May 24 COVID-19 update: Sunday numbers under 100, 12-and-up approved for vaccinations

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – Ottawa is on an eight-day streak of reporting daily COVID-19 case numbers under 100. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is also reporting a further decrease in the incidence rate.

OPH reported Ottawa had 97 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday (May 23), up from the 78 reported on Saturday. This brings the total number of confirmed cases since the pandemic started to 26,600.

The incidence rate has fallen to 52.9 per 100,000. Down from Saturday’s 57.7. That means Ottawa is less than 13 fewer incident reports away from entering back in to the red zone.

The city is reporting an uptick in deaths, however. Seven new deaths are being reported (up from Saturday’s two), bringing the local death toll tally up to 554.

Hospitalizations are down by four, lowering the number of people in hospital to 54.

Ottawa’s intensive care units have one less patient, which means 13 people remain.

The positivity rate remains at 5.5 per cent.

New childcare centres and schools have declared outbreaks over, but there are still four going on. There is one more community outbreak reported, bringing the number up to five. The number of ongoing outbreaks at healthcare institutions remains unchanged at 15.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit reporting seven new cases of the virus in the area, up from Saturday’s three.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit and Renfrew County and District Health Unit have both recorded only one new case each on Sunday. Up from six and four from the day before, respectively.

The provincial government said there are 1,691 new cases of COVID-19 across the province. This is the third day the province has reported new case numbers under 2,000. The total provincial case count since the pandemic started is now at 522,465.

Of the new cases, 82 are among teens ages 14 to 17; 75 are among children four to eight; and 74 are among kids ages nine to 13.

Fifteen new deaths have also been added to the provincial count, bringing the death toll to 8,614.

Since Saturday, 2,458 more cases have resolved.

Provincially there are 166 fewer patients in hospital with COVID-19, as well as 13 fewer in the ICU and 24 fewer on a ventilator. The Ontario government said it completed 31,227 tests since Saturday.

Of those, 5.7 per cent were positive, down from Saturday’s six per cent.

Youth 12 and up can now book vaccination appointments

ONTARIO – Ontarians aged 12 and up can now book COVID-19 vaccines through the provincial system.

Starting yesterday (May 23), they can book through the provincial online portal, call centre and through pharmacies offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The age group is becoming eligible a week ahead of schedule.  The province says it made the change at the request of public health units. 

Some public health units and pop-up clinics had already started vaccinating youngsters, but the move makes access more equitable across Ontario. Only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for use in people between the ages of 12 and 18. 

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