Ottawa records first COVID-19 death since July 27, OC Transpo cases spike

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has reported another COVID-19 related death – the first in Ottawa in 22 days.

The death raised the number of COVID-19 related fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic to 265. The last death was reported on July 27, and the most recent one before that was June 25.

OPH is also reporting eight new COVID-19 cases in the city today (Aug. 18), while two more long-term care homes declared outbreaks.

There are five institutions dealing with the novel coronavirus right now, which includes new outbreaks at Billingswood Manor and Residence St. Louis. OPH says there is one staff case at Billingswood, which started on August 16, and one staff case at Residence St. Louis, which started on August 17.

Active cases of the coronavirus in Ottawa are down to 108, according to OPH. Twelve of those patients are in hospital with the coronavirus, one of whom is in intensive care.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ottawa has seen 2,728 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 2,355 (86.3 per cent) have been resolved.

OC Transpo boss blames lack of mask-less passengers for driver cases

OC Transpo’s drivers’ union president says the reason the public transit operators are seeing increased cases of COVID-19 is due to passengers failing to follow the mandatory mask rule while riding the buses.

The president of Ottawa’s bus drivers’ union, Clint Crabtree, thinks the spike in OC Transpo drivers’ COVID-19 cases because transit users aren’t following mandatory mask rules.

Four OC Transpo drivers have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.

Crabtree, the president of ATU Local 279, says OC Transpo is not getting 100 per cent compliance from the public.

“More in the evening, that you’re seeing a lot of people not wearing the masks, for whatever reason that is,” Crabtree released in a statement. “But it would be nice to see everybody wear masks on the buses. Let’s keep everybody safe together.”

Since the pandemic began, nine OC Transpo employees have tested positive for the virus. 

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