Retirement home resident among Ottawa's 75 confirmed COVID-19 cases

There are now 75 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, the city's public health agency said Friday.

Community spread on the rise, Ottawa Public Health warns

Ottawa's medical officer of health has said thousands could by infected. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

There are now 75 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ottawa including a resident at an Orléans retirement home, the city's public health agency said Friday,

Of the city's confirmed cases, 17 are in hospital and seven of those patients are in intensive care, Ottawa's chief medical officer of health Vera Etches said.

Most of the people in intensive care are in their 50s and 60s, she said, with only one case over 70. Ottawa Public Health also announced its first case of a resident at a retirement home testing positive for the coronavirus. The resident's spouse has also tested positive and both are now in hospital, Etches said. 

All other residents at the Promenade retirement home in Orléans have been placed in isolation, and staff are donning personal protective equipment as soon as they enter the building.

Ottawa Public Health is now trying to determine who else may have come into contact with the infected resident, and is screening all employees for symptoms. That includes taking their temperature several times per day, Etches said. 

Community spread on the rise

Ottawa Public Health is including indeterminate cases, or those with a single positive result, in its total, which accounts for a discrepancy between its numbers and those reported by Ontario's Ministry of Health.

According to the ministry, Ontario now has 993 confirmed cases, with 18 deaths related to COVID-19. Eight more patients tested negative two days in a row and are considered "resolved," or recovered. So far one person, a man in his 90s, has died in Ottawa. 

The majority of cases in this city are travel-related, however Ottawa Public Health says a growing number were infected in the community. As of Friday, 16 per cent of all positive COVID-19 cases in Ottawa have no connection to travel, and no known contact with a lab-confirmed case. 

According to the ministry, which only counts double-confirmed cases, there were 32 in Ottawa as of Thursday. The province did not provide regionally specific information in its daily update on Friday morning.

The Ministry of Health's daily morning update did not include locations, ages or travel history.

Hull Hospital employees test positive

Health officials in Quebec announced two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Outaouais Friday. Among the 18 cases in the Outaouais, two are employees at the Hull Hospital, the local health authority said. 

Quebec now has 2,021 confirmed and presumptive cases of the respiratory illness, with 18 deaths and 29 people considered to have recovered.

Like Ottawa, other health units in the region have confirmed cases the province has not listed.

Ottawa's top doctor has said there could be thousands of people who have the coronavirus in the city and don't know it or aren't eligible for a test, which is why it's important to stay home as much as possible.

Vera Etches said earlier this week the current numbers are about two weeks old and the city could peak at up to 4,000 new cases a day in a worst-case scenario.

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