Ottawa Public Health is reporting 25 more people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19.
This brings the city’s total to 13,733 cases since the pandemic began.
One more person in Ottawa has died of COVID-19, bringing the pandemic death toll in the city to 427 residents.
Across the province, health officials reported 1,022 new cases of COVID-19, alongside 17 deaths and 1,388 newly resolved cases. Ontario health officials also reported 25 new cases in Ottawa on Tuesday.
The province also confirmed Ottawa’s first case of the B.1.351 variant of COVID-19, first discovered in South Africa. There have also been six confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K..
Case counts are typically lower on Tuesdays following lower testing numbers over the weekend.
Some weekly monitoring trends, which had increased slightly over the weekend, fell again on Tuesday. The number of known active cases is now at its lowest point so far this year and the weekly incidence rate per 100,000 population remains within the “Orange-Restrict” territory under the province’s framework one week before the stay-at-home order officially ends.
OTTAWA’S COVID-19 KEY STATISTICS
Ottawa Public Health moved Ottawa into its red zone in early January.
A provincial stay-at-home order has been in effect since Jan. 14, 2021. It ends at 12:01 a.m. Feb 16.
Ottawa Public Health data:
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 33.8 (down from 34.0 cases on Monday, but up from 32.7 cases on Sunday and 29.6 cases on Saturday)
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 1.6 per cent (Feb. 1 to 7)
- Reproduction number: 1.00 (seven day average)
Reproduction values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading and each case infects more than one contact. If it is less than 1, it means spread is slowing.
As of Feb. 8
- Vaccine doses administered in Ottawa (first and second shots): 31,554*
- Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses delivered to Ottawa: 30,225
- Moderna vaccine doses delivered to Ottawa: 4,000
*OPH says staff were able to extract additional doses out of several vials, which were given to residents. In a statement on its dashboard, OPH said, “Vaccine inventory is based on an expected 5 dose per vial supply. Occasionally, an additional dose (6th dose) is successfully extracted and administered to clients.”
ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19
The number of people in Ottawa with known active cases of COVID-19 has dropped again following a slight increase over the weekend.
OPH says there are 420 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, the lowest figure so far this year, down from 456 on Monday and 470 on Sunday.
Sixty newly resolved cases were reported on Tuesday. A total of 12,886 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa are now considered resolved.
The number of active cases is the number of total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.
HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA
There are 25 people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 complications, up from 23 on Monday. Five people are in the ICU, down from six.
Of the people in hospital, one is in their 30s, one is in their 40s (this person is in the ICU), four are in their 50s, four are in their 60s (two are in the ICU), four are in their 70s (one is in the ICU), seven are in their 80s (one is in the ICU), and four are 90 or older.
Ontario health officials say 30,709 COVID-19 tests were completed across Ontario on Monday and 33,273 tests remain under investigation.
The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce says 1,545 swabs were taken at assessment centres on Monday and labs performed 3,314 tests.
The average positivity rate for the week of Feb. 1 to 7 was 1.6 per cent.
The average turnaround from the time the swab is taken at a testing site to the result is 19 hours.
CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY
- 0-9 years old: Five new cases (1,000 total cases)
- 10-19 years-old: Four new case (1,692 total cases)
- 20-29 years-old: Four new cases (2,935 total cases)
- 30-39 years-old: Five new cases (1,917 total cases)
- 40-49 years-old: Two new cases (1,793 total cases)
- 50-59 years-old: Four new cases (1,655 total cases)
- 60-69-years-old: One case reassigned to other category (1,004 total cases)
- 70-79 years-old: One new case (615 total cases)
- 80-89 years-old: One new case (679 total cases)
- 90+ years old: Zero new cases (440 total cases)
The ages of three people with COVID-19 are unknown.
CASES OF COVID-19 AROUND THE REGION
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit: One new case
- Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health: Four new cases
- Leeds, Grenville & Lanark Public Health: Zero new case
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit: Zero new cases
- CISSS de l’Outaouais (Gatineau and western Quebec): Seven new cases
Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 25 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.
A new outbreak at a Mothercraft Ottawa home daycare was declared on Tuesday and an outbreak at a local group home has ended.
There are two active community outbreaks, linked to a health workplace and a warehouse.
The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:
- Bishop Hamilton Montessori School
- Centre educatif La Clementine (École Marie-Curie)
- Cornerstone Children’s Centre
- Greely Elementary School
- Mothercraft Ottawa home child care – 32715 (NEW)
- Playtime Daycare Centre – Licensed Childcare
The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:
- Garden Terrace
- Garry J. Armstrong long-term care home
- Group Home – 32432
- Heritage Retirement
- Manoir Marochel
- Montfort Long-term Care Centre
- Oakpark Retirement Community
- Residence St. Louis
- Richmond Care Home
- Shelter – 28778
- Shelter – 29677
- Shelter – 29770
- Shelter – 29860
- Shelter – 32296
- Shelter – 32620
- St. Patrick’s Home
- The Edinburgh Retirement Residence
- Valley Stream Retirement Residence
- Villa Marconi
A single laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member of a long-term care home, retirement home or shelter triggers an outbreak response, according to Ottawa Public Health. In childcare settings, a single confirmed, symptomatic case in a staff member, home daycare provider, or child triggers an outbreak.
Under provincial guidelines, a COVID-19 outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).
Experts caution against the temptation to comparison shop COVID-19 vaccines – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, February 27, 2021 3:01PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 27, 2021 3:13PM EST
TORONTO – While it’s tempting to compare various aspects of AstraZeneca-Oxford’s newly approved COVID-19 vaccine to others, several experts cautioned against focusing on data that is not comparable and the danger of underrating the product’s ability to curb hospitalizations and deaths.
Health Canada’s long-awaited announcement Friday that a third vaccine would soon be deployed came just as the provinces faced heightened scrutiny over regional immunization plans that vary by timeline, age eligibility and priority groups.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised the boost to Canada’s pandemic arsenal would mean “more people vaccinated, and sooner,” and would be key to helping contain spread.
Nevertheless, Health Canada chief medical advisor Dr. Supriya Sharma acknowledged questions over how the public should evaluate trial results that show AstraZeneca has an efficacy of 62 per cent in preventing symptomatic cases. That’s compared to the 95 per cent efficacy of the country’s two other approved vaccines, from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
But Sharma stressed that all three have been shown to prevent 100 per cent of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19.
“Each vaccine has unique characteristics and Health Canada’s review has confirmed that the benefits of the viral vector-based vaccine, as with the other authorized vaccines, outweigh their potential risks,” Sharma said.
Several medical experts including Dr. Stephen Hwang say Canadians do not have the luxury to pick-and-choose as long as COVID-19 cases continue to rage in several hot spots and strain health-care systems.
With multiple COVID-19 projections warning of a variant-fuelled third wave without tighter suppression measures, any tool that can slow the pandemic should be embraced, he argued.
“It would be important for people to be vaccinated with whichever vaccine is first available in their community to them, rather than trying to hold out for a specific vaccine,” advised Hwang, who treats COVID-19 patients at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
Still, Toronto resident Maria Brum couldn’t help but question whether AstraZeneca was safe for her 79-year-old mother.
The vaccine was not tested on people over the age of 65. Health Canada, however, says real-world data from countries already using the product suggest it is safe and effective among older age groups, promising an update on efficacy in the age group as more data comes in.
“I personally would take that one out as an option for my mom,” said Brum, who is her mother’s main caregiver.
“Maybe I am wrong but, I don’t know, I don’t see that it’s more useful. I’d like to see one that has a higher percentage of (efficacy).”
As for herself, Brum said she has allergies that she believes may put her at greater risk of adverse reactions and so she is unsure whether she can take any vaccine.
But she’d like the option of choosing, if possible, even while acknowledging that limited supply could make that unlikely.
“As a Canadian, I would like to see us all have choices, regardless of age, gender, or ability,” says Brum.
“I’m going to wait where I can have more choices.”
Such hesitancy could pose public health challenges to Canada reaching the vaccination coverage needed to build protective immunity against COVID-19, said Hwang.
He noted that Germany has seen a reported preference among some for the vaccine made by Germany’s BioNTech with Pfizer, as well as a misconception that the AstraZeneca vaccine is inferior because of a lower efficacy rate.
Hwang says efficacy between vaccines cannot be compared because each involved completely different trials at different time periods, in different countries, with different volunteers of different age groups and varying trial design.
“Until we have direct comparison studies where we give people one vaccine versus another and directly compare, it’s very difficult to know for sure how it’s going to pan out,” he says.
Then there’s the fact Canada’s initial AstraZeneca doses will be made at the Serum Institute of India, which dubs its version CoviShield, while later packages will be produced at the drug giant’s own manufacturing facilities.
Hwang acknowledges that could invite further scrutiny but says the Pune, India-based biotech firm has a “strong track record of producing vaccines.”
Sharma also stressed the similarities between the two shots Friday.
“For all intents and purposes they’re the same vaccine,” said Sharma.
“There are some slight differences in terms of manufacturing and the places that they are manufactured are different. The analogy is a bit like the recipe – so the recipe for the vaccine is the same, but they’re manufactured in different kitchens.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021.
Key COVID-19 numbers in the Ottawa area today – CBC.ca
- Ottawa is reporting 62 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.
- Western Quebec has confirmed 31 cases and one death.
Today’s Ottawa update
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recorded 62 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday but zero deaths.
Another 56 cases have been classified as resolved.
Ottawa and communities under the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) are now in the orange alert level, with slightly more restrictive rules than the rest of eastern Ontario, which is green.
Numbers to watch
35: The weekly incidence rate, a rolling seven-day total of new COVID-19 cases expressed per 100,000 residents. The red zone threshold is 40.
.98: The number of people infected by a single COVID-19 case, or R(t). Health officials consider the spread under control if it’s below one.
34: The number of outbreaks in Ottawa.
488: The number of known active COVID-19 cases in Ottawa. One month ago there were more than 1,200.
Across the region
Western Quebec identified 31 new cases on Saturday and one more death.
There’s no ‘best’ vaccine, expert says as Canada OKs AstraZeneca shots – Globalnews.ca
Vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford have now been approved in Canada. While Canadians may not get a choice about which COVID-19 vaccine to take, all three offer protection against severe illness, according to experts.
“All of these vaccines are good,” Dr. Bradly Wouters, executive vice-president of science and research at the University Health Network told Global News Friday.
Available data shows all these three vaccines have the “ability to impact hospitalization” and offer “protection against severe illness,” he said.
Which vaccine is the best?
There’s no “best vaccine” option.
Whichever vaccine is available first, “it’s going to protect you,” Wouters said.
Parts of the world are already facing which-is-best challenges. Astrazeneca’s vaccine for instance, was cleared for use in Britain and Europe after data suggested that it was about 70 per cent effective.
Italy’s government recently decided to reserve Pfizer and Moderna shots for the elderly and designate the Astrazeneca vaccine for younger, at-risk workers, sparking protests.
“Right now, it’s not vaccine against vaccine, it’s vaccine against virus,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, recently told The Associated Press.
Wouters reiterated a similar notion.
“In a pandemic, you need fast results,” he noted and the “priority is to ensure everyone gets vaccinated” and not “debate over which vaccine is better.”
“Each trial involves different people in different places,” he said, and while many may be making comparisons between vaccines from the results of different Phase 3 trials, “such comparisons are misleading,” he said.
After Pfizer and Moderna, AstraZeneca is the third shot officially authorized in the country.
Health Canada official explains how AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine works
The two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna shots were found to be about 95 per cent effective against the virus as compared to the AstraZeneca shots that stand at 62 per cent in preventing symptomatic cases.
However, Wouters said they will all work “as effectively as possible as long as combined with mask-wearing, handwashing and social distancing.”
“We must continue to follow public health guidelines, being cautious until positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths are significantly reduced nationwide,” he said.
Following Canada’s approval of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine Friday, Procurement Minister Anita Anand cautioned against deliberation over “the sort of good or bad” vaccines.
Coronavirus: Canada secures 2M doses of CoviShield vaccine, to arrive in weeks
“If there is a vaccine and it’s been authorized by Health Canada, it means that it’s met standards,” Anand said during a press conference Friday.
AstraZeneca shots may not seem equal to its opponents at first glance but “these vaccines do have a use,” she said.
“We have real-world evidence from Scotland and the U.K. for people that have been dosed that have been over 80, and that has shown a significant drop in hospitalizations, to the tune of 84 per cent,” she said.
“The idea is to have a suite of vaccines that are available. I think Canada is hungry for vaccines, we’re putting more on the buffet table to be used.”
Standards of efficacy
Speaking of the “standards of effectiveness,” Anand said vaccines “should meet at least 50 per cent.”
“If we compare that to the influenza viruses that we authorize every year, if you look back, for example, just to last year, the effectiveness of the flu vaccine against the most common strain was about 64 per cent, across to the next common strain was about 54 per cent,” she said.
As more information becomes available from real-world use, “the efficacy” of the AstraZeneca vaccine might prove to “be much higher,” Anand added.
Considering all the five vaccines that are currently under review, including the Novavax and Johnson & Johnson shots, Anand emphasized that nobody has died so far from “adverse effects” of these vaccines.
“If you look across all the clinical trials of the tens of thousands of people that were involved, the number of cases of people that died from COVID-19 that got vaccine was zero. The number of people that were hospitalized because their COVID-19 disease was so severe was zero. The number of people that died because of an adverse event or an effect of the vaccine was zero,” she said.
The idea is “to prevent” serious illness, hospitalizations and “of course prevent death,” Anand said.
Storage and distribution
Compared to the other vaccines, the AstraZeneca shot is also easier to administer.
The vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2 to 8 C/36 to 46 F) for at least six months and administered within existing health-care settings.
Cold storage of COVID-19 vaccine complicates rollout
The Moderna and Pfizer options, meanwhile, must be stored at subzero temperatures until they’re ready to be used, at -4 F and -94 F, respectively.
This is “something we need to take into account,” Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said during a press conference Friday.
He said the onboarding of the AstraZeneca vaccine is “another tool in our toolbox.”
“Following the approval of Health Canada, the efficacy stands at 62 per cent, but we have to look at the entire profile of each vaccine because this vaccine is easier to administer than Pfizer and Moderna, so this is something we need to take into account,” he said.
— With files from The Associated Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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