April 15 COVID-19 update: city matches daily case high, Vaccines alone won’t stem wave, Ottawa hospitals near brink

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is confirming 370 new cases of COVID-19 today (April 15), matching the city’s previous daily case count record.

The health unit adds new cases to dates retroactively in some cases, and its data currently shows 389 cases recorded on April 10, when previously it had only reported 325 that day. But April 11 was the last time OPH reported 370 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day.

There have been 2,202 cases of the novel coronavirus confirmed in Ottawa in the last week, which represents more than 10 per cent of the 20,966 cases (17,534 resolved) the city has seen since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020. 

Ottawa’s weekly incidence rate is up to 208.8 per 100,000 residents today, while OPH says residents being tested for the virus continue to see positive results 10.6 per cent of the time.

The number of local hospitalizations due to COVID-19 has stabilized over the last few days, now down to 84 however, the number of intensive care patients is up to 25.

COVID-19 outbreak numbers haven’t fluctuated much this week, as 17 healthcare institutions; 19 schools; and two childcare centres remain on outbreak status. OPH is also monitoring 11 community COVID-19 outbreaks.

The health unit says it knows of 2,953 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa.

No new deaths being reported Thursday leaves the city’s pandemic death toll at 479.

Ottawa has administered 85 per cent of the 250,990 COVID-19 vaccine doses it’s received to date.

Ontario is reporting a new single-day record of 4,736 new cases of COVID-19 today, including 74 in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s region, eight in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark district and three in Renfrew County. The province also tested 65,559 people yesterday (April 15), with a positivity rate of eight per cent.

Vaccinations alone won’t solve current, fast-rising wave

OTTAWA – The Ottawa Board of Health chair says we can’t vaccinate ourselves out of this current mess.

Ottawa Board of Health chair and Knoxdale-Merivale Coun. Keith Egli is once again calling on residents to adhere to public health protocols, as he says vaccinations alone cannot curb the recent rise in local COVID-19.

Egli is calling on fellow city councillors to encourage their constituents to continue to follow protocols designed to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, including wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing, and limiting contacts to those from the same household.

“I know we’ve been doing it for 13 months now, but those are the things that are going to get us through until we can get enough vaccines in people’s arms,” Egli said during Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 media availability yesterday (April 14).

Ottawa deputy medical officer of health Dr. Brent Moloughney adds, much of the responsibility has fallen on to residents, families, and communities throughout the pandemic, but he feels there is a lack of awareness over where the fight against COVID-19 currently stands, and that needed to be addressed.

“The situation’s different over what we had in the past year,” the doctor said. 

Moloughney understands the past year has been challenging and tiring for many but action is required and that will continue to fall on Ottawans.

Hospitalizations doubling every 12 days

OTTAWA – Ottawa’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are doubling every 12 days, and ICU admissions even faster.

According to Dr. Brent Moloughney, City of Ottawa deputy chief medical officer of health, if this trend continues, Ottawa’s hospitals will not be able to keep up with the demand, and hospital beds will be at their max.

“Our current trend in hospitalizations is rapidly rising and is much higher than any other of the peaks than we have seen ever since this COVID pandemic started for us,” Moloughney said yesterday (April 14) during a media availability. “Already we’re seeing scheduled procedures being cancelled; we’re seeing things that we’ve never seen before where paediatric hospitals are freeing up space in their ICUs to take on young adults who need care.”

Right now, he added, 85 per cent of people in hospital with the virus, are patients 50-years-old and above.

“That’s why we’re focusing on the age group for immunizations so we can protect those that are most vulnerable to being hospitalized,” he said.

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