3.2 per cent to 1.3 per cent: Ottawa sees positive signs with testing positivity rates
OTTAWA -- As Ottawa sees a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases through the month of November, the positivity rate has dropped by nearly two per cent over the past four weeks.
Ottawa's positivity rate, the cases per 100,000 people and the reproduction number (Rt) are all now flirting with the thresholds to move into the "yellow-protect" zone of Ontario's COVID-19 colour-coded restrictions.
Ottawa remains in the "orange-restrict zone", with restrictions on bars, restaurants, gyms and fitness centres, sports, cinemas and other businesses. Last call at bars and restaurants is 9 p.m., and establishments must close at 10 p.m.
Ottawa's COVID-19 positivity rate was 3.2 per cent for the period of Oct. 24 to 30. On Friday, Ottawa Public Health reported a positivity rate of 1.3 per cent for the period of Nov. 20 to 26.
A total 1,400 tests were administered at Ottawa's assessment centres on Thursday, and 5,068 tests were analyzed in Ottawa's labs.
Ottawa's rate per 100,000 people is 20.8 cases of COVID-19 over the past seven days. On Oct. 14, Council was told Ottawa had the highest rate of COVID-19 in Ontario, at 70 cases per 100,000 people.
The thresholds for a health unit to move into the "protect" zone is a weekly incidence rate of 10 to 24.9 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000, a positivity rate of 0.5 per cent to 1.2 per cent and a Rt of approximately one person.
On Friday, Ottawa's reproduction number (Rt) was 0.83.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches told Newstalk 580 CFRA on Thursday that Ottawa must remain in the "orange-restrict" zone for at least 28 days. Ontario moved Ottawa into the "restrict" zone on Nov. 7.
"I'd be looking for a good solid entry into the yellow zone category of how our rate is looking," said Dr. Etches.
"We're really on the edge of orange and yellow in the rate, and we don't want to be flipping back and forth. We want to make sure we're heading down well into the yellow, with a good trajectory downwards."
Ottawa Public Health reported 55 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the highest one-day increase this week. Ottawa Public Health reported 219 cases of COVID-19 over the past seven days, compared to 338 cases between Nov. 14 and Nov. 20.
Dr. Etches said Ottawa's "heading in the right direction" with COVID-19 cases, adding she is still keeping an eye on the per cent positivity and the wastewater data for any indications of COVID-19 spikes.
"It really is encouraging how the actions of a million people in Ottawa are adding up to bring the levels down."
Ontario reviews the public health unit's data on Fridays, and announces if regions move into different zones of Ontario's colour-coded data.