Key COVID-19 numbers in the Ottawa area today

  • Ottawa’s wastewater average is stable at a very high level.
  • Its COVID-19 hospitalizations return to where they were in mid-February.
  • There are some positive wastewater signs in the Kingston area.
  • One more COVID death reported in Hastings Prince Edward.

Today’s Ottawa update

Wastewater

The average level of coronavirus in Ottawa’s wastewater has stabilized just below last week’s record high, but it’s still above the previous record from April 2021.

The most recent data from April 20 (the bold red line in the graph below) shows the level is about 10 times higher than what it was in early March before the current spike.

The red bars in the graph are the daily readings. The three highest on record have come this month.

The last update was released Friday.

Researchers measuring and sharing the amount of novel coronavirus in Ottawa’s wastewater reported new pandemic records for daily readings and the weekly average in April 2022. The most recent data is from April 20. (613covid.ca)

Those records don’t reflect the first wave of the pandemic when wastewater was not monitored for traces of the virus.

Wastewater is a key indicator of what Ottawa Public Health (OPH) calls a significant COVID-19 wave. Officials highly recommend people take steps to protect themselves and others.

Hospitals

Thirty-one Ottawa residents are in local hospitals for treatment of active COVID-19, according to Monday’s Ottawa Public Health (OPH) update. That number is back in the 30s for the first time since mid-February.

Four of those patients remain in intensive care.

Those 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.

When you include patients such as these, the number rises to 118 as of Saturday. It, too, has returned to where it was in mid-February, and some hospitals are again having staffing problems.

Ottawa Public Health has a COVID-19 hospital count that shows all hospital patients who tested positive for COVID, including those admitted for other reasons, and who live in other areas. There were 118 as of April 23 (Ottawa Public Health)

Cases and outbreaks

Testing strategies have changed under the contagious Omicron variant, which means many new COVID-19 cases aren’t reflected in current counts. Public health only tracks and reports outbreaks that occur in health-care settings.

At 20 per cent, the average positivity rate for those who received PCR tests outside long-term care homes is high and stable. The average inside the homes rises to around 11 per cent.

The city’s 74 outbreaks are five more than reported Friday, with 29 in retirement homes leading the way.

On Monday, OPH reported no more deaths and 501 more cases over three days.

The rolling weekly incidence rate of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, expressed per 100,000 residents, is around 120.

Vaccines

915,737: The number of Ottawa residents age five and up with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 347 more than in last Tuesday’s weekly update. That’s still 92 per cent of the eligible population.

879,628: The number of Ottawa residents age five and up with a second dose, 520 since the last update. That’s still 89 per cent of the eligible population.

572,200: The number of Ottawans age 12 and up with a third dose, 1,703 since the last update. That’s still 62 per cent of these residents; younger children only qualify with certain health conditions.

Five per cent of residents age 12 and up have a fourth dose, or about 40,500 people.

Across the region

Ontario and Quebec are in the midst of another pandemic wave.

Eastern Ontario has one of the highest regional wastewater averages, according to the province’s science table. It only trails the Peterborough and Haliburton areas to its west.

Two of the three wastewater sites in the Kingston area have shown levels consistently dropping from record highs. Trends vary in the different wastewater sites in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties.

Western Quebec has 99 local COVID-19 hospitalizations, with four in intensive care.

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting about 60 COVID-19 hospitalizations. About 10 of them are in intensive care. Neither of those numbers includes Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, which has a different counting method.

Its 26 local COVID hospitalizations are up from the 18 reported Friday and its most since January. It also reported its 53rd COVID death.

LGL’s 17 COVID hospital patients are up from the 11 in Friday’s report and back around where that number was at the start of the month. Five of them are in the ICU.

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