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Ottawa health officials have been cautious in saying this has been a trend so far as the number of cases does not tell the whole story of how much COVID-19 is in the city. community. This is especially true now that most asymptomatic people don’t get tested. Additionally, hospitalization rates and wastewater monitoring have been slower to stabilize in Ottawa than cases suggest.
In addition, there is no shortage of evidence on how quickly trends can be reversed when it comes to COVID-19.
“You cannot turn your back on this virus,” warns Dr. Doug Manuel, a physician and senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital who sits at the Ontario COVID-19 science advisory table. “Our luck may run out.”
But this week, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, agreed that the city “is doing a little bit of turning the curve. We seem to have halted the rapid rise seen in October. ”
The question she and others are asking is, what is Ottawa doing right?
Ottawa, she says, has certain characteristics that have likely made a difference in the battle to bring the numbers down.
Among them it is a government city, which means that a large proportion of people can work from home, as are high tech workers and many other workers in the city.
“I think we’re more privileged in Ottawa than in other cities because we have more people who can work from home.
Compare that to Peel, one of the hardest hit areas of the province, where there are many large industrial employers with large numbers of workers, many of whom use public transit to get to work.