Ottawa surpasses 15,000 COVID-19 cases

OTTAWA — Ottawa Public Health said Saturday 55 more people in the city had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the city’s pandemic total to more than 15,000 cases.

OPH’s COVID-19 dashboard shows 15,054 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the first case was confirmed on March 11, 2020. 

No new deaths were reported in Ottawa on Saturday. To date, the city has lost 442 residents to COVID-19.

There were 990 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario. The province also reported six new deaths and 1,152 newly resolved cases on Saturday. Ontario reported 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. Figures from OPH differ from those from the province because the data for the daily reports are pulled at different times of the day.

No new cases of any variants of concern were confirmed in Ottawa on Saturday. To date, the city has seen eight confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant and two confirmed cases of the B.1.351 variant.

Ottawa’s key monitoring indicators remain within the “Orange-Restrict” level under Ontario’s COVID-19 framework. Earlier this week, Ottawa’s medical officer of health again warned that the city was approaching “Red-Control” levels, which would force additional restrictions upon businesses and private gatherings.

One of the tools the city uses to monitor COVID-19 is wastewater sampling, which has been showing another increase in COVID-19 levels in the city and has detected the B.1.1.7 variant.

Dr. Alex MacKenzie, CHEO clinician and scientist on variants in the wastewater, told CTV News Ottawa on Saturday that the wastewater is seeing an increase in COVID-19 concentration similar to what was seen last October. 

“There’s fluctuations in the data but there’s been enough going on in the last week that we can say it is increasing as high as we’ve seen it since the fall,” he said. “We know now, over a year in, this is not going to spin out of control and afflict us all, but we just all know collectively, we have to keep our eyes on the prize.”

Dr. MacKenzie said cases tend to start rising about three to four days after the wastewater starts to show an increase; however, he’s hopeful this trend does not continue for long.

“I remain a pandemic optimist. The vaccines, all of the work, even the single shot that’s effective, it’s going to get better. This is a blip,” he said.

He’s urging people to follow the advice of Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches and give it a few more months

“With additional vaccine approval we’re getting close, we can smell our oats, but I really think we need to focus here.”

OTTAWA’S COVID-19 KEY STATISTICS

Ottawa is in “Orange-Restrict” status under Ontario’s COVID-19 framework.

Ottawa Public Health data:

  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 38.9 (down from 39.5 on Friday)
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 2.1 per cent (Feb. 26-March 4)
  • Reproduction number: 1.05 (seven day average)

Reproduction values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading and each case infects more than one contact. If it is less than 1, it means spread is slowing.

The Orange-Restrict category of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework includes a weekly rate of cases per 100,000 between 25 to 39.9, a percent positivity of 1.3 to 2.4 per cent, and a reproduction number of approximately 1 to 1.1.  

VACCINES IN OTTAWA

As of March 5:

  • Vaccine doses administered in Ottawa (first and second shots): 56,670*
  • COVID-19 doses received (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna): 71,180

The city received a shipment of 9,360 Pfizer doses on Wednesday.

*OPH says staff were able to extract additional doses out of several vials, which were given to residents. In a statement on its dashboard, OPH said, “Vaccine inventory is based on an expected 5 dose per vial supply. Occasionally, an additional dose (6th dose) is successfully extracted and administered to clients.”

ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA

The number of people with known active cases of COVID-19 dropped below 500 on Saturday. There are 487 active cases of COVID-19, down from 502 cases on Friday.

Seventy more people have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. Ottawa Public Health reports 14,125 resolved cases of COVID-19 in the capital.

The number of active cases is the number of total cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.

HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA

There are currently 30 people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 complications, including five in the intensive care unit.

Of the people in hospital, one is in their 20s, one is in their 40s (this person is in the ICU), three are in their 50s (one in the ICU), seven are in their 60s (one is in the ICU), four are in their 70s, eight are in their 80s (two are in the ICU), and six are 90 or older.

COVID-19 CASES IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY

  • 0-9 years old: Three new cases (1,124 total cases)
  • 10-19 years-old: Three new cases (1,868 total cases)
  • 20-29 years-old: 14 new cases (3,273 total cases)
  • 30-39 years-old: 12 new cases (2,113 total cases)
  • 40-49 years-old: Six new cases (1,937 total cases)
  • 50-59 years-old: 10 new cases (1,817 total cases)
  • 60-69-years-old: Four new cases (1,094 total cases)
  • 70-79 years-old: Two new cases (659 total cases)
  • 80-89 years-old: Zero new cases (706 total cases)
  • 90+ years old: One new case (460 total cases)
  • Unknown: Zero new cases (3 cases total)

COVID-19 TESTING

The Ontario government says 57,829 COVID-19 tests were performed provincewide on Friday.

The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce does not offer local testing figures on weekends. In its most recent update on Friday, it said 2,131 swabs were processed at assessment centres in Ottawa on March 4 and 5,826 lab tests were performed in Ottawa.

The average turnaround from the time the swab is taken at an Ottawa testing site to the result is 29 hours.

The next local testing update will be released Monday, March 8.

COVID-19 CASES ACROSS THE REGION

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 12 new cases
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health: Two new cases
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: 19 new cases
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: One new case
  • CISSS de l’Outaouais (Gatineau and western Quebec): 20 new cases

INSTITUTIONAL OUTBREAKS

Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 29 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.

Outbreaks have ended at the Centre d’accueil Champlain and Manoir Marochel long-term care homes as well as a Centrepointe home daycare. One new outbreak was declared at Gloucester High School, where one student and one staff member have tested positive.

There are five active community outbreaks: one is linked to a health workplace, one is linked to a construction workplace, one is linked to a restaurant, one is linked to a community organization and one at a multi-unit dwelling.

The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. École élémentaire catholique La Vérendrye
  2. École élémentaire catholique Saint-Jean-Paul II
  3. École secondaire publique Gisele-Lalonde 
  4. Gloucester High School (NEW)
  5. Lycée Claudel
  6. Osgoode Township High School
  7. Service a l’enfance Grandir Ensemble – 33477

The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Bearbrook Retirement Residence (NEW)
  2. Chartwell Duke of Devonshire 
  3. Extendicare Laurier Manor
  4. Extendicare New Orchard Lodge
  5. Forest Hill
  6. Governor’s Walk Retirement
  7. Group Home – 32782
  8. Madonna Care Community
  9. Manotick Place Retirement
  10. Maycourt Hospice
  11. Perley Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre – Gatineau Building 
  12. Rockcliffe Retirement Residence
  13. Sarsfield Colonial Home
  14. Shelter – 28778
  15. Shelter – 29677
  16. Shelter – 29770
  17. Shelter – 29860
  18. Shelter – 33435
  19. Shelter – 33687
  20. The Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus – A2
  21. The Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus – A4 (Medicine)/A5/B5/Ama
  22. The Ottawa Hospital – General Campus – Single Unit 7Ncc/Ccu 

A single laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member of a long-term care home, retirement home or shelter triggers an outbreak response, according to Ottawa Public Health. In childcare settings, a single confirmed, symptomatic case in a staff member, home daycare provider, or child triggers an outbreak.

Under provincial guidelines, a COVID-19 outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).

Two staff or patient cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within a specified hospital unit within a 14-day period where both cases could have reasonably acquired their infection in hospital is considered an outbreak in a public hospital.  

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