Etches urges constant vigilance amid promising signs

·2 min read
Etches urges constant vigilance amid promising signs
Etches urges constant vigilance amid promising signs

As Ottawa's key COVID-19 indicators continue their slow improvement, the city's medical officer of health wants residents to stay vigilant and remember the pandemic is still causing pain and anguish for many.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) logged 37 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, and declared 52 more cases resolved. There were no more deaths. The city's latest cases are evenly split between people under and over 40.

More important than the daily counts is Ottawa's rolling average of new cases, which has been in decline for five consecutive days, nearing where it was two months ago when Dr. Vera Etches announced the city was in the grips of a second wave.

As well, the number of active cases in the city has dipped below 400 for the first time in weeks, and now sits at 396.

On Thursday, Etches said despite these positive signals, Ottawa's not out of the woods yet. She also pointed to the ripple effects of the pandemic, including mental health problems, health-care delays and a general reluctance to seek medical treatment.

WATCH | COVID-19's harmful ripple effects across health-care system:

A total of 8,027 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19, the vast majority of those cases — 7,268 — now resolved. The city's death toll sits at 363.

The level of coronavirus detected in Ottawa's wastewater has remained relatively stable all month.

Hospitalizations in Ottawa remain unchanged from Wednesday, with 43 patients including four in intensive care.

An outbreak at the Montfort Hospital has been declared over after about six weeks, leaving one active hospital outbreak in Ottawa. There are also outbreaks at nine long-term care homes and six schools in the city.

While subject to adjustment as more contact tracing is done, the average number of people infected by one positive COVID-19 case dipped again Thursday to 0.55. If that stabilizes, it could be Ottawa's ticket out of its current orange zone status.

Two more western Quebec residents have died of COVID-19 and the region is reporting 22 new cases Thursday.

Quebec is expected to release its public health guidance for the winter holiday season later today.