COVID-19 remains steady 3 years after pandemic began

People make their way down the Colonnade of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa on Sunday. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)
People make their way down the Colonnade of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa on Sunday. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa's COVID-19 numbers are stable or dropping.

  • The EOHU's COVID risk level remains moderate.

  • Four more people with COVID have died.

The latest 

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) says COVID-19 indicators are generally stable at moderate to high levels, which has remained consistent for most of 2023.

Experts recommend people wear masks indoors and, in Ontario, in the days after having COVID symptoms. Staying home when sick and staying up to date with COVID vaccines can also help protect vulnerable people.

Non-COVID respiratory virus levels are generally low and/or seasonal.


Data from the research team shows the average coronavirus wastewater level is slowly dropping this month as of the most recent data on March 12.

The average is at its lowest point of 2023. OPH still considers this level to be high.


The number of patients with COVID-19 in local hospitals remains relatively stable at 17. That's lower than most of the second half of 2022.

Two patients are in intensive care.

A separate count that includes patients who tested positive for COVID after being admitted for other reasons, those admitted for lingering COVID complications, and those transferred from other health units also remains stable.

Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

Tests, outbreaks and deaths

Ottawa has 17 active COVID outbreaks, which has been dropping this month. The number was considered high in last week's OPH update.

The city's COVID-19 test positivity rate has remained between 11 and 13 per cent since the start of February, which OPH calls moderate.

OPH has reported 109 more COVID cases since Friday and the deaths of two people with COVID, one in their 70s and one age 90 or above.

So far, 1,027 Ottawa residents have died with COVID as a contributing or underlying factor. Thirty-six of those people have died this year.


Twenty-eight per cent of Ottawans age five and older have had a COVID vaccine dose within the last six months, as is generally recommended, with older age groups having higher rates.

That translates to about 750,000 people in that age range without the recommended vaccine protection. It does not factor in immunity from getting COVID.

Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

About 350 more Ottawa residents got a vaccine dose in the last week, according to OPH.

As of the most recent weekly update, 85 per cent of Ottawa residents had at least one COVID vaccine dose, 82 per cent had at least two, 56 per cent at least three and 31 per cent at least four.

Across the region


Coronavirus wastewater averages are stable in the Kingston area and across the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). They're otherwise out of date or unavailable outside of Ottawa.

The EOHU's COVID risk level remains moderate, with a stable test positivity average. Average test positivity drops to about eight per cent in the Kingston area, its lowest level of 2023.

The health unit for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties won't provide an update this week.

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Hospitalizations and deaths

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa report about 35 COVID-19 hospitalizations, with seven patients in intensive care. Nearly half of those two totals are in the EOHU.

That regional count doesn't include Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health, which has a different counting method. Its local hospitalization count is stable.

Western Quebec has 67 COVID hospital patients. Two of them are in intensive care.

Two more people who had COVID have died in the Kingston area. It has reported 117 COVID deaths, 15 of them this year.


The Kingston area's health unit says 28 per cent of its population age five and up have had a COVID vaccine in the last six months. It's 26 per cent in HPE and unavailable elsewhere.

Across eastern Ontario, between 79 and 90 per cent of residents age five and up have received at least two COVID-19 vaccine doses, and between 52 and 65 per cent of those residents have had at least three, according to the province.