COVID-19 cases up 24 in Ottawa, OPH on holiday celebrations

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting 24 new COVID-19 cases in the city, while it adds another community outbreak to its local list.

There are three community outbreaks being tracked by OPH, as of Thursday, Nov. 26. Two of those are linked to social events, which have led to seven positive cases of COVID-19 in the city. The other community outbreak stems from a community organization.

OPH says there are 26 ongoing institutional COVID-19 outbreaks in Ottawa. There are no new deaths linked to the novel coronavirus today. The city’s pandemic death toll is at 372.

Active cases in Ottawa are at 259. OPH says 23 people are in local hospitals with COVID-19, three of whom are in intensive care. There have been 8,278 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since March, of which 7,647 have been resolved.

Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches is asking residents to be creative in their celebrations for the winter holiday season.

She’s suggesting events like Christmas be spent similar to how Ottawans held Thanksgiving and Hallowe’en this year by staying within residents’ immediate households only.

Etches says residents must be cautious because this season will be unlike any other.

“This is 2020 COVID-19, and it’s just going to be pretty memorable because it’s got to be different.” Etches said at city council yesterday (Nov. 25).

She is allowing some flexibility for single people, but not much.

“We’re saying that needs to be one or two people outside of your household, but not two different people every day and moving around the province,” she said.

The chief medical officer of health was clear Ottawa residents should avoid all travel, particularly to other cities where the transmission of the virus isn’t under control, like Toronto (in lockdown) or Gatineau (red zone).

“We’ve got to limit our travel from places where rates are higher to places where rates are lower.” said Etches.

Here’s a link to OPH’s suggestions for safely celebrating the holidays.