Kanata North COVID-19 Update November 12

Over the past several weeks, our city has worked hard to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The actions we are taking are working. Last week, restrictions were lifted tallow businesses to resume operations. As we move forward in the coming weeks, living with COVID-19 will continue to be difficult; however, following Ottawa Public Health’s guidelines is necessary to keep our community safe. 

A local Kanata North family has been taking time to pick up litter these last few months while out enjoying our community. They wanted to challenge other families to join this weekend to help beautify our community. I encourage you to get out this weekend and pick-up litter around your neighbourhood. Ensure that you are maintaining physical distancing, using gloves, and washing your hands after. Share your progress online to inspire others! 

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 401 new confirmed positive cases: 
      • Friday + 36 
      • Saturday + 78 
      • Sunday + 71 
      • Monday + 77  
      • Tuesday + 21 
      • Wednesday + 27 
      • Thursday + 91 
    • Sadly, there were 16 deaths this week. This brings the cumulative total to 7,725 individuals with COVID-19 infections and tragically 350 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 59 individuals in hospital and 8 people in the intensive care unit (ICU). There has been a cumulative total of 462 individuals hospitalized and 101 people admitted into the ICU since the beginning of the pandemic. 
  • Outbreaks 
    • Currently, in Ottawa, there are 36 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. 
  • 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, 91% of the ICU beds are in use and 46% 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 87%, 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 90% 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 2.8. 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 updated the data on the snapshot of COVID-19 across Ottawa wards mapIt is important to note that COVID-19 is in all communities, and the ward data shows the place of residence of individuals with confirmed COVID-19 and does not necessarily reflect where the disease was contracted. 
  • Earlier this week, Public Health Ontario released a new report on opioid-related deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research showed a 25% increase in suspected drug-related deaths in Ontario between March and May 2020, compared to the monthly median reported in 2019. Similar trends have been reported elsewhere in Canada. OPH has shared that their preliminary data indicates similar trends. The data shows that opioid-related emergency department visits at Ottawa hospitals have increased in 2020, exceeding those seen in 2019. OPH continues to actively work with partners to adapt services for substance users within the COVID-19 context.  
  • Today, Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed November 12 as Business Improvement Area (BIA) Day in Ottawa to highlight the work that these associations do to support Ottawa’s small businesses, specifically during COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, Ottawa’s BIAs have pivoted operations to support local businesses. 

 Lastly, I encourage you all to get your flu shot. This week, my family and I made a trip to the Eva James Memorial Centre in Kanata South to get our shots. The process was quick and efficient. Thank you to the staff who are working hard to provide the flu shot to our community.  

Influenza mirrors COVID-19 in many ways, including symptoms and transmission. You can help protect yourself from influenza by getting the influenza vaccine. Appointments can be made online or by calling 613-580-6744. If no more appointments are available, please check back often as new appointments are released on Thursday mornings. 

 

Stay safe. Be COVIDWise. 

Take care, 

Jenna Sudds