OPH reports rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths in latest update

Groups of people in front of an outdoor Ottawa sign in the ByWard Market earlier this week. (Jacques Corriveau/CBC - image credit)
Groups of people in front of an outdoor Ottawa sign in the ByWard Market earlier this week. (Jacques Corriveau/CBC - image credit)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa's COVID-19 trends are rising.

  • Ottawa reports seven deaths since last update.

  • Hospitalizations continue to climb in the capital city.

The latest guidance

Experts recommend people get their updated COVID booster vaccine for better protection against current coronavirus variants, getting a flu shot when it's available, staying home when sick and wearing a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor places.

While COVID vaccines and previous infection give some protection, that protection will wane and subvariants continue to emerge. There are also the risks of long COVID.

Hospital leaders continues to emphasize the pressure they're facing as cold and flu season hits during the pandemic.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) said in its weekly Thursday check-in that COVID-19 levels remain high.

Wastewater

The weekly average level of coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater was high as of the OPH update. It slowly rose from the start of September until mid-October, dropped for a week straight and has edged back up.

As of Oct. 23, the average is about five times higher than this time last year.

613covid.ca
613covid.ca

Hospitals

Forty-seven Ottawa residents have been admitted to a city hospital with COVID-19, according to OPH's latest update. One is in intensive care. Hospitalizations have been rising since Oct. 11, when there were 17.

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 those kinds of patients, the number is stable.

Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health

Tests, outbreaks and cases

Testing strategies changed under the 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 test positivity rate has risen since the start of September and reached 22 per cent late last week, which OPH considered very high. It's at 22 per cent in the Friday update.

There are currently 58 active COVID outbreaks in Ottawa. This is moderate, according to OPH, and generally stable.

OPH reported 367 more cases since Tuesday and seven more deaths of people with COVID. A total of 926 Ottawa residents who had COVID have died.

Vaccines

As of the most recent weekly update, 93 per cent of Ottawa residents aged five and up had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, 90 per cent had at least two and 61 per cent at least three.

Twenty-eight per cent of Ottawans aged 12 and older had at least four. All children aged 12 to 17 only became eligible last week.

About 8,200 residents younger than five have had a first dose, which is about 18 per cent of Ottawa's population of that age group.

Across the region

Wastewater trends are stable in Kingston. Data from other areas is out of date or unavailable.

Western Quebec's health authority, CISSSO, reports a stable 85 COVID hospitalizations. Two of the patients are in intensive care. It reported five more COVID deaths in its weekly update Wednesday for a pandemic total of 354.

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting about 55 COVID hospitalizations, 14 of them in intensive care. About half of each are in the Kingston area.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit reported one new death in its latest update on Friday.

Renfrew's health unit reported three more deaths related to COVID-19 in its latest update Thursday.

There was also a jump in hospitalizations, increasing to 12 from four in last week's update. There is one patient in ICU.

That regional count doesn't include Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health, which has a different counting method. Its count has been high and stable.

Everywhere but Ottawa has had more reported COVID deaths in 2022 than either 2020 or 2021.

Across eastern Ontario, between 81 and 92 per cent of residents age five and up have received at least two vaccine doses, and between 53 and 65 per cent of those residents have had at least three.