Etches commends Ottawans for taking action to 'bend the curve'

·2 min read
Andrew Lee/CBC
Andrew Lee/CBC

Ottawa's medical officer of health commended residents for their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 on Friday, but noted outbreaks in the city's long-term care homes continue to cause concern.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 97 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths Friday, while declaring 67 more cases resolved.

"The data we are seeing today tells me that two, even three weeks ago, before [modified Stage 2] restrictions were introduced, you took action to bend the curve," Dr. Vera Etches said in a statement issued Friday.

"Ottawa has come a long way since the beginning of October," she continued. "Because of your actions we are starting to see some stabilization."

Provincial data released Thursday suggests Ottawa is performing better than other hot spots in the province.

Etches did note that the 14 active outbreaks in Ottawa's long-term care homes are cause for concern, and a reminder there's still lots of work to be done to manage community spread and protect the most vulnerable.

Just over half of the new cases reported Friday are people under 40, while one-quarter are people over 80.

Forty-two patients are currently receiving treatment in Ottawa hospitals for COVID-19, four of them in intensive care.

OPH reported no new outbreaks in Ottawa schools or hospitals Friday.

Testing backlog shrinks

Currently, 2.7 per cent of COVID-19 tests in Ottawa are coming back positive, and OPH is learning of those results within 48 hours 74 per cent of the time, short of its target of 90 per cent.

Ottawa is still falling short of its testing turnaround targets, though the backlog at labs did shrink by more than half to 1,321 on Wednesday, the latest data available.

A total of 6,927 Ottawa residents have now tested positive for COVID-19, including 698 known active case, 5,906 resolved cases and 323 deaths.

Elsewhere, Quebec is reporting 50 new COVID-19 cases and one more death in the Outaouais on Friday.