Ottawa area athletes compete in the Olympics and empty spots at vaccination clinics: Five stories to watch this week
Empty appointment slots at Ottawa’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics, council prepares for a summer break and Ottawa athletes set to take on the world at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five stories to watch this week.
WATCHING THE COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS
All eyes will be on the COVID-19 case numbers this week, following a slight uptick in new cases in Ottawa over the weekend and the move to Step 3.
Ottawa Public Health reported five new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and seven on Sunday, the highest one-day increases in new cases in over a week.
There have been zero patients in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 for the last four days, and ICUs remain empty.
In a special statement on Wednesday, associate medical officer of health Dr. Brent Moloughney said Ottawa Public Health is keeping an eye on hospitalizations as a key measure of whether the virus is reaching more vulnerable populations.
“We will continue to monitor the impact of each step we take which might give COVID-19 more opportunity to spread,” said Moloughney. “We know the Delta variant is more transmissible and is giving rise to resurgences in other countries despite high levels of immunization.”
EMPTY APPOINTMENTS AT OTTAWA’S VACCINATION CLINICS
The city of Ottawa is considering winding down some operations at COVID-19 vaccination clinics, as hundreds of appointment slots sit empty every day and vaccination rates increase.
As of Friday, 82 per cent of Ottawa residents 12 and older had received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 60 per cent are fully vaccinated.
The city of Ottawa is now accepting walk-ins for first and second doses at community clinics each day due to appointments not being booked in advance.
On Saturday, there were 3,067 appointments available for drop-ins, while on Sunday there were 4,116 walk-in appointments available at city clinics.
General manager of emergency and protective services Anthony Di Monte said last week that, “We’re trying to balance to not diminish capacity so that people have easy access to the site, but we are starting to see at some sites that there are certain hours that are not as busy.”
The Ontario government has said Ontario will remain in Step 3 for at least 21 days and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and older has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent their eligible population aged 12 and over fully vaccinated.