Notable numbers from the 2nd year of the COVID-19 pandemic

The second year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw two major variant waves, records broken multiple times, and the beginning and end of vaccine passports.

The Ottawa-Gatineau region had more cases and fewer deaths compared to Year 1

Many outdoor amenities closed to the public in the first year of the pandemic, like the Rideau Canal Skateway, reopened in the second. Skaters are seen in an image made with a slow shutter speed on the canal on March 5, 2022. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)

The second year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw two major variant waves, records broken multiple times, and the beginning and end of vaccine passports.

The Ottawa-Gatineau region had more confirmed cases and fewer deaths in the most recent 12 months compared to the first year of the pandemic. As it enters year three of the pandemic, capacity limits have been lifted and mask mandates are soon to follow.

The numbers below are all as of March 10, 2022 from the local public health units, unless otherwise noted.

Numbers depending on testing became less useful in 2022 as the Omicron wave overwhelmed and changed testing strategies — similar to what happened in the first wave — but records were still broken.

The Delta wave

6: The number of records broken in Ottawa during this spring wave: most new cases in a day, most active cases, highest average wastewater signal, most health-care outbreaks, most local COVID-19 hospital patients, and most local COVID ICU patients.

131: The number of Ottawa residents with COVID-19 that died between March 11 and June 10, 2021. There were more deaths in the Omicron wave — 149 between Dec. 11, 2021 and March 10, 2022 — but each total was fewer than the death toll from the first wave in spring 2020.

246: The highest daily case count in western Quebec in the Delta wave. Recently, there were 19 days in the Omicron wave with higher daily case counts.

The summer and autumn lull

3: There was a time one hoped the pandemic might end in 2021. That time was last summer. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) traced zero new cases on three different days: July 10, 11 and 14.

53: Ottawa's known active case count on July 13, the lowest since the pandemic began.

0.00067.6: The lowest average coronavirus wastewater signal from the past year happened on Nov. 17. Researchers find this measurement by comparing SARS-CoV-2 levels to levels of a pepper virus.

21,449: The highest number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Ottawa in one day, which happened on June 25. This was a Friday after eligibility expanded for second doses.

The Omicron wave

1,339: Ottawa's record for the most newly confirmed cases in one day, which was set on Dec. 30 and 31. The pre-Omicron record was just 405.

12,786: Ottawa's record for the most known active cases, set on Dec. 31. The pre-Omicron record was 3,797.

141: Ottawa's record for the most residents hospitalized with an active COVID infection, which was set Jan. 16. The pre-Omicron record was 125.

0.001428: The highest average coronavirus wastewater signal of the past year happened on Jan. 9. This was one week before the hospitalization peak above, following a similar trend from past waves.

171: The number of health-care outbreaks in Ottawa, which ballooned in January 2022. For comparison, there were 95 combined between March and May 2021.

4,020: The most PCR COVID-19 tests given in one day in Ottawa, just three days before Christmas 2021, as Omicron spiked demand that surpassed testing resources. The city's three highest testing days all came in this past year.

13: The number of COVID-19 deaths reported by Renfrew County's health unit in February 2022. That health unit reported the same number of COVID deaths in 2020 and 2021 combined.

12: Along with Renfrew County, two other eastern Ontario health units — Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health and neighbours Hastings Prince Edward Public Health — had their most deaths in a month during this wave with 12. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit set its own monthly record with 30.

112: The number of COVID-19 cases reported by the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation as of March 4. It had zero cases until December 2021.

Both years of the pandemic saw a clamp down of restrictions during the holiday season as cases surged. Pictured here, people shop on Christmas Eve at the Rideau Centre in Ottawa on Dec. 24, 2020. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)


48,291: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ottawa over the past year, more than three times the 15,574 in the first year.

316: The number of deaths due to COVID-19 recorded in Ottawa over the last year, fewer than the 436 the year before.

150: The number of COVID cases linked to Ottawa's largest outbreak of the last year at the Extendicare Laurier Manor long-term care home. This was the city's fourth largest of the pandemic.

4: The number of deaths linked to this outbreak, which was much lower than the combined 135 among the three larger outbreaks, showing the impact of COVID-19 vaccines.

91.7%: The percentage of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark county residents, age five and up, with at least two vaccine doses. That remains the highest in the province. The health unit also leads the province in third dose rate among adults.

55: The estimate of the number of in-person learning days lost to COVID-19 school closures this past year in Ontario, which uses the secondary school calendar from the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. This counts exam days. There were 93 the year before.

With files from Sara Frizzell


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