Ottawa

Key COVID-19 numbers in the Ottawa area today

Ottawa's COVID-19 outbreaks rise, its hospitalizations drop and there are more wastewater records in the capital and the Kingston area.

Ottawa COVID outbreaks rise, hospitalizations drop, a wastewater update

A person in a mask makes a phone call outside an Ottawa building in April 2021. (Andrew Lee/CBC)
  • Ottawa's COVID hospitalizations drop, its outbreaks rise.
  • Its updated coronavirus wastewater signal is still setting records.
  • Four COVID deaths have been reported across the region.
  • Hospitalizations keep climbing in western Quebec.
  • There's another wastewater record west of Kingston.

Today's Ottawa update

Hospitals

Fifteen Ottawa residents are in local hospitals for treatment of active COVID-19 according to Wednesday's OPH update. That number is slowly dropping.

One of the patients is in intensive care.

Hospitalization figures don't include patients admitted for other reasons who then tested positive for COVID-19. Nor do they include those admitted for lingering COVID-19 complications, nor patients transferred from other health units.

That number has stabilized.

Ottawa Public Health has a COVID-19 hospital count that shows all hospital patients who tested positive for COVID, including those admitted for other reasons, and who live in other areas. There were 64 as of April 9. (Ottawa Public Health)

Cases, tests and outbreaks

Testing strategies have changed under the contagious Omicron variant, which means many new COVID-19 cases aren't reflected in current counts. Public health only tracks and reports outbreaks that occur in health-care settings.

At 18 per cent, the average positivity rate for those who received PCR tests outside long-term care homes is high and stable. The average in these homes rises to around eight per cent.

On Wednesday, OPH reported 193 more COVID-19 cases and the death of a retirement home resident in their 80s.

The health unit also reported an increase to 46 health-care outbreaks, which had been at 25 one week ago. There are 14 outbreaks each in group homes and retirement homes.

The rolling weekly incidence rate of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, expressed per 100,000 residents, rises to around 125.

Wastewater

The average level of coronavirus detected in Ottawa's wastewater remains at a record high with the most recent data from Sunday (the bold red line in the graph below). It's about 40 per cent higher than the previous record and roughly 15 times higher than in early March 2022 before this spike.

Recent daily readings (the bars in the graph) have also risen above levels measured in the first Omicron wave in January and last spring's Alpha-driven wave.

Wastewater researchers didn't post an update for about a week as they adjusted 10 months worth of daily numbers. It means the record average was in April 2021, not January 2022.

Researchers measuring and sharing the amount of novel coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater have found it setting records for daily readings and the weekly average. The most recent data is from April 10. (613covid.ca)

    Those records don't reflect the first wave of the pandemic when wastewater was not monitored for traces of the virus.

    Wastewater is a key indicator of what Ottawa Public Health (OPH) calls a significant COVID-19 wave in the city. Health officials highly recommend people take steps to protect themselves and others.

    Vaccines 

    As of Monday's weekly update, 92 per cent of eligible Ottawa residents have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, 89 per cent have at least two, and 62 per cent of residents age 12 and up have at least three.

    About 17,700 fourth vaccine doses had been given in Ottawa, not necessarily to residents. 

    Across the region

    Ontario and Quebec are in the midst of another pandemic wave.

    Eastern Ontario has the highest regional wastewater average, according to the province's science table.

    Updated wastewater data from the Kingston area includes stable, high levels in the city and another record high to its west. The wastewater signal is rising or stable across Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties.

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    Western Quebec's 51 local COVID hospitalizations by far lead the region. They are up from 13 last Wednesday. Two patients need intensive care. Its health authority reported one more death Wednesday, its fourth of the week.

    Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting about 40 COVID-19 hospitalizations. About 10 of them are in intensive care.

    Neither of those numbers includes Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, which has a high, stable 21 COVID hospital patients under its different counting method. It also has a high, stable 19 outbreaks.

    LGL reported one more death and a rise in both local COVID hospitalizations and ICU patients to seven and four respectively.

    The Eastern Ontario Health Unit's hospitalizations have grown from four one week ago to 11 Wednesday. It reported one more death and a rising test positivity to 17 per cent, with a drop in outbreaks.

    The Kingston area's health unit has a high, stable 10 COVID hospital patients and a high, stable 19 per cent test positivity percentage in the community.

    Health experts say hospitalizations may not get as high this wave because of immunity, both from vaccines and previous infection, and antiviral treatments. Vulnerable people, including children, are still at higher risk of serious health problems.

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