Key COVID-19 numbers in the Ottawa area today

·4 min read
Children play on the stone steps at the National Gallery of Canada in downtown Ottawa April 18, 2022. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Children play on the stone steps at the National Gallery of Canada in downtown Ottawa April 18, 2022. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
  • Ottawa's coronavirus wastewater average is just below its record.

  • Two more Ottawa residents with COVID-19 have died.

  • Wastewater records fall in some Kingston-area sites.

Today's Ottawa update

Wastewater

The average level of coronavirus detected in Ottawa's wastewater rose to record highs this month.

The most recent data from April 13 (the bold red line in the graph below) is just below a peak on April 11. It's more than 10 times higher than what it was in early March before this spike and about 35 per cent higher than the previous record from April 2021.

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.

Wastewater is a key indicator of what Ottawa Public Health (OPH) calls a significant COVID-19 wave in the city. Health officials highly recommend people take steps to protect themselves and others.

Hospitals

Eighteen Ottawa residents are in local hospitals for treatment of active COVID-19, according to Tuesday's Ottawa Public Health (OPH) update, which is stable.

Four of the patients are in intensive care. That number had been between zero and two all of March and April.

Hospitalization figures don't include patients admitted for other reasons who then tested positive for COVID-19. Nor do they include those admitted for lingering COVID-19 complications, nor patients transferred from other health units.

That number is rising to a level last seen in mid-February 2022. Some hospitals are again having staffing problems.

Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

Cases and outbreaks

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 18 per cent, the average positivity rate for those who received PCR tests outside long-term care homes is high and stable. The average in these homes is around nine per cent, which may be stabilizing after rising most of the month.

On Tuesday, OPH reported 549 more COVID-19 cases over four days, as well as the deaths of a person in their 60s and a person in their 80s who had COVID.

The 61 outbreaks are more than the 41 reported a week ago. They are led by 18 outbreaks in retirement homes and 17 in group homes.

The rolling weekly incidence rate of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, expressed per 100,000 residents, is around 125.

Vaccines

915,390: The number of Ottawa residents age five and up with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 356 more than in last Monday's weekly update. That's still 92 per cent of the eligible population.

879,108: The number of Ottawa residents age five and up with a second dose, 740 in the last week. Eighty-nine per cent of the eligible population now has at least two doses.

570,497: The number of Ottawans age 12 and up with a third dose, 2,361 more in the last week. That's still 62 per cent of these residents; younger children only qualify with certain health conditions.

Three per cent of residents age 12 and up have a fourth dose, or about 28,500 people. Twelve Novavax doses have been given in Ottawa, not necessarily to residents.

Across the region

Ontario and Quebec are in the midst of another pandemic wave.

Eastern Ontario has the highest regional wastewater average by far, according to the province's science table.

Recent wastewater data from the three sites in the Kingston area includes two at record highs. The wastewater signal is stable across Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties and low at sites east of Ottawa.

Western Quebec has 97 local COVID hospitalizations, with three patients in intensive care.

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting about 50 COVID-19 hospitalizations. About 15 of them are in intensive care.

Neither of those numbers includes Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, which has a different counting method.

LGL's first update since Wednesday brings a rise to 10 local COVID hospitalizations, five in intensive care.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit's 16 local COVID hospitalizations are stable, so is its approximately 16 per cent test positivity. It drops from 16 outbreaks Thursday to 10 Tuesday.

Health experts say hospitalizations may not get as high this wave because of immunity, both from vaccines and previous infection, and antiviral treatments. Vulnerable people, including children, are still at higher risk of serious health problems.

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