Fifteen institutional outbreaks, 12 new COVID-19 cases in Ottawa

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – Institutional COVID-19 outbreaks are on the decrease in Ottawa and individual cases seem to be falling as well.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has taken three institutions off its outbreak list over the last couple of days – Madonna Care Community today (Sept. 10).

The long-term care home struggled to contain the virus during its first bout, from April 6 to June 8, as the illness took the lives of 47 residents and two staff members. The facility has since seen COVID-19 pop up twice – two cases between May 4 and May 18, and one more case from Aug. 30 to Sept. 9.

Two other institutions were taken off OPH’s list on Sept. 8 including Rockcliffe Retirement and Dovercourt Recreation Centre. There are still 15 institutional outbreaks in Ottawa.

OPH is reporting just 12 new cases of COVID-19 city-wide. Active cases in the city are up to 226. That’s just one more than what was reported on Wednesday.

OPH says there are 12 people in hospital with the virus with one of whom is in intensive care.

There hasn’t been a local death linked to COVID-19 since the end of August, keeping Ottawa’s pandemic death toll at 267.

Overall, the city has seen 3,163 lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 since March with 2,670 (84.4 per cent) resolved.

A recent cottage party in the Ottawa area has been linked to 40 local COVID-19 cases and the closures of two child care centres, according to chief medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches.

During her COVID-19 update at yesterday’s (Sept. 9) city council meeting, Dr. Etches urged the importance of being “COVID-wise” and that even one case of the novel coronavirus can spread rapidly.

The doctor discussed a cottage party involving a group of 10 people that led to a spike in cases within just nine days.

“There was one person who developed cold-like symptoms while at the cottage party and then tested positive on the return home,” Dr. Etches explains. “Subsequently, seven of those friends tested positive for COVID-19.”

She adds, these individuals then returned to their own homes while also going to work and retail stores while they were communicable, causing potential spread among vulnerable residents.

Dr. Etches says, as a result, two childcare centres were closed after seeing transmission within the facility. Meanwhile, she adds OPH did not see any transmission or positive cases within retail locations.

OPH continues to remind residents to be COVID-wise, which involves wearing a mask where required; self-isolating when sick; staying two metres apart from those outside your household; and exercising  proper hand hygiene.

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