Kanata North COVID-19 Update January 14

Good evening Kanata North, 

Did you receive today’s Emergency Alert on your phone? stay-at-home order is in effect. Only leave home for essential purposes such as food, health care, exercise, or work. It is the law. Stay home, stay safe, save lives. 

Limit your in-person contacts and get tested if you have symptoms. Change your habits to just one household member getting groceries, stay home as much as possible. We all must do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Ottawa Public Health is reminding us all to enjoy the outdoors safely. Be Social Wise, even when outdoors. Practice physical distancing, wear a mask, and avoid areas like rinks, hills, and trails when crowded to protect each other against COVID-19.


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 976 new confirmed positive cases: 
      • Friday 191 
      • Saturday + 162 
      • Sunday + 118 
      • Monday + 71 
      • Tuesday + 166 
      • Wednesday + 136 
      • Thursday + 132 
    • Sadly, there were 4 deaths this week. This brings the cumulative total to 11,876 individuals with COVID-19 infections and tragically 398 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 33 individuals in hospital and 12 people in the intensive care unit (ICU). There has been a cumulative total of 587 individuals hospitalized and 127 people admitted into the ICU since the beginning of the pandemic. 
  • Outbreaks 
    • Currently, in Ottawa, there are 41 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. Currently, 95% of the acute beds are in use79% of the ICU beds are in use and 29% 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 4.5%. 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 not meeting this at 75%. Additionally, it’s also important that contacts of those cases are reached within 24 hours and this is currently being done 88% 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 4.5. 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 

  • To support and comply with the provincial state-of-emergency and stay-at-home measures that are in effect as of 12:01 am today, the city will continue its closures of indoor facilities and will suspend current in-person counter services, which will move to online delivery. Details can be found in today’s Public Service Announcement here. 
  • What facilities are opened and closed? 
    • The city will continue to operate and provide some services during the stay-at-home order, including virtual arts and recreation programming.
    • No public access to administrative buildings, including 100 Constellation and Ben Franklin Place.  
    • Public access to City Hall will be restricted to the Service Ontario counter and the municipal daycare service.  
    • Municipal counters, such as ServiceOttawa, will be closed as of the end of the business day on Friday, January 15, 2021 and will be moving to online delivery.  
    • All indoor recreation and cultural facilities remain closed to the public, excluding respite centres, COVID-19 assessment centres, municipal childcare centres (ages 0-4), inclusive recreation programs and Before-and-After School programs when elementary schools resume. 
    • Ottawa Public Library facilities will remain closed – including the bookmobile – but will continue to provide contactless curbside services.   
  • Outdoor rinks – community and refrigerated – and sledding hills will remain open with the current 25- person capacity restriction and masking requirements outlined in the order issued by Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health. In order to ensure physical distancing requirements on puddle rinks, a lower capacity limit of 12 has been established. Signage is being delivered to sites to support this direction. 
    • Outdoor refrigerated rinks will continue to operate with the online reservation system on ottawa.ca/skating 
    • People are reminded they must maintain two-metres from others and masks must be worn in public accessibility areas that are within 15 metres (50 feet) distance of the edge of the ice surface.  
    • While masks are not mandatory when skating, OPH recommends wearing one for added protection. 
    • Under Provincial Regulations, no team sports are permitted and the City is directing that only skating take place on all rinks with no sticks, pucks, balls or other sports equipment permitted on the ice. 
  • On January 8, Member of Council received an update regarding COVID-19 vaccinations to long-term care and retirement homes from Anthony Di Monte, General Manager of Emergency and Protective Services and Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health 
    • Ottawa Public Health follows the provincial ethical framework to prioritize COVID19 vaccine roll-out. 
    • There is a limited number of vaccines available and therefore, the vaccine distribution framework helps guide decisions to ensure equitable distribution.  
    • It also supports the goal of reducing the risk for those who those more severely impacted by COVID-19 in Ottawa. 
  • Registration for the city’s Virtual Arts and Recreation Programs begins tonight at 9 pm. The city is offering a variety of classes including arts, cooking, fitness, meditation, languages, and more. These courses are offered in a real-time, live stream, interactive format. Visit the website for more information and to register. 
  • The city’s targeted emergency child care program for school-age children has been operational since January 4 and will continue to be offered at no cost to eligible families based on the Ministry of Education approved eligible worker list. Emergency child care is to assist those select eligible workers who are not able to support their child at home for the duration of the closure. How are municipal child care centres, licensed child care providers, and EarlyON child & family programs impacted? Please review the memo from January 9 for details. 
  • The Kanata Beaverbrook Community Centre will remain closed until February 11, or until further notice. 


Provincial Updates 

  • As announced yesterday, the Ontario government is preparing to immunize up to 8.5 million people before the end of Phase Two of the government’s vaccine implementation plan, which aims to receive, store and administer COVID-19 vaccines to Ontarians as soon as supply is available.  
    • As recommended by the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force and aligned with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the province has mapped out the next steps for transitioning into Phase Two and has adopted an approach for identifying the next groups to receive the vaccination as early as March 2021. In order to vaccinate Ontarians as safely and quickly as possible, the government is expanding the list of health care providers who can administer COVID-19 vaccines. Groups eligible to receive vaccines as part of Phase Two of the Ontario immunization program will include: 
      • Older adults, beginning with those 80 years of age and older and decreasing in five-year increments over the course of the vaccine rollout; 
      • Individuals living and working in high-risk congregate settings; 
      • Frontline essential workers (e.g., first responders, education workers, food processing industry);  
      • Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers; and 
      • Other populations and communities facing barriers related to the determinants of health across Ontario who are at greater COVID-19 risk. 
    • Phase Two is expected to be completed by end of July 2021 and Phase Three for the general population could begin as early as August 2021, pending availability of vaccines. Vaccination of populations in Phase One will continue until all vaccinations are complete. 
  • Today, the Ontario government issued an emergency order to temporarily pause the enforcement of residential evictions to make sure that people are not forced to leave their homes during this provincial declaration of emergency and while the stay-at-home-order is in force.

I implore you to please continue to respect and follow the provincial lockdown measures and public health recommendations. Stay home, except for essential trips. 

Lastly, please continue to shop local in any way you can to help support our local small business community. Every little helps! 

Stay home. Stay safe. Be COVIDWise. 

Take care, 

Jenna Sudds