OTTAWA -- A new, interactive neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood map shows a breakdown of COVID-19 infections in the city.

The map was produced in a partnership between Ottawa Public Health and the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study.

OPH says the map was created and released "in the interest of transparency" but continues to stress that COVID-19 is prevalent across the city.

"Areas with lower or higher rates are not more or less 'safe' from COVID-19 transmission. The map […] is based on the neighbourhood of residence of Ottawans with confirmed COVID-19 infection and does not necessarily reflect where the people 'caught' the virus," a disclaimer on the study's website says. "Exposure to COVID-19 can occur anywhere people congregate, such as workplaces or services open to the public."

The data used to create the map represent all cases reported from March to August 2020 and were extracted by Ottawa Public Health from the OPH COVID-19 Ottawa Database. As of Aug. 31, 2020, there were 2,975 total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the city.

The map can be viewed here.

It shows not only the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 by neighbourhood but also the rate per 100,000 residents by neighbourhood.

According to the data, the Ledbury—Heron Gate—Ridgemont neighbourhood topped the list for having the most COVID-19 cases and the highest per capita rate. A total of 123 people in the neighbourhood had tested positive for COVID-19 between March and August, which represents a rate of 912.26 per 100,000 residents.

The top five neighbourhoods for total cumulative COVID-19 cases (as of Aug. 31) are:

  1. Ledbury—Heron Gate—Ridgemont: 123 cases
  2. Overbrook—McArthur: 73 cases
  3. Old Barrhaven East: 54 cases
  4. Bayshore—Belltown: 48 cases
  5. Portobello South: 42 cases

The top five neighbourhoods by rate per 100,000 residents (as of Aug. 31) are:

  1. Ledbury—Heron Gate—Ridgemont: 912.26
  2. Bayshore: 518.91
  3. Emerald Woods—Sawmill Creek: 444.62
  4. Overbrook—McArthur: 381.17
  5. Marlborough: 363.98

Thirty-one of the 111 neighbourhoods on the map have fewer than five cases.

It's important to note that these neighbourhoods are scattered across the city and have different population densities. The Marlborough neighbourhood is in the rural south of Ottawa, for example. OPH notes that "rates (per 100,000 residents) in rural neighbourhoods will be more sensitive to changes in the number residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, as they have smaller populations."

As well, neighbourhoods that are right next to each other might have wildly different case counts or rates.

Centretown, for instance, had 40 cases as of Aug. 31, according to the map, but just a short drive away to Old Ottawa East, only nine cases were reported. Cross over to Billings Bridge, and the number rises to 24.

OPH notes that with COVID-19 cases found across the city, the best practices for keeping infection rates low should continue to be followed.

"The best way to limit your exposure to COVID-19 is to practice physical distancing with those outside your household, wear a mask where required and when you cannot maintain physical distance, and wash your hands regularly."