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Ottawa adds 156 COVID-19 cases as stay-home order goes into effect

Ottawa residents are asked to limit their trips outside the house to essential reasons only under Ontario's new stay-home order that went into effect Thursday. Mural in Ottawa by Dom Laporte. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ottawa continues to see triple-digit growth in new COVID-19 cases as a provincewide stay-home order designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus went into effect on Thursday.

Ottawa Public Health reported 156 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, raising the number of active cases of the virus in the city to 1,948.

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Ottawa is at 207.9 per day as of Thursday, with the incidence rate of new infections rising to 138 cases per 100,000 people.

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No new deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in the city on Thursday.

The number of people in hospital with the virus also remained steady at 69, with 20 COVID-19 patients still in the intensive care unit.

Read more: Queensway Carleton, Montfort hospitals in Ottawa postponing non-urgent elective surgeries

There are now 50 ongoing coronavirus outbreaks in Ottawa, with eight new outbreaks added to OPH’s COVID-19 dashboard on Thursday.

One of the new outbreaks affects the warehouse at The Ottawa Hospital General campus, where three workers have tested positive for the virus.

Nine of the active outbreaks affect schools in Ottawa, while another nine are linked to workplaces.

Ontario’s stay-home order asks residents to only leave the home for essential reasons, restricts the kinds of businesses that can open for in-store shopping and limits non-essential retailers to curbside pickup and delivery.

Read more: Kemptville, Ont. restaurant to open for ‘mask burning party’ amid COVID-19 lockdown

Mayor Jim Watson cheered the Ontario government’s decision on Wednesday to limit the kinds of goods big box stores can sell, with these retailers now restricted to offering groceries, pharmaceutical products and other essential supplies. Other areas of these stores must be taped off to customers.

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Watson also announced Thursday that Ottawa will reinstate 30 minutes of free parking at its two city-owned parking garages in the ByWard Market and the underground lot at City Hall. He said on Twitter that the move is meant to encourage curbside pickup purchases for “hard-hit” downtown businesses.

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