Levels of the novel coronavirus in Ottawa’s sewage system are surging towards highs not seen since the city’s second wave hit last fall as researchers are starting to detect COVID-19 variants in the capital’s wastewater.
Ottawa Public Health reported 57 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, following increases of 56 cases on Sunday and 55 cases on Saturday.
There have now been 15,167 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic, with 513 of those cases now considered active.
One additional person has died in Ottawa in connection with the virus, raising the local COVID-19 death toll to 443.
Researchers monitoring the city’s wastewater system for the novel coronavirus are reporting a surge in the amount of virus being flushed into Ottawa’s sewers.
The seven-day average of viral signal in Ottawa has recently surpassed highs from the city’s recent spike in January and is nearing levels not seen since October 2020.
Wastewater researchers with the Ottawa Hospital have also confirmed that they are detecting the B.1.1.7 variant locally, the fast-spreading strain first discovered in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, said last week that the number of probable COVID-19 variant cases in the city could be as high as 83.
There are currently 29 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa, three of whom are in the intensive care unit.
Three new coronavirus outbreaks were added to OPH’s COVID-19 dashboard on Monday, raising the number of ongoing outbreaks to 32 locally.
Nearly 64,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered locally to date, with 71,180 doses so far received in the city.
Ottawa announced Monday that more people will be eligible to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments for later in the week, including people aged 80 and older in 14 more high-risk communities and all residents older than 90.
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