COVID-19 in Ottawa: Quick Facts for November 2, 2021

OTTAWA – Good morning. Here’s the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.

Quick facts:

  • Ottawa Hospital has put nearly 200 employees on unpaid leave because they have not been vaccinated by November 1st.

  • Active COVID-19 cases remained stable in Ottawa on Monday.

  • Health experts say drug overdoses have increased during the pandemic.

COVID-19 at Ottawa Public Health Data:

  • New COVID-19 cases: 29 cases Monday.
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 30,883
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 15.1
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.5 percent (seven day average)
  • Reproduction number: 0.98 (average of seven days)

Test:

Who should take a test?

Ottawa Public Health says you can get a COVID-19 test at an assessment center, nursing home, or community test site if any of the following apply to you:

  • You show COVID-19 symptoms;

  • You have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by Ottawa Public Health or exposure notice via the COVID Alert app;

  • You reside or work in an environment that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health;

  • You are a resident, worker, or visitor to long-term care, nursing homes, homeless shelters, or other community settings (e.g .: group homes, community-supported housing, disability-specific communities or community environments, short-term rehabilitation, hospices, and other shelters);

  • You are a person who identifies yourself as First Nations, Inuit or Métis;

  • You are someone who travels to work in a remote First Nations, Inuit, or Métis community;

  • You received a preliminary positive result through rapid testing;

  • You are a patient and / or their 1 accompanying companion traveling out of the country for medical treatment;

  • You are a farm worker;

  • You are a teacher who cannot access pharmacy testing; or

  • You are in a targeted test group as outlined in the instructions of the chief physician.

Long-term care workers, caregivers, volunteers, and visitors who are fully immunized against COVID-19 are not required to present a negative COVID-19 test before entering or visiting a long-term care home.

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:

There are several locations for COVID-19 testing in Ottawa. To book an appointment, visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx

  • COVID-19 Assessment Center at McNabb Arena at 180 Percy St .: Open Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • The Brewer Ottawa Hospital / CHEO Assessment Center: Open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

  • Moodie Care and Testing Center: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

  • Ray Friel Care and Testing Center: Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Center (Kemptville) – 15 Campus Drive: Open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Centretown Community Health Center: Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Sandy Hill Community Health Center: Open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Somerset West Community Health Center: Open 9am to 4pm Monday to Wednesday, 1pm to 4pm Thursday and 9am to 2.30pm on Fridays

COVID-19 screening tool:

The COVID-19 screening tool for schools in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. All students, teachers and school staff must complete the COVID-19 school screening tool daily.

Symptoms:

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 stuffy nose

Uncommon symptoms: unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, headache, delirium, chills, red / inflamed eyes, ticks

Ottawa Hospital has put 186 employees on unpaid leave who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The deadline for hospital staff to be fully vaccinated was Sunday at midnight unless they had an approved medical or human rights exemption.

A spokesman for the hospital said Monday that 186 employees were considered for non-compliance with the policy. The staff is full-time, part-time and relaxed, from a variety of roles throughout the hospital.

“Hospitals have a moral obligation to lead by setting the highest possible vaccination standard,” said spokeswoman Michaela Schreiter. “Those who are fully vaccinated will be welcomed back.”

The hospital notes that more than 99 percent of its staff, doctors and residents are fully vaccinated.

Ottawa Hospital TOH

Ottawa Public Health says 29 more people have been tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa, but the number of active cases remains stable.

To date, OPH has reported 30,883 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. No new deaths were reported Monday. The city’s pandemic death toll is 603 inhabitants.

The number of known active cases remains stable below 200, but the number of people in local hospitals with active COVID-19 increased slightly again on Monday. The number of cases remains relatively low, but has doubled in the last four days.

The seven-day average in Ottawa is 23.6 cases a day, down from 27.9 a week ago and down from 49.4 four weeks ago.

A COVID-19 outbreak on the Civic Campus at Ottawa Hospital has grown to 10 patients and two staff since it began on October 26th. Eruptions are also in effect at nine local primary schools, two day care centers, a restaurant and a shelter.

For five years, health experts say Ottawa’s toxic drug supply has led to worse overdoses and more deaths.

In the first quarter of 2018, there were 14 opioid overdose-related deaths in the city; three years later, that number has doubled.

“Especially since COVID started, we’re starting to see some of the worst overdoses we’ve ever seen,” said Anne Marie Hopkins, a manager at Ottawa Inner City Health, which primarily works in their consumer and treatment service center.

What makes matters worse is that benzodiazepines, a class of almost disabling sedatives, are cut into fentanyl – a dangerous opioid responsible for 87 percent of all opioid overdose-related pandemic deaths – with more frequency.

A Public Health Ontario study found that benzodiazepines were present in one in 20 opioid-related overdose deaths before the pandemic. In 2020, that number rose to one in four.

To increase the complication, overdose-reversing drugs such as naloxone will not reverse the extreme sedation caused by benzodiazepines.

Health experts say the solutions in place are not equipped to deal with the effects of the increasingly toxic drug supply. They say a secure drug supply, more injection sites and increased housing support are all essential aspects of a viable long-term solution.

Needles

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