Ottawa has now had more COVID-19 deaths in 2022 than 2021

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Recent developments:

  • Ottawa has more active local COVID-19 hospital patients than April’s wave.
  • Its trends are very high; mostly stable or rising, wastewater slightly dropping.
  • The capital has had more COVID deaths in 2022 than 2021.
  • 20,000 vaccine doses for Ottawans last week is another increase.
  • Hastings Prince Edward, the EOHU report COVID deaths.

The region is in the seventh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic driven by the BA.5 coronavirus subvariant. It’s the first early-summer wave.

In its most recent weekly update Thursday, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) said the city’s COVID levels were very high and concerning.

OPH specifically wants people to limit contacts, consider masking in crowded outdoor areas as well as inside and asks businesses to consider bringing back policies such as mandatory masks.

The local health-care system is again being strained by the combination of the pandemic load and staff shortages.

The latest Ottawa update

Wastewater

The average level of coronavirus in Ottawa’s wastewater is very high. It rose for more than a month starting in early June and has slightly dropped six of the last seven days of data.

That average as of July 21 is about two-and-a-half times higher than it was a month ago and about 15 times higher than a year ago.

A bar and line graph of coronavirus wastewater levels since June 2020.
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 July 21. (613covid.ca)

Hospitals

Forty-four Ottawa residents have been admitted to a city hospital with COVID-19, according to OPH’s latest update. That number has been rising all month and hasn’t been this high since early February.

One of those patients is in intensive care.

One year ago, there were three of these hospital patients and two years ago, there were nine.

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.

Including those categories, 166 COVID-19 patients were in hospital as of its most recent data. That number is stable after more than doubling from the previous week.

A graphic breaking down Ottawa COVID-19 hospitalizations,
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 82 as of July 10, 168 July 17 and now 166 a week later. (Ottawa Public Health)

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 sits around 20 per cent. That’s very high and rising. It was about 15 per cent a month ago.

There are currently 69 active COVID outbreaks in Ottawa. This number slightly drops from Friday’s update, but still has more than quadrupled since the start of July.

OPH reported 492 more cases and five more deaths over the last four days. The victims were all age 80 or older.

Ottawa has had a total of 840 residents with COVID-19 die. Its 230 victims in 2022 have surpassed the 229 in 2021. It had 381 COVID deaths in 2020.

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, and 89 per cent had at least two.

Sixty-four per cent of Ottawans age 12 and over had at least three doses, and 16 per cent had four.

OPH reported an increase to about 20,000 vaccine doses being given to Ottawa residents in the last week. Nearly all were fourth doses.

Across the region

In Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties, wastewater levels are rising in Brockville and Kemptville and stable in Smiths Falls. Those levels are stable across the Kingston area and dropping from peaks in Casselman and Hawkesbury.

Data from other areas is either at least a week old or not publicly available.

Western Quebec is reporting 62 COVID hospitalizations. That number has been around the 60s this month. One of those patients is in intensive care.

Eastern Ontario communities outside Ottawa are reporting 32 COVID hospitalizations, including four patients in intensive care.

That regional total doesn’t include Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health, which has a different counting method. Its nine hospitalizations are stable after a jump last week and it no longer lists any ICU patients.

It’s also reporting its 64th COVID death — 45 of them in 2022. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit reported its 236th death.

Of the seven local health authorities, three have had more deaths this year than in either 2020 or 2021 — HPE, the Kingston area and Renfrew County. All six in eastern Ontario have more in 2022 than 2021.

Across eastern Ontario, between 81 and 92 per cent of residents age five and up have received at least two vaccine doses, and between 59 and 71 per cent of adults have had at least three.





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