April 19 COVID-19 update: Saturday numbers, provincial vaccine money, Ottawa finances stable

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health reported one new COVID-29-related death Saturday (April 18), bringing the city’s total to 22 deaths while also reporting 29 new cases.

According to OPH’s Saturday update, Ottawa has 757 lab-confirmed cases, 14 per cent of which have been hospitalized and four per cent of which are in intensive care units (ICU). 

The median age of cases is 50 years with a range from one to 105 years.

A fatal Friday (April 17) in Ottawa saw seven new deaths, all attributed to people affiliated with long-term care or retirement homes.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting seven COVID-19 deaths, all in a single day, were all in long-term care or retirement homes.

OPH said Friday’s numbers were likely due to an increase in testing and possibly expanding testing recommendations.  

“This number is the largest recorded number of deaths in Ottawa in one day since the beginning of this emergency response,” OPH released in a statement. “All seven deaths are related to outbreaks in long-term care and retirement homes. Fifty-seven per cent of all deaths due to COVID-19 in Ottawa are related to outbreaks in long-term care and retirement homes. OPH continues to work with health care partners to ensure long-term care and retirement homes are a top priority for protection.”

According to OPH numbers, 42 per cent of confirmed cases in Ottawa have been resolved. The number of hospitalizations sit at 37 per cent and ICU at 13 per cent. 

“There would be more cases of COVID-19 in our community had everyone not done their part over the past month,” OPH said. “Please keep up this hard work over the next stretch of time. Thank you again for all the actions you are taking as a community – these actions are saving lives.”

Ottawa’s recent weekend numbers are not yet available, however, as of 4 p.m.

There are 106 outbreaks in long-term care homes across the province, 20 of which are in Ottawa, according to OPH.

  • Carlingview Manor (Facility Wide)
  • Cité Parkway (Facility Wide)
  • Garden Terrace (Facility Wide)
  • Madonna Care Community (Facility Wide)
  • Manoir Marochel (Facility Wide)
  • Maplewood Retiremenet Community (Facility Wide)
  • Montfort Hospital (ICU)
  • Montfort Hospital (Ancilliary staff)
  • Montfort Hospital (3C)
  • Montfort Long-Term Care Centre (Facility Wide)
  • Park Place (Facility Wide)
  • Perley Rideau Veterans Health Centre Ottawa building)
  • Promenade (Facility Wide)
  • Settler’s Ridge OCAPDD (Facility Wide)
  • Starwood (Facility Wide)        
  • The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus (A Five B Five, AMA)
  • The Ottawa Hospital General Campus (5 West / BMT)
  • Villa Marconi (Facility Wide)
  • Waterford Retirement (Facility Wide)

The number of cases under investigation across the province has now crossed the 10,000 mark.

Ontario is reporting another 568 cases of COVID-19 and 39 more deaths related to the virus today (April 19).

The province now has a total of 10,578 confirmed cases and a death toll of 553. Health officials have marked 5,209 cases as resolved. There are currently 809 people in hospital with the illness, and 247 are in intensive care.

Most of the patients in intensive care are also using a ventilator. Health officials are set to present new projections about the spread of COVID-19 tomorrow.

Just more than 55 per cent of cases are in the GTA.

Ottawa finances stable amidst pandemic Mayor says

OTTAWA — Despite losses of approximately $1 million a day as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Ottawa remains in a good financial position, according to Mayor Jim Watson.

Watson says the city has healthy reserves and triple-A credit, and even though Ontario has yet to make a decision on whether or not to allow municipalities to run deficits, Watson doesn’t see it as a route Ottawa would take.

The mayor believes running a deficit could help some municipalities but he thinks being forced to balance the budget could actually help the City of Ottawa.

“Having that restriction really ties our hands, in a good way, so that we don’t spend out of control and every fiscal year end … the books have to be balanced,” Watson explains.

British Columbia made the decision this week to become the first provincial government in Canada to allow its municipalities to run deficits due to ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Province committs $20 million to proncial vaccine efforts

ONTARIO — The Ontario government is committing $20 million to Ontario researchers working on a vaccine for COVID-19.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement Saturday (April 18).

Ford warned life won’t return to normal without a vaccine.

“Until we find a vaccine, going back to normal means putting lives at risk,” Ford said during his daily press conference. “Letting our guard down means potentially exposing millions of people to the virus.”

Ford has said “encouraging” new projections about the spread of COVID-19 are set to be released on Monday but added loosening restrictions will be a methodical process that will be “twice as hard” as the current lockdown.

“I’m not rushing into this and not opening up the floodgates,” Ford said.

Health Minister Christine Elliott added easing restrictions too quickly would put the province at a risk of an explosion of cases.

Health officials reported another 36 deaths related to COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the toll to 514.

There are 250 people in intensive care with the virus, most of whom are on a ventilator.

The premier touted Ontario’s history of medical accomplishments — including discovering insulin and pioneering open-heart surgery — as reasons why researchers in the province could find a vaccine.

Researchers in the province have already made progress in vaccine research and a team from Sunnybrook Research Institute has isolated the virus, which is one of the first steps in producing a vaccine.

Ford said multiple universities are also working together to acquire blood samples from people who have recovered from COVID-19.

However, the provincial opposition said the Ford government slashed $25 million from the provincial Health System Research fund one year ago, a move they say set researchers back.

Ontario’s chief medical officer health said while cases are increasing at a relatively low rate of five per cent per day, he wants to see the number drop lower before restrictions are eased.

However, Dr. David Williams said it was encouraging to see that cases are not increasing by 13 per cent per day, as they were a few weeks ago.

“It means the distancing we have is limiting the spread,” said Williams.

Williams said the decision to re-open businesses will take place on a case by case basis and will take into account which businesses can uphold physical distancing measures while operating.

Kanata hotel joins COVID-19 fight housing victims

KANATA – In a move to address COVID-19 in Ottawa, the Queensway Carleton Hospital says it will be opening 16 alternate level of care (ALC) beds on a dedicated floor at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Kanata.

“Should this step be needed as part of a regional response,” spokesperson Ann Fuller said.

The alternate site would be staffed and appropriately retrofitted to meet the care needs of low-acuity, low-risk ALC patients, Fuller confirmed Saturday.

The decision to move patients would be made with careful consideration, with a focus on those patients whose acute care needs have been met and who can be safely cared for in an alternate environment. 

The site could accommodate up to 40, Fuller said.


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