After several weeks of rising COVID-19 levels in Ottawa wastewater, they have taken a slight dip.

Data from the Ottawa COVID-19 wastewater monitoring project shows the seven-day rolling mean viral signal has slightly decreased, although it remains at a near-record high.

Wastewater

With ongoing restrictions on PCR testing in Ontario, the local reading of viral signal in the wastewater has become a closely monitored indicator of the level of COVID-19 in the community and recent data shows the virus is more present than ever.

The new Ottawa wastewater numbers line up with provincial data, which show COVID-19 levels in wastewater appear to have peaked.

"The wastewater surveillance does seem to indicate that we have reached the peak," Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Friday.

Hospitalizations in Ottawa increased on Thursday, to 18 COVID-19 patients from 15. Two people are in the ICU, up from one. No new deaths were reported.

OPH hospitalization figures only represent Ottawa residents who are in hospital because of an active case of COVID-19. Local hospitals report higher figures, which include patients who were admitted for reasons other than COVID-19 but have tested positive and patients who are not from Ottawa.

Here is a look at how many COVID-19 patients are in each hospital:

  • The Ottawa Hospital: 53 patients
  • Queensway Carleton Hospital: 12 patients
  • Montfort Hospital: 10 patients
  • CHEO: Five patients

OPH reported 287 new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday. Daily case counts are an underrepresentation of the true level of COVID-19 in the community because PCR testing in Ontario remains restricted to certain high-risk populations.

There are two new outbreaks in the city’s long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals or other congregate settings, bringing the total to 46.

Ottawa's medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, issued a special statement Wednesday, urging residents to keep gatherings small this Easter long weekend.

Ontario health officials reported 23 new deaths from the virus on Thursday as hospitals continue to increase.

Wastewater vs. hospitalizations

OTTAWA'S KEY COVID-19 STATISTICS

  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (April 6 to 12): 121.0 (down from 124.2)
  • Seven-day average of positivity rate in the Ottawa community, excluding long-term care homes (April 12): 18.3 per cent
  • Known active cases: 1,837 (+102)

COVID-19 VACCINES IN OTTAWA

These figures are updated every Monday.

  • Ottawa residents with 1 dose (5+): 915,034 (+184)
  • Ottawa residents with 2 doses (5+): 878,368 (+696)
  • Ottawa residents with 3 doses (12+): 568,136 (+2,584)
  • Share of population five and older with at least one dose: 92 per cent
  • Share of population five and older fully vaccinated: 89 per cent
  • Share of population 12 and older with at least three doses: 62 per cent

*Statistics on Ottawa residents with one or two doses include anyone with an Ottawa postal code who was vaccinated anywhere in Ontario.

AROUND THE REGION

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 11 in hospital, 1 in ICU
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: 15 in hospital, 3 in ICU
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: 10 in hospital, 3 in ICU
  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit: 8 in hospital, 4 in ICU
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 11 in hospital, 2 in ICU
  • Outaouais (Gatineau and western Quebec): 51 in hospital, 1 in ICU

These figures are based on the latest data from each respective health unit at the time of publishing.

COVID-19 OUTBREAKS

Ottawa Public Health is currently reporting active outbreaks in the following locations:

  • 9 long-term care homes
  • 14 retirement homes
  • 7 hospital units
  • 18 other congregate settings (group homes, supported independent living, etc.)

OPH no longer reports outbreaks in schools and childcare settings nor community outbreaks, such as those linked to local businesses, religious institutions, or sports and recreation activities.

A full list of locations with active outbreaks is available on OPH's COVID-19 dashboard