OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) says there’s been another death linked to COVID-19 in Ottawa, and reports 26 new cases today (Feb. 10).

Three students at Charles H. Hulse Public School, in Heron Gate, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to OPH. It’s one of seven ongoing outbreaks at a local school or childcare setting. There are also 19 healthcare institutions dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19, and OPH says its monitoring three community outbreaks in workplaces.

The most recent COVID-19-related death brings Ottawa’s pandemic toll to 428. The number of active cases of the coronavirus is at 402. Local COVID-19 hospitalizations are also down to 19, with five patients in intensive care. The city’s positivity rate dropped slightly today, to 1.5 per cent.

Ottawa health teams continue to administer COVID-19 vaccinations — now up to 34,744. The city has received 34,225 doses of the vaccine, to date. The reason the administered number is higher than whats been received is because officials have found a way to get more doses from vials than had originally be anticipated.

There have been 13,759 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since March of 2020, of which 12,929 have been resolved.

Ontario is reporting 1,072 new cases of COVID-19, including just two in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, one in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark district, and none in Renfrew County.

Family Day testing hours

OTTAWA – Ottawa’s three community health centres will be closed for COVID-19 testing on Family Day, along with the testing centre in Almonte.

The Ottawa closures include the Centretown Community Centre, Sandy Hill Community Centre and the Somerset West Community Health Centre.

All of the city’s other COVID-19 assessment centres will be open Monday, Feb. 15, but hours of operation may be adjusted because of the holiday.

The Ottawa assessment centres will operate on the following hours:

  • COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre – Moodie 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre – Heron 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre – Ray Friel 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 CHEO Assessment Centre and Kids Come First Care Clinic at Brewer Park Arena 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Brewer Park Arena 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre at City Hall/NAC 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Residents who require testing for COVID-19 can access more information at Ottawa Public Health’s website.

Outside of the city:

Smiths Falls – Perth Smiths Falls Hospital

Regular hours: Monday to Sunday, between 8 a.m.– 6 p.m.
Family Day Holiday Hours – Monday, Feb. 15: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Services: Scheduled appointments for assessments and testing. 

Almonte General Hospital

Regular hours: Monday to Sunday, between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Family Day Holiday Hours – Closed on Monday, Feb. 15
Services: Scheduled appointments for assessments and testing. 

Kemptville – Bell Hall

Regular hours: Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sundays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Family Day Holiday Hours – Monday, Feb. 15: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Services: Appointments must now be scheduled by phone or online for assessments and testing.

Ottawa reports 36 retirement homes vaccinated

OTTAWA – Residents at 36 Ottawa retirement homes, identified as being highest risk for deadly COVID-19 outbreaks, have all received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

There are 84 designated retirement homes in Ottawa, and 37 were identified by OPH as being higher risk, based on criteria including census information, the province’s ethical framework and other provincial guidance. 

As advised on Jan. 18, one of the 37 homes was offered first dose vaccinations as second dose vaccinations in long-term care homes (LTCH) were wrapping up. Emergency and Protective Services general manager Anthony Di Monte and medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches explained during yesterday’s media availability, this was due both to the availability of vaccine supply and health concerns at that facility. 

First-dose vaccinations in the remaining 36 high-risk retirement homes began Feb. 7, after the arrival of 4,000 Moderna vaccines in Ottawa.

“It will have taken just four days to complete first doses in 36 retirement homes,” a memo written by the two reads. “This achievement speaks both to our enhanced efficiency from experience in the LTCHs and, importantly, increased collaboration as part of our plan with additional local health care partners.”

Etches and Di Monte say second dose vaccinations for LTCH workers, essential caregivers and higher risk health care workers at The Ottawa Hospital clinic are ongoing. 

The timeline for completion of first dose vaccinations in the remaining 47 retirement homes is dependent on vaccine supply. 

Local health officials say the completion of first dose vaccinations in high-risk retirement homes is significant and another milestone, however the two continue to preach, “It will, however, be several months until COVID-19 vaccines are available to the general public. In the meantime, it is essential we continue to practice public health measures to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community. Further guidance is expected from the province to be able to communicate about sequencing of vaccine access for the populations identified Phase 1 under the provincial framework.”

One of three cases of COVID-19 variant found in Ottawa

OTTAWA – Public Health Ontario is confirming three cases of a COVID-19 variant which was first detected in South Africa in Ontario, and one of those cases is in Ottawa.

Updated details of how many variant cases are spread throughout the province were released Monday, Feb. 9.

According to Public Health Ontario, Ottawa has also seen six cases of another COVID-19 variant which was first reported in the United Kingdom.

Etches is encouraging residents to continue following public health guidelines, and be aware of their COVID ‘blind spots’ (settings where mask use and the following of guidelines are less prevalent, including work places and while socializing in a household).