Kanata North COVID-19 Update October 22

I hope you are all staying safe and doing well. This week we are celebrating Small Business Week! We are fortunate to have many great businesses within Kanata North. Many local businesses are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic and need our support. This week I encourage you to support safely any way you can; buy gift cards, order takeout, or promote your favourite local businesses within your network! Every little bit helps. 

We know that COVID-19 is circulating throughout our community. Research is showing that there are high levels of COVID-19 in our city’s wastewater. This indicates that the virus is more active within our community than the number of positive tests. Tracking the number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 is only one way of looking at the overall level of COVID-19 in our community; however, not everyone with COVID-19 is tested. If you have symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has the virus, I encourage you to get tested. There are many appointments available.  

The best way you can help in the COVID-19 response, is to be COVIDWise and keep close contacts to only those within your household. We are all in this together, Kanata North! 

COVID-19 Dashboard 
Every day, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) 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 monitor closely: 

  • Case Numbers 
    • This metric is the number of confirmed positive cases in our city that have been identified through testing. This 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 community. Over the last week, we saw 496 new confirmed positive cases: 
      • Friday + 99 
      • Saturday + 70 
      • Sunday + 67 
      • Monday + 52 
      • Tuesday + 78 
      • Wednesday + 60 
      • Thursday + 70 
    • Sadly, there were 11 deaths this week. This brings the cumulative total to 6,296 individuals with COVID-19 infections and tragically 309 residents of our city who have died. 
  • Hospitalizations   
    • This is an important metric to understand the capacity and demand that hospitals are facing. We continue to see a growing number of individuals being hospitalized. Currently, there are 49 individuals in hospital and 5 people in the intensive care unit (ICU). There has been a cumulative total of 398 individuals hospitalized and 89 people admitted into the ICU since the beginning of the pandemic.    
  • Outbreaks   
    • Currently, in Ottawa, there are 75 ongoing outbreaks. This is crucially important information as these are locations where transmission can occur quickly. These include areas like long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, schools, and childcare centres. 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. This includes two outbreaks in Kanata North at All Saints High School and Forest Hill Long-Term Care Home. 
  • 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, 42% of the ICU beds are in use and 16% of ICU ventilator beds are in use.    
  • % Positivity Rate 
    • This is the percent of all COVID-19 tests processed which result in a positive result for the infection. This is currently at 2.6%, a number too high to be sustainable and we must work to bring it down. Positivity rate is another metric to show the amount of virus in our community and the lower the number the more likely COVID-19 is spreading slower in our community.  
  • 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 not meeting this at 56%, due to the high number of cases and number of individuals getting tested. Additionally, it’s also important that contacts of those cases are reached within 24 hours and this is being done 88% of the time. If the number of individuals infected with COVID-19 continues to increase, the amount of resources available to OPH will not be sufficient to continue contact tracing.  
  • Number of Contacts Per Infected Cases  
    • Currently, the average is 3.4, an increase from last week. This is the average number of people that have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for the virus. 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. The most effective way you can have a positive impact on this metric is by following the guidance of OPH and maintaining physical distancing whenever possible, washing your hands, and wearing a mask.   

City Updates 

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging. It’s normal to feel stressed, pessimistic, and discouraged. It will get better. There are many community resources available to help. Reach out if you need them, and please take care of yourself. We are all in this together. 
  • Throughout the pandemic, OPH has gathered feedback from the community to better understand the impact COVID-19 has had on our city. The most recent study looked at assessing the perceptions and understanding of the COVID-19 control measures put in place. The data helps to inform planning while ensuring best practices are adopted in alignment with the Government of Ontario’s framework for reopening. Highlights include: 
    • 89% of residents support the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law.  
    • Maintaining a social circle to 10 people or less that are exclusive to each other was challenging. 
    • Most respondents who are parents/guardians had concerns about this school year. 
    • Virtual and physical distancing conversations and being physically active were key in maintaining good mental health.    
  • Unfortunately, given the rate at which COVID-19 is transmitting within our community, this year we will not be able to celebrate Halloween how we traditionally do. This does not mean that we cannot celebrate. Instead this is a call for creativity. I encourage you to make safe plans to celebrate in an innovative way. I’m interested in how you will celebrate! Send your ideas directly to me and I will share with the community. Inspire others by using #HalloweenAtHome.  
  • This is a time to create new innovative ways to celebrate. OPH encourages you to plan for a safe Halloween by being HalloWise: 
    • H:   Haunt your mind by sharing scary stories with friends on Facetime or Zoom.  
    • A:  Adapt your celebration by trick or treating inside with the people you live with or with your chosen social support person(s) if you live alone.  Think an Easter Egg hunt but Halloween themed.   
    • L:  Limit your in-person celebration to those you live with or your chosen social support person(s) if you live alone.  
    • L:  Launch a virtual competition with your neighbors for the best outdoor Halloween decorations.    
    • O:  Organize a virtual costume party with your friends.    
    • W:  Watch scary or fun movies with the people you live with or your chosen social support person(s) if you live alone.  
    • I:   Inspire your costume around a mask… how can you create the most thematic 2020 costume?  
    • S:  Show kindness by sharing photos, or connecting virtually, instead of hugs with your loved ones who are more at risk.  
    • E:  Eat a fun and spooky meal you’ve made with those you live with or that chosen social support person(s) if you live alone. 

  • OPH has shared that there has been a rise in situations where COVID-19 transmission has occurred in relation to organized team sports. Based on case management investigations, transmission may have occurred in a variety of ways including during team play, during the use of locker rooms, during carpooling with members outside a player’s household, team members who are involved in more than one team and individuals not wearing masks. While physical activity is important throughout the pandemic, it is imperative that we do it safely. Here are some recommendations to lower the risk of COVID-19 while partaking in organized sports: 
    • Minimize social gatherings of participants and spectators both before and after the activity.  
    • Limit carpooling and meals (in homes or at restaurants) to those within your household. 
    • Limit gatherings inside and outside the facilities. Ensure a two-metre physical distance is maintained and wear masks if parents and/or participants are socializing in the facility parking lots.    
    • Do not coach or play for more than one team. 
    • Wear a face mask at all times unless engaged in strenuous athletic activity. 
    • Maintain physical distance of at least two metres from other people before, during and after the activity. 
    • Clean and disinfect equipment between uses. 
    • Do not share your sports gear with other people. 
    • Practice frequent hand hygiene by using an alcohol-based hand rub or washing your hands with soap and water. 
    • Play outside rather than indoors. 

Provincial Updates 

  • Last week, the Ontario government announced that the Electricity Price for Regulated Price Plan (RPP) Consumers has been extended until October 31, 2020.  Beginning November 1, time of use customers will have the option of choosing between time of use electricity rates or tiered pricing. 
  • Ontario has also amended emergency orders to clarify that classes delivered for the purpose of teaching or training amateur or professional dancers in dance techniques are permitted to operate provided specified conditions are met. Dance classes that do not meet the specified criteria (e. g. a Zumba class) would not be permitted. 


Lastly, I encourage you all to get your flu shot. Influenza mirrors COVID-19 in many ways, including symptoms and transmission. You can help protect yourself from influenza by getting the influenza vaccine. OPH will be holding community flu clinics starting October 29. The closest location for our community is the Eva James Memorial Centre in Kanata South. Appointments can now be made online or by calling 613-580-6744.  


Stay safe. Be COVIDWise. 

Take care, 

Jenna Sudds