”

“We’ve spoken about whether we’re ‘Red’ now. Why I have not moved us into red as a global assessment is because our hospitalizations have stayed stable. This is good news, right?” said Dr. Vera Etches.

Dr. Vera Etches

One day after Ottawa saw the largest one-day spike of COVID-19 cases during the pandemic, Ottawa Public Health reported another 65 new cases of COVID-19.

It’s the second highest one-day increase in cases since the start of September.

One new death linked to novel coronavirus was also reported on Wednesday.

Twenty-four of the 65 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa are linked to residents under the age of 20.

Two new COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared in Ottawa’s schools, while COVID-19 cases have now been reported at 48 schools across four school boards.

On Wednesday, Ottawa Public Health reported two new outbreaks at College Catholique Franco-Ouest and Gabrielle Roy Public School.

Ecole elementaire Catholique Montfort has two confirmed cases of COVID-19, one staff member and one student. Ottawa Public Health ordered Monsignor Paul Baxter School closed last weekend due to four cases of COVID-19.

Monsignor Paul Baxter School

The Great Pumpkin won’t be found at Ottawa City Hall this fall, and Santa Claus may be told to skip the City of Ottawa’s Christmas party this year due to COVID-19.

Mayor Jim Watson says the Mayor’s Halloween Party at City Hall in October has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

“It attracts five to six thousand people, and even though Ottawa City Hall is quite large, it wouldn’t be safe in our opinion.”

The mayor adds no decision has been made on the City of Ottawa’s big Christmas party, but adds “Obviously, I think it’s a fair assumption that if we continue to be going in the wrong direction, then a lot of those kind of events will have to be cancelled or postponed until the following year.”

Ottawa Halloween

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