Key COVID-19 numbers in the Ottawa area today
Ottawa's wastewater average drops, remains higher than its previous record.
Its outbreaks, ICU patients and community test-positivity rise.
Three COVID deaths have been reported across the region.
Today's Ottawa update
The average level of coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater is below last week's record high, but still above the previous record from April 2021. It has dropped four of the last seven days.
The most recent data from April 18 (the bold red line in the graph below) is about 10 times higher than what it was in early March before this spike and about 15 per cent higher than the previous record from April 2021.
This past Sunday had the highest daily reading on record, represented by the red bars.
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.
Twenty Ottawa residents are in local hospitals for treatment of active COVID-19, according to Wednesday's Ottawa Public Health (OPH) update, which is around where that number has been for two weeks.
Five of the patients are in intensive care. There had been between zero and four for more than two months.
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.
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 20 per cent, the average positivity rate for those who received PCR tests outside long-term care homes is rising. The average in these homes is around nine per cent, which is stabilizing after rising most of the month.
The 65 outbreaks are more than the 46 reported a week ago. They are led by 24 outbreaks in retirement homes, which is six outbreaks higher than Tuesday's report.
On Wednesday, OPH reported the death of someone in their 70s who had COVID.
It reported 49 more COVID-19 cases while flagging that there was a reporting problem on Monday and Tuesday, which means cases will be added to catch up in the coming days.
The rolling weekly incidence rate of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, expressed per 100,000 residents, is around 115 — though that is subject to the same adjustment.
As of Tuesday's weekly update, 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 three per cent have four.
Across the region
Ontario and Quebec are in the midst of another pandemic wave.
Eastern Ontario has the highest regional wastewater average, according to the province's science table.
Recent wastewater data from the three sites in the Kingston area includes two at record highs. The most recent wastewater data from Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties and sites east of Ottawa is a week old.
Western Quebec has 96 local COVID hospitalizations, with three in intensive care.
Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting about 50 COVID-19 hospitalizations. About 10 of them are in intensive care.
Neither of those numbers includes Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, which has a different counting method. Its first update in a week included its 52nd COVID death — its fourth reported this month — and a high, stable 19 hospitalizations.
LGL's 10 local COVID hospitalizations are stable as are its five intensive care patients. One more resident with COVID-19 has died, which is its seventh such death reported this month and 98th overall.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit's hospitalizations, test positivity and number of outbreaks are high, but stable.
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.