Surges of respiratory virus signals seen in Ottawa wastewater

Wastewater monitoring in Ottawa is showing a surge in the viral signals for flu, RSV and COVID-19.

The wastewater monitoring project, which originally checked for only COVID-19, now includes other respiratory viruses. The latest data up to Dec. 6 show the detection of influenza continues to climb, while RSV is also on the rise after an apparent plateau in late November. COVID-19 is also showing an increasing trend.

OPH reported a positivity rate of 28 per cent for influenza for the week of Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, up only slightly from the week prior, suggesting a possible peak for the early flu season. The positivity rate is well above seasonal norms.

The Influenza A wastewater signal in Ottawa. Image captured Dec. 9, 2022. (https://613covid.ca/wastewater/)

At least three local long-term care homes are dealing with outbreaks of RSV.

The RSV wastewater signal in Ottawa. Image captured Dec. 9, 2022. (https://613covid.ca/wastewater/)

Ottawa Public Health is also reporting two new COVID-19 deaths in the capital since Tuesday.

Since the pandemic began, 977 Ottawa residents have died of COVID-19, including 357 so far in 2022.

The number of residents in hospital because of an active infection has been holding relatively steady in the last week. OPH data show there were 30 residents hospitalized because of COVID-19 last week, compared to 24 in Friday’s update. Three residents are intensive care.

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: 99 patients
  • Queensway Carleton Hospital: 11 patients
  • Montfort Hospital: 8 patients (as of Dec. 5)
  • CHEO: 1 patient

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Ottawa in March 2020, there have been 86,827 total cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 977 deaths.

OTTAWA’S KEY COVID-19 STATISTICS

  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (Dec. 1-7): 29.7
  • Seven-day average of positivity rate in the Ottawa community, including long-term care: 12.4 per cent
  • Known active cases: 373

The COVID-19 wastewater signal in Ottawa. Image captured Dec. 9, 2022. (https://613covid.ca/wastewater/)

COVID-19 VACCINES IN OTTAWA

Updated Dec. 5

  • Ottawa residents with 1 dose (5+): 924,293
  • Ottawa residents with 2 doses (5+): 891,267
  • Ottawa residents with 3 doses (5+): 610,382
  • Ottawa residents with 4 doses (12+): 309,315
  • Share of population five and older with at least one dose: 93 per cent
  • Share of population five and older with at least two doses: 90 per cent
  • Share of population five and older with at least three doses: 62 per cent
  • Share of population 12 and older with at least four doses: 34 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: 9 in hospital, 1 in ICU
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: 6 in hospital, 0 in ICU  (Updated on Tuesdays only)
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: 16 in hospital, 3 in ICU (Updated on Tuesdays only)
  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit: 7 in hospital, 1 in ICU (Updated on Tuesdays)
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 1 in hospital, 0 in ICU (Updated on Thursdays)
  • Outaouais (Gatineau and western Quebec): 96 in hospital, 0 in ICU

COVID-19 OUTBREAKS

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

  • 9 in hospitals
  • 6 in long-term care homes
  • 5 in retirement homes
  • 1 in group homes

INFLUENZA OUTBREAKS

  • 1 in a hospital
  • 1 in a retirement home

OTHER ONGOING RESPIRATORY OUTBREAKS

  • 13 in licensed child care settings
  • 4 in long-term care homes
  • 13 in schools
  • 1 in a retirement home
  • 1 in a group home

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

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