A lack of testing, vaccinations, physical distancing and masks all contributed to the spread of COVID-19 following an outdoor sporting event and social gathering in September, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) says.
According to a graphic shared on Twitter Wednesday 37 people tested positive by the end of September as a result of not following public health protocols, and that number will likely continue to rise, according to OPH.
"With vaccination & early testing these numbers could have been reduced," the tweet read. "Please, get vaccinated. If you are showing COVID-19 symptoms, get tested right away."
The series of events also forced more than a dozen school cohorts to be sent home, and closed an elementary school.
Public health says an unvaccinated individual with COVID-19 attended an outdoor sports game, and that person started having symptoms the following day. They did not immediately get tested, and went to a social gathering and school while sick with COVID-19.
Another unvaccinated person, who did not attend the sports game, later attended an indoor social event where players from the game were present. They also had COVID-19 symptoms, but decided to delay getting tested.
OPH also says mask use and physical distancing were inconsistent at the social event.
This resulted in a number of people with COVID-19 who continued to go to school and other places while symptomatic who had not been tested.
Public health says 26 people tested positive between Sept. 1 and 23, and 11 more tested positive by the end of the month. There were also 247 high-risk contacts by Sept. 23, which almost doubled to 464 one week later.
None of those who tested positive in the first 23-day period, as shown in the graphic, was vaccinated — though all of them are eligible to get the vaccine.
OPH says it would not reveal the name of the school involved to protect residents' personal health information.