Ottawa reopens, more vaccines are administered and commemorating a local artist: Five stories to watch in Ottawa this week

OTTAWA — Another pandemic holiday comes and goes, Ottawa reopens, and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five things to watch in Ottawa this week.

OTTAWA GOES ORANGE AS STAY-AT-HOME ORDER LIFTS

The provincial stay-at-home order for Ottawa officially ends at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 16. Ottawa will reopen into the “Orange-Restrict” level under Ontario’s colour-coded COVID-19 framework.

Some medical experts who spoke to CTV News Ottawa over the weekend are raising concerns about reopening just as variant strains of COVID-19 are being detected in Ottawa. The province reported on Sunday seven cases of the B.1.1.7 variant and one case of the B.1.351 variant in Ottawa.

Still, many business owners are looking forward to allowing customers back inside their stores and restaurants again.

Kingston open Feb 13

A PANDEMIC FAMILY DAY

It’s a holiday long weekend in Ontario. Monday is Family Day.

This year’s holiday is just one of many sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical experts are cautioning people to resist the temptation to gather in groups without masks or social distancing, which gives COVID-19 a chance to spread.

Ottawa remains under a stay-at-home order until the day after Family Day, though some nearby regions, such as Kingston and Renfrew, have already reopened. Medical authorities there are asking people from lockdown regions to stay away.

Tobogganing down Carlington Hill

COVID-19 VACCINE ROLLOUT PRESSES ON

As the effort to vaccinate citizens against COVID-19 continues, the province has released a new memo on priorities for the final stretch of phase one.

The memo, sent out to local medical officers of health and hospital CEOs on Sunday, says staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes, along with any residents in these settings who have not yet received a first dose, are an “immediate priority” for vaccination.

Once these populations have received their first doses, the province will move to all adults 80 and over as well as staff, residents, and caregivers in all retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors, Indigenous adults, adult recipients of chronic home care, and health-care workers in the “high” priority level.

The City of Ottawa said last week that first doses would be complete in all high-risk retirement homes by Feb. 10, with the remaining homes getting vaccines as supply increases.

Pfizer has promised to deliver on its goal to ship four million doses to Canada by the end of March.

COVID-19 vaccine

TRANSIT COMMISSION

The City of Ottawa’s Transit Commission meets Wednesday to hear an update on the current state of Ottawa’s transit system.

Ridership on OC Transpo has remained low throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as many regular users work from home or remain jobless. Mayor Jim Watson has said ridership rose slightly in early February as schools reopened.

The commission will also be voting on a plan to allow people to bring bicycles and e-scooters onto LRT train cars.

OC Transpo

RENAMING OTTAWA PARK AFTER RENOWNED INUK ARTIST

A report before the Community and Protective Services Committee recommends renaming Sandy Hill Park after renowned Inuk artist Annie Pootoogook.

The park is located at 250 Somerset St. E.

Pootoogook’s work was displayed around the world and her drawings with pen and coloured pencils received international recognition. She died in 2016 at the age of 46.

The Community and Protective Services Committee meets Thursday. 

Annie Pootoogook

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