Ottawa's COVID-19 numbers continue to slacken on eve of reopening

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On the eve of the lifting of restrictions affecting bars, restaurants, cinemas and other public venues, the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in Ottawa continues to trend downward.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 36 new cases on Friday, and declared 96 more cases resolved. There have been two more deaths linked to COVID-19.

That means the rolling seven-day average of new cases has now dropped for the fifth straight day as Ottawa prepares to ease pandemic restrictions on Saturday.

A total of 7,360 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19, but the number of known active cases has now dropped to 587. OPH has declared 6,437 cases resolved, while the city's death toll has now climbed to 336.

There remain 54 patients being treated in hospital for COVID-19, four of them in intensive care.

As of the latest update, 3.2 per cent of tests for COVID-19 were coming back positive, and Ottawa's testing task force said there's a backlog of more than 1,800 waiting more than 24 hours to be processed.

OPH is nearing its target of informing those people of their positive tests within 24 hours 90 per cent of the time; of those it does reach within a day, OPH is also reaching that person's close contacts within 24 hours nine times out of 10.

Outbreaks have ended at the city-run Garry J Armstrong long-term care home and Hillel Lodge, leaving 10 homes with active outbreaks.

Outbreaks have also ended at Academie Providence Soeurs Antonines and École élémentaire catholique Montfort. Four Ottawa schools and four hospital wards currently have outbreaks.