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COVID-19: What you need to know on Friday, July 15

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What you need to know in a glance

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(Reported Friday, data as of July 14)

444: New confirmed cases (in last 3 days)

76,402: Total cases

3: New deaths (in last three days)

829: Total deaths

982: Active cases

27: In hospital

5: In ICU

52: Active outbreaks

On the BA.5 variant COVID surge

Ottawa associate medical officer of health Dr. Brent Moloughney told CTV in an interview Thursday that Ottawa Public Health is seeing a “surge” in COVID-19 cases, with the COVID-19 positivity rate at 20 per cent.

“We certainly are in a surge, it’s the BA.5 variant,” Moloughney said during an interview on CTV News at Noon.

“We’re seeing here in Ottawa an increasing wastewater count, positivity rate, hospitalizations have been going up for a few weeks and now we’re seeing more outbreaks in long-term care and congregate settings.”

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Ottawa Public Health says the new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is “another reminder: the pandemic is not over.”

Where to get vaccinated in Ottawa

The province announced this week that residents aged 18 to 59 are now eligible to receive a second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Moloughney says the fourth dose is something everyone should consider to have more protection.

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Check here for our primer on Everything you need to know about getting COVID-19 dose No. 4.

Antiviral treatments are now available for people with symptoms — even if they’re mild — who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 but they must be taken within the first five days of symptoms starting.

People can use the Ontario COVID-19 Antiviral Treatment Screener tool online to determine if they’re at higher risk of severe illness and might benefit from the medication.

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Molecular testing in the province has been prioritized for people at increased risk and those living or working in high-risk settings.

Ottawans can find out more about eligibility and how to book a test on the Ottawa Public Health website along with what to do if they have symptoms, test positive or are high-risk contacts.

Where to get rapid tests in Ottawa

Ontario continues to distributing free rapid antigen tests through pharmacy and grocery store locations across the province until at least July 31.

Where to get tested for COVID-19 Ottawa

With molecular testing now prioritized for people at increased risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 and those living or working in high-risk settings, testing is no longer recommended for everyone with symptoms of the virus, Ottawa Public Health said.

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Ottawans can find out of they’re eligible and how to book a test on the health department’s web site along with how to find in-person assessment and treatment and private testing options for travellers.

People who have symptoms, or test positive on a rapid antigen test, but aren’t eligible for PCR testing are presumed to have COVID-19 and must self-isolate, OPH said, with more information for their high-risk contacts.

Ontario moved to the next phase of the provincial reopening this month with proof of vaccination no longer required for most indoor settings and capacity limits lifted. But businesses can choose to keep requiring proof of vaccination. Masks are still required.

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