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Ottawa okay with exclusion from Ontario plan to accelerate vaccines in variant hot spots

"In Ottawa, at this time, we've had just a handful or less of people testing positive with the Delta variant," says Dr. Vera Etches.
2020-09-21 dr. vera etches CK1
Ottawa Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches speaks outside of the Chateau Laurier, September 2020. Chris Kurys/ OttawaMatters.com

Ottawa's medical officer of health says she's not disappointed that the city's been left out of a provincial plan which will see a funnelling of COVID-19 vaccines in order to get residents their second doses quicker.

The strategy is focused on Toronto, Peel, Halton, Porcupine, Waterloo, York and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, which all have one thing in common -- high rates of the Delta B.1.617 variant.

Dr. Vera Etches says it's not exactly a list that the city wants to be on, plus protecting those regions will suppress the virus and limit its spread, which helps Ottawa in the long run anyway. 

"In Ottawa, at this time, we've had just a handful or less of people testing positive with the Delta variant," says Dr. Etches. "They were travellers, and it didn't spread within their households. So that is something we continue to look for and Public Health Ontario laboratories are doing surveillance."

According to Ottawa Public Health's COVID-19 dashboard, there have been three cases of the B.1.617 variant, one case of the B.1.617.1 and four cases of the B.1.617.2 in the city to date.

Dr. Etches adds, getting Ottawa residents vaccinated as quickly as possible with the supply the city has been given is still the number one priority, as well as Ottawa Public Health's efforts to monitoring each new local COVID-19 case.

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