According to the most recent data issued by Ottawa Public Health, the east end is not immune from the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases across the National Capital. In fact, the number of new cases between Sept. 7 and Sept. 21 more than doubled compared to the previous two-week period.
Cumberland Ward saw 20 new cases between Sept. 7 and Sept. 21 compared to nine new cases between Aug. 23 and Sept. 7.
Innes Ward had the greatest increase in new cases in the east end, going from 10 new cases between Aug. 23 and Sept. 7 to 37 new cases between Sept. 7 and 21. The number of new cases in Orléans Ward, on the other hand, just had two new cases going from 19 to 21.
All told, there were 78 new COVID-19 cases reported in the three east end wards between Sept. 7 and Sept. 21 compared to 38 new cases reported during the previous two-week period.
Cumberland Ward had the seventh highest number of new cases in the city among the 23 wards. Only College Ward (57), Beacon Hill-Cyrville (57), Rideau-Vanier (55), Rideau-Rockliffe (50) and Gloucester-Southgate (50) reported more cases.
With cases in the east end on the rise a new COVID-19 assessment centre, planned for the Ray Friel Recreation Complex, can’t get up and running soon enough.
The assessment centre will be operated by the Montfort Hospital in collaboration with Ottawa Public Health. Officials with the Montfort are hoping to have the centre operational by the middle of the month, but Orléans Ward councillor Matt Luloff would like to see it open sooner if possible.
“I’d like it open three months ago, to be honest with you,” says Luloff, who has led the fight for an assessment centre in Orléans along with Innes Ward councillor Laura Dudas, “but the work that we need to do is quite ambitious.”
The assessment centre will be located in one of the rinks which must be de-iced first and then converted into a clinic.
The centre will provide COVID-19 testing and respiratory assessments for people with symptoms of respiratory illness – cough, fever and cold-like symptoms – that can’t be managed at home. Offering services in English and French, this centre will be equipped to do basic diagnostic tests, such as COVID-19 swabbing, chest X-rays and lab tests.
The site will be operated by staff and physicians from the Montfort, as well as primary care physicians.
Testing will also soon be available at a number of pharmacies in the east end including the Rexall Pharmacy in the Orléans Garden shopping plaza and three Shopper’s Drug Mart locations at 3940 Innes Rd., 2954 St. Joseph Blvd. and 1937 Portobello Blvd.
Due to the recent spike in new cases, Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health
Dr. Vera Etches has invoked a Class Section 22 Order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act that stipulates that any person who tests positive for COVID-19, has signs and symptoms of COVID-19, is a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, has been tested for COVID-19 and awaiting a test result or otherwise has reasonable grounds to believe they have COVID-19 must self-isolate without delay and remain in isolation for 14 days, unless COVID-19 is ruled out.
Failure to comply with the Order could result in a fine of up to $5,000 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.
Meanwhile the province of Ontario has reimposed Stage 2 restrictions on private gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Failure to comply will result in a fine of up to $10,000.
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