Connect with us

Headlines

Ottawa’s top doctor can’t say when COVID-19 will peak as models suggest up to 34,000 cases in Ottawa

Editor

Published

on

OTTAWA — Ottawa’s top doctor suggests there could be up to 34,000 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa today.

During a presentation to Council on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said the reason for the large discrepancy between the confirmed cases and the modelling data is due to the limited testing criteria for COVID-19. 

Dr. Etches told Council that modelling data from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is predicting right now “the number of cases in Ottawa is likely between 11,000 and 34,000.”

“As we get more information, we will continue to update the website.”

Dr. Etches says the modelling from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is “based on the deaths we have seen and extrapolating to what this means about the overall number of infections in the community.”

On Wednesday, Ottawa Public Health reported there were 429 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including seven deaths.

Dr. Etches showed a model based on laboratory-confirmed cases in Ottawa, that suggested the curve could flatten in May.

“We know that’s not the full picture of illness in our community.”

Dr. Etches added “people are looking for hope, they’re looking for a sign we’re flattening the curve .. this curve looks very much into the future that the rate of increase of cases is going to slow down. That is encouraging.”

But the Medical Officer of Health says the lack of testing is a challenge, and health officials want to expand the testing.

“This testing we’ve been doing so far has been limited to health-care workers, people who are hospitalized and people with more severe illness or live in a long-term care home.”

When asked about the model showing a potential flattening of the curve by Councillor Matthew Luloff, Dr. Etches said “it does demonstration that based on the patterns to date, we aren’t seeing a steep increase at this point.”

Dr. Etches also showed data of projected ICU hospitalizations in Ottawa, saying the model is “encouraging.”

It shows if person-to-person contact in the community is reduced by 50 per cent, ICU hospitalizations could spike to more than 1,000 this summer. If residents reduce contact by 70 per cent, ICU hospitalizations would stay within the current hospital capacity.

Dr. Etches told Council “our public health measures right now have made a difference and we need people to stay focused on this.”

“To stay home, to stop the spread and to stay safe.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headlines

Record one million job losses in March: StatCan

Editor

Published

on

By

OTTAWA — More than one million Canadians lost their jobs in the month of March, Statistics Canada is reporting. The unemployment rate has also climbed to 7.8 per cent, up from 2.2 percentage points since February.

Canada’s national statistics agency released its monthly Labour Force Survey on Thursday, using March 15 to 21 as the sample week – a time when the government began enforcing strict guidelines around social gatherings and called on non-essential businesses to close up shop.

The first snapshot of job loss since COVID-19 began taking a toll on the Canadian economy shows 1.1 million out of work since the prior sample period and a consequent decrease in the employment rate – the lowest since April 1997. The most job losses occurred in the private sector and among people aged 15-24.

The number of people who were unemployed increased by 413,000, resulting in the largest one-month increase in Canada’s unemployment rate on record and takes the economy back to a state last seen in October, 2010.

“Almost all of the increase in unemployment was due to temporary layoffs, meaning that workers expected to return to their job within six months,” reads the findings.

The agency included three new indicators, on top of the usual criteria, to better reflect the impact of COVID-19 on employment across the country.

The survey, for example, excludes the more commonly observed reasons for absent workers — such as vacation, weather, parental leave or a strike or lockout — to better isolate the pandemic’s effect.

They looked at: people who are employed but were out of a job during the reference week, people who are employed but worked less than half their usual hours, and people who are unemployed but would like a job.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Employee at Ottawa’s Amazon Fulfillment Centre tests positive for COVID-19

Editor

Published

on

By

OTTAWA — An employee who works at Amazon’s fulfillment centre on Boundary Road in Ottawa’s east-end has tested positive for COVID-19.

Amazon says it learned on April 3 that an associate tested positive for novel coronavirus and is currently in isolation. The employee last worked at the fulfillment centre on March 19.

Two employees told CTV News Ottawa that management informed all employees about the positive test in a text message over the weekend.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Amazon spokesperson Jen Crowcroft wrote “we are supporting the individual who is recovering. We are following guidelines from health officials and medical experts, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site.”

The statement also says that Amazon has taken steps to further protect their employees.

“We have also implemented proactive measures at our facilities to protect employees including increased cleaning at all facilities, maintaining social distance in the FC.”

CTV News Ottawa asked Amazon about the timeline between when the company found out about the positive COVID-19 case and when employees were notified.

In a separate email to CTV News Ottawa, Crowcroft said “all associates of our Boundary Road fulfillment centre in Ottawa were notified within 24 hours of learning of the positive COVID-19 case.”

Continue Reading

Headlines

Ottawa facing silent spring as festivals, events cancelled

Editor

Published

on

By

This is shaping up to be Ottawa’s silent spring — and summer’s sounding pretty bleak, too — as more and more concerts, festivals and other annual events are cancelled in the wake of measures meant to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The province has already banned gatherings of more than five people, and on Monday officials announced city parks, facilities and services will remain shut down until the end of June, nor will any event permits be issued until at least that time.

“This leaves us with no choice but to cancel the festival this year,” Ottawa Jazz Festival artistic director Petr Cancura confirmed Monday.

This was to be the festival’s 40th anniversary, and organizers announced the lineup for the June 19-July 1 event the day after Ottawa’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. 

The Toronto and Montreal jazz festivals had already pulled the plug because of similar restrictions in their cities, so Cancura said the writing was on the wall.

“We have a few contingency plans to keep connecting with our audience and working with our artists,” Cancura said.

People holding tickets to the 2020 festival can ask for a refund or exchange for a 2021 pass.

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending