Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.
- Ottawa residents 60 and older can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments through the provincial booking system starting today.
- Ottawa saw another 176 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, as hospitalizations climb.
- Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches is defending her decision not to close schools, saying the situation in Ottawa is manageable.
- Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience is filing for creditor protection following concerns about the consistency of the company’s rapid COVID-19 tests.
COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):
- New COVID-19 cases: 176 new cases on Tuesday
- Total COVID-19 cases: 18,436
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 124.2
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 7.8 per cent (Mar. 29 to April 4)
- Reproduction Number: 1.10 (seven day average)
Who should get a test?
Ottawa Public Health says you can get a COVID-19 test at an assessment centre, care clinic, or community testing site if any of the following apply to you:
- You are showing COVID-19 symptoms;
- You have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by Ottawa Public Health or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app;
- You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health;
- You are a resident, a worker or a visitor to long-term care, retirement homes, homeless shelters or other congregate settings (for example: group homes, community supported living, disability-specific communities or congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices and other shelters);
- You are a person who identifies as First Nations, Inuit or Métis;
- You are a person travelling to work in a remote First Nations, Inuit or Métis community;
- You received a preliminary positive result through rapid testing;
- You require testing 72 hours before a scheduled (non-urgent or emergent) surgery (as recommended by your health care provider);
- You are a patient and/or their 1 accompanying escort travelling out of country for medical treatment;
- You are an international student that has passed their 14-day quarantine period;
- You are a farm worker;
- You are an educator who cannot access pharmacy-testing; or
- You are in a targeted testing group as outlined in guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:
There are several sites for COVID-19 testing in Ottawa. To book an appointment, visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx
- The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre: Open Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- COVID-19 Drive-thru assessment centre at National Arts Centre: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- The Heron Care and Testing Centre: Open Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Howard Darwin Centennial Arena: Open daily 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
- Centretown Community Health Centre: Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sandy Hill Community Health Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 pm.
- Somerset West Community Health Centre: Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Wednesday.
- COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre at 300 Coventry Road: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Vaccine eligibility screening tool:
To check and see if you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Ottawa, click here.
COVID-19 screening tool:
The COVID-19 screening tool for students heading back to in-person classes can be found here.
Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath
Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallowing, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pneumonia, new or unexplained runny nose or nasal congestion
Less common symptoms: unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, headache, delirium, chills, red/inflamed eyes, croup
Residents of Ottawa born in or before 1961 will be able to book an appointment for COVID-19 vaccine through Ontario’s booking system as of Wednesday.
The province announced on Tuesday that all public health units using the booking system will be booking appointments for residents 60 and older as of April 7.
You can book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment by using Ontario’s online booking system or by calling 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007) Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
City officials confirm to CTV News Ottawa that they are prepared for the rollout to adults 60 and older to start. Officials say there are approximately 36,000 vaccines in hand, but add that appointments are expected to fill up quickly.
Another 176 people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19 and one more person has died.
The weekly incidence rate of cases per 100,000 population continues to climb to record levels and is now above 124 cases per 100,000 residents.
Tuesday was the 13th straight day that Ottawa had reported a daily case count in the triple digits. It is the longest triple-digit case count streak of the pandemic so far.
Hospitalizations and active cases also increased on Tuesday.
As school boards across Ontario grapple with the decision to remain open or to close as the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic surges, boards in Ottawa are reporting 245 active COVID-19 cases within their school communities.
Even as schools close in Peel Region and Toronto, Ottawa’s medical officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches says she believes schools in Ottawa should remain open, despite co-signing a letter to the province’s chief medical officer of health that asked, among other thing, to move schools to remote or hybrid models in areas where outbreaks are significant.
In a letter to directors of education for the four boards, Etches said the situation in schools is currently manageable.
“The vast majority of COVID-19 in schools originates with community exposures. Situations identified in schools where there was a possible exposure do not usually lead to transmission in schools,” Etches wrote. “Child-to-staff and child-to-child transmissions remain rare in the school setting. At this time, schools are not a major driver of transmission of COVID-19 and so closing them alone will not turn this current COVID-19 resurgence around.”
Etches urged the school community to remain vigilant.
Eight schools in Ottawa had active COVID-19 outbreaks as of Tuesday.
An Ottawa-based biotech company, Spartan Bioscience Inc., is filing for creditor protection and temporarily laying off staff following concerns about the consistency of the company’s rapid COVID-19 tests.
Spartan told CTV News on Tuesday that about 60 of its 90 employees and a number of students and interns would be laid off as the company deals with the issue.
The rapid tests were approved by Health Canada in late January. The company is working with the agency on a fix.
U.S. CDC advisers recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for 65 and older, high risk – CBC.ca
An advisory panel at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and for some adults with underlying medical conditions.
The vote by the group on Thursday clears the way for a booster roll-out to begin as soon as this week for millions of people who had their second dose at least six months ago.
It also follows Wednesday’s emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine for seniors 65 and up and for certain adults at a high risk of severe COVID-19.
More to come
Man assaulted nurse over vaccinating his wife: Quebec cops – Toronto Sun
The man accused the nurse of having “vaccinated his wife without his consent” before repeatedly punching the woman in the face, police said.
Sherbrooke police have turned to the public to help track down a man who assaulted a nurse Monday at a local pharmacy.
Police say a man showed up at the office of a nurse assigned to give vaccinations at a pharmacy on 12th Ave. N.
“He was angry and aggressive,” said police spokesperson Martin Carrier.
The man accused the nurse of having “vaccinated his wife without his consent” before repeatedly punching the woman in the face and leaving, police said, adding that the nurse was taken to hospital to treat “serious” injuries to her face.
The man being sought is 30 to 45 years old, of medium build and has a dark complexion. He has short dark hair, dark eyes and “big eyebrows.”
The man spoke French and was wearing a dark sweater and jeans. He wore earrings and had a hand tattooed with what resembled the image of a cross.
Police are urging anyone with any information on the case to call them at 1-800-771-1800.
B.C. reports 759 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths, 1 death in Island Health – CHEK
British Columbia health officials on Wednesday reported 759 new COVID-19 cases — including 79 in Island Health — and 10 new deaths since their last update on Sept. 21.
One of the deaths was in Island Health, the province says.
The number of confirmed cases in B.C. is now at 180,937 while the death toll climbs to 1,910.
There are currently 5,458 active cases in the province, 324 people in hospital — 157 of whom are in intensive care. The provincial government says there are 636 active cases in the Island Health region.
Of the new cases identified, 79 were in Island Health, 233 were in Interior Health, 214 were in Fraser Health, 129 were in Northern Health, 101 were in Vancouver Coastal Health and three were people who normally reside outside of the country.
A total of 173,215 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 7,739,828 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide.
Today’s data was released as a statement to the media.
According to the latest update on Island Health’s dashboard shows that there are 563 active cases — 44 in North Island, 180 in Central Island, and 339 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.
Thirty-five people in the region are currently in hospital with COVID-19, 20 of whom are in critical care.
Over the past 24 hours, there were 188 recoveries, 1,358 new tests for COVID-19 performed, and 2,370 doses of vaccine administered in the region. Of those doses, 37 were AstraZeneca, 1,409 were Moderna and 924 doses were Pfizer.
A total of 1,289,871 vaccine doses — 619,306 of those are second doses — have now been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,465 doses of AstraZeneca, 345,767 doses of Moderna and 910,639 doses of Pfizer.
Since the onset of the pandemic, there have been 8,020 cases reported, 59 deaths, 355 total hospitalizations, and 7,254 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.
Cases and deaths continue to climb this month
With Wednesday’s announcement of 79 new cases and yet another death in Island Health, the region has now recorded 11 deaths and seen a 22 per cent increase in new cases since the beginning of September.
Since Sept. 1, total hospitalizations on the Island have risen 23 per cent while the total number of recoveries has increased by 22 per cent.
When it comes to active cases, the data isn’t as clear due to major discrepancies between the two main reporting agencies, Island Health and the BCCDC.
Island Health’s data shows that active cases in the region have increased by 31 per cent since the beginning of the month, while the BCCDC’s data shows that active cases have only increased by 18 per cent during the same period.
However, Island Health is the only agency to provide daily updates on active cases with a breakdown by region and based on their latest data update, active cases in the South Island are the highest they have ever been.
More concerning, perhaps, is that active cases on the South Island have increased 113 per cent since Sept. 8. Active cases in Central Island have only managed to climb by 10 per cent since Sept. 8 and on the brighter side, active cases in the North Island have decreased by 37 per cent during the same period.
The vaccine card effect on Vancouver Island
Time — and likely one’s perspective — will only tell whether the B.C. vaccine card system proves to be effective here on the Island. But if the provincial government’s goal was strictly to get more shots in people’s arms for the first time, then it appears to be working to a degree.
That number had climbed to 649,293 — slightly more than 1 per cent — by Sept. 1, less than two weeks before the B.C. vaccine card system was to come into effect.
But by Sept. 22, more than a week after the B.C. vaccine card system was implemented, that figure had increased to 670,565 first doses, a five per cent increase since Aug. 23.
That may not seem like a lot, but that does mean 30,139 people in the region opted to get the first dose of vaccine in less than a month.
However, it is worth pointing out that the total number of vaccine doses — first and second doses combined — administered on Vancouver Island has risen by 3.3 per cent since Sept. 1 and just 1.5 per cent since Sept. 13, the day the B.C. vaccine card coming into force.
U.S. CDC advisers recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for 65 and older, high risk – CBC.ca
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