Ottawa reports 52 new coronavirus cases amid long wait times for testing

Ottawa’s coronavirus case count continues to soar amid “record-setting” testing volumes at the Brewer Assessment Centre.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 52 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, down slightly from the 61 reported on Monday.

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Ottawa also recorded four new deaths related to COVID-19, the highest single-day spike in deaths since late May.

There are currently 362 active cases of the virus in Ottawa, according to OPH’s dashboard.

The number of people with COVID-19 in hospital has dropped to nine, with no one currently in intensive care.

One new coronavirus outbreak was declared at the St. Louis Residence long-term care home, where a staff member tested positive for the virus. The total number of ongoing outbreaks in Ottawa now stands at 19.

Meanwhile, the Brewer Assessment Centre is seeing “record-setting volumes” of patients, according to a joint statement from OPH, the Ottawa Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

Wait times for testing have been clocked at four hours, with extensive lineups at the site even before testing is opened for the day.

“We are doing everything we can to address the inconvenience of long wait times and line-ups,” the statement reads.

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The health-care institutions point to an increase in demand for youth testing with the return to school and note there has been a tripling of staff in this area to cope with the increased demands.

The site will be scaled up to operate 12 hours a day, seven days a week, according to the statement.

Capital Coun. Shawn Menard also said on Twitter that porta-potties are being added for families in line and that a booking system is being considered for the site.

Issues with bookings at the Coventry Road drive-thru testing site have meanwhile been resolved, according to the statement, and the operators are looking at extending testing hours there as well.

OPH will hold a conference call with its health-care partners to address questions from the media surrounding testing on Tuesday afternoon.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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