Ottawa approaches ‘gray’ territory: Dr Etches says COVID-19 levels are ‘considerably higher’ since Christmas


OTTAWA – Two weeks after COVID-19 lockdown began in Ottawa and across Ontario, medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says COVID-19 levels in Ottawa are “significantly higher” than before vacations.
Ottawa Public Health reported a one-day record of 234 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, the second day in a row with more than 200 new cases of the novel coronavirus.

Ottawa’s COVID-19 rate per 100,000 population is 82.6 over the previous seven days, and the positivity rate was 4.7% for the week of January 1-7.

“COVID-19 levels in Ottawa are considerably higher than before the holidays: three times the infection rate, the highest to date,” Dr Etches said on Twitter.

“We are deep in the“ red ”zone and we are approaching the“ gray ”territory; three times the percentage of tests that come back positive; 2.5 times hospitalizations; wastewater levels are increasing. ”

On December 24, the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in Ottawa was 29.2, while the positivity rate for the period from December 14 to 20 was 1.2%.

Ottawa Public Health upgraded Ottawa to general “red” status this week as the number of cases continued to rise.

“If we do not reduce the number of close contacts that allow the transmission of COVID-19, our hospitals will not be able to maintain their services and the number of deaths will increase,” said Dr Etches. “It is a collective task, a task in which we must support and not blame ourselves during this darkest time. ”

Ottawa passed 11,000 cases of COVID-19 during Saturday’s pandemic. Since New Year’s Day, Ottawa Public Health has reported 1,143 cases of COVID-19.

When Ontario moved into lockdown on December 26, Ottawa was in the “Orange-Restrict” zone of Ontario’s color-coded restriction system.

Dr Etches says Ottawa is now “deep in the ‘red’ zone,” which includes a weekly incidence rate of more than 40 cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate of 2.5 percent.

The criteria for “Gray-Lockdown” restrictions in the Ontario Restriction System are listed as “Adverse Trends after Red Entry / Control”, such as:

  • Increased weekly incidence of cases and / or test positivity

  • Increased incidence of cases and / or test positivity in people aged 70 and over

  • Increase in outbreaks among vulnerable populations

  • The capacities of hospitals and intensive care units may be overwhelmed

  • Capacity of the public health unit to manage cases and contacts at risk or exceeded

Ontario’s four-week lockdown in southern Ontario (south of Sudbury) is expected to end on January 23.


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