Hospitalizations, outbreaks down in latest COVID update

·3 min read
People snap photos in the ByWard Market in Ottawa on Thursday, July 28, 2022.  (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
People snap photos in the ByWard Market in Ottawa on Thursday, July 28, 2022. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa records no new COVID-19 deaths.

  • Its number of outbreaks in health-care settings drops slightly to 72.

  • Its hospitalizations drop.

The region is in the seventh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic driven by the BA.5 coronavirus subvariant.

Ottawa Public Health specifically wants people to limit contacts, consider masking in crowded outdoor areas as well as inside and asks businesses to consider bringing back policies such as mandatory masks.

The local health-care system is again being strained by the combination of the pandemic load and staff shortages.

The latest Ottawa update

Wastewater

The average level of coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater is very high. It rose for more than a month starting in early June and has slowly dropped eight of the last 10 days of data.

That average as of July 24 is about two times higher than it was a month ago and about 15 times higher than a year ago.

613covid.ca
613covid.ca

Hospitals

Twenty-seven Ottawa residents have been admitted to a city hospital with COVID-19, according to OPH's latest update.

Three of those patients are in intensive care.

One year ago, there were three of these hospital patients and two years ago, there were nine.

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.

Including those categories, 130 COVID-19 patients were in hospital as of its most recent data. That number is going down.

Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

Tests, outbreaks and cases

Testing strategies changed under the Omicron variant, meaning many COVID-19 cases aren't reflected in current counts. Public health officials now only track and report outbreaks in health-care settings.

Ottawa's test positivity rate sits around 21 per cent. That's very high and rising. It was about 15 per cent a month ago.

There are currently 72 active COVID outbreaks in Ottawa.

OPH reported 289 more cases and no new deaths over the last four days.

Ottawa has had a total of 844 residents with COVID-19 die. Its 234 victims in 2022 have surpassed the 229 in 2021. It had 381 COVID deaths in 2020.

Vaccines

As of the most recent weekly update, 93 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 over had at least three doses, and 16 per cent had four.

OPH reported an increase to about 20,000 vaccine doses being given to Ottawa residents in the last week. Nearly all were fourth doses.

Across the region

In Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties, wastewater levels are rising in Brockville and Kemptville and stable in Smiths Falls. Those levels are stable across the Kingston area and dropping from peaks in Casselman and Hawkesbury.

Data from other areas is either at least a week old or not publicly available.

Western Quebec is reporting a rise to 83 COVID hospitalizations. Three of those patients are in intensive care. And three more people have died in that region due to COVID-19.

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting 46 COVID hospitalizations, including six patients in intensive care.

That regional total doesn't include Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health, which has a different counting method. Its 11 hospitalizations are a slight rise and one patient is in intensive care.

Of the seven local health authorities, three have had more deaths this year than in either 2020 or 2021 — HPE, the Kingston area and Renfrew County. All six in eastern Ontario have more in 2022 than 2021.

Across eastern Ontario, between 81 and 92 per cent of residents age five and up have received at least two vaccine doses, and between 59 and 71 per cent of adults have had at least three.

The total number of vaccine doses given to local residents has passed 5.6 million.

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