Ottawa’s peak coronavirus infections, but long-term care homes remain a concern: Dr. Vera Etches


Ottawa Public Health officials say new coronavirus infections appear to have peaked in the entire Ottawa community, even though long-term care homes continue to fight to protect their vulnerable residents from ‘infection.

Ottawa Public Health announced on Friday that there are now 1,372 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, 75 more than the last report.

The local public health unit did not report any new deaths in the past two days, leaving the death toll from the pandemic at 76 in Ottawa.

Coronavirus screening test for 2 residents and 1 staff member at Peter D. Clark’s in Ottawa

The increased laboratory capacity has also allowed Ottawa Public Health to expand its screening criteria to include adults 60 years of age and older who may have symptoms of COVID-19.

Anyone with possible symptoms who also falls into the expanded list of categories here can visit the Brewer Arena Assessment Center for testing.

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City medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said in a media call on Friday afternoon that the rate of infections in the Ottawa community appears to have peaked, although trends in households in Long-term care – where more than 500 employees and residents have tested positive for the virus – remains of concern.

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“If there is a lot of infection in long-term care homes, it is also a problem for the community. We will therefore act with caution, ”said Etches.

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Friday also marked the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to residents of city-run long-term care facilities, with two residents of Peter D. Clark’s home testing positive for the virus.

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City staff sparked response rage Thursday by announcing a ban on family members from visiting relatives at the windows of four long-term care homes operated by the City of Ottawa, a policy adopted in response to some residents touching and kissing visitors through their screens and other violations of the physical distance guidelines.

Mayor Jim Watson intervened to ask staff to find a way to authorize supervised access.

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Dean Lett, the city’s director of long-term care, said on Friday that the homes had already recruited additional staff from the city’s recreation and parks department to help residents participate in warm weather activities.

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Lett stated that these additional hands could be useful in organizing and planning supervised visits without overburdening existing house staff, and Watson noted that they were already paid for by the city and therefore did not constitute an additional drain on municipal resources .

Coronavirus: Ontario Authorizes Certain Businesses And Workplaces To Reopen May 4

As province turns to lift pandemic restrictions, including plan announced Friday to reopen Ontario businesses on May 4, Ottawa Public Health has launched a new platform to solicit ideas from residents to navigate in post-pandemic life.

Officials ask Ottawa residents to comment on existing physical distance restrictions, suggest strategies for dealing with the pandemic, and share good news about neighbors or local heroes who are making a difference in the community.

See the link »

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