‘We can’t vaccinate our way out of this:’ Etches warns of rising COVID-19 levels; 49 new cases on Friday

OTTAWA — Ottawa Public Health is reporting 49 new cases COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, as the medical officer of health warns COVID-19 levels are rising at “alarming rates” in the community.

Dr. Vera Etches issued the warning on Twitter as Ottawa’s COVID-19 indicators inched closer to the “red-control” threshold, which would impose new restrictions on social gatherings, bars, restaurants and gyms.

“Ottawa’s first community vaccination clinic is cause for celebration,” said Dr. Etches about Ottawa opening COVID-19 vaccination community clinics on Friday.

“But, COVID-19 levels in our community are rising at alarming rates and we can’t vaccinate our way out of this.”

Ottawa’s COVID-19 incidence rate is 39.5 cases per 100,000.  The threshold for the red zone is 40 cases per 100,000.

No new deaths in Ottawa linked to the virus were announced on Friday.

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Ottawa on March 11, 2020, there have been 14,999 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 442 deaths.

Across Ontario, 1,250 new cases of novel coronavirus were reported. There are 377 cases in Toronto, 167 in Peel Region and 129 in York Region.

Public Health Ontario had reported 63 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday. There is sometimes a discrepancy in COVID-19 reporting between Public Health Ontario and Ottawa Public Health based on when the data is pulled from the system.

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): 39.5 
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 2.1 per cent (Feb. 26-March 4) 
  • Reproduction number: 1.02 (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.”

Appointments for vaccines for residents 80 and older, or adult recipients of chronic home care, opened in Ottawa Monday for select neighbourhoods. Click here to learn more.

ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA

The number of people with known active cases of COVID-19 is back above 500. There are 502 active cases of COVID-19 on Friday, down from 517 cases on Thursday.

Sixty-four more people have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. Ottawa Public Health reports 14,055 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 28 people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 complications, including five in the intensive care unit.

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

COVID-19 CASES IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY

  • 0-9 years old: 7 new cases (1,121 total cases)
  • 10-19 years-old: Three new cases (1,865 total cases)
  • 20-29 years-old: 17 new cases (3,259 total cases)
  • 30-39 years-old: 7 new cases (2,101 total cases)
  • 40-49 years-old: Four new cases (1,931 total cases)
  • 50-59 years-old: Zero new cases (1,800 total cases)
  • 60-69-years-old: Three new cases (1,090 total cases)
  • 70-79 years-old: One new case (657 total cases)
  • 80-89 years-old: One new case (706 total cases)
  • 90+ years old: Zero new case (459 total cases)
  • Unknown: zero new cases (3 cases total)

 

COVID-19 TESTING IN OTTAWA

The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce says 2,099 swabs were processed at assessment centres in Ottawa on March 3.

A total of 6,277 lab tests were performed in Ottawa on Wednesday.

The average turnaround from the time the swab is taken at an Ottawa testing site to the result is 35 hours.

COVID-19 CASES ACROSS THE REGION

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 11 cases
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health: Four cases
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: Seven cases
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: Four cases

INSTITUTIONAL OUTBREAKS

Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 31 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.

COVID-19 outbreaks were declared at Bearbrook Retirement Residence and Perley Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre – Gatineau Building. One staff member tested positive at both facilities.

There is also a new COVID-19 outbreak at Ecole secondaire publique Gisele-Lalonde. Two students have tested positive for the virus.

COVID-19 outbreaks are over at Extendicare West End Villa and Supported Independent Living – 32891

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

The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Centrepointe Home Daycare
  2. École élémentaire catholique La Vérendrye
  3. École élémentaire catholique Saint-Jean-Paul II 
  4. Ecole secondaire publique Gisele-Lalonde (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. Centre D’Acceuil Champlain
  3. Chartwell Duke of Devonshire 
  4. Extendicare Laurier Manor
  5. Extendicare New Orchard Lodge 
  6. Forest Hill
  7. Governor’s Walk Retirement
  8. Group Home – 32782
  9. Madonna Care Community
  10. Manoir Marochel
  11. Manotick Place Retirement
  12. Maycourt Hospice
  13. Perley Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre – Gatineau Building (NEW)
  14. Rockcliffe Retirement Residence
  15. Sarsfield Colonial Home 
  16. Shelter – 28778
  17. Shelter – 29677
  18. Shelter – 29770
  19. Shelter – 29860
  20. Shelter – 33435
  21. Shelter – 33687 
  22. The Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus – A2
  23. The Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus – A4 (Medicine)/A5/B5/Ama
  24. 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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