Active COVID-19 cases in Ottawa back above 500, but city holding steady in 'orange' zone

Ottawa Public Health says 55 more people have tested positive for COVID-19, pushing the city's number of active cases back above 500 for the first time in nearly a month.

According to OPH's COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 14,705 total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the pandemic began. No new deaths were reported on Sunday, keeping the city's pandemic death toll at 439 residents.

There were 1,062 new cases reported across the province on Sunday, pushing Ontario past 300,000 total cases since the start of the pandemic. Ontario also reported 20 new COVID-19 related deaths and 1,029 newly resolved cases on Sunday. Ontario reported 31 new cases in Ottawa on Sunday. Figures from Ottawa Public Health often differ from those from the province because the respective health units pull data for their daily reports at different times the previous day.

Provincial officials reported no new cases of any variants of concern on Sunday. To date, Ottawa has seen eight confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant and one case of the B.1.351 variant.

While the number of known active cases in Ottawa is on the rise, Ottawa remains within the "orange-restrict' threshold under Ontario's COVID-19 framework. The weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 residents fell slightly on Sunday, while other key metrics held steady.

On Saturday, medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches told the CTV News at Six that she expects Ottawa will remain in the orange zone for at least another week.

"I have to credit the people of Ottawa, you've held it steady for another week," she said. "Usually, the assessment is made on a Tuesday for the change to be made on the following Friday so I think this Tuesday we should be steady in orange for the week."

On Wednesday, she told city council Ottawa was approaching "red-control" levels and warned of an increased number of contacts per case. At the time, the available data listed 5.8 contacts per infected case for the week of Feb. 8 to 14. That figure has been cut in half to 2.9 contacts per infected case for the week of Feb. 15 to 21.

OTTAWA'S COVID-19 KEY STATISTICS

Ottawa is in "Orange-Restrict" status under Ontario's COVID-19 framework.

Ottawa Public Health data:

  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 33.8 (down from 35.0 on Saturday and 34.7 on Friday)
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 2.0 per cent (Feb. 19-25)
  • Reproduction number: 0.98 (seven day average)

Reproduction values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading and each case infects more than one contact. If it is less than 1, it means spread is slowing.

The Orange-Restrict category of Ontario's COVID-19 framework includes a weekly rate of cases per 100,000 between 25 to 39.9, a percent positivity of 1.3 to 2.4 per cent, and a reproduction number of approximately 1 to 1.1. 

VACCINES IN OTTAWA

As of Feb. 26

  • Vaccine doses administered in Ottawa (first and second shots): 49,125*
  • COVID-19 doses received (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna): 61,820

A new shipment of 4,000 Moderna doses arrived in Ottawa on Feb. 25.

A new shipment of 9,360 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived in Ottawa on Feb. 22.

*OPH says staff were able to extract additional doses out of several vials, which were given to residents. In a statement on its dashboard, OPH said, "Vaccine inventory is based on an expected 5 dose per vial supply. Occasionally, an additional dose (6th dose) is successfully extracted and administered to clients."

ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA

The number of people with known active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa rose above 500 on Sunday. Ottawa Public Health reported 504 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, up from 488 on Sunday. On Feb. 21, there were 476 active cases.

This is the first time the number of known active cases has been above 500 since Feb. 2.

Thirty-nine more people have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. There are 13,762 resolved cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa

The number of active cases is the number of total cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.

HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA

There are currently 20 people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 complications, down from 24 on Saturday. Seven people are in intensive care.

Of the people in hospital, one is in their 30s, two are in their 40s, one is in their 50s, one is in their 60s (this person is in the ICU), five are in their 70s (two are in the ICU), eight are in their 80s (four are in the ICU), and two are 90 or older.

COVID-19 CASES IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY

  • 0-9 years old: Three new cases (1,092 total cases)
  • 10-19 years-old: Eight new cases (1,821 total cases)
  • 20-29 years-old: 19 new cases (3,191 total cases)
  • 30-39 years-old: Nine new cases (2,062 total cases)
  • 40-49 years-old: Six new cases (1,897 total cases)
  • 50-59 years-old: Two new cases (1,773 total cases)
  • 60-69-years-old: Two new cases (1,061 total cases)
  • 70-79 years-old: Five new cases (649 total cases)
  • 80-89 years-old: One new case (702 total cases)
  • 90+ years old: Zero new cases (454 total cases)
  • Unknown: Zero new cases (3 cases total)

COVID-19 TESTING

Ontario health officials say 49,185 COVID-19 tests were completed provincewide on Saturday and there are 18,318 tests still under investigation.

The Ottawa COVID-18 Testing Taskforce does not provide local testing figures on weekends. In its most recent update Friday afternoon, the taskforce said 1,742 swabs were processed at assessment centres in Ottawa on Thursday and labs performed 6,789 tests.

The average turnaround from the time the swab is taken at a testing site to the result is 33 hours.

The next local testing update will be released on Monday, March 1.

COVID-19 CASES ACROSS THE REGION

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: Four new cases
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health: One new case
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: Four new cases
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: Two new cases
  • CISSS de l'Outaouais (Gatineau and western Quebec): 25 new cases

INSTITUTIONAL OUTBREAKS

Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 29 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.

New outbreaks were declared at the Forest Hill and Madonna Care Community long-term care homes. Outbreaks have ended at a Mothercraft Ottawa home daycare and at Franco-Cité high school.

There are five active community outbreaks: one is linked to a health workplace, one is linked to a corporate/office setting, one is linked to a construction workplace, one is linked to a community organization and one at a multi-unit dwelling.

The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Centrepointe Home Daycare
  2. École élémentaire publique Des Sentiers
  3. Osgoode Township High School
  4. Service a l'enfance Grandir Ensemble - 33477 

The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Centre D'Acceuil Champlain
  2. Extendicare Laurier Manor
  3. Extendicare Starwood
  4. Extendicare West End Villa
  5. Forest Hill (NEW)
  6. Garry J. Armstrong long-term care home
  7. Governor's Walk Retirement
  8. Group Home – 32432
  9. Group Home – 32782
  10. Madonna Care Community (NEW)
  11. Manoir Marochel
  12. Manotick Place Retirement
  13. Montfort Long-term Care Centre
  14. Peter D. Clark
  15. Rockcliffe Retirement Residence
  16. Shelter - 28778
  17. Shelter - 29677
  18. Shelter - 29770
  19. Shelter - 29860
  20. Shelter - 33435
  21. Supported Independent Living – 32891
  22. The Ottawa Hospital - Civic Campus - A2 
  23. The Ottawa Hospital - Civic Campus - A4 (Medicine)/A5/B5/Ama
  24. The Ottawa Hospital - General Campus - Single Unit 7Ncc/Ccu
  25. Villa Marconi

A single laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member of a long-term care home, retirement home or shelter triggers an outbreak response, according to Ottawa Public Health. In childcare settings, a single confirmed, symptomatic case in a staff member, home daycare provider, or child triggers an outbreak.

Under provincial guidelines, a COVID-19 outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).

Two staff or patient cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within a specified hospital unit within a 14-day period where both cases could have reasonably acquired their infection in hospital is considered an outbreak in a public hospital.