Ottawa cases and infection rates decline; other COVID-19 hot spots in Ontario struggling with high numbers
Over the last seven days, Ottawa’s number of cases have been hovering at about 54 cases per 100,000. Toronto has gone up, despite the new measures, to 75 cases per 100,000. And Peel is the highest right now, sitting at 89 cases per 100,000.
OTTAWA -- Just past the half way point of new lockdowns that closed Ottawa restaurants, bars and gyms, it appears the capital is the only Coronavirus "hot zone" in Ontario showing a decrease in numbers.
For the last seven days, Ottawa’s re-infection rate, or "R" number, a key indicator of how quickly the virus is spreading, has been below 1.0. Toronto, York and Peel are all well above that critical threshold.
“We are not seeing those cases come down in Peel and Toronto. We are seeing them come down in Ottawa,” said Ryan Imgrund, a health statistician who tracks Ontario’s COVID-19 numbers, publishing daily breakdowns on social media.
The trend has also caught the attention of the provincial government, as the lone piece of good news in the areas of the province struggling with new infections and business closures.
“When I indicated earlier that there were some areas that were starting to come down, that is really indicative of what’s going on in Ottawa,” said provincial health minister Christine Elliott.
“Ottawa is doing very well, and we will follow those numbers very closely…to see within the 28 days what’s happened there to see if some of those provisions can be lifted”, said Elliott.
The "R" factor is not the only metric where Ottawa has improved. As new lockdowns were imposed, Ottawa had a higher number of cases based on population than Toronto or Peel.
That situation has now reversed.
Over the last seven days, Ottawa’s number of cases have been hovering at about 54 cases per 100,000.
Toronto has gone up, despite the new measures, to 75 cases per 100,000.
And Peel is the highest right now, sitting at 89 cases per 100,000.
Imgrund believes gathering sizes and open schools are the biggest factors in the higher number of cases, not businesses like restaurants, gyms and bars.
“We need government to be more up front with what leads to interventions and what does not,” he said.