Key COVID-19 numbers in the Ottawa area today

·3 min read
A cyclist checks their phone near an STO transit stop in downtown Gatineau, Que., in April 2021. Masks will remain mandatory on public transit vehicles in Quebec past the May 14 lifting of many masking rules. (Guillaume Lafreniere/Radio-Canada - image credit)
A cyclist checks their phone near an STO transit stop in downtown Gatineau, Que., in April 2021. Masks will remain mandatory on public transit vehicles in Quebec past the May 14 lifting of many masking rules. (Guillaume Lafreniere/Radio-Canada - image credit)
  • Ottawa Public Health says COVID risks remain, despite some promising signs.

  • Trends outside the capital are generally stable or dropping.

  • Seven COVID deaths have been reported across the region.

Today's Ottawa update

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.

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

Thirty-four Ottawa residents are in local hospitals for treatment of active COVID-19, according to Wednesday's Ottawa Public Health (OPH) update. Four of those patients are in intensive care. Both numbers have been generally stable for more than a week.

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.

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 city's 58 outbreaks changes little from Tuesday — that number had been around 70s for about two weeks. The 27 retirement home outbreaks are the most among health-care settings.

On Wednesday, OPH reported 182 more cases and four more deaths of people who had COVID, all age 80 or older.

The rolling weekly incidence rate of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, expressed per 100,000 residents, remains around 95.

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 given 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 dropping or 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 dropping and at a similar level to 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. Its health authority reported one more COVID death Wednesday, its ninth in the last seven days.

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting about 40 COVID-19 hospitalizations, which is slowly dropping. About 10 of these patients are in intensive care. Neither of those numbers includes Hastings Prince Edward Public Health which, like western Quebec, has a different counting method.

LGL reported two more COVID deaths Wednesday to reach a pandemic death toll of 100. Its seven COVID hospitalizations reflect a slow decline.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit's COVID hospitalizations drop to five patients, two of them in intensive care. Its 13 per cent test positivity rate is high and stable, and its 15 outbreaks may be stabilizing.

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