Kanata North COVID-19 Update December 10

Good evening Kanata North, 

The numbers are showing that we know what we need to do to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Let’s keep up the great work! 

As a reminder, Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, recommends that we celebrate the holidays 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. Please remember that getting tested in advance to rule out COVID is not a guarantee and a negative test is not a free pass to let your guard down. If you live alone, please consider exclusively celebrating with one additional household as a safe way to spend the holidays.  

Ottawa Public Health is asking us all to be Social Wise. While some people are more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, we are all susceptible of getting COVID-19 and spreading it to others. If you are Social Wise, the only thing you will miss out on is getting sick and getting others sick. 


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 269 new confirmed positive cases: 
      • Friday + 57 
      • Saturday + 45 
      • Sunday + 33 
      • Monday + 23 
      • Tuesday + 59 
      • Wednesday + 21 
      • Thursday + 31 
    • Sadly, there were 5 deaths this week. This brings the cumulative total to 8,894 individuals with COVID-19 infections and tragically 383 residents of our city who have died. 
  • Hospitalizations 
    • This is an important metric to understand the capacity and demand that hospitals are facing. Currently, there are 30 individuals in hospital and 2 people in the intensive care unit (ICU). There has been a cumulative total of 514 individuals hospitalized and 105 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. We have seen a decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations; however, currently, 97% of the acute beds are in use82% of the ICU beds are in use and 24% of ICU ventilator beds are in use. This is a measure of the entire health care system.  
  • % 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 1.4%. 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 92%. Additionally, it’s also important that contacts of those cases are reached within 24 hours and this is being done 83% 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 

  • The flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, but it will help reduce your risk of getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Having both illnesses at the same time could put you at a higher risk for severe illness. If you did not get your influenza vaccine yet, please register today for one of OPH’s upcoming flu clinics. 
  • The holidays are right around the corner, but in these COVID times, our traditional festivities will look and feel a lot different. If you need ideas, the city shared ways to celebrate safely during the holidays. 
  • Stay active this winter and register for one or more City of Ottawa COVID-modified winter recreation and arts activities. Register online here. 
  • COVID-19 is present in every single community within Ottawa. The maps below provide a snapshot of COVID-19 across Ottawa, based on ward geography. Important things to keep in mind: 
    • Wards are administrative boundaries and do not reflect the natural ebb and flow of Ottawa residents within the municipality nor the communities in which they live, work, play and raise their families.  
    • Areas with lower or higher rates are not more or less “safe” from COVID-19 transmission. 
    • The maps below are based on the place of residence of Ottawans with confirmed COVID-19 and does not necessarily reflect where the disease was contracted. Exposure to COVID-19 can occur anywhere people congregate, such as workplaces or services open to the public. The best way to limit your exposure to COVID-19 is to practice physical distancing, limiting your exposure to your immediate family, and washing your hands. 


  • To proactively plan for vaccine distribution in Ottawa, the city recently announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. The task force includes experts and key stakeholders from Ottawa Public Health, local hospitals and the city’s Emergency Operations Centre. The task force continues to plan as it awaits further details from the Government of Canada on procurement and approval of vaccines, and from the Province of Ontario which is developing the immunization strategy for this large-scale distribution. 


Provincial Updates 

  • The Ontario government is ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are received, beginning with vaccinating vulnerable populations and those who care for them. As recommended by the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force and in alignment with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the province has identified key populations to receive the vaccine first, including long-term care and retirement home residents and the staff who provide care to these groups. The government’s approach is informed by science and prioritizes population groups that are at greatest risks of COVID-19. 
  • In an update today, Premier Doug Ford announced that – beginning Tuesday, December 15 – the first doses will be administered at University Health Network and The Ottawa Hospital to health care workers who are providing care in long-term care homes and other high-risk settings. Ottawa has been selected in part to test and validate provincial distribution networks, as well as in recognition of the challenges the region has faced with certain long-term care home outbreaks. 
  • As announced yesterday, the province is now permanently allowing licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order to help restaurants and bars rebuild and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Federal Updates 

  • As announced yesterday, Health Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. It meets their high standards for safety, efficacy, and quality. The first shipment of doses is tracking for delivery soon, and more shipments will continue to arrive in 2021. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will closely monitor the safety of the vaccine once it is on the market and will not hesitate to take action if any safety concerns are identified. The initial indication of the vaccine is for use in people 16 years of age or older. Pfizer-BioNTech are running further clinical trials on children of all age groups and the indication could be revised in the future to include children if the data from these studies support it. 


Small individual actions we take can impact others and help to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Please be kind to yourself and others, and please reach out should you need help.

Stay safe. Be COVIDWise. 

Take care, 

Jenna Sudds