More COVID-19 outbreaks, deaths in Ottawa in the latest update

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa records four more COVID-19 deaths.
  • The number of outbreaks in healthcare institutions rises to 75.
  • EOHU reports 237th death.

The region is in the seventh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by the BA.5 coronavirus subvariant. It’s the first wave of early summer.

Ottawa Public Health specifically wants people to limit contacts, consider masks in both crowded outdoor and indoor areas, and ask companies to consider reducing policies such as mandatory masks.

The local health care system is again under pressure from the combination of the pandemic burden and staff shortages.

The latest update from Ottawa

waste water

The average level of coronavirus in Ottawa’s wastewater is very high. It rose for more than a month from early June and slowly declined eight of the last 10 days of data.

That July 24 average is about two times higher than a month ago and about 15 times higher than a year ago.

Researchers measuring and sharing the amount of novel coronavirus in Ottawa’s wastewater reported new pandemic records for daily readings and the weekly average in April 2022. The most recent data is from July 24. (613covid.ca)

hospitals

According to the latest update from OPH, 35 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 have been admitted to a city hospital.

Three of those patients are in intensive care.

A year ago there were three of these hospital patients and two years ago there were nine.

The hospital admission figures above do not include all patients. For example, they exclude patients admitted for other reasons who subsequently test positive for COVID-19, patients admitted for ongoing COVID-19 complications, and patients transferred from other health departments.

Including those categories, according to the most recent data, 164 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized. That number is stable.

A chart showing the number of people hospitalized in Ottawa with COVID.
Ottawa Public Health has a COVID-19 hospital tally showing all hospital patients who tested positive for COVID, including those admitted for other reasons, and who live in other areas. (Ottawa Public Health)

Tests, Outbreaks and Cases

Testing strategies have changed under the Omicron variant, meaning many COVID-19 cases are not reflected in current counts. Public health officials now only track and report outbreaks in healthcare facilities.

Ottawa’s test positivity rate is around 20 percent. That is very high and rising. A month ago it was about 15 percent.

There are currently 75 active COVID outbreaks in Ottawa. This number has increased since Tuesday’s update, but has still more than quadrupled since the beginning of July.

OPH reported 402 more cases and four more deaths in the past four days.

In Ottawa, a total of 844 residents have died with COVID-19. The 234 victims in 2022 have surpassed the 229 in 2021. In 2020, there were 381 COVID deaths.

Vaccines

As of the most recent weekly update, 93 percent of Ottawa residents ages five and older had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 89 percent had at least two.

Sixty-four percent of Ottawan residents ages 12 and older had at least three doses, and 16 percent had four.

OPH reported an increase to about 20,000 vaccine doses given to residents of Ottawa in the past week. Almost all were fourth doses.

Throughout the region

In Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties, wastewater levels are rising in Brockville and Kemptville and steady in Smiths Falls. Those levels are stable in the Kingston area and dip from peaks in Casselman and Hawkesbury.

Data from other areas is at least a week old or not publicly available.

Western Quebec reports an increase to 80 COVID hospitalizations. One of those patients is in intensive care.

Eastern Ontario communities outside of Ottawa report 53 COVID hospitalizations, including five patients in intensive care.

That regional total does not include Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health, which has a different counting method. The nine hospital admissions are stable after a jump last week and there are no more ICU patients on them.

It also reports its 64th COVID death – 45 of them in 2022. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit reported its 237th overall death.

Of the seven local health authorities, there have been three more deaths this year than in 2020 or 2021: HPE, the Kingston area and Renfrew County. All six in Eastern Ontario will have more in 2022 than in 2021.

In Eastern Ontario, between 81 and 92 percent of residents five years and older have received at least two vaccine doses, and between 59 and 71 percent of adults have had at least three.

The total number of vaccine doses given to local residents has passed 5.6 million.

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