Key COVID-19 numbers in the Ottawa area today

·4 min read
A kayaker is framed by trees as they paddle at Britannia Bay in Ottawa on the last day of May. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A kayaker is framed by trees as they paddle at Britannia Bay in Ottawa on the last day of May. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)
  • Local pandemic trends are generally stable or dropping.

  • Targeted mask use recommended in Ottawa rather than widespread use.

  • The COVID-19 test positivity in Ottawa long-term care homes rises.

  • Kemptville's high, stable wastewater is another exception.

Today's Ottawa update

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) said pandemic trends are still moving in the right direction. It considers the coronavirus wastewater average to be moderate and hospitalizations, test positivity and outbreaks to be low.

As Ontario and Quebec move to further scale back mandatory mask rules in the cpming days, Ottawa's medical officer of health said in a memo to city council that she doesn't think widespread mask use in the community is required for now.

"Nonetheless, because the current COVID-19 surge is not resolved and future surges are anticipated, and given the non-discretionary nature of public transit for many residents and the fact that maintaining physical distancing on transit vehicles can be difficult and, at times impossible, Ottawa Public Health strongly recommends that mask use continue on public transit and in transit stations," wrote Dr. Vera Etches.

Wastewater

The level of coronavirus detected in Ottawa's wastewater has been very slowly dropping for more than two weeks.

The most recent data available (the bold red line in the graph below) shows the seven-day average calculated on June 5 remained slightly higher than what it was in early March, before the most recent spike.

It's about four-and-a-half times higher than in late autumn before Omicron hit.

613covid.ca
613covid.ca

Hospitals

Fifteen Ottawa residents are in local hospitals for treatment for COVID-19, according to Wednesday's OPH update. That number has generally ranged between 10 and 20 for nearly four weeks.

Two patients are in intensive care.

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 those categories are included, there were 40 patients on Saturday. That number has been dropping.

Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

Tests, outbreaks and cases

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

At about seven per cent, Ottawa's average positivity rate for those who received PCR tests outside long-term care homes has dipped lower than it had been over the last month.

The average test positivity inside long-term care homes is 12 per cent, a rising number that is bucking most COVID trends in the city.

Ottawa has a stable 18 active COVID outbreaks. Five of them are in long-term care homes, including ones with 66, 59 and 44 cases. The latter two are fewer than two weeks old.

On Wednesday, OPH reported 85 more cases and no more deaths.

The rolling weekly incidence rate of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, expressed per 100,000 residents, sits around 30.

Vaccines

As of Monday's weekly update, 92 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-three per cent of Ottawans age 12 and above had at least three doses and 11 per cent had four.

Across the region

Wastewater levels are stable in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark county sites. That stability is still at a high level in Kemptville, though it's below where it sat in January and April.

These averages are slowly rising in Kingston this month — still far from the levels seen earlier in the spring.

Data from other parts of the region is either at least a week old, or not publicly available.

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting about 20 COVID-19 hospitalizations, including three in intensive care. Both numbers are stable.

Neither includes Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health, which has a different counting method.

Western Quebec has about 50 COVID hospitalizations, including those no longer considered an active case. That's also stable. One patient requires intensive care.

Vaccines

More than 5.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to people in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

Quebec considers about 78 per cent of Outaouais residents to be "adequately vaccinated," which can be a combination of vaccination and recent infection.

For each of the eastern Ontario health units, there are anywhere from 81 to 92 per cent of eligible residents with at least two vaccine doses, and anywhere from 59 to 71 per cent of adults with three doses.

HPE's rate of adults with a third dose increased to 63 per cent Wednesday.

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