Key COVID-19 numbers in the Ottawa area today

·4 min read
Ahmed Altaouil tosses saj bread as he prepares a meal for The Falafel Guys at the Ottawa Farmers' Market at Lansdowne Park in May 2020. That market went back outside for the season last weekend with distancing and hand sanitizing stations. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press - image credit)
Ahmed Altaouil tosses saj bread as he prepares a meal for The Falafel Guys at the Ottawa Farmers' Market at Lansdowne Park in May 2020. That market went back outside for the season last weekend with distancing and hand sanitizing stations. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press - image credit)
  • Ottawa's pandemic trends are stable or dropping.

  • Trends in other places are generally doing the same.

  • Three more COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the region.

Today's Ottawa update

Wastewater

The average level of coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater has been slowly dropping for about three weeks since the pandemic-record peak of the sixth wave in April.

The most recent data from May 2 (the bold red line in the graph below) shows the level was still about seven-and-a-half times higher than what it was in early March before the current spike.

613covid.ca
613covid.ca

Those records don't reflect the first wave of the pandemic when wastewater was not monitored for traces of the virus.

Hospitals

The number of Ottawa residents in local hospitals for treatment of active COVID-19 dropped to 26 in Thursday's Ottawa Public Health (OPH) update. It had been in and around the 30s for 10 days.

Four of those patients are in intensive care, which is stable.

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 you include patients such as these, the number was 99 as of Monday after two weeks above 100. Some hospitals are again having staffing problems, including The Ottawa Hospital's emergency departments.

Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

Tests, outbreaks and cases

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

The city's 56 outbreaks are stable. The 25 retirement home outbreaks are the most among health-care settings.

On Thursday, OPH reported 127 more cases and the death of someone in their 50s who had COVID.

The rolling weekly incidence rate of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, expressed per 100,000 residents, drops to around 85.

At 16 per cent, the average positivity rate for those who received PCR tests outside long-term care homes is stable. The average inside the homes is also stable around 10 per cent. The next update is expected Friday.

Ottawa Public Health says despite some trends in the right direction, COVID levels remain high and could rise again if people drop their guard. They recommend gathering outside as the weather warms.

Vaccines

As of the last vaccine update from April 25, 92 per cent of Ottawa residents age five and up have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 89 per cent have at least two.

Sixty-two per cent of residents age 12 and up have at least three doses and five per cent have four.

OPH hasn't provided an update yet this week.

Across the region

Ontario and Quebec continue to be in the sixth pandemic wave. There are signs of improvement in both provinces.

Wastewater levels in the Kingston area are dropping. In Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties, the signal is stable. Data from east of Ottawa is a week old and other areas don't have public data.

Eastern Ontario has one of the highest regional wastewater averages in the province, according to the science table. It's stable and only trails the neighbouring Peterborough and Muskoka area.

Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table
Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table

Western Quebec has 77 local COVID-19 hospitalizations, including patients who are no longer considered active cases. Four of those patients require intensive care. Both numbers are stable.

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting about 35 COVID-19 hospitalizations, about 10 in intensive care. Both numbers have been dropping.

Neither of those numbers includes Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health which, like western Quebec, has a different counting method. While high, its 32 hospitalizations reported Thursday are fewer than the 40 reported Tuesday.

HPE has four COVID patients who require intensive care, which is stable. The region also reported its first COVID death in May; its 55th death overall.

Renfrew County reported its third COVID death of May and 45th overall. Its 13 COVID hospitalizations and five outbreaks are stable, while its test positivity drops to around 11 per cent.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit's five hospitalizations are stable. For now, none are in intensive care. Its test positivity and outbreaks are high and stable.

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