Kanata North COVID-19 Update November 26

Good evening Kanata North, 

This past week, we have seen key COVID-19 indicators trend in the right direction, which is great news! Our hard work is paying off, but we must not relax and let our guards down. It is important we keep practicing the protective behaviours that have helped reduce the spread of the virus in our communityPlease wear your masks, wash your hands frequently, and keep a twometre distance from people outside your household. These simple actions help us avoid hospitalizations and deaths and the closure of businesses and schools, and the corresponding negative consequences of those outcomes. 

The Holidays will be tough, but with less than a month to go, Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, recommends that we celebrate only with members of our household to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to avoid trips to other cities to see family and friends. I know, this will be hard. The Holidays are a special time to get together with family and friends, but we all have to do our part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 by celebrating in person with the people we live with and celebrating virtually with everyone else. If you live alone, consider exclusively celebrating with one additional household as a safe way to spend the holidays. 

Please remember, COVID-19 cases aren’t just numbers, they’re people. Every precaution we take to slow the spread matters. Please follow Ottawa Public Health’s recommended precautions and be COVID Wise to help keep COVID-19 under control. 

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 252 new confirmed positive cases: 
      • Friday + 77 
      • Saturday + 36 
      • Sunday + 33 
      • Monday + 40 
      • Tuesday + 19 
      • Wednesday + 23 
      • Thursday + 24 
    • Sadly, there were 9 deaths this week. This brings the cumulative total to 8,279 individuals with COVID-19 infections and tragically 372 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 23 individuals in hospital and 3 people in the intensive care unit (ICU). There has been a cumulative total of 480 individuals hospitalized and 102 people admitted into the ICU since the beginning of the pandemic. 
  • Outbreaks 
    • Currently, in Ottawa, there are 29 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, 81% of the ICU beds are in use and 26% 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 1.6%. 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 meeting this at 94%. Additionally, it’s also important that contacts of those cases are reached within 24 hours and this is being done 92% 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 5.3. 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 

  • Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is calling on all businesses to be COVID Wise Together this holiday shopping season. Please consider committing to the following COVID Wise measures: 
    • Limit the total number of people in stores so employees and customers can maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (six feet) at all times; 
    • Change processes and/or use visible markers to ensure 2 metre physical distancing; 
    • Post signage to remind everyone about physical distancing and the mandatory mask policy; 
    • Follow the mandatory mask bylaw;  
    • Ensure employees wear a mask and maintain 2 metre distance, including in break rooms and non-public spaces;  
    • Encourage customers to wear a mask in outdoor settings if they cannot maintain 2 metre distance;   
    • Screen all employees for symptoms of COVID-19 before each shift and ensure they stay home if they have symptoms or feel unwell;  
    • Provide hand sanitizer or hand washing stations for customers and employees; and 
    • Ensure employees are informed/trained on the importance of all these measures. 
  • OPH published a report looking at where the transmission of COVID-19 is occurring in Ottawa, analyzing the data collected from Ottawa residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 to find sources of infection and chains of transmission in our community.  
    • Common risk factors identified in the report include: 
      • Socializing outside of one’s own household where talking, eating and drinking was involved – whether that occurred in homes, bars and restaurants, patios or parks (indoors or outdoors). 
      • Close contact in small spaces during social and workplace settings – indoors at home and in sports venues, small poorly ventilated spaces such as locker rooms, cars, meeting rooms, and break rooms. 
      • Inadequate/inconsistent mask use when interacting with people outside of one’s own household in crowded environments and where physical distancing is not maintained – when socializing, coaching, teaching or caring for friends, family, students or clients. 
    • These locally identified risk factors align with what the World Health Organization has identified as the ‘Three Cs’ where COVID-19 spreads more easily, particularly when all three overlap: 
      • 1) Crowded places with many people nearby; 
      • 2) Close contact setting with close-range conversations; and, 
      • 3) Confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. 
  • Yesterday at City Council, Dr. Vera Etches provided an update on the city’s pandemic response. You can find here presentation here. She reminded us that our ability to detect infections and outbreaks relies on contacts getting tested. She also emphasized the importance of checking in with ourselves and loved ones, especially now as daylight hours get shorter. It is okay to not be okay. Help is available, and details can be found on my website and also on the OPH website. 


Provincial Update 

  • On Monday, the Ontario government announced the creation of the Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, building on the steps the government has been taking to prepare for the delivery of a vaccine. The task force will advise the province’s development and implementation of an immunization program, including the ethical, timely and effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario. The task force will advise on: 
    • Delivery, storage and distribution of the vaccines; 
    • Support for health care system partners to deliver a phased vaccination program that initially prioritizes vulnerable populations and follows with mass immunization; 
    • Clinical guidance on vaccine administration and surveillance of vaccine uptake; 
    • Data, reporting, and technology to provide timely, relevant and accurate information to clinicians conducting vaccine administration, decision-makers, and the public; and 
    • Implementation of a broad and sustained public education and community outreach effort to encourage vaccination. 
  • The Ontario government is moving forward with 29 new long-term care projects, which will lead to an additional 3,000 new and upgraded long-term care spaces across the province. These projects will help reduce waitlists and improve the quality of care and quality of life for seniors. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, a comprehensive action plan to respond to the serious health and economic impacts of COVID-19. 


Did you get your flu shot yet? Influenza mirrors COVID-19 in many ways, including symptoms and transmission. You can help protect yourself from influenza by getting the influenza vaccine. OPH is holding flu clinics across Ottawa, and the closest location for our community is the Eva James Memorial Centre in Kanata South. Appointments can be made online or by calling 613-580-6744. 

Lastly, I would like to encourage you all to support our local small businesses. When you’re shopping this Holiday season, please choose small businesses whenever you can and encourage friends and family to do the same. Together, we can help save our small business community! 


Stay safe. Be COVIDWise. 

Take care, 

Jenna Sudds