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Coronavirus: Walk-in vaccine hopefuls leading to crowds outside Ottawa clinics

"Many people" in Ottawa are showing up to COVID-19 vaccine clinics without an appointment, leading crowds to form outside the sites, according to the City of Ottawa. File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

The City of Ottawa is asking residents who don’t have COVID-19 vaccination appointments booked to stop showing up at coronavirus vaccine clinics.

A spokesperson with the city tells Global News that “many people” are coming to clinics without a booking, leading to crowds forming outside the sites.

While the city opened up bookings to anyone in the city aged 90 and older earlier this week, all available bookings have already been taken, the city announced Friday.

Mayor Jim Watson said Thursday that 1,958 residents in the 90-plus cohort had booked vaccine appointments on the first day lines were open.

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The city is now putting a pause on booking additional appointments over the weekend in anticipation of Ontario’s province-wide portal going live on Monday.

Residents 90 years of age and older who have yet to book their vaccine appointment will be able to do so next week.

The city also launched a vaccine updates subscription service on Friday to provide residents with up-to-date information on when and where they can go to get vaccinated when their turn is up.

No vaccination clinics in Ottawa are providing walk-in appointments.

This includes the Nepean Sportsplex, which began administering doses to those 90 and older on Friday, and the Queensway Carleton Hospital clinic, which started inoculating community health workers on Thursday.

Ottawa has now administered just over 73,000 vaccine doses out of a total 80,540 doses received to date, according to Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Read more: All Ottawa residents could receive 1st COVID-19 vaccine dose by summer, hospital CEO says

Roughly 50 per cent of residents in retirement homes have now received their second dose of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, OPH reported 62 new cases of the virus on Friday, raising the total number of infections locally since the start of the pandemic to 15,400.

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No new COVID-19 deaths were added in the past 24 hours, however.

The number of active coronavirus cases rose to 570 from 530 the day before.

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Ottawa’s coronavirus incidence rate held steady Friday at 36.7 cases per 100,000 people, while the city’s coronavirus positivity rate ticked up to 2.2 per cent in the past week.

There are now 31 people in hospital locally with COVID-19, three of whom are in the intensive care unit. OPH’s COVID-19 dashboard now shows that 100 per cent of acute care beds are occupied across the city’s health-care system, while 79 per cent of ICU beds are filled.

New coronavirus outbreaks were recently declared at the city-run Peter D. Clark long-term care home and the Lord Lansdowne retirement residence, with one staff member at each site testing positive for the virus.

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The number of ongoing outbreaks in Ottawa stands at 31 as of Friday.

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