COVID-19 claims 2nd life in Ottawa, police officers test positive

A second person has died in the city after contracting the coronavirus, Ottawa Public Health said at news conference Monday.

Latest victim was retirement home resident, Ottawa Public Health said Monday

A man walks past a COVID-19 alert sign in Vancouver's downtown eastside Thursday, March 26, 2020. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

A second person has died in the city after contracting the coronavirus, Ottawa Public Health said at news conference Monday.

Medical officer of health Vera Etches said the person was a resident of a retirement home in Orléans, but would not provide the individual's age or gender citing concerns over privacy.

This is Ottawa's first death at a retirement home, she said. The first person who died, a man in his 90s, lived alone.

News of a second death comes the same day the Ottawa Police Service announced two of its members tested positive for COVID-19. Both officers are in self-isolation at home, said a written statement from Ottawa police. 

The total number of positive cases in the city is now 130, eight more than Sunday. 

6 in intensive care, 10 'resolved'

Currently, 21 of those infected require treatment in hospital and six people are in intensive care. Ten COVID-19 cases are now resolved — in other words they no longer test positive for the virus, Etches said. 

Ottawa has had outbreaks at two retirement facilities in Ottawa. The first, Promenade in Orléans, has five confirmed cases, and Maplewood Retirement Community in Riverview Park has at least one case.

Etches said it's "difficult to pinpoint the source" of the outbreaks at the homes.

"OPH continues to investigate and support both the homes," she said.

For now both homes are screening employees and putting a halt to all visits, unless it's to see a resident who is very near death. 

More cases in the Outaouais

Quebec health officials said there are 10 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in western Quebec as of Monday afternoon.

That brings the total number of confirmed and suspected cases in the Outaouais to 38. Provincewide, Quebec now has 3,430 suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 25 deaths related to the illness.

Ontario now has 1,715 confirmed cases as of the latest provincial update, with 35 deaths and 431 cases considered "resolved" — a wider definition than it had been using before, which was a negative test two days in a row.

Public health officials have warned these numbers likely represents only a small fraction of the actual number because not everyone with symptoms of the respiratory illness is being tested, and test results aren't immediately available.

That's why health officials say it's important to stay home as much as possible, to practise physical distancing if you do have to go out, and to self-isolate for 14 days if you fall within certain categories, such as recent travel or if you feel sick.

with files from Joe Tunney

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