September starts with stability in Ottawa's COVID trends

·4 min read
Students return to Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa Sept. 6, 2022. (Francis Ferland/CBC - image credit)
Students return to Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa Sept. 6, 2022. (Francis Ferland/CBC - image credit)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa's pandemic trends are stable or dropping.

  • The wastewater average stops growing in Kingston.

  • More COVID-19 deaths in Ottawa, the Kingston and Belleville areas.

The latest Ottawa update

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) said late last week there were encouraging signs with the city's pandemic trends, but COVID-19 levels were higher than they'd like them.

Some of those trends have changed little by the start of this week.

OPH strongly recommends wearing masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces, staying home when sick, seeing others outdoors if possible and keeping up-to-date on COVID vaccines.

Wastewater

The weekly average level of coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater declined for about a week, then ticked up for one day as of the last update Sept. 1.

That average is about two-and-a-half times lower than it was at the start of August and near its lowest level of the summer.

It's about six-and-a-half times higher than at this point in 2021 and a little less than twice what it was two years ago.

613covid.ca
613covid.ca

Hospitals

Twenty-one Ottawa residents have been admitted to a city hospital with COVID-19, according to OPH's latest update. That's been dropping early this month.

One patient is in intensive care.

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.

The number that includes those kinds of patients has been dropping since mid-July.

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 remains around 11 per cent. It has been stable this month.

There are currently 28 active COVID outbreaks in Ottawa. That number has been dropping.

OPH reported 130 more cases and the death of one more person who had COVID over the last four days.

Vaccines

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, 90 per cent had at least two and 60 per cent at least three.

Twenty-two per cent of Ottawans age 12 and over had at least four. Children 12 to 17 are only eligible if they're significantly immunocompromised.

About 7,000 residents under age five have had a first dose, which is about 15 per cent of Ottawa's population of that age.

More that 2.6 million COVID vaccine doses have now gone to that city's residents.

Across the region

Spread

Wastewater levels are high, but stable or dropping in Kingston after rising for about two weeks.

They're increasing in Kemptville, Smiths Falls and Casselman, stable at a high level in Brockville and stable and low in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU)'s other sites, which now includes Morrisburg.

Other data is out of date or unavailable.

Hospitalizations and deaths

Western Quebec's health authority CISSSO is reporting 86 COVID hospitalizations there, which has been slowly declining. Four of those patients are in intensive care.

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting about 40 COVID hospitalizations, including 11 patients in intensive care. Recent growth in those numbers is being driven by the Kingston area and EOHU.

That count doesn't include Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health, which has a different counting method. Its 21 COVID hospitalizations are high and stable, with one ICU patient. It's reporting its 68th total COVID death.

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health reported its 50th COVID death of 2022 and 72nd overall in its weekly update.

Health authorities in the region, including Ottawa, reported 25 COVID deaths last week.

Vaccines

Across eastern Ontario, between 81 and 92 per cent of residents age five and up have received at least two vaccine doses and between 52 and 64 per cent of those residents have had at least three.

All children age five to 11 in Ontario qualified for a first booster dose as of Thursday.