COVID-19 trends in Ottawa remain in 'red' territory Wednesday as health officials mull tighter restrictions
OTTAWA -- Ottawa Public Health says 61 more people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19 and one more person has died.
The health unit's COVID-19 dashboard now shows 15,757 total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Ottawa since the first case was confirmed on March 11, 2020.
The death toll from the pandemic now stands at 450 citizens of Ottawa.
Public Health Ontario reported 1,508 new cases across the province on Wednesday. The province also reported 14 new deaths and 1,488 newly resolved cases.
No new variants of concern were confirmed in Ottawa on Wednesday, but eight more cases have tested positive for mutations. To date, Ottawa has seen 14 confirmed cases of the B.1.17 variant, two confirmed cases of the B.1.351 variant and 188 cases that have screened positive for a mutation whose lineage has not been confirmed.
The new case count brings Ottawa's incidence rate of new cases per 100,000 residents to nearly 50, well past the "Red-Control" threshold of 40 cases per 100,000 population. The testing positivity rate in Ottawa rose to 2.7 per cent, which is above the minimum threshold for the red zone of 2.5 per cent. The estimated reproduction number dropped slightly on Wednesday. It remains above 1, suggesting the virus is spreading but it's still below 1.2, which is the minimum level for the red zone.
On Tuesday, medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said she expects to see Ottawa move to Red-Control within the next week. The province typically announces new restrictions for public health regions on Fridays, with the changes in effect the following Monday. Red-Control would bring tighter restrictions to indoor and outdoor gatherings, put new capacity limits on restaurants and retail stores and close cinemas. Etches said the province needs time to draft updated regulations before it can officially move Ottawa to another level of restrictions, but she urged residents to act as if they are in a "red situation" now in order to limit transmission by seeing fewer people and following public health guidelines for mask use, hand washing, and physical distancing.
OTTAWA'S KEY COVID-19 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): 48.8 (up from 46.3 on Tuesday, 45.5 on Monday, 43.7 on Sunday and 40.1 on Saturday)
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 2.7 per cent (March 10-16)
- Reproduction number: 1.03 (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.
The red-control threshold is a weekly incidence rate of 40 or more cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of 2.5 per cent or higher and a reproduction number of 1.2 or more.
VACCINES IN OTTAWA
As of March 17:
- Vaccine doses administered in Ottawa (first and second shots): 79,659 (up by 2,236 since Monday)
- COVID-19 doses received (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna): 86,640
OPH says a shipment of 6,100 doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived on March 13.
*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."
HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA
There are 18 people in Ottawa-area hospitals with COVID-19 related illnesses, down from 20 on Tuesday.
Five people are in the intensive care unit, up from four.
Ottawa Public Health is currently migrating its dashboard over to the provincial system, so data on the ages of the people currently in the hospital is unavailable.
ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA
The number of active cases in Ottawa of COVID-19 remains above 600 but fell Wednesday for the second day in a row. There are 605 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, down from 620 on Tuesday and 626 on Monday.
Seventy-five more Ottawa residents have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. Ottawa Public Health reports 14,702 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.
Ontario health officials say 28,526 COVID-19 tests were performed across Ontario on Monday.
The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce will provide an update later today.
COVID-19 CASES IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY
- 0-9 years old: 4 new cases (1,202 total cases)
- 10-19 years-old: 13 new cases (1,970 total cases)
- 20-29 years-old: 17 new cases (3,414 total cases)
- 30-39 years-old: 3 new cases (2,212 total cases)
- 40-49 years-old: 7 new cases (2,029 total cases)
- 50-59 years-old: 5 new cases (1,901 total cases)
- 60-69-years-old: 6 new cases (1,137 total cases)
- 70-79 years-old: 3 new cases (694 total cases)
- 80-89 years-old: 4 new cases (711 total cases)
- 90+ years old: 0 new cases (467 total cases)
- Unknown: 1 case reassigned to another category (3 cases total)
COVID-19 CASES ACROSS THE REGION
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 4 new cases
- Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health: 8 new cases
- Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit: 25 new cases
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 2 new cases
- Outaouais (Gatineau and western Quebec): 22 new cases
Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 34 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.
Three new outbreaks were declared Wednesday at St. Patrick's Home, the St. Vincent Hospital, and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
An outbreak at the Rockcliffe Retirement Residence that began Feb. 18 and affected 15 residents has ended. No one died in the outbreak. Outbreaks have also ended at Gisele Lalonde high school and Steve MacLean Public School.
There are three active community outbreaks: Two are linked to a warehouse and one is linked to a multi-unit dwelling.
The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:
- Rodnichok Daycare (March 1)
- Mac Child Care Centre – Abraar (March 3)
- Gloucester High School (March 5)
- Ottawa Torah Institute (March 7)
- École secondaire catholique Paul-Desmarais (March 8)
- Holy Spirit Elementary School (March 10)
- École élémentaire publique Julie-Payette
- École élémentaire catholique Riverside South II (March 12)
- École secondaire catholique Pierre Savard (March 13)
- École élémentaire publique Séraphin-Marion (March 14)
The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:
- Shelter (Jan. 26)
- Shelter (Jan. 27)
- The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus (Feb. 19)
- Shelter (Feb. 24)
- Extendicare Laurier Manor LTCH (Feb. 25)
- Madonna Care Community (Feb. 26)
- The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus (Feb. 26)
- Sarsfield Colonial Home (Feb. 27)
- Group Home (March 3)
- Bearbrook Retirement Residence (March 4)
- Perley-Rideau Veterans' Health Centre – Gatineau Building (March 4)
- Riverpark Retirement Residence (March 6)
- St. Vincent Hospital (March 6)
- Extendicare Medex LTCH (March 9)
- Peter D. Clark LTCH (March 10)
- Group Home (March 11)
- Lord Lansdowne RH (March 11)
- Amica Westboro Park RH (March 12)
- University of Ottawa Heart Institute (March 12)
- Chapel Hill RH (March 13)
- The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus (March 13)
- St. Patrick's Home (March 14) [NEW]
- St. Vincent Hospital (March 15) [NEW]
- University of Ottawa Heart Institute (March 16) [NEW]
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.
A previous version of this article said the positivity rate in Ottawa remained at 2.5% but it has increased to 2.7%. The previous figure was based on incomplete data on the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 dashboard.