The COVID-19 case count in Ottawa is rising rapidly once again, reaching levels not seen on Monday since last spring, as an outbreak believed to involve the worrisome variant Omicron closes a local school.

Ottawa Public Health reported 129 new COVID-19 cases in its latest report, bringing the number of active cases in the city to 733.

The OPH last reported more than 125 cases in a single day in mid-May, as Ottawa was emerging from its largest pandemic wave to date.

There are currently eight confirmed cases of the worrisome Omicron variant in Ottawa, up from five at the end of last week. The OPH confirmed Saturday that it detected evidence of community transmission of the variant.

Click to play video: 'Trudeau Says Feds Are' Very Concerned 'About Omicron COVID-19 Prospect'

Trudeau Says Feds Are ‘Very Concerned’ About Omicron’s COVID-19 Outlook

Trudeau Says Feds Are ‘Very Concerned’ About Omicron’s COVID-19 Outlook

Tracking indicators like Ottawa’s COVID-19 incidence rate and breeding number, or R, are also seeing rapid increases.

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OPH now reports a weekly rate of 56.4 cases per 100,000 people in Ottawa, nearly double the seven-day average in early December.

Ottawa’s weekly estimated R-value, which refers to the average number of secondary infections linked to average COVID-19 cases, stands at 1.31 as of Monday, down from 1.03 at the end of November. Values ​​greater than one indicate that the spread of the virus is speeding up rather than slowing down.

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Hospitalization figures remain low in Ottawa. There are currently six people hospitalized locally with the virus, none of whom are in the intensive care unit.

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Outbreaks of the virus continue to affect Ottawa elementary schools.

There are currently 24 elementary schools and one high school in Ottawa facing outbreaks.

French Catholic Saint-Jean Paul II primary school in Stittsville is closed to start the week due to an outbreak that is “likely” the Omicron variant, according to a letter sent by OPH to the school’s parents. So far, thirteen people have tested positive for the virus in connection with the outbreak.

All students and school staff have been considered high-risk contacts and are asked to self-isolate. All members of the school community are encouraged to get tested and take-home kits will be available for pick-up from school on Tuesday.

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Half Moon Bay Public School in Barrhaven is also closed amid 66 active COVID-19 cases among students, according to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board dashboard.

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Omicron variant fuels launch of stepped-up booster

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