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Another triple-digit COVID-19 case count in Ottawa

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OTTAWA — Ottawa Public Health says 123 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa, marking another day of triple-digit case counts in the city.

Provincial health officials reported 3,128 new cases of COVID-19 across Ontario and 51 additional deaths linked to the disease on Tuesday.

No new deaths have been recorded in Ottawa.

Earlier Tuesday, Ontario officials reported 126 new cases in the capital. Figures between local and provincial authorities have differed recently. Ottawa Public Health says the discrepancies are related to different databases and different data collection times.

Ottawa Public Health has recorded 10,595 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and 393 deaths.

OTTAWA’S COVID-19 KEY STATISTICS

A province-wide lockdown went into effect on Dec. 26, 2020.

Ottawa Public Health data:

  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000: 71.1 cases
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.2 per cent (Dec. 28, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021)
  • Reproduction number: 1.31 (seven day average) 

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS

The Ottawa Hospital says, as of Tuesday afternoon, more than 9,300 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Ottawa. Vaccinations continue through the day.

ACTIVE CASES

The number of people with active infections of COVID-19 continues to rise in Ottawa. As of Tuesday’s update, there are 843 people in Ottawa with active cases, up from 789 on Monday.

OPH reported 69 more people have had their cases resolve. Of all COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, 9,359 are considered resolved.

The number of active cases is the number of total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.

TESTING

Public Health Ontario says 35,152 COVID-19 tests were completed across Ontario on Monday and 39,805 tests remain under investigation.

The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce says 1,910 swabs were taken at assessment centres on Jan. 4 and local labs performed 2,160 tests. There are 2,469 tests still in progress as of Jan. 5.

The average turnaround from the time the swab is taken at a testing site to the result is 24 hours.

HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA

The number of people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 increased by four in Tuesda’s update, to 18 people. Seven of them are in the intensive care unit.

Of the people in hospital, four are in their 20s, two are in their 50s (both in the ICU), five are in their 60s (two in the ICU), five are in their 70s (three in the ICU), and two are in their 80s.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said the people who are in hospital now are all from the broader community and are not residents of long-term care homes. She also cautioned that the number of hospitalizations has nearly doubled in the past week, and said that if the trend continues, it could put other care, such as surgeries, at risk.

CASES OF COVID-19 BY AGE CATEGORY

Here is a breakdown of all known COVID-19 cases in Ottawa by age category:

  • 0-9 years old: Eight new cases (720 total cases)
  • 10-19 years-old: 24 new cases (1,291 total cases)
  • 20-29 years-old: 25 new cases (2,220 total cases)
  • 30-39 years-old: 20 new cases (1,461 total cases)
  • 40-49 years-old: 16 new cases (1,364 total cases)
  • 50-59 years-old: 20 new cases (1,249 total cases)
  • 60-69-years-old: Seven new cases (801 total cases)
  • 70-79 years-old: One new case (518 total cases)
  • 80-89 years-old: Zero new cases (577 total cases)
  • 90+ years old: One new case (393 total cases)

The age of one person with COVID-19 is currently unknown. 

CASES AROUND THE REGION

Public Health Ontario is reporting the following for public health units around eastern Ontario:

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 45 new cases.
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: 9 new cases.
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: 9 new cases.
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: 4 new cases.
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 2 new cases.

The Quebec government reported 33 new cases in the Outaouais region, which includes Gatineau.

INSTITUTIONAL OUTBREAKS

Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 30 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.

There are 11 open community outbreaks.One new outbreak was declared on Monday.

Three outbreaks involve construction workplaces, two outbreaks are linked to restaurants, two outbreaks are linked to retail workplaces, one involves a social event at a private setting, one is linked to sports and recreation, one is linked to an office setting, and one is linked to a personal services workplace.

The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Guardian Angels School

The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Alta Vista Manor
  2. Besserer Place
  3. Carlingview Manor
  4. Centre D’Accueil Champlain
  5. Couvent Mont St-Joseph
  6. Edgewood Care Centre 
  7. Extendicare Laurier Manor 
  8. Extendicare Medex
  9. Extendicare New Orchard Lodge
  10. Extendicare Starwood
  11. Extendicare West End Villa
  12. Forest Hill
  13. Garry J. Armstrong long-term care home
  14. Granite Ridge long-term care home 
  15. Group home – 27332
  16. Group Home – 27498
  17. Group Home 27915
  18. Madonna Care Community
  19. Manoir Marochel
  20. Maplewood Retirement Community
  21. Portobello Retirement Residence 
  22. Riverpath Retirement Community
  23. Royal Ottawa Place
  24. Shelter – 27273
  25. Shelter – 27734
  26. Sisters of Charity
  27. St. Patrick’s Home
  28. Valley Stream Retirement Residence 
  29. Villagia in the Glebe Retirement Residence

A single laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member of a long-term care home, retirement home or shelter triggers an outbreak response, according to Ottawa Public Health. In childcare settings, a single confirmed, symptomatic case in a staff member, home daycare provider, or child triggers an outbreak.

Under provincial guidelines, a COVID-19 outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).  

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Ottawa education workers still teaching special-ed students at schools want safety checks

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Some Ottawa educators say they are concerned about the safety of classrooms that remain open in schools for special-education students.

Ontario elementary and secondary students have been sent home to study virtually because of the dangers posed by rising rates of COVID-19. However, special-education classes are still operating at many bricks-and-mortar schools.

The special-education classes include students with physical and developmental disabilities, autism and behaviour problems. Some don’t wear masks and require close physical care.

Two unions representing teachers and educational assistants at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board have sent letters to Ottawa Public Health expressing their concerns.

It’s urgent that public health officials inspect classrooms to assess the safety of the special-ed classes, said a letter from the Ottawa branch of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, which also represents the educational assistants who work with special-needs children.

“In the absence of reasons based on medical evidence to keep specialized systems classes open, we are unsure as to the safety of staff and students in these programs,” said the letter signed by president Stephanie Kirkey and other union executives.

The letter said staff agreed that students in specialized classes had difficulty with remote education and benefited most from in-person instruction.

“Our members care deeply about the students they work with and are not only concerned about their own health and safety, but also about that of their students, as they are often unable to abide by COVID safety protocols that include masking, physical distancing and hand hygiene, thus making it more likely that they could transmit the virus to one another,” the letter said.

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has 1,286 elementary and secondary students in special-education classes attending in person at 87 schools, said spokesperson Darcy Knoll.

While final numbers were not available, Knoll said the board believed a large number of the special-education students were back in class on Friday at schools.

In-person classes for other elementary and secondary students are scheduled to resume Jan. 25.

The school boards provide PPE for educators in special-education classes as required, including surgical masks, face shields, gloves and gowns.

Several educators interviewed said they don’t understand why it has been deemed unsafe for students in mainstream classes to attend class, but not special-ed students.

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Ottawa sets record of 210 new COVID-19 cases following lag in data reporting

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Ottawa has now broken its daily record for new COVID-19 cases twice in 2021, with 210 new cases added on Friday amid a lag in data reports from earlier in the week.

The nation’s capital has now seen 10,960 cases of the novel coronavirus.

Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard reports 977 active cases of the virus in Ottawa, a jump of more than 100 over Thursday’s figures.

One additional person has died in relation to COVID-19 in Ottawa, raising the city’s death toll in the pandemic to 395.

The record-setting case count comes a day after Ottawa reported a relatively low increase of 68 cases. Ontario’s COVID-19 system had meanwhile reported 164 new cases on Thursday.

OPH said Thursday that due to a large number of case reports coming in late Wednesday, the local system did not account for a large portion of cases. The health unit said it expects the discrepancy to be filled in the subsequent days.

Taken together, Thursday and Friday’s reports add 278 cases to Ottawa’s total, a daily average of 139 cases.

The new single-day record surpasses a benchmark set this past Sunday, when the city recorded 184 new cases.

Ontario also reported a new record of 4,249 cases on Friday, with roughly 450 of those cases added due to a lag in reporting in Toronto.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 also continues to climb in Ottawa. OPH’s dashboard shows there are currently 24 people in hospital with COVID-19, seven of whom are in the intensive care unit.

Three new coronavirus outbreaks were added to OPH’s dashboard on Friday. One outbreak affects a local shelter where one resident has tested positive for the virus, while the other two are traced to workplaces and private settings in the community.

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Ottawa family dealing with mould issue in apartment grateful for support

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OTTAWA — An Ottawa family, who has been dealing with mould in their south Ottawa apartment, is grateful for the support they have received from the community.

“I would like to say big very mighty, big thank you to everyone,” says Nofisat Adeniyi.

Adeniyi lives with her three sons in a South Keys apartment. Her son Desmond turned to social media on Sunday to seek help for the family, saying they’ve been dealing with mould in their unit and it has taken too long to fix.

“I see my mom go through a struggle everyday; with three kids, it’s not easy,” says 16-year-old Desmond Adeniyi.

He setup a GoFundMe page to help the family raise money to move out. After gaining online attention and the story, which originally aired CTV News Ottawa on Tuesday, they have been able to raise over $30,000.

“Yes! I was surprised, a big surprise!” says Nofisat Adeniyi, “We are free from the mess that we’ve been going through.”

The family was so touched, they decided to pay it forward and donated $5,000 to another family in need, “A lady my son told me about,” says Nofisat Adeniyi.

The recipient wants to remain anonymous, but when she found out from Adeniyi, “She was crying, she has three kids; I remember when I was, I can feel what she’s feeling – because I was once in those shoes.”

CTV News Ottawa did reach out to the property management company for an update on the mould. In a statement on Wednesday, a spokesperson for COGIR Realty wrote:

“We respect the privacy of our residents and are unable to disclose any specific information regarding any of our residents. We can, however, let you know that we are working with the residents and are making every effort to resolve this matter as soon as possible,” said Cogir Real Estate

The giving did not stop at just cash donations. “When I saw the segment, the thing that struck me the most was how easily the situation can be resolved,” says mould removal expert Charlie Leduc with Mold Busters in Ottawa.

Leduc is not involved in the case, but appeared in the original story, and after seeing the mould on TV wanted to help.

“This isn’t something that we typically do, but given the circumstance and given the fact that this has gone on way too long, our company is willing to go in and do this work for free,” said Leduc.

The Adeniyi family may now have some options, and are grateful to the community for the support.

“Yes, It’s great news — you can see me smiling,” says Nofisat.

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