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Coronavirus: Ottawa reports 45 new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations drop

The Durham Region Health Department confirmed Tuesday that the couple who tested positive for the U.K. variant of the coronavirus is under investigation. (Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Ottawa Public Health is reporting 45 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday as the city prepares for its first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine next week.

There have now been 8,939 cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic in Ottawa, with 365 of those cases currently considered active.

One additional person has died locally due to COVID-19 complications in the past 24 hours, according to OPH, raising the Ottawa death toll of the pandemic to 384.

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Friday saw a drop in hospitalizations related to the virus, but an uptick of people in intensive care. There are currently 26 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa, down from 30 the day before, but three people are in the intensive care unit.

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Two new coronavirus outbreaks in Ottawa retirement homes — Maison Accueil-Sagesse and Manotick Place Retirement — were added to OPH’s COVID-19 dashboard on Friday.

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An outbreak was also declared at Featherston Drive Public School where two students have tested positive for the virus.

Read more: Ottawa coronavirus infection rates ‘stable’ but no longer declining, Dr. Vera Etches says

There are currently 27 ongoing outbreaks in institutions across Ottawa.

The Ontario government announced Thursday that COVID-19 vaccinations will begin next week at the Ottawa Hospital. The first of two doses required for Pfizer’s vaccine will be administered to workers in long-term care homes.

Retired Gen. Rick Hillier, who leads Ontario’s vaccination task force, said Thursday that Ottawa and Toronto will each receive 3,000 doses of the vaccine as part of the initial distribution, with expectations of up to 90,000 doses province-wide by the end of 2020.

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