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Monday, November 29, 2021

Coronavirus: Ottawa adds 62 COVID-19 cases as hospitals near capacity

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Ottawa Public Health reported an increase of 62 new COVID-19 on Thursday as the city’s health-care system begins to strain once more amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

There have now been 14,532 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic nearly a year ago, with 457 of those cases currently considered active, according to OPH’s dashboard.

Two additional people have also died in connection with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, raising the city’s coronavirus death toll to 439.

There are currently 21 people in hospital locally with COVID-19, eight of whom are in the intensive care unit.

The number of people in hospitals with the virus in Ottawa had been declining in the first two weeks of February, according to OPH’s dashboard. But Dr. Vera Etches noted in an update to city council on Wednesday that COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ottawa are no longer declining, as other key metrics in the city’s efforts to control the coronavirus trend in the wrong direction.

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OPH’s dashboard shows that 100 per cent of acute care beds in hospitals across the city are now occupied. In the ICU, three out of every four beds are currently taken up as well.

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Etches told council on Wednesday that it’s a “real possibility” the province shifts Ottawa into the red-control section of the colour-coded reopening framework next week if recent trends don’t reverse or stabilize.

Ottawa received another shipment of 9,360 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week, raising the total inventory of doses received to date to 57,820.

So far, the city has administered 48,278 doses of the vaccine, with teams finishing the first round of vaccinations for residents of retirement homes in the city earlier this week.

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Local officials announced plans on Wednesday to start administering vaccines to residents aged 80-plus in six high-risk neighbourhoods across Ottawa next week.

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