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Ottawa Public Health warns of increased COVID-19 transmission

File image. (Jeremie Charron/CTV News Ottawa) File image. (Jeremie Charron/CTV News Ottawa)

Ottawa Public Health is warning there is evidence of increased COVID-19 transmission in the community following the end of March Break and the lifting of mask mandates in the province.

"We are currently seeing evidence of an increase in COVID-19 transmission in Ottawa," deputy medical officer of health Dr. Brent Moloughney said on Thursday.

"Over the past week, the wastewater viral signal and percentage of tests that are positive have continued to increase."

Ottawa Public Health reported a slight increase in the number of hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 on Thursday, while no new deaths were reported.

Moloughney says Ottawa Public Health will continue to closely monitor the key COVID-19 indicators and work with Ontario's chief medical officer of health to discuss "potential options" if key indicators shift in a "concerning way."

"Given the lifting of public health measures, increased mobility, social gatherings and the return to school following March Break, we can expect to continue to see evidence of increased transmission in the community," Moloughney said.

While masks are no longer required indoors, Ottawa Public Health "strongly recommends" wearing masks indoors.

"While no longer required, considering that the level of COVID-19 in our community appears to be increasing, Ottawa Public Health continues to strongly recommend mask use for people at risk for severe illness,including their family and close contacts, and for everyone to consider masking in indoor settings when physical distancing may be difficult," Moloughney said.

Public health is reporting nine residents in Ottawa area hospitals with an active COVID-19 related illness on Thursday, up from seven on Wednesday. There is one person in the ICU.

OPH figures only reflect residents who are being treated specifically because of an active case of COVID-19. Local hospitals report their own figures on patients who have tested positive.

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

  • The Ottawa Hospital: 16 patients
  • Queensway Carleton Hospital: 10 patients
  • Montfort Hospital: Three patients
  • CHEO: Five patients

OPH reported 164 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday. These figures are based on testing, which remains restricted by the province to select high-priority populations, and are considered an underrepresentation of the true amount of COVID-19 in the city.

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Ottawa in March 2020, there have been 65,229 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 760 deaths.

Public Health Ontario reported an increase in patients in hospital with COVID-19 across Ontario on Thursday. There are 661 people in hospital with COVID-19, up from 611 on Wednesday. There are 165 patients in the ICU.

Officials also reported 10 more deaths due to COVID-19 across Ontario.


  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (March 16 to 22): 57.8 (up from 54.3)            
  • Positivity rate in the Ottawa community (excluding long-term care homes) (March 16 to 22): 18 per cent (up from 17.5 per cent)     
  • Known active cases: 843 (+68)


These figures are updated every Monday.

  • Ottawa residents with 1 dose (5+): 914,429 (+566)
  • Ottawa residents with 2 doses (5+): 876,057 (+1,368)
  • Ottawa residents with 3 doses (12+): 560,671 (+3,634)
  • Share of population five and older with at least one dose: 92 per cent 
  • Share of population five and older fully vaccinated: 88 per cent
  • Share of population 12 and older with at least three doses: 61 per cent
  • *Statistics on Ottawa residents with one or two doses include anyone with an Ottawa postal code who was vaccinated anywhere in Ontario.


  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 3 in hospital, 0 in ICU
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: 7 in hospital, 4 in ICU
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: 6 in hospital, 4 in ICU 
  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit: 15 in hospital, 8 in ICU
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 12 in hospital, 0 in ICU
  • Outaouais (Gatineau and western Quebec): 8 in hospital, 2 in ICU 

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


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

  • 3 long-term care homes
  • 6 retirement homes
  • 3 hospital units
  • 5 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. Top Stories

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