COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Oct. 25, 2021

The fall colours of Gatineau Park can be seen on the hills in the background on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.

Fast Facts:

  • Ottawa's COVID-19 caseload is a fraction this year of what it was at the same time last year.
  • OPH reported zero patients with COVID-19 in the city's ICUs on Sunday.

COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):

  • New COVID-19 cases: 26 cases on Sunday.
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 30,694
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 19.9
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.7 per cent (seven-day average)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.06 (seven-day average)

Testing:

Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says you can get a COVID-19 test at an assessment centre, care clinic, or community testing site if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are showing COVID-19 symptoms;
  • You have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by Ottawa Public Health or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app;
  • You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health;
  • You are a resident, a worker or a visitor to long-term care, retirement homes, homeless shelters or other congregate settings (for example: group homes, community supported living, disability-specific communities or congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices and other shelters);
  • You are a person who identifies as First Nations, Inuit or Métis;
  • You are a person travelling to work in a remote First Nations, Inuit or Métis community;
  • You received a preliminary positive result through rapid testing;
  • You are a patient and/or their 1 accompanying escort tra­velling out of country for medical treatment;
  • You are a farm worker;
  • You are an educator who cannot access pharmacy-testing; or
  • You are in a targeted testing group as outlined in guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Long-term care staff, caregivers, volunteers and visitors who are fully immunized against COVID-19 are not required to present a negative COVID-19 test before entering or visiting a long-term care home.

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:

There are several sites for COVID-19 testing in Ottawa. To book an appointment, visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx

  • COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Arena at 180 Percy St.: Open Monday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre: Open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Saturday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre (Kemptville) – 15 Campus Drive: Open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Centretown Community Health Centre: Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sandy Hill Community Health Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 pm.
  • Somerset West Community Health Centre: Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday

COVID-19 screening tool:

The COVID-19 screening tool for schools in Ottawa and eastern Ontario. All students, teachers and school staff must complete the COVID-19 School screening tool daily.

Symptoms:

Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath

Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallowing, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pneumonia, new or unexplained runny nose or nasal congestion

Less common symptoms: unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, headache, delirium, chills, red/inflamed eyes, croup

COVID-19 cases this fall a fraction of where they were in 2020

The peak of Ottawa's COVID-19 caseload early this fall was roughly half of what it was in the fall of 2020, and data show that Ottawa's most recent wave has crested.

COVID-19 cases in Ottawa rose steadily in September 2020 and a similar trend was seen in 2021, but with a majority of the city vaccinated against COVID-19, the wave this fall was much less harsh than it was in 2020. Figures from Ottawa Public Health, available on Open Ottawa, show that active COVID-19 cases peaked at 1,501 on Oct. 3, 2020 before they started to decline again. By Oct. 23, the active case count had dropped to 1,367.

In 2021, the peak during the most recent wave was 740 active cases on Sept. 18. Ottawa's caseload has since dropped to 242 active cases as of Sunday's most recent snapshot from OPH, a fraction of what it was on the same date in 2020.

The main difference between 2020 and 2021 is the vaccine. There was no approved vaccine in Canada in the fall of 2020. As of last Friday, 90 per cent of residents of Ottawa who are eligible have had at least one dose and 86 per cent are fully vaccinated. The province has created mandates requiring proof of vaccination to visit many non-essential businesses, including restaurants, but some businesses had been enforcing their own vaccination requirements before the provincial system was launched.

The presence of vaccines and the widespread coverage also correlates with a markedly lower caseload in Ottawa hospitals. On Oct. 23, 2020, there were 36 COVID-19 patients in local hospitals. On Oct. 23, 2021, there were six. The 2021 fall wave peaked at 20 hospitalizations due to COVID-19, with 12 people in the ICU on Sept. 30. In the fall wave of 2020, the peak number of hospitalizations was 49 while ICU admissions peaked at 10.

  Snapshot: Oct. 23, 2020 vs. Oct. 23, 2021
Infogram

Ottawa ICUs free of COVID-19 on Sunday

Ottawa Public Health said Sunday that local ICUs are free of any patients with COVID-19. Twenty-six more people in the city have tested positive.

To date, OPH has recorded 30,694 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the pandemic began. No new deaths were reported on Sunday. Since March 2020, 602 residents of Ottawa have lost their lives to COVID-19.

The number of known active cases ticked up slightly on Sunday but hospitalizations are down.

The seven-day average for new cases in Ottawa is 29.2 cases per day. That's up from 26.6 cases per day one week ago, but down from an average of 54.4 four weeks ago.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
Infogram