COVID-19 tally from paramedics’ restaurant party hits 53

The number of Ottawa paramedic staff testing positive for COVID-19 after an off-duty restaurant party climbed to 53 on Tuesday.

The eight additional staff meant a further 14 patients were identified as close contacts, increasing the number of “low-to-moderate risk contacts” to 139, Paramedic Chief Pierre Poirier informed city council Tuesday in a memo he described as the “final update” related to the Dec. 15 party.

Poirier noted the paramedic service isn’t aware of any of the patients testing positive for COVID-19.

He added that 61 staff members have cleared COVID protocols and have returned to the workplace, with the result that service contingencies are no longer required, related to this incident.

The party of about 130 paramedic staff — representing roughly 20 per cent of the total workforce — led to an initial 30 employees testing positive for COVID.

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