Ottawa sees huge bump in new COVID-19 cases today

OTTAWA – Confirmed COVID-19 umbers continue to jump forward in leaps and bounds and the coronavirus hotspot leads the charge in skyrocketing provincial cases.

The provincial government is reporting another 117 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa today (Oct. 7).

Minister of Health Christine Elliott says Ontario cleared another 43,300 tests from its backlog on Tuesday, although the government hasn’t said where it now stands. On Monday, there were about 68,000 tests in the backlog.

Ontario is reporting 583 new cases of COVID-19 across the province. 

There are 173 new cases in Toronto, 75 in York Region and 70 in Peel. 

Elliott says 60 per cent of Wednesday’s cases are in people under the age of 40. 

The federal government continues to encourage more people to download Health Canada’s COVID-19 alert app, a key part in the government’s pandemic response.

Health Canada says the COVID-19 alert app has been downloaded more than 3.4 million times since it was launched at the end of July, and the majority of these downloads have come from Ontario.

While some people say they still have privacy concerns about the app, Richard Lachman, a digital professor at Ryerson University, says the app just uses Bluetooth technology to exchange random codes with nearby users.

“When the app lets someone know that you may have been exposed, it doesn’t tell your employer and it doesn’t tell the government, it’s up to you to decide ‘I’m going to go get a test right now, I’m going to stay in for two weeks,’ and we hope that people will do those things,” Lachman said.

At least 850 users across the country have reported a positive test through the tool, and federal officials have said the more users install it, the more effective it will be.

The app is only available on certain devices, potentially leaving the technology out of reach for marginalized groups who are more vulnerable to the virus.

Click here if you are interested in downloading the COVID Alert app.