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COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Nov. 11, 2020

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

Fast Facts:

  • You are discouraged from attending the national Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial today because of COVID-19.
  • Ottawa reported only 21 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, but hospitalizations are at a level not seen since the first wave.
  • Ontario logged another provincewide record number of new cases on Tuesday.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is imploring provinces not to loosen COVID-19 restrictions just for the sake of keeping businesses open.

Testing:

Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says there are four 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.

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at 151 Brewer Way is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Appointments are required in most cases but LIMITED walk-up capacity is available.

To book a test for an adult, click here.

The CHEO Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena – 151 Brewer Way is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Testing is available by appointment only.

To book a test for a child under the age of 18, click here.

The COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre at 595 Moodie Dr. is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday offering an appointment with a physician (including appropriate tests) for residents who are experiencing more significant symptoms like fever, difficulty breathing or a sore throat, or testing only for residents with mild symptoms or others who qualify for testing under current guidelines.

To book an appointment, click here. 

The COVID-19 Care and Testing Centre at 1485 Heron Rd. is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday offering an appointment with a physician (including appropriate tests) for residents who are experiencing more significant symptoms like fever, difficulty breathing or a sore throat, or testing only for residents with mild symptoms or others who qualify for testing under current guidelines.

To book an appointment, click here.

The COVID-19 Care and Testing centre at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex – 1585 Tenth Line Rd. is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. offering an appointment with a physician (including appropriate tests) for residents who are experiencing more significant symptoms like fever, difficulty breathing or a sore throat, or testing only for residents with mild symptoms or others who qualify for testing under current guidelines.

To book an appointment, click here.

The COVID-19 drive-thru assessment centre at 300 Coventry Road is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To book an appointment, click here.

The Centretown Community Health Centre at 420 Cooper St. offers COVID-19 testing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. To book an appointment, call 613-789-1500.

The Sandy Hill Community Health Centre at 221 Nelson St. offers COVID-19 testing from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.  Click here to book an appointment or call 613-789-1500

The Somerset Community Health Centre at 55 Eccles St. will offer COVID-19 testing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday. To book an appointment, call 613-789-1500.

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Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling

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So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

For Masuma, the decision to keep her daughter home was complex: extended family members are immunocompromised and she worried the in-person learning environment would be unpleasant because of precautions. She also felt her daughter might benefit from being supported at home.

“She doesn’t necessarily enjoy school. I also found out during the pandemic that she was being bullied [last year],” said Masuma. “So I thought, why not try from home?”

To help her daughter socialize face-to-face with other kids, Masuma enrolled Hana in Baxter Forest School, an alternative education program where kids spend most of their time outside, one day a week. Hana also attends virtual Arabic classes two days a week after school. 

Masuma’s husband and Hana share the living room work space, and Masuma admits he does the lion’s share of helping their daughter stay on task. There is a possibility that he’ll be required to return to his office in the new year.

“When he goes back to work … it’s probably going to be a little bit more difficult.”

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No school closures after Christmas holiday break, says Ontario education minister

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Ontario elementary and secondary schools will not close for an extended winter break, says Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

Closures aren’t needed given Ontario’s “strong safety protocols, low levels of (COVID-19) transmission and safety within our schools,” Lecce announced Wednesday afternoon. He said he had consulted with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and the province’s public health measures advisory table.

That ended speculation about school buildings remaining closed in January for a period of time after the Christmas break.

Earlier in the week, Lecce told reporters the government was considering having students spend “some period out of class” in January, perhaps switching to online learning.

In a statement, Lecce said that even though rates of community transmission of COVID-19 are increasing, “schools have been remarkably successful at minimizing outbreaks to ensure that our kids stay safe and learning in their classrooms.”

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Windy start to the week in Ottawa

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OTTAWA — It’s a blustery Monday in the capital with wind gusts of up to 50 km/hour expected throughout the day.

Environment Canada is forecasting a high of 4 C with a 60 per cent chance of showers or flurries before the wind dies down later this evening.

There’s a chance of flurries on Tuesday as well with a high of -1 C. The overnight low will dip to an unseasonal -9 C.  

Wednesday’s high will be just -5 C with lots of sunshine.

Seasonal temperatures return for the rest of the week..

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