COVID hospitalizations, wastewater average rising in Ottawa

·3 min read
A trio of volleyball players play at Britannia Beach in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.  (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A trio of volleyball players play at Britannia Beach in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa's average coronavirus wastewater level keeps climbing.

  • Hospitalizations, outbreaks and test positivity do as well.

  • Kemptville sees its highest wastewater average of 2022.

  • The EOHU's COVID death and hospitalization counts rise.

The region is in the seventh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic driven by the BA.5 coronavirus subvariant. Health officials say people should get all COVID-19 vaccines they're eligible for, wear masks indoors and follow isolation guidelines.

Ontario has an update Wednesday on fourth vaccine doses and rapid tests.

In its most recent weekly update, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) said coronavirus wastewater levels and the city's test positivity percentage were high.

The latest Ottawa update


The average level of coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater has been rising for a month. It's higher than the peaks of most previous waves, but below the heights reached in April 2021 and 2022.

This average is about four times higher than it was a month ago and 16 times higher than a year ago.


Twenty-four Ottawa residents with COVID-19 are in local hospitals, according to OPH's latest update. Three of those patients are in intensive care.

Both numbers rise to levels not seen since mid-May.

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, 82 COVID-19 patients were in hospital as of its most recent data. This is also back to mid-May levels.

Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

Tests, outbreaks and cases

Testing strategies changed under the contagious 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 average test positivity rate for all residents goes up further to 18 per cent. It sat around 10 per cent for most of June before increasing around the start of summer.

There are currently 29 active COVID outbreaks in Ottawa. That number has doubled since the start of July. About half of these outbreaks are in retirement homes.

OPH reported 278 more cases and no more deaths over four days.


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 13 per cent had four. Eligibility is more limited for third and fourth doses than for the first two.

Across the region

Wastewater levels have mixed trends across Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, including the highest number of the year in Kemptville last week. These levels are slowly rising in the Kingston area, rising in Hawkesbury and stable in Cornwall.

Data from other parts of the region is either at least a week old or unavailable.

Western Quebec is reporting 64 COVID-19 hospitalizations, one of them in intensive care.

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting a total of 24 COVID hospitalizations, including two patients in intensive care. Fourteen of those patients and both in an ICU are in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), which started July with two COVID hospital patients.

That regional total doesn't include Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health, which has a different counting method. Hospitalizations there are low and stable.

The EOHU reported its 234th COVID-19 death Tuesday.

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

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