Five stories to watch in Ottawa this week
OTTAWA — Ottawa flirts with the “yellow” zone thresholds, the budget debate resumes at Ottawa City Hall and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Ottawa.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five stories to watch in Ottawa this week.
Stay in “orange-restrict”, or move to “yellow-protect”
All eyes will be on the COVID-19 numbers in Ottawa this week, as Ottawa inches closer to the thresholds to move into the “yellow-protect” zone.
The Ontario government moved Ottawa to the “orange-restrict” zone on Nov. 7, with restrictions on restaurants, bars, fitness centres, sports and movie theatres. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches told reporters that the Ontario government wants a region to stay in a zone for 28 days before moving to a new zone in Ontario’s COVID-19 colour-coded restrictions.
Ottawa Public Health reported Sunday that Ottawa’s rate per 100,000 population was 23.9 cases over the past seven days. Ottawa’s positivity rate was 1.3 per cent for the period of Nov. 20 to 26.
The thresholds for the “yellow-protect” zone is a weekly incidence rate of 10 to 24.9 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of 0.5 to 1.2 per cent.
Last Wednesday, Dr. Etches told reporters that while Ottawa was on the edge of the yellow threshold, she wants to avoid a situation where restrictions could be re-imposed a week or so later.
“We want to have a clear sign that we are in the yellow category where the indictors are all aligned and we also have positive trends downwards. This virus is very hard to control, we see that around the world. We can’t just go back to everything’s open as if COVID isn’t here. We do have to continue with some controls that decrease the opportunity for COVID to be transmitted through the winter or through until we have a vaccine.”
Under Ontario’s “yellow-protect” threshold, bars and restaurants can stay open until midnight and a maximum of six people can sit at a table at one time.