Kanata North COVID-19 Update October 29

We know COVID-19 is circulating in our community. The pandemic has now been present for close to eight months in Ottawa. This is a long time. I understand that you may feel COVID-19 fatigue, however this is not the time to let our guard down. Transmission of COVID-19 will occur in any setting if given the opportunity. Being COVIDWise is the best way we can slow the spread of the virus. The work we are doing today will directly impact our future. I know this is challenging, but we have proven our abilities to do this in the past. We will get through this! 

Happy Halloween! It has been great to hear so many creative ideas of how our community is planning to be HalloWiseTo ensure Kanata North residents have a safe option to celebrate Halloween At Home, I am excited to present a Virtual Magic Show with Chris Pilsworth. There are limited spots available, so I encourage you to register on my website! 

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 541 new confirmed positive cases: 
      • Friday + 95 
      • Saturday + 90 
      • Sunday + 86 
      • Monday + 76 
      • Tuesday + 58 
      • Wednesday + 78 
      • Thursday + 58 
    • Sadly, there were 12 deaths this week. This brings the cumulative total to 6,830 individuals with COVID-19 infections and tragically 321 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 40 individuals in hospital and 5 people in the intensive care unit (ICU). There has been a cumulative total of 413 individuals hospitalized and 94 people admitted into the ICU since the beginning of the pandemic.    
  • Outbreaks   
    • Currently, in Ottawa, there are 63 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 an outbreak at the Kanata North 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, 84% of the ICU beds are in use and 33% 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 2.7%, 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 75%, 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 91% 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 3.2, 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 

  • OPH has shared that self-isolation periods have changed from a standard 14 days to a range. The self-isolation periods now range from 10, 14, to rarely 20 days or more. You must isolate while waiting for your test results and follow the instructions provided by OPH. 
    • Generally, if you test positive for COVID-19: 
      • With no symptoms: You must isolate for 10 days, as long as you stay symptom free. 
      • With mild symptoms: You must isolate for 10 daysas long as your symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications). 
      • With severe symptoms: You must isolate for 20 days, as long as your symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications). 
    • If you have been in close contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19: 
      • You must self-isolate for 14 days from your last contact with that person. 
      • The isolation period is 14 days because this is the incubation period for the COVID-19 virus. 
  • Yesterday at City Council myself and Councillor Egli, the Chair of Ottawa Public Health, moved a motion to extend the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law into early 2021. The motion was approved and will be reviewed in January. It is important that we continue to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wearing masks is one of the tools that will help us flatten the curve. 
  • The pandemic has been challenging and it is normal to feel distress during these uncertain times. There are many community resources available to assist you with your various needs. I encourage you to reach out if you need help and please remember to be kind to one another. 
  • As we head into Halloween weekend, I want to remind you to be 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. 

Happy Halloween! 

Stay safe. Be COVIDWise. 

Take care, 

Jenna Sudds