Kanata North COVID-19 Update December 3

Good evening Kanata North, 

With the Holidays approaching quickly, I would like to thank our local businesses for their ongoing efforts to create a safer shopping experience for their clients and a safer workplace for their employees. Please keep up the great work and be COVID Wise Together. 

A reminder to please continue to follow Ottawa Public Health’s recommendations to help keep COVID-19 under control. Wear a mask or face covering where required, or when you cannot maintain a physical distance of two metres. Isolate yourself from others when you are sick and get tested promptly if you have COVID-like symptoms. Stay two metres apart from those outside your household, and wash your hands regularly or use sanitizer, especially before touching your face. Every precaution we take to slow the spread matters. 

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 296 new confirmed positive cases: 
      • Friday + 59 
      • Saturday + 61 
      • Sunday + 22 
      • Monday + 49 
      • Tuesday + 34 
      • Wednesday + 30 
      • Thursday + 41 
    • Sadly, there were 6 deaths this week. This brings the cumulative total to 8,608 individuals with COVID-19 infections and tragically 378 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 25 individuals in hospital and 1 person in the intensive care unit (ICU). There has been a cumulative total of 494 individuals hospitalized and 103 people admitted into the ICU since the beginning of the pandemic. 
  • Outbreaks 
    • Currently, in Ottawa, there are 34 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 44% 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 1.5%. 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 93%. Additionally, it’s also important that contacts of those cases are reached within 24 hours and this is being done 87% 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 5.6. 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 

  • Due to COVID-19, you are encouraged to pay tickets online at paytickets.ca. Check out how to pay your water utility bills and property taxes online too. 
  • Stay active this winter! Register for City of Ottawa COVID-modified winter recreation and arts activities. The eGuide is available now, registration starts this coming Monday, December 7. 
  • Indoor public skating is available now by reservation at eleven city arenasLearn more. 
  • OPH has shared information on their website to help residents prepare for a COVIDWise holiday season, including suggestions for hosting virtual holiday gatherings and ideas for finding memorable ways to celebrate that will keep everyone as safe as possible, such as opening gifts during a video call with family or friends, organizing a Zoom Karaoke night or virtual dance party and other creative ideas. Share how you will be celebrating differently this year through Engage Ottawa. 
  • Recently, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced that it now recommends Canadians choose masks made of at least three-layers with one of the layers being a filter to add an extra layer of protection against COVID-19. When buying or making a mask, you should look for a mask that has:
    • At least three layers:
      • two layers of tightly woven material fabric, such as cotton or linen, on the inside and outside
      • a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric, for the third (middle) layer)  
    • A secure fitting to cover the nose, mouth, and chin. Should be in contact with the face without gapping 
    • No seams over the mouth and nose through which air may leak 
    • Re-usable fabric that can be washed after use or when damp and dirty.  
  • It’s normal for situations like COVID-19 to affect mental health. Everyone will experience these events in their own way. It is completely natural to feel stress and concern during these times. The holidays are already a difficult time for many, and the pandemic can compound feelings of sadness or depression. Please check-in with yourself and your loved ones’ mental health. Ottawa Public Health has a list of local mental health resources available on their website. 
  • Demand for influenza vaccinations has far surpassed previous years. During the 2019-2020 OPH influenza vaccination campaign 11,321 residents were vaccinated against the flu during the fall and winter months. In comparison, since launching in October 2020, OPH has already vaccinated over 48,000 residents to date. This year, with the presence of COVID-19 circulating in our community it is especially important to get the flu vaccine.  As the demand for the flu vaccine continues to be high throughout the province, the Ontario government is now offering FluMist® Quadrivalent, a live attenuated influenza vaccine (FluMist®-LAIV), as a part of the Ontario Universal Influenza Immunization Program.  
    • FluMist® was not originally offered as a part of the 2020-2021 Ontario program (but has been distributed by OPH in previous seasons) and was only available by private purchase. FluMist®-LAIV is a nasal spray offered in pre-filled syringes and authorized in Canada for use in children and adults 2 to 59 years of age. Both vaccines are proven to be effective and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization supports the use of both. 
    • Starting Friday, December 4, 2020 FluMist® will be the primary vaccine available for residents 2 to 59 years of age in Ottawa at all OPH clinics. The quadrivalent (QIV) shot will be available for people who cannot receive the FluMist® vaccine such as certain people who are immunosuppressed, people with uncontrolled asthma, people who are pregnant and residents older than 59 years of age or younger than 2 years of age. 
    • OPH will continue to offer available appointments on their website based on community demand and vaccine availability. It is recommended that individuals at high risk of influenza-related complications seek out opportunities to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible. More information is available here. 


Provincial Updates 

  • The Ontario government is again providing financial relief for families facing new education-related expenses in the COVID-19 era with support totalling $380 million. Parents or guardians residing in Ontario can complete a simple online application through the Support for Learners web page. Applications will remain open until January 15, 2021. 
  • The Ontario government is collaborating with leaders and experts in a wide variety of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, health care and logistics, to develop a plan for the safe and efficient distribution of COVID-19 vaccines when they become available. Partnerships across these sectors are critical as Ontario prepares to handle one of the largest vaccine rollouts in its history. 


Have you seen the “One Million Reasons” campaign launched by OPH and local hospitals? We all have our reasons to stop the spread. We are one million people strong and the actions of individuals do make a difference. I encourage you to think of your reasons to stop the spread and make educated decisions before heading out this weekend. 

Stay safe. Be COVIDWise. 

Take care, 

Jenna Sudds