Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Latest news and data


Last revised on August 25, 2021

The current status of COVID-19 in Ottawa 

Visit our Statistics page for information on the following:

NEW: Please check the Government of Canada’s new rules if you have to travel outside of Canada for business or other essential reasons. For information on travel between Ontario and other provinces, please visit the Government of Ontario website.  

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Read the special statements from officials

Thursday, September 2, 2021 – Special statements from Dr. Vera Etches and Dr. Brent Moloughney

Dr. Vera Etches

Hello. Bonjour. Kwey.

Over the last several days, we have seen an increase in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19. Over the last seven days, 207 more people have tested positive for COVID-19. Per cent positivity over the last week has been higher than it has been in months. The level of the virus we are seeing in wastewater continues to fluctuate. And what is perhaps most worrisome, hospitalizations are up.

We are experiencing a resurgence in Ontario that is largely driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Yesterday, our epidemiology team released the latest breakdown of people testing positive for COVID and hospitalizations for COVID-19 by vaccine status. We know that the rate of new people testing positive among the unvaccinated population who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine is 41.3 per 100,000 while the rate of new cases among those fully vaccinated is 2.7 per 100,000. This means that the risk of COVID-19 infection among the unvaccinated population who are eligible for a vaccine is 15 times higher than it is for the fully vaccinated population.

We’d love to see the unvaccinated population become protected with the vaccine.

The good news is that we continue to make progress on our vaccine rollout. To date, 79 per cent of those born in 2009 or earlier are fully vaccinated. This represents 69 per cent of the total population in Ottawa. Ottawa Public Health continues to work hard to reach the remaining eligible population to remove barriers, address questions and make accessing a vaccine as easy and convenient as possible.

We understand there is hesitancy. There is a lot of disinformation. People have questions and we are here to help answer them.

If you haven’t yet been vaccinated, the vaccine clinics teams will be very happy to see you.

This work is reflected in the latest update on vaccination coverage by neighbourhood that was published yesterday. Since our initial report which included data as of August 2, we are seeing improvements for both first and second dose vaccination coverage across all Ottawa neighbourhoods. In August alone, we saw an increase of seven percentage points in full vaccination coverage and 22 neighbourhoods saw an eight or nine percentage point increase in full vaccination coverage. To see the vaccination coverage data by neighbourhood, visit neighbourhoodstudy.ca.

***

Ottawa Public Health is supportive of policies that increase immunization coverage in our city. We support the Province’s announcement to require proof of vaccination to access certain businesses and settings services as outlined in the provincial announcement. 

All Ontario residents who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine currently have access to a paper or PDF vaccine receipt that includes all relevant information to prove that they are fully vaccinated. Individuals can provide proof of immunization by downloading or printing their vaccine receipt from the provincial booking portal, or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900. You can also visit a Neighbourhood Vaccination Hub if you don’t have access to a printer – our OPH staff will be happy to help you.

If you need a vaccine, Ottawa Public Health offers vaccine clinics daily at community clinics, and Neighbourhood Vaccination Hubs. No appointments necessary. Visit our website for more information.

***

Our goals remain: to decrease death and we see the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in achieving this! We’re aiming to keep a functioning healthcare system for all healthcare needs, and to avoid the societal disruption of schools closing and a lockdown.  

Approaching September with caution is key. In addition to getting fully vaccinated, we can achieve our goals by maintaining the public health measures we have come to know so well, and by choosing safer activities. This means:

  • Gathering in well-ventilated areas, especially outdoors
  • Keeping gatherings small
  • Avoiding large crowds where masking and distancing can’t be maintained

While the latest COVID-19 numbers and modelling are concerning, I am hopeful. I am hopeful because I’ve seen us beat the odds before. I’ve seen Ottawa persevere. I’ve seen you come together as a community, while staying two metres apart, to support one another. The Delta variant is presenting challenges, but we have learned a lot in the last 18 months. We have the tools, knowledge and resilience to get through this next phase.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch.

 

Dr. Brent Moloughney

The Province’s announcement to require proof of vaccination is another step that will help us get to at least 90 per cent vaccination coverage in Ottawa, as well as reduce the risk of transmission in higher risk settings. This new policy will cover those who attend and access certain businesses and services.

In addition to the provincial announcement about vaccine certificates, another type of policy that will help reduce transmission of COVID-19 is about promoting vaccine coverage among employees in workplaces. When it comes to businesses and workplaces, Ottawa Public Health strongly recommends that all Ottawa employers implement workplace vaccination policies for staff to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. To support this recommendation, we have released guidance, available on our website, to assist employers in the development and implementation of their workplace vaccination policies as part of their COVID-19 safety planning.    

Employers have a responsibility to maintain a safe work environment for their employees. Supporting employees to get fully vaccinated is the best way to help protect them from the risks of COVID-19, prevent outbreaks and build confidence in the workplace as we face a more transmissible, Delta-fuelled resurgence in our community. 

When developing a vaccine policy, employers should continuously assess the risk of transmission at the workplace by considering several factors. For example:

  • Are workers required to be in close contact with others in their place of work or while performing their work duties?
  • Can workers keep at least two metres apart while performing their work?
  • How long and how often are workers in close contact with other workers or customers?
  • What is the size of your workforce and does your workforce have a high vaccination rate?

Ottawa Public Health has used a similar approach in the development of our own workplace vaccination policy. For our organization, we considered: the vulnerability of many of our clients to whom we provide direct services; the need to maintain our operations throughout a resurgence; and, the effectiveness of vaccination compared to relying on testing. As such, we are updating our existing Employee Immunization Policy to include the new requirement for all OPH employees to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.

Supports are available for vaccination in workplaces, community organizations, places of worship and other groups that can contact Ottawa Public Health to request a mobile vaccination team to administer first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on-site at their own location.   Please visit our website or call 613-580-6744 to request a mobile vaccination team.

Of course, in addition to implementing a vaccine policy, workplaces must continue to review and update their COVID-19 safety plans  as required. This is particularly important considering the changing context due to the Delta variant. More information on COVID-19 safety plans can be found on our website dedicated to businesses and workplaces. 

***

I have heard from some parents and guardians who are concerned about a return to in-person learning and, like us, want to ensure a return to school that is as safe as possible. Layers of protective measures will again be important this year. This includes daily screening, masking, distancing, and investigation and control measures if someone with COVID-19 has been at school.  I want to remind parents and caregivers to continue daily screening for COVID-19 symptoms. Ottawa Public Health is currently updating our screening tool, following provincial changes. In the meantime, parents can use the Province’s school and childcare screening tool.

Screening will be a little bit different this year. The Ontario government recently removed some COVID-19 symptoms from their screening tool, including having a runny nose or sore throat. The symptoms that remain on the tool include fever and/or chills, cough or barking cough, shortness of breath, decrease or loss of taste or smell.

Our advice to parents and guardians is if you or your child experience any of the symptoms listed in the screening tool, do not go to work or school, seek testing right away, and remain in isolation until the result is available.  I want to remind parents and caregivers that there are several sites that will test children. A full list of testing sites is available on our website and on OttawaTestingUpdate.ca.

Additionally, new this year, take-home test kits will begin rolling out across many schools in Ottawa making it easier and more convenient for parents to test their children. More information on what to expect for testing this school year can be found on OttawaTestingUpdate.ca.  

If you or your child experiences any other symptoms of illness, like a sore throat or runny nose, you do not need to seek testing, however you need to stay home until you are feeling better.

Daily screening for students and staff is an important component for keeping schools as safe as possible.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch.

Read the previous statements.

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Contact Information

Provincial Vaccine Information Line

  • 7 days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm
  • Call if you have questions about Ontario's COVID-19 vaccination program.
  • Service is available in multiple languages.
  • Telephone: 1-888-999-6488
  • TTY: 1-866-797-0007

Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 Telephone Line

  • Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 4:30 pm
  • Translation is available in multiple languages
  • Telephone: 613-580-6744 follow the prompts to the COVID-19 telephone line
  • TTY: 613-580-9656

Emergency Services

  • If you are in distress (e.g., significant trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting or have a significant worsening of any chronic disease symptoms), do not go to the Assessment Centre or a COVID-19 Care clinic. Go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.

See someone not respecting COVID-19 rules?

How to access help during COVID-19

  • 211 Ontario can help you find financial and social support during COVID-19
  • Telephone: 2-1-1

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