Coronavirus levels in wastewater rising

·3 min read
People walk on the pathway besides the locks at the northern end of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa in late spring 2022. (Ian Black/CBC - image credit)
People walk on the pathway besides the locks at the northern end of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa in late spring 2022. (Ian Black/CBC - image credit)
Ian Black/CBC
Ian Black/CBC
  • Ottawa's wastewater average is rising.

  • Its active local COVID-19 hospitalization count is the lowest of 2022.

  • Ottawa COVID outbreaks and test positivity are stable.

  • There are no COVID ICU patients currently listed in the region.

The latest Ottawa update

Wastewater

The level of coronavirus detected in Ottawa's wastewater has been slowly rising since the first weekend of June.

The most recent data available (the bold red line in the graph below) shows the seven-day average calculated on June 19 is about three times what it was in early March, before the most recent spike.

It has gone up 12 of those last 14 days, but is more stable for the last three days.

613covid.ca
613covid.ca

Hospitals

Five Ottawa residents are in local hospitals for treatment of COVID-19, according to Tuesday's Ottawa Public Health (OPH) update. That's the lowest count of 2022.

None of these patients need intensive care. None of the local health authorities are currently reporting a COVID ICU patient.

The hospitalization figures above don't include all patients. For example, they leave out patients admitted for other reasons who then test positive for COVID-19, those admitted for lingering COVID-19 complications, and those transferred from other health units.

When those categories are included, there were 28 patients in its most recent update, which is stable.

Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

Tests, outbreaks and cases

Testing strategies have changed under the contagious Omicron variant, which means many COVID-19 cases aren't reflected in current counts. Public health only tracks and reports outbreaks that occur in health-care settings.

Ottawa's average positivity rate for all residents is about 11 per cent. That number has ranged between nine and 11 per cent this month.

The capital has 16 active COVID outbreaks, which has been stable in June.

On Tuesday, OPH reported 150 more cases over four days and no more deaths.

Vaccines

As of Monday's weekly update, 92 per cent of Ottawa residents age five and up had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 89 per cent had at least two.

Sixty-four per cent of Ottawans age 12 and above had at least three doses and 12 per cent had four. Each rose by one percentage point in the past week. Eligibility is more limited for third and fourth doses than the first two.

Across the region

Wastewater levels are rising in Casselman. They're stable in other sites east of OttawaBrockville, Smiths Falls and slowly dropping in the Kingston area.

Data from other parts of the region is either at least a week old, or not publicly available.

Western Quebec has about 40 COVID-19 hospitalizations, including those no longer considered an active case. Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting about 15.

That doesn't include Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health, which has a different counting method. Its hospitalizations are low and stable and it reported its 63rd total COVID death in its weekly Tuesday update.

Vaccines

More than 5.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to people in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

Quebec considers about 78 per cent of Outaouais residents to be "adequately vaccinated," which can be a combination of vaccination and recent infection.

For each of the eastern Ontario health units, there are anywhere from 81 to 92 per cent of eligible residents with at least two vaccine doses, and anywhere from 59 to 71 per cent of adults with three doses.

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