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COVID levels mostly moderate for first time in months

A father and son toboggan at Carlington Park in Ottawa in February 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A father and son toboggan at Carlington Park in Ottawa in February 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa's COVID-19 numbers drop to moderate levels.

  • Flu signals are still high.

  • RSV trends are stable and low to moderate.

  • Seventeen more COVID deaths have been reported locally.

The latest

The COVID-19 picture has improved across major categories, according to the latest data from Ottawa Public Health (OPH), with most key numbers moderate for the first time since August.

RSV trends are low to moderate and stable or dropping.

Flu levels in wastewater and flu-related hospitalizations remain high. Hospitalizations are the only indicator that rose, according to the update.

Experts recommend people cover coughs, wear masks, keep hands and often-touched surfaces clean, stay home when sick and keep up with COVID and flu vaccines to help protect themselves and other vulnerable people.

OPH says the city's health-care institutions remain at high risk from respiratory illnesses, as they have been since the end of August. This is expected to be the case until at least March.

In Ottawa

Spread

Ottawa's recent coronavirus wastewater average, as of Jan. 29, had been falling for nearly three weeks from a mid-month peak.

It had been generally rising for more than six months.

OPH says the wastewater signal drops to high.

Researchers have measured and shared the amount of novel coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater since June 2020. This is the data for 2023 and 2024 up to Monday.
Researchers have measured and shared the amount of novel coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater since June 2020. This is the data for 2023 and 2024 up to Monday.

Researchers have measured and shared the amount of novel coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater since June 2020. This is the data for 2023 and 2024 up to Monday. (613covid.ca)

The weekly average test positivity rate in the city lowers to 13 per cent, which OPH now considers moderate.

Hospitalizations, outbreaks and deaths

The average number of Ottawa residents in local hospitals for COVID-19 has dropped to 33 over the last week, the fewest since October.

separate wider count, which includes patients who tested positive for COVID after being admitted for other reasons, were admitted for lingering COVID complications or were transferred from other health units, has edged downward.

Ottawa Public Health has a COVID-19 hospital count that shows all hospital patients who tested positive for COVID, including those admitted for other reasons and who live in other areas.
Ottawa Public Health has a COVID-19 hospital count that shows all hospital patients who tested positive for COVID, including those admitted for other reasons and who live in other areas.

Ottawa Public Health has a COVID-19 hospital count that shows all hospital patients who tested positive for COVID, including those admitted for other reasons and who live in other areas. (Ottawa Public Health)

OPH considers the number of new COVID-related hospitalizations in the city — 30 — as moderate, also down from high.

The active COVID outbreak count is stable at 26, mostly in long-term care or retirement homes. There is a moderate number of new outbreaks.

The health unit reported 177 more COVID cases and four more COVID deaths in the last week. All victims were people age 80 or above.

OPH's next vaccination update is now expected next week.

After nearly four years, OPH said it is also ending its COVID-specific dashboard at some point this month. Much of the information is now reflected in OPH's respiratory updates. OPH said COVID open data will continue to be updated.

Across the region

The Kingston area's health unit says it's also in the midst of a high-risk time for respiratory illness. Its COVID-19, flu and RSV pictures are all stable: COVID and flu are at higher levels and RSV is looking lower.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU)'s big-picture assessment rates the overall respiratory risk as moderate and stable.

Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health, like Ottawa, gives a weekly COVID case hospital average. That has fallen again to nine. Flu activity there is seen as low.

Renfrew County's trends are generally dropping.

Western Quebec drops to 46 hospital patients who have tested positive for COVID. The province reports three more COVID deaths there.

The health unit for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties reported four more COVID deaths there, while the Kingston area's count rose by three, and HPE's by one.

Renfrew County's health unit reported two more deaths, bringing its total above 100. The entire region has passed 2,700 of these deaths.

LGL data goes up to Jan. 21, when its trends were generally high and dropping.