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Key COVID indicators fall but community scores remain high: OPH

Recent Developments:

  • Ottawa recorded five new COVID-19 deaths in the past three days.
  • Healthcare outbreaks fell to 51, but 12 new outbreaks have emerged.

While many of the key indicators of COVID-19 levels have fallen in Ottawa, public health officials say levels in the community remain high.

According to Ottawa Public Health (OPH), local immunization rates for children under the age of five are among the highest in the province.

Across the province, health officials reported 96 more COVID-19-related deaths in the past seven days, the seventh wave’s deadliest week on record.

Last Friday, the province’s chief medical officer of health said Ontario’s seventh wave of COVID-19 had peaked.

Health officials say the current wave is being driven by the BA.5 subvariant of the coronavirus, putting renewed strain on a health system already sparsely saturated by staff shortages.

Two hospitals in the Ottawa area were forced to close their emergency rooms earlier this month.

OPH is urging residents to limit contacts and consider masking in both crowded outdoor areas and indoors, and is urging businesses to consider introducing policies like mandatory masks.

The latest Ottawa update

sewage

Average coronavirus levels in Ottawa’s wastewater remain high. It has been up for more than a month since early June but has been falling since early August.

A graph of the coronavirus wastewater levels since June 2020. (613covid.ca)

hospitals

According to the latest update from OPH, 26 Ottawa residents have been admitted to a city hospital with COVID-19. Two of these patients are in intensive care.

According to OPH, hospitalizations are at a moderate level and declining, but are not the only factor straining healthcare resources.

The above hospitalization figures do not include all patients. For example, they omit patients admitted for other reasons who then tested positive for COVID-19, patients admitted because of ongoing COVID-19 complications, and patients transferred from other healthcare units.

Including these categories, according to the latest data, 138 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized. This number has increased since the last OPH update.

Ottawa Public Health has a COVID-19 Hospital Census that shows all hospitalized patients who have tested positive for COVID, including those admitted for other reasons and who live in other areas. (Ottawa Public Health)

Tests, outbreaks and cases

Testing strategies have changed under the Omicron variant, meaning many COVID-19 cases are not reflected in the current numbers. Public health officials now only track and report outbreaks in public health facilities.

Ottawa’s test positivity rate is about 15 percent.

There are currently 51 active COVID outbreaks in Ottawa. This includes 12 new outbreaks registered in the last three days.

OPH reported 335 more cases and five new deaths in the past three days.

A total of 859 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 have died: 381 in 2020, 229 in 2021 and 249 so far this year.

vaccinations

As of the latest weekly update, 93 percent of Ottawa residents aged five and older had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 89 percent had at least two.

64 percent of Ottawans ages 12 and older had at least three doses, and 19 percent had four.

across the region

In Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties, sewage levels in Brockville and Kemptville rose for most of July but started to fall somewhat. They are stable in Smiths Falls and in the Kingston area.

Western Quebec reports 89 COVID hospitalizations. Two of those patients are in intensive care and one other person has died from COVID-19 in the region in the past week.

Eastern Ontario communities outside of Ottawa report 30 COVID hospitalizations, including two patients in ICU.

This regional total does not include Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) public health, which uses a different counting method. The 14 hospitalizations are a slight increase and one patient is in intensive care.

Of the seven local health departments, three had more deaths this year than in 2020 or 2021 – HPE, the Kingston area and Renfrew County. All six in eastern Ontario have 2022 more than 2021.

Across eastern Ontario, between 81 and 92 percent of residents age five and older have received at least two doses of vaccine, and between 59 and 71 percent of adults have received at least three.

The total number of vaccine doses given to local residents has exceeded 5.6 million.

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