Dr. Vera Etches says a significant portion of people being hospitalized with the virus are now coming from the community, which reflects community spread.
Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer of Health says the city is now seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 transmission, per 100,000 people, in the province, as the local fight against the virus continues to deteriorate.
The number of new institutional outbreaks doubled last week from the week before, to now sit at 70.
“Over the last week, Ottawa has 70 people per 100,000 that tested positive [for COVID-19], and you compare that with Toronto which had 57,” explains Dr. Vera Etches. “You look at the trend — Ottawa’s rate per 100,000 grew faster than the rate in Toronto, which actually stayed relatively stable over the last week.”
There are 48 people in Ottawa hospitals fighting COVID-19. Ten of those patients are in intensive care (ICU).
“This number is manageable,” says Dr. Etches of the ICU patients. “But the [hospital] bed capacity itself is already over 100 per cent. People are waiting in emergency rooms.”
And she adds that it’s not just old people and people from long-term care homes going to hospital because of the novel coronavirus.
Dr. Etches says 25 per cent of Ottawa’s COVID-19 hospital patients are under the age of 65.
“A significant portion are now coming from the community. This reflects community spread.”
Dr. Etches says the community can still turn the tide on local COVID-19 spread, and it’s as simple as residents staying within their households while wearing masks and physical distancing with everyone else.