Notable numbers from the 1st year of the COVID-19 pandemic

We take a look back on some of the important numbers over the last year and the stories they've helped tell.

A look at some of the highs, lows and benchmarks

2,300+: The number of CBC Ottawa news stories that have mentioned 'COVID-19.' (Michel Aspirot/CBC )

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started bearing down on the Ottawa-Gatineau region with the first case announced on March 11, 2020, we've leaned on data to tell us about the illness and its effects on local people and institutions.

Here's a look back on some of the important ones and the stories they've told.

These numbers are all as of March 10, 2021, and generally from health units, unless otherwise noted.

Early days

61: The estimated number of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa residents on March 11, 2020 — the day the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

0: Ottawa's last day with zero new COVID-19 cases logged by Ottawa Public Health (OPH) was March 16, 2020.

2.53: The estimated peak of R(t), a measure of COVID-19's spread per infected person, in Ottawa was March 9, 2020, when testing capacity was much smaller.

(Ottawa Public Health)

13.4%: Ottawa had a little more than 13 per cent of its current testing capacity when the Brewer Arena test site first opened in March 2020. It could handle 330 tests a day, according to the testing task force, compared to a capacity of about 2,460 a day in the system now.

700: The approximate number of Canadians who took repatriation flights back to CFB Trenton and Cornwall, Ont., from places such as China, Japan and San Francisco in February and March 2020, according to the federal government.

176: The number of passengers on a plane carrying Canadians back from the Wuhan province in China, seen here at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Trenton, Ont., Feb. 7, 2020. (Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press)

The first wave

20: The number of Ottawans with COVID-19 in intensive care peaked April 13 and 14 of 2020.

62: The number of Ottawans with COVID-19 in hospital peaked on April 29, 2020.

275: The number of cases in the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark (LGL) District Health Unit in April 2020, its month with the highest cases. It included some very serious outbreaks.

171: The number of care home residents diagnosed with COVID-19 in the LGL health unit in April 2020. Here Lee Narraway, 70, speaks to a CBC reporter from her shared room inside the Almonte Country Haven care facility in May 2020. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Summer lull

1: June 29, 2020 was the last day OPH reported just one case in a day.

62: Ottawa's known active case count on July 2, 2020, the lowest of the summer. The lowest number in the autumn was 450 on Nov. 23.

3: The number of cases in the Renfrew County and District Health Unit in both July and August.

143: The number of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa in June 2020, its lowest count for a month. That's when this photo of Capital Barber Shop owner Ankur Vadhera was taken. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

The second wave

188: The most new cases in a single day in Ottawa was on Jan. 7, 2021.

1,728: Ottawa's most known active cases during the pandemic was Jan. 12, 2021.

98: Ottawa's weekly incidence rate, a rolling seven-day total of new COVID-19 cases expressed per 100,000 residents, peaked on Jan. 14, 2021. The EOHU got above 140 around this time. The threshold for a region to move to Ontario's red zone is 40.

5,070: The number of local confirmed COVID-19 cases in January 2021, the highest of any month and just under 20 per cent of the region's total. It brought back shutdown rules that included a ban on in-person dining. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

341: The number of new cases in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit in October 2020. Before that, the region had 318 combined cases in 9 months.

37: The number of deaths in each of November and December 2020 in the Outaouais. It saw 121 of its 164 deaths since the end of October.

2: the number of metres people have been generally asked to stay apart from people they don't live with. Physical distancing has been mentioned in more than 8,000 CBC News stories online. (Michel Aspirot/Radio-Canada)


150,000: OPH's rough estimate of how many Ottawans have had COVID-19, based on a calculation that takes into account people who had it, but didn't test positive.

582: The total number of COVID-19 outbreaks logged by Ottawa Public Health.

0: Confirmed cases in communities such as Killaloe and Pikwakanagan. Other areas, such as Champlain Township, Deep River, Quinte West and the Town of Renfrew, have zero known active cases. Not every health unit breaks cases down by community or active cases down by district.

277: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in other local First Nations: mostly Akwesasne, but some in Kitigan Zibi and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. This doesn't include the 269 cases on the southern side of Akwesasne in New York. (Submitted by Wendy Jocko)

446: The number of deaths due to COVID-19 recorded in Ottawa.

32: The age of Ottawa's youngest COVID-19 victim. On the other end of the spectrum, 152 of Ottawa's COVID-19 victims were above age 90.

93: The high-end estimate of the number of in-person learning days lost to Ontario's shutdowns, using the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board's secondary school calendar. It counts exam days and days in early September 2020 when some, not all, students were eligible to be in classrooms.

68: CBC's count of the number of times Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore has taken to his now-familiar board on YouTube to give a video update (at least, based on the thumbnails).

123: The number of YouTube videos KFL&A Public Health has posted during the pandemic, so just over half look something like this. (KFL&A Public Health/YouTube)

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