COVID-19: Ottawa reports 184 new cases, active cases now at 1,202; Ontario reports record high 3,945 cases
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Ottawa’s medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, tweeted out a stark warning Saturday afternoon that the city is approaching the “Grey Zone” of a total lockdown. There were 234 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Saturday’s data.
“Ottawa’s COVID-19 levels are dramatically higher since before holidays: 3X the rate of infection, highest yet — we are deep into the “Red” zone and approaching “Grey” territory; 3X the percent of tests coming back positive; 2.5X the hospitalizations; wastewater levels increasing,” Etches tweeted.
“If we do not reduce the number of close contacts that enable COVID-19 transmission, our hospitals will not be able to maintain services, and the number of deaths will increase. This is a collective task, one where we need to support not blame each other through this darkest time.”
Grey is the highest tier of the province’s colour-coded COVID-19 response framework and involves a full lockdown as compared the “control” measures of Red zones.
Ontario reported 3,443 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.
With Ontario students attending virtual schooling from home until Jan. 25, Donna Gray, general manager, community and social services, outlined Ottawa’s targeted emergency child-care program for school-aged children.
The program has been operational since Jan. 4 and will continue at no cost to eligible families, Gray said in a memo to council, based on the Ministry of Education-approved eligible worker list, for those who are not able to support their child at home for the duration of the closure.
The city is awaiting further details from the province on expanding eligibility to include other front-line workers, Gray said.
Licensed centres for school-age children, and before- and after-school programs are prohibited from offering regular care and charging fees while elementary schools are operating virtually, the memo states, and only those approved by the Ministry of Education and Children’s Services may offer emergency child care.
According to Gray, 12 not-for-profit service providers, at 31 sites, are providing emergency care to 104 children.