May 17 COVID-19 update: Ottawa, provincial numbers, testing open to anyone with symptoms, CHEO re-scheduling surgeries

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – The City of Ottawa has seen a one per cent increase in cases over the weekend.

There are 21 new lab-confirmed cases and five new COVID-19 deaths in Ottawa as of yesterday (May 16), Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reports.

That’s a one per cent increase in cases since Friday’s (May 15) report. As of Saturday, Ottawa’s total number of confirmed cases is 1,774 and  the number of deaths is 194.

There are currently 48 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the city. Ottawa continues to have 21 ongoing outbreaks in institutions. 

Ontario is reporting another 340 cases of COVID-19 and 23 new deaths related to the virus. The daily growth rate stands at 1.5 per cent today (May 17), which is lower than yesterday’s growth rate of 1.8 per cent.

The number of people in hospital dropped noticeably, while there were also slight decreases in the number of people in intensive care and on a ventilator. The province was able to test more than 16,000 people today, which was a drop compared to yesterday where more than 17,000 were tested. 

Another 4,414 tests are currently under investigation and awaiting confirmation.

CHEO re-booking surgeries soon

OTTAWA – When it comes to re-booking surgeries at CHEO for children, the hospital says it will contact parents once it is ready and regional and provincial levels have approved the hospital’s recovery plans.

This is following Premiere Doug Ford’s announcement on Thursday (May 14) that gave hospitals the green light to start offering scheduled surgeries and procedures again as part of Phase One of reopening the province. 

Once given the go-ahead, CHEO released in a statement Friday it will start reaching out to schedule appointments, surgeries and procedures.

“CHEO’s Child Development and Community services, including our Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists, as well as Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs) including those who deliver autism services will also execute their gradual plans to reintroduce services,” hospital officials said. “Our Mental Health team will do the same.”

During the slowdown due to COVID-19 restrictions, virtual care was offered by clinicians in several departments. CHEO says it will continue with virtual care whenever it is possible.

“In the meantime, surgeries continue to take place at CHEO, as determined by urgent need,” hospital staff said. “Care teams maintain contact with their patients to monitor their conditions and provide virtual care where needed. If the condition of anyone waiting for these procedures and surgeries has changed over this time, we encourage them to contact their family care provider for assessment.”

Eastern Ontario testing open to anyone with symptoms

EASTERN ONTARIO – The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) says it is expanding the criteria for COVID-19 testing to anyone with symptoms — not just priority groups.

In an announcement the health unit made Friday (May 15), the EOHU says the Ontario government’s decision to reopen some businesses and activities, as well as having an increased capacity and access to supplies, the EOHU is opening up testing to anyone who presents with a COVID-19 symptom.

“Increased testing will be an important tool as we’re starting to open up activities in the community,” EODHU chief medical officer of health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said. “It’s going to help us determine if there is an increase in COVID-19 cases, or if we’re able to keep numbers down. This will help inform how we proceed with opening up in the weeks and months ahead.” 

Roumeliotis adds it will also help with containing the spread of COVID-19 as it will give a better picture of where new cases are emerging, so that public health can follow up quickly.

The EOHU is offering testing at five assessment centres in its region. A mobile testing clinic is also available in Akwesasne for residents of that area.

However, some locations will have their hours impacted due to the Victoria Day long weekend. Those locations include Rockland, Winchester and Akwesasne. Further information can be found on the EOHU’s website.

All other centres in the EOHU will remain open.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email