Ottawa to receive COVID-19 vaccine and Council approves the 2021 budget: Top stories in Ottawa this week

OTTAWA — Ottawa health care workers move to the front of the line for the COVID-19 vaccine, one-quarter of residents in a Mennonite community in the Ottawa Valley test positive for COVID-19 and an NFL great sends a special message to CFRA’s Brian Fraser.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the most viewed stories online this week.

Health care workers in Ottawa will be among the first people in Canada to receive the COVID-19 vaccine next week.

On Thursday, Premier Doug Ford announced that starting Dec. 15, the COVID-19 vaccine would be administered at the Ottawa Hospital to health care workers who are providing care in long-term care homes and other high-risk settings.

Earlier this week, Health Canada approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in Canada. Three-thousand doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in Ottawa on Monday.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches calls Ottawa receiving the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine a “significant milestone” in the ongoing COVID-19 response.

“When health care workers who work in long-term care homes and other high-risk settings begin receiving the vaccine Tuesday at the Ottawa Hospital, we know that it will have an impact; one single vaccination could prevent an outbreak and save lives,” said Dr. Etches in a statement to CTV News.

“Ensuring those who want to be vaccinated can be without delay is one of (Ottawa Public Health’s) priorities and focus of our collaboration and planning with hospital, long-term care, City and Indigenous health service providers and others. The overall COVID-19 vaccine campaign for the general population will be a complex undertaking that will last well into 2021.”

On Friday, Mayor Jim Watson told reporters that Ottawa Public Health will contact long-term care workers over the weekend to set up an appointment, and they will be asked to visit the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus to receive the dose.

UPS Canada, COVID-19 vaccine

A spike in COVID-19 cases in Renfrew County this week was traced to a small community in the Whitewater region.

There are 54 cases of COVID-19 within a Mennonite community consisting of 212 people.

“This community is very closely knit and they have a lot of communal activity,” says Renfrew County’s Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Cushman. “So you can see what happens when COVID gets in there and into a community like this how rapidly it can spread.”

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit says a visitor from the Kitchener-Waterloo region brought the virus to the region. Dr. Cushman also said mask use within the community was “mixed.”

Whitewater region

Council used the final meeting of 2020 to approve the 2021 city of Ottawa budget.

The $3 billion fiscal plan includes a three per cent property tax increase, which will add $115 to the average property tax bill for urban residents.

OC Transpo fares will increase an average of 2.5 per cent in 2021, while water rates will jump 4.5 per cent.

City of Ottawa

A Stittsville woman is $1 million richer after an Encore win.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) says Georgia Gabriel-John, 48, of Stittsville matched all seven Encore numbers in exact order in the Nov. 20, 2020 Lotto Max draw to win $1 million.

OLG says Gabriel-John plans to purchase real estate with her win and share the rest with her family.

Meantime, someone has less than two weeks to claim a $100,000 Lotto Max Encore prize.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation says the $100,000 Encore Prize for the Dec. 24 Lotto Max jackpot remains unclaimed. The winning ticket was sold in “rural eastern Ontario.”

Georgia Gabriel-John

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees took some time to send well wishes to Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Brian Fraser.

Earlier this week, Brian posted on social media that he has “been dealt the worst hand possible” as he continues to battle cancer.

CTV News Ottawa reached out to the Saints organization to see if it was possible for Brees to send a quick video to a big fan.

Brees sent a video to Brian on Friday, saying, “Keep fighting, keep the faith, just know there’s a lot of people that care about you and a lot of people rooting for you here.”

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