High levels, mixed trends in latest Ottawa COVID updates

People walk along Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa on March 22, 2023. (David Richard/CBC - image credit)
People walk along Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa on March 22, 2023. (David Richard/CBC - image credit)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa's COVID-19 numbers are trending in different directions.

  • COVID levels in the city are generally high, says its health unit.

  • Six more people with COVID have died in the region.

The latest 

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) says COVID-19 indicators are generally high. Some, but not all of them are rising after weeks of stability.

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 has been slowly rising for about 10 days to where it was at the start of the month.

The most recent data is from March 21. OPH considers this level to be high.


The number of patients with COVID-19 in local hospitals drops to 20. It's been in the same general range since 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 is dropping.

Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

Tests, outbreaks and deaths

Ottawa has 22 active COVID outbreaks, which is stable and considered high by OPH.

The city's COVID-19 test positivity rate spent about six weeks between 11 and 13 per cent, then rose higher a week ago. It's now around 14 per cent. OPH says this is now high after weeks of being moderate.

OPH reported 112 more COVID cases since Tuesday and the death of someone age 90 or above with COVID.


Twenty-eight per cent of Ottawans age five and older have had a COVID-19 vaccine dose within the last six months, as is generally recommended, with older age groups having higher rates.

Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

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.

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 Kingston and mixed across the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). They're otherwise out of date or unavailable outside of Ottawa.

The average test positivity in Renfrew County drops from 16 per cent to 13 per cent.

The EOHU's COVID risk level remains moderate.

Hospitalizations and deaths

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa report about 25 COVID-19 hospitalizations, with four patients in intensive care.

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 63 COVID hospital patients. One of them is in intensive care. The province also reported three more COVID deaths there for a total of 410.

The EOHU reported two more COVID deaths for a total of 296.


The Kingston area's health unit says 26 per cent of its population age five and up have had a COVID vaccine in the last six months. It's 25 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.