Kanata North COVID-19 Update August 27

As we navigate living with COVID-19, the information I believe our community needs continues to evolveMoving forward, these Kanata North COVID-19 Updates will predominately focus on Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the City of Ottawa updates. I want you all to have the most relevant and important information at your fingertips, so you can make informed decisions. 

First and foremost, I can’t stress enough that we are in the midst of a pandemic. The number of cases over the last few weeks in particular have continued to climb. Ottawa is a hot spot in the Province, and this isn’t something to be proud of. We need to focus on keeping our close contacts low and limiting our exposures. With the start of school just around the corner, I implore you to follow the advice of Ottawa Public Health including physical distancing, washing your hands, and wearing a mask. 

COVID-19 Dashboard 
Every dayOPH publishes a dashboard that is updated with the latest information. You can view it on this website. It includes many metrics. In addition to case counts, here is just a sample of the metrics I closely monitor: 

  • Case Numbers 
    • This metric is the number of confirmed positive cases in our city that have been identified through testingThis metric is important to the overall picture of COVID-19 in our community. However, it’s important to know that testing can only capture a sample of the true infection rates in our communityOver the last week we saw the following amounts of confirmed positive cases: 
      • Saturday +36 cases 
      • Sunday +7 cases 
      • Monday +24 cases 
      • Tuesday +16 cases 
      • Wednesday +16 cases 
      • Thursday + 22 cases
    • Sadly, there was also one death this week. This brings the cumulative total of 2,893 cases and 266 deaths. 
  • Hospitalizations   
    • This is an important metric to understand the capacity and demand that hospitals are facing. Currently there are 13 people in hospital and one in the intensive care unit (ICU). There have been a cumulative total 282 hospitalized and 68 in the ICU.    
  • Outbreaks   
    • Currently in Ottawa, there are ongoing outbreaks. This is crucially important information as these are very high-risk locations. These include areas like long-term care homes, retirement homes, and hospitals. COVID-19 can spread quickly in these high-risk locations and it is important we do everything we can to minimize the spread in these areas. 
  • Health Care System Capacity  
    • The more COVID-19 cases we have in our city, the more hospitalizations we might have, which can lead to a reduction in capacity in our health care system. This is especially important as we approach flu season. The Health Care System Capacity section shows the amount of health care systems that are being occupied. Currently, 12% of the ICU ventilator beds are in use.   
  • Public Health   
    • It’s very important that OPH’s case workers can reach individuals confirmed with COVID-19 within 24 hours of being reported to them. The goal is to do this 90% of the time and currently they are exceeding this at 91%. Additionally, it’s also important that contacts of those cases are reached within 24 hours and this is being done 92% of the time. This metric has been lower in the past but OPH continues to do work to increase it.  
  • Number of Contacts Per Infected Cases  
    • Currently, the average is 2.9. This is the average number of people that have been in contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case. This number is of importance because the higher the number, the more opportunities the virus has to spread in our community. The lower the number, the easier it is to identify close contacts and mitigate further spread of the virus. In recent weeks, the number has increased as reopenings continue to move forward. The most effective way you can have a positive impact on this metric is by following the guidance of OPH and maintain physical distancing whenever possible, washing your hands, and wearing a mask 

 

Supplemental Reports  

This is another group of reports that OPH provides regularly throughout the weekI specifically monitor the epidemiological report. You can find the reports here.  These reports provide information on the nature and source of infections in our city. The latest report, provided on August 26, provides the following information:   

  • Last week the number of reported cases (114 from Aug 17 to August 23) was higher than the previous week (75 from Aug 10 to August 16).  
  • The rate of cases reported in the week of August 17 was higher than the previous week for all age groups; the largest increase in the rate of weekly reported cases was for the 20-39 age group.  
  • Recently, the percent of cases for whom no source of infection was identified decreased and was 15% of the 157 non-institutionalized cases with episode dates during August 9 – August 22; these cases are considered community-acquired. At the same time, there was an increase in the percent of cases whose source of infection was a known close contact.  
  • Females have a higher rate (310 per 100,000) of confirmed COVID-19 infections than males (233 per 100,000).  
  • Nine new cases were hospitalized in the past week. A total of 280 (10%) Ottawa residents with confirmed COVID-19 have been hospitalized, including 67 (2%) who were admitted to the ICU.  
  • Three new outbreaks in healthcare settings were declared over the past week. There are 6 ongoing outbreaks in institutions.  

Additionally, OPH also provides geographical information on the location of COVID-19 cases by wards. On this website you will see that Kanata North has 113 cases per 100,000 people. Its important to note that this is simply where the individuals who tested positive live, not the location of where they may have contracted COVID-19.   

   

City Updates 

  • Registration for the city’s recreation programs started on Monday this week. You can find a guide for fall programming here. All programs have been modified to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. 
  • Currently, there are 5 city ice rinks open. On September 1st8 more rinks will open, and others will gradually open as demand warrants. Currently, Mlacak Arena is planned to open in October if there is sufficient demand for these ice rentals. 
  • Yesterday, City Council extended the temporary by-law to make masks mandatory in indoor public spaces and also strengthened it with a few amendments. Effective immediately, masks are mandatory in the common areas of condos and apartment buildings. Council can extend the temporary by-law again at a future meeting. This does not replace guidance already provided by health officials such as physical distancing, washing hands regularly, and staying home if you have COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • In addition, Council received an update on the city’s service recovery, updates from the Human Needs Task Force, and reopening activities, which incorporate guidance from public health officials and remain focused on the health and safety of staff and residents. Council is expected to receive a status update next month on the impact of COVID-19 on the city’s budget and associated financial mitigation measures. 
  • Dr. Vera Etches also provided Council with an update of COVID-19 in our city. She noted that the growing case numbers were because people are not following the health and safety guidelines that lower the risk of transmission. You can find more details on her update here. 

Return to School 

As a parent myself, I know that this is a stressful time for many families. The uncertainty around the plans for return to school is stressful. I encourage you to be patient and kind to yourselves and others, and please remember, we are in the midst of a pandemic. 

Ottawa Public Health is here to support students, families, and school boards to make the return to school as safe as possible. Since the announcement of schools reopening, OPH has been working closely with the four boards to help implement the provincial health and safety protocols. You can find more about OPH’s work here. Keeping COVID-19 transmission low in our community is key to preventing the introduction of the virus into schools. We all have a part to play in supporting schools this year.  

As always, please reach out anytime if you have any question or need assistance. Volunteers from our community are still ready and willing to assist with grocery shopping or errands for anyone needing it. Face masks are also available to those needing them, generously made by volunteers in our community. 

Take care. Be safe. 

Jenna