COVID-19 levels still high, flu is low, RSV waning

The latest data on respiratory viruses in Ottawa show COVID-19 levels remain high, but influenza is low and RSV is also on the decline.

The data from Ottawa Public Health show an overall decline through January in the wastewater signals of all three of the main respiratory viruses, though the testing positivity rate for COVID-19 remains in the double-digits and rose slightly in the last week.

Testing positivity for the flu dropped to 1.1 per cent the week of Jan. 15 to 21, down from 2.2 the week prior and 8 per cent at the start of 2023.

Testing positivity rates for influenza in eastern Ontario this season. (Ottawa Public Health)

RSV’s positivity rate dropped to 7.3 per cent last week from 8.8 per cent the week prior and 10.9 per cent in the first week of January.

Testing positivity rates for RSV in eastern Ontario this season. (Ottawa Public Health)

COVID-19 positivity is down from the start of the year, where it peaked at 22.1 per cent, but it’s up slightly in the last week. OPH reported a positivity rate of 16.4 per cent the week of Jan. 15 to 21, up from 15.9 per cent the week of Jan. 8 to 14.

Testing positivity rates for COVID-19 in eastern Ontario this season. (Ottawa Public Health)

Emergency visits because of respiratory issues are also on the decline. OPH reported 805 respiratory-related emergency visits last week, accounting for about 12 per cent of all emergency visits last week. That’s down from 851 visits (13 per cent) in the second week of January and 1,090 (15 per cent) of visits in the first week of the year.

COVID-19 related hospitalizations have remained relatively steady in the last week. OPH reported in its twice-weekly update Tuesday that there were 32 residents in hospital because of an active COVID-19 infection, up from 27 a week prior.

OPH hospitalization figures only represent Ottawa residents who are in hospital because of an active case of COVID-19. Local hospitals report higher figures, which include patients who were admitted for reasons other than COVID-19 but have tested positive and patients who are not from Ottawa.

  • The Ottawa Hospital: 73 patients (as of Jan. 20)
  • Queensway Carleton Hospital: 9 patients
  • Montfort Hospital: 9 patients (As of Jan. 24)
  • CHEO: 5 patients (As of Jan. 24)

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Ottawa in March 2020, there have been 88,990 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 1,004 deaths. 

OTTAWA’S KEY COVID-19 STATISTICS

  •  COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (Jan. 16 to 22): 32.3
  •  Seven-day average of positivity rate in the Ottawa community, including long-term care: 15.2 per cent (Jan. 15)
  •  Known active cases: 498

COVID-19 VACCINES IN OTTAWA

Updated Jan. 23

  •  Ottawa residents with 1 dose (5+): 925,425
  •  Ottawa residents with 2 doses (5+): 891,857
  •  Ottawa residents with 3 doses (5+): 615,551
  •  Ottawa residents with 4 doses (12+): 334,757
  •  Share of population five and older with at least one dose: 89 per cent
  •  Share of population five and older with at least two doses: 85 per cent
  •  Share of population five and older with at least three doses: 59 per cent
  •  Share of population 12 and older with at least four doses: 35 per cent

*Statistics on Ottawa residents with one or more doses include anyone with an Ottawa postal code who was vaccinated anywhere in Ontario.

AROUND THE REGION

  •  Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 7 in hospital, 0 in ICU (as of Jan. 24)
  •  Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: 12 in hospital, 0 in ICU (As of Jan. 24)
  •  Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: 15 in hospital, 2 in ICU (As of Jan. 24)
  •  Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit: 5 in hospital, 0 in ICU (As of Jan. 24)
  •  Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 5 in hospital, 0 in ICU (Updated on Thursdays)
  •  Outaouais (Gatineau and western Quebec): 101 in hospital, 1 in ICU (As of Jan. 18)

COVID-19 OUTBREAKS

Ottawa Public Health is currently reporting active outbreaks in the following locations

  • 7 in hospitals
  • 5 in long-term care homes
  • 12 in retirement homes
  • 1 in a shelter
  • 1 in a rooming house

INFLUENZA OUTBREAKS

  • 1 in a long-term care home

OTHER ONGOING RESPIRATORY OUTBREAKS

  •  4 in long-term care homes
  •  1 in a hospital

A full list of locations with active outbreaks is available on OPH’s outbreak dashboard. 

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