Kanata North COVID-19 Update November 19

Good evening Kanata North, 

This week, we saw another decrease in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19, indicating that the actions we are taking are working. Ottawa remains in the Provincial Orange-Restrict level, meaning health and safety measures that reduce the risk of transmission continue to be implemented while keeping schools and businesses open. By following the guidelines provided by Ottawa Public Health, we are protecting people from the virus. It is important that we continue to be diligent in our actions to protect our community and maintain hospital capacityThe Government restrictions are in place to protect our city, but it’s up to each individual to keep us all safe. I encourage you to follow the basic safety measures; wear a mask, maintain physical distance from those not in your household, sanitize often, and be kind. 

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 302 new confirmed positive cases: 
      • Friday + 41 
      • Saturday + 78 
      • Sunday + 62 
      • Monday + 51 
      • Tuesday + 11 
      • Wednesday + 22 
      • Thursday + 37 
    • Sadly, there were 13 deaths this week. This brings the cumulative total to 8,027 individuals with COVID-19 infections and tragically 363 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 43 individuals in hospital and 4 people in the intensive care unit (ICU). There has been a cumulative total of 475 individuals hospitalized and 101 people admitted into the ICU since the beginning of the pandemic. 
  • Outbreaks 
    • Currently, in Ottawa, there are 37 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 one outbreak at 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, 86% of the ICU beds are in use and 38% 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 2.2%, 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 84%. 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 were 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 3.7. 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 

  • Following the recent announcements of potential COVID-19 vaccines, the city has established a COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force to develop a plan for vaccine distribution in Ottawa. It is important we are prepared and have a strategic plan before the vaccine is available. I will continue to share updates on their work as more information becomes available. 
  • As provincial and local COVID-19 restrictions are modified, OPH is looking to understand the best ways to support residents and businesses by creating a new survey for residents. This information helps OPH meet the needs and expectations of our community. Phase 4 of the engagement strategy launched yesterday and includes this new survey. You can find previous reports here:  
  • Earlier this week, OC Transpo confirmed that an operator tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has been self-isolating since their last shift on November 10. Should you be concerned about exposure, please contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 to speak to a public health nurse or visit ottawapublichealth.ca. The operator had routes in Kanata North on November 9: 
    • Bus # 4455 
      • Route # 161 Stonehaven/Bridlewood 9:15am to Terry Fox station 9:54am 
      • Route # 165 Terry Fox station 10:00am to Innovation P&R 10:29am 
      • Route # 165 Innovation P&R 10:29am to Terry Fox station 10:46am 
      • Route # 165 Terry Fox station 11:00am to Innovation P&R 11:29am 
      • Route # 165 Innovation P&R 11:29am to Terry Fox station 11:46am 
      • Route # 165 Terry Fox station 12:00pm to Innovation P&R 12:29pm 
      • Route # 165 Innovation P&R 12:29pm to Terry Fox station 12:46pm 
      • Route # 165 Terry Fox station 1:00pm to Innovation P&R 1:29pm 
      • Route # 165 Innovation P&R 1:30pm to Terry Fox station 1:47pm 
  • I know there are still many questions regarding COVID-19, restrictions, and tips. You can visit OPH’s website to find FAQs. 

Lastly, I want to thank our community for working hard to stop the spread of COVID-19. Together, over nine months, we have continued to work together to be #COVIDWise. Further, I would like to thank all the front-line workers who have not stopped through this pandemic to ensure we are safe and have what we need. Your work does not go unnoticed! 

Stay safe. Be COVIDWise. 

Take care, 

Jenna Sudds