Ottawa Public Health hesitates to declare city has reached peak
Ottawa has 54 new cases, 2 more deaths linked to coronavirus
Ottawa's top doctor is reluctant to declare the city has reached a peak in COVID-19 cases because people continue to test positive for the respiratory illness.
On Monday, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) announced the city has 54 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths linked to the respiratory illness, even as provincial officials suggested the outbreak may have peaked in Ontario.
The city now has 857 cases, and the death toll has climbed to 25.
We don't have a lot of evidence of a peak yet in Ottawa.- Dr. Vera Etches
Vera Etches, Ottawa's medical officer of health, said one promising sign is that the city's hospitalization rate remains "stable," including those requiring intensive care.
Still, with the number of confirmed cases continuing to climb, Etches didn't want to say the worst is behind us.
"We don't have a lot of evidence of a peak yet in Ottawa," she said.
According to documents provided by Ontario's dedicated COVID-19 task force Monday, community spread of the novel coronavirus in Ontario appears to have peaked earlier than expected; however, physical distancing measures must be maintained to ensure the number of cases remains manageable.
Premier Doug Ford said Ontario is "not out of the woods yet."
So far 359 people have recovered in Ottawa, 21 more than Sunday. The number of people in hospital has held steady at 37.
The wider region of eastern Ontario and western Quebec now has more than 1,520 confirmed cases and more than 60 deaths, 37 of them in in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties.
Confirmed cases represent only a fraction of the actual number because of limited testing, though testing criteria expanded last week in Ontario.
The total number of cases expected during this wave of the outbreak is "now likely less than 20,000," according to the province's dedicated COVID-19 task force — but that's only if physical distancing and other emergency measures remain in place.
There are now nearly 11,200 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the province.
with files from CBC Toronto