Oct. 28 COVID-19 update: Two new outbreaks, Outdoor capacity limits removed, Temporary wage increase extended

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting a new COVID-19 outbreak at a school and another at a group home today (Oct. 28), but it says just four people remain in hospital with the virus across the city.

One local COVID-19 patient is in intensive care, as of Thursday, Oct. 28.

There are ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at two healthcare facilities, nine schools and two daycares. OPH reports it’s also monitoring one community outbreak linked to a restaurant.

The health unit is confirming 28 new cases of COVID-19 in the city. There have been 195 new cases over the last seven days. In the last 30 days, OPH has seen 113 new Delta variant cases in Ottawa.

OPH is tracking 221 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa.

No new deaths reported on Thursday leaves the city’s pandemic toll at 603.

COVID-19 vaccination rates for Ottawa residents over the age of 12 remain at 90 per cent with one shot and 86 per cent with two inoculations. 

The rate of infection among Ottawa’s unvaccinated vaccine-eligible population is nine times higher than it is for the fully vaccinated population. The local rate of infection per 100,000 residents for those vaccinated against the virus is at 9.1, whereas the rate for those unvaccinated (or vaccinated with one dose under 14 days) is 80.7. The rate per 100,000 residents for those who are waiting for their second shot is 40.2.

Residents being tested for COVID-19 are seeing positive results 1.6 per cent of the time.

The province reported 409 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and three more deaths. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 265 of those cases are in people who aren’t fully vaccinated, or their vaccination status isn’t known.

There have been 30,784 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa (29,960 resolved) since March of 2020.

Outdoor capacity limits removed

ONTARIO – Ontario has removed capacity limits at outdoor, organized public events such as Remembrance Day ceremonies and Santa Claus parades.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott says outdoor capacity limits are also lifted in most other sectors, such as fairs and festivals, outdoor areas of museums and zoos, and ski hills as well as other outdoor recreational amenities.

Alexandra Hilkene notes the risk of COVID-19 transmission is significantly lower outside.

Outdoor social gatherings are still limited to 100 people and outdoor capacity limits at nightclubs remain in place.

Other regulatory changes include removing a requirement vehicles stay two metres apart at drive-in or drive-thru venues.

Ontario extends temporary wage increase

ONTARIO – Ontario is extending a temporary wage increase for more than 150,000 publicly funded personal support workers until the end of March.

The boost of between two and three dollars an hour was introduced last October and was due to expire at the end of the month.

The province brought in the raise in an effort to attract new employees and retain existing ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The province says the extension will cost $373 million.

Eligible workers in home and community care and long-term care have had their wages boosted by $3, as do people providing personal and direct support for children, community and social services.

Personal support workers in hospitals have a temporary $2 per hour raise.

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