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COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Jan. 18, 2021 – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.

Fast Facts:

  • Some COVID-19 statistics in Ottawa declined slightly on Sunday, but the city still saw a triple-digit number of new cases.
  • A Nepean retirement home has lost four residents to COVID-19 due to a recent outbreak.
  • The Ontario government is cracking down on COVID-19 violations at big box stores, visiting more than 100 in the GTHA this weekend, with plans to inspect stores all across the province.

COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):

  • New cases: 123 new cases on Sunday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 12,286
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 85.6
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.1 per cent (Jan. 8 – Jan. 14)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.03 (seven day average)

Testing:

Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says there are five reasons to seek testing for COVID-19:

  • You are showing COVID-19 symptoms. OR
  • 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. OR
  • You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health. OR
  • You are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care OR
  • You have traveled to the UK, or have come into contact with someone who recently traveled to the UK, please go get tested immediately (even if you have no symptoms).

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 Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 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 Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Heron Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Community Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Symptoms:

Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath

Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallow, 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

The number of people in Ottawa with known active cases of COVID-19 fell slightly on Sunday after hitting a record high on Saturday.

Ottawa Public Health reported 1,274 active cases of COVID-19 Sunday, down from a peak of 1,286 on Saturday.

The number of people in the hospital and in the ICU also fell by two on Sunday to 38 and eight, respectively. 

The weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 residents–considered more of a stable metric to judge the progress of the pandemic compared to daily case counts–dipped as well, to 85.6, down from 88.9. It was at nearly 100 late last week.

OPH added 123 new cases of COVID-19, 134 recoveries and one new death to its pandemic totals on Sunday.

As COVID-19 vaccines are delivered to local long-term care homes, one Ottawa retirement home is battling an outbreak that has so far claimed the lives of four residents.

The Valley Stream retirement home on Valley Stream Drive in Nepean has, to date, seen 46 residents and 27 staff members test positive for COVID-19 since Jan. 2.

In a statement dated Jan. 14, Dr. Rhonda Collins, chief medical officer for Revera, the company that runs the home, said COVID-19 protocols are in place to help limit the spread.

On Friday, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said vaccination teams had visited all 28 local long-term care homes and the focus of the city’s inoculation efforts would turn to retirement homes.

A spokesperson for Revera told CTV News on Sunday that Valley Stream is awaiting confirmation from Ottawa Public Health of a date for residents to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations and staff have been preparing the informed consents required.

Safety inspectors found more than 30 businesses violating COVID-19 safety rules during a big-box blitz across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development said Sunday, and the blitz will soon be expanding across the province.

The ministry said that inspectors visited 110 stores on Saturday and found 31 stores in violation of provincial orders, which is equal to about 70 per cent compliance.

“We’ll be expanding that in the days and weeks to come across the whole province,” Minister Monte McNaughton said in a telephone interview with The Canadian Press. “We’re going to continue targeting bad actors and we’ll continue issuing fines and close them down if we have to.”

The most common violations inspectors found big box stores contravening were linked to screening of customers and staff, masking protocols and physical distancing problems, McNaughton said.

With files from CTV Toronto’s Sean Davidson and The Canadian Press.

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Canadian Press NewsAlert: B.C. to offer second dose of COVID vaccine after 4 months – Todayville.com

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EDMONTON — Alberta is lifting more economic restrictions tied to COVID-19 while delaying others.

Premier Jason Kenney says low intensity group activities, such as Pilates, can resume in fitness centres, and libraries can open at 15 per cent capacity.

But he says loosening measures for retail shops, hotels and community centres can’t happen yet.

“While our hospitalizations are dropping … active cases have levelled off recently. And the testing positivity rate has risen a bit,” he told a news conference Monday.

“We have also observed a small increase in the daily number of new variant cases and that is worrisome too.

“That is why we have to proceed cautiously while still moving forward.”

This is Stage 2 of a four-stage plan to reopen the economy announced by Kenney a month ago.

In Stage 1, restaurants were able to reopen for dine-in service, gyms were allowed to resume one-on-one fitness training and some restrictions were lifted on youth sports.

Some medical experts, including the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association, warned the province last week against further loosening public-health measures.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021.

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These 9 Ontario regions are now booking COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors – parrysound.com

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Montreal’s Olympic Stadium opens to long lines as Canada plays catch-up on jabs

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MONTREAL (Reuters) – As COVID-19 vaccinations ramp-up in Canada, one of the country’s largest stadiums is taking in a long line of elderly, while provinces enlist dentists, midwives and chiropractors to help meet the expected rush for jabs.

A slow rollout of vaccines has recently dented Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s popularity, with the lack of domestic production being blamed for Canada trailing many other developed nations in its vaccination drive.

Montreal’s cavernous Olympic Stadium, which once hosted young athletes during the 1976 summer games, on Monday saw thousands of octogenarians donning folding chairs and canes as they waited in a snaking line for jabs.

Tony Caccese said he had already waited more than an hour to get his 85-year-old mother vaccinated, as the two faced a longer line-up than during the Montreal summer games he attended as an 18-year-old.

“I’ve been to many baseball games, football games, soccer games, concerts, and I’ve never waited this long in a line-up,” Caccese said.

About 3,000 are expected to be inoculated on Monday at the stadium nicknamed the Big O, which was equipped with wheelchairs and golf carts to help those unable to walk, organizers said.

“There are people who are coming out of their home for the first time since the start of the pandemic,” said Caroline St-Denis, director of the vaccination campaign at the stadium.

Canada’s vaccine supplies are expected to get a boost after health regulator on Friday approved AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the third shot to be available to Canadians.

That will help as provinces begin targeting elderly residents beyond those living at the long-term care facilities which accounted for the majority of COVID-19 deaths during the first wave.

With less than 4% of the population inoculated so far, the pace of Canada’s slow campaign has caused frustration, resulting in at least two senior corporate executives resigning for trying to jump the vaccine queue.

“We are going to have everyone vaccinated probably by the end of the summer,” Trudeau told NBC News’s Meet the Press on Sunday.

OVERWHELMED

In Manitoba, which plans to enlist chiropractors, massage therapists and optometrists, more than 300 dentists, or about 40% of registered dentists in the province, have joined the vaccination effort, said Dr. Marc Mollot, past president of the Manitoba Dental Association.

The western province of Alberta has started using pharmacies to administer vaccines to people aged 75 and over, but the province’s health services website initially crashed after more than 150,000 people logged on.

“It’s been 10 long months in this pandemic, people’s nerves are worn raw by nearly a year of restrictions, a year of uncertainty, frustration, stress and anxiety,” Alberta health minister Tyler Shandro told reporters last week.

While the country’s most populous province Ontario will not launch a centralized booking system until March 15, some public health units have already started booking elderly patients.

Quebec’s campaign at the stadium gets underway during the province’s spring break, amid fears that a variant of the novel coronavirus could spread during the holiday.

The Quebec government is wrestling with plans to bring elderly residents to inoculation sites like the stadium since the Pfizer vaccine’s cold storage requirements make it impossible to transport the vaccine to individual homes.

Quebec has also reached agreements with pharmacists and businesses to expand inoculations in the coming months.

British Columbia said on Monday that seniors over 80 and indigenous people over 65 would be able to book appointments for vaccinations in the coming weeks. The province issued orders last week allowing health care workers like dentists and midwives to administer vaccines.

“Vaccines are our ticket out of the pandemic,” Alberta health minister Shandro said.

(Reporting By Allison Lampert and Christinne Muschi in Montreal. Additional reporting by Nia Williams in Calgary, Rod Nickel in Manitoba, Moira Warburton and Allison Martell in Toronto; Editing by Denny Thomas and Nick Zieminski)

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