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Ottawa sees 80 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, no new deaths – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Ottawa Public Health is reporting 80 more people in the city have tested positive for COVID-19.

The new cases bring Ottawa’s pandemic total to 16,332 cases since March 11, 2020. 

No new deaths were reported on Wednesday. The pandemic death toll stands at 457 residents of Ottawa.

Provincial health officials reported 1,571 new cases of COVID-19 across Ontario. The province also reported 10 new deaths and 1,531 newly resolved cases.

No new cases of the B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 variants were confirmed on Wednesday, but the province reported nine new cases with mutations detected. To date, Ottawa has seen 21 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, two cases of the B.1.351 variant, and 343 cases with a mutation detected.

The number of people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 rose slightly on Wednesday, but the number of active cases fell slightly, driven by a higher number of newly resolved cases. The city also reported a major jump in the number of vaccine doses administered and delivered.

The COVID-19 wastewater monitoring is showing a significant decline in viral concentration over the past several days.

The city’s incidence rate of new cases has held steady at around 55 per 100,000 population since Monday, but OPH says the testing positivity rate is now above 4 per cent.

OTTAWA’S KEY COVID-19 STATISTICS

Ottawa is in “Red-Control” status under Ontario’s COVID-19 framework.

Ottawa Public Health data:

  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (March 16-22): 55.1 
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.2 per cent (March 17-23) 
  • Reproduction number: 1.02 (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.

The red-control threshold is a weekly incidence rate of 40 or more cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of 2.5 per cent or higher and a reproduction number of 1.2 or more.

The orange-restrict category of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework includes a weekly rate of cases per 100,000 between 25 to 39.9, a percent positivity of 1.3 to 2.4 per cent, and a reproduction number of approximately 1 to 1.1. 

VACCINES IN OTTAWA

As of March 24:

  • Vaccine doses administered in Ottawa (first and second shots): 99,886 (up by 7,593 since Monday)*
  • COVID-19 doses received (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna): 133,440

OPH says the city received a shipment of 36,270 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on March 22.

*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.”

HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA

There are 27 people currently in Ottawa-area hospitals with COVID-19 related illnesses, up from from 25 on Monday. Six people are in intensive care, up from four.

Of the people in hospital, three are in their 30s, two are in their 40s, five are in their 50s (two are in the ICU), four are in their 60s (one is in the ICU), eight are in their 70s (three in the ICU), four are in their 80s and one is 90 or older.

ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA

The number of people with known active cases of COVID-19 fell slightly on Tuesday to 747 from 755 on Tuesday. 

Eighty-eight more Ottawa residents have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. Ottawa Public Health reports 15,0128 resolved cases of COVID-19 in the capital.

The number of active cases is the number of total 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.

COVID-19 TESTING

Ontario health officials say 51,962 COVID-19 tests were completed provincewide on Tuesday. 

The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce will provide updated local testing numbers this afternoon.

COVID-19 CASES IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY

  • 0-9 years old: Nine new cases (1,253 total cases)
  • 10-19 years-old: 17 new cases (2,061 total cases)
  • 20-29 years-old: 13 new cases (3,563 total cases)
  • 30-39 years-old: 13 new cases (2,322 total cases)
  • 40-49 years-old: 12 new cases (2,099 total cases)
  • 50-59 years-old: 7 new cases (1,961 total cases)
  • 60-69-years-old: 4 new cases (1,172 total cases)
  • 70-79 years-old: 4 new cases (707 total cases)
  • 80-89 years-old: 1 new case (720 total cases)
  • 90+ years old: 0 new cases (471 total cases)
  • Unknown: 0 new cases (3 cases total)

COVID-19 CASES ACROSS THE REGION

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 20 new cases
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington: 6 new cases
  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit: 20 new cases
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 2 new cases
  • Outaouais (Gatineau and western Quebec): 64 new cases

INSTITUTIONAL OUTBREAKS

Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 37 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.

One new outbreak was declared at an independent living home while the outbreak at the Medex long-term care home has ended.

There are four active community outbreaks: One is linked to a warehouse, one is linked to a construction workplace, and one is linked to a health workplace, and one is linked to a restaurant.

The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Rodnichok Daycare (March 1)
  2. École élémentaire catholique Riverside South II (March 12)
  3. École secondaire catholique Pierre Savard (March 13)
  4. École élémentaire publique Séraphin-Marion (March 14)
  5. Nature and Nurture Childcare Services (March 14)
  6. St. Luke’s Childcare Centre (March 15) [NEW]
  7. Vincent Massey Public School (March 17)
  8. École élémentaire catholique Arc-en-Ciel (March 19)
  9. École élémentaire catholique Horizon-Jeunesse (March 19)
  10. École secondaire publique Gisèle-Lalonde (March 19)
  11. Henry Larsen Elementary School (March 19)
  12. École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité (March 21)

The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Shelter (Jan. 26)
  2. The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus (Feb. 19)
  3. Extendicare Laurier Manor LTCH (Feb. 25)
  4. Madonna Care Community (Feb. 26)
  5. Sarsfield Colonial Home (Feb. 27)
  6. Group Home (March 3)
  7. Perley-Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre – Gatineau Building (March 4)
  8. St. Vincent Hospital (March 6)
  9. Peter D. Clark LTCH (March 10)
  10. Group Home (March 11)
  11. Lord Lansdowne RH (March 11)
  12. Amica Westboro Park RH (March 12)
  13. University of Ottawa Heart Institute (March 12)
  14. Chapel Hill RH (March 13)
  15. The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus (March 13)
  16. St. Patrick’s Home (March 14)
  17. Osgoode Care Centre (March 15)
  18. St. Vincent Hospital (March 15)
  19. Carlingview Manor (March 16)
  20. University of Ottawa Heart Institute (March 16)
  21. Elisabeth Bruyere Hospital (March 18)
  22. Portobello Retirement Residence (March 18)
  23. Extendicare West End Villa (March 19)
  24. University of Ottawa Heart Institute (March 21) 
  25. Supported Independent Living (March 23) [NEW]

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, two children or staff or household member cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within a 14-day period where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the childcare establishment is considered an outbreak in a childcare establishment.

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).

Two staff or patient cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within a specified hospital unit within a 14-day period where both cases could have reasonably acquired their infection in hospital is considered an outbreak in a public hospital.  

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Today's coronavirus news: Ontario reporting 192 cases of COVID-19, one death; Mostly spectator-free opening ceremony kicks off Tokyo Games – Orangeville Banner

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Why are Covid cases rising among double vaccinated? – Deccan Herald

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By Jamie Hartmann-Boyce for The Conversation,

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, has announced that 40 per cent of people admitted to hospital with Covid in the UK have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

At first glance, this rings very serious alarm bells, but it shouldn’t. The vaccines are still working very well.

There are several factors at play that explain why such a high proportion of cases are in the fully vaccinated.

Covid vaccines are extremely effective, but none 100 per cent so. This itself isn’t surprising – flu vaccines aren’t 100 per cent effective either.

Yet in the US alone flu vaccines are estimated to prevent millions of cases of illness, tens of thousands of hospitalisations and thousands of deaths every year. The Covid vaccines are doing the same in the UK right now – all one has to do is compare the curves from the winter wave with those from this summer.

As cases are rising, hospitalisations and deaths are rising too, but not at anywhere near the same level as they were in the winter. In the second half of December 2020 – a time when UK case rates were similar to what they are now – about 3,800 people were being admitted to hospital with Covid each day.

The average now is around 700. So though that’s still higher than we wish it was, it’s a lot lower than it was the last time we had this many infections.

Covid is also growing among the vaccinated because the number of people in the UK who have had both doses is continuing to rise. At the time of writing, 88 per cent of UK adults have had a first dose and 69 per cent a second. As more and more of the population is vaccinated, the relative proportion of those with Covid who have had both jabs will rise.

If you imagine a hypothetical scenario in which 100 per cent of the population is double vaccinated, then 100 per cent of people with Covid, and in hospital with Covid, will also have had both jabs. As with deaths, this doesn’t mean the vaccine isn’t working. It just means the vaccine rollout is going very well.

Also read: WHO warns of ‘long term’ Covid impact on mental health

We also need to remember that the vaccine rollout in the UK has systematically targeted people at the highest risk from Covid.

Older people and people with health conditions that make them more vulnerable were the first to get vaccinated. Once vaccinated, these people (including me) are at much lower risk from Covid than they would have been otherwise – but they are still at risk.

That means that when we compare people with both vaccinations being hospitalised to those who haven’t had both doses, we aren’t comparing like with like. People with both vaccinations are more likely to have been at greater risk from Covid in the first place. This makes them both more likely to be hospitalised and more likely to have already received both of their vaccine doses.

Is Covid different in the vaccinated?

The latest data from Public Health England suggests that against the delta variant, which is now dominant in UK, two doses of any of the vaccines available in Britain are estimated to offer 79 per cent protection against symptomatic Covid and 96 per cent protection against hospitalisation.

We don’t have clear estimates yet from Public Health England on the level of protection against death caused by the delta variant – fortunately, this is partly driven by the fact deaths have been relatively low during this third wave in the UK.

But for the alpha variant, Public Health England data estimates the Pfizer vaccine to be between 95 per cent and 99 per cent effective at preventing death from Covid-19, with the AstraZeneca vaccine estimated to be between 75 per cent and 99 per cent effective. The evidence we have so far doesn’t suggest that the delta variant substantially changes this picture.

There’s lots we still need to learn about how people with both vaccine doses respond to getting infected with the virus. The UK’s Covid Symptom Study is looking at this.

One of the key questions that remain is who is at most risk. Emerging data – released in a preprint, so yet to be reviewed by other scientists – suggests people who are overweight or obese, poorer people, and people with health conditions causing frailty seem to be more likely to get infected after having both jabs.

The preprint also suggests that age itself doesn’t seem to affect chances of developing Covid after being vaccinated, nor does having a long-term condition such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease – but we need more data on this to be sure of these findings.

Generally, the Covid Symptom Study has found that people report the same Covid symptoms whether or not they’ve been vaccinated, but that people who’ve been vaccinated have fewer symptoms over a shorter period of time, suggesting less serious illness. The most commonly reported symptoms in people who had had both doses were headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and loss of smell. 

(The author is a Senior Research Fellow, Departmental Lecturer and Director of Evidence-Based Healthcare DPhil Programme, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford)

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Canada’s and Zimbabwe’s paths for COVID-19 vaccination are worlds apart – The Globe and Mail

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A forklift carries a pallet of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine from China upon its arrival at Robert Mugabe International airport in Harare.

Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/The Associated Press

When mother-of-three Amanda Wood heard that hundreds of coronavirus shots were available for teens, only one thing prevented her from racing to the vaccination site at a Toronto high school – her 13-year-old daughter’s fear of needles.

Wood told Lola: If you get the vaccine you’ll be able to see your friends again. You’ll be able to play sports. And enticed by the promise of resuming a normal, teen life, Lola agreed.

In Zimbabwe, more than 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers) and a world away from Canada, immunity is harder to obtain.

On a recent day, Andrew Ngwenya sat outside his home in a working-class township in Harare, the capital, pondering how he could save himself and his family from COVID-19.

Ngwenya and his wife De-egma had gone to a hospital that sometimes had spare doses. Hours later, fewer than 30 people had been inoculated. The Ngwenyas, parents of four children, were sent home, still desperate for immunization.

“We are willing to have it but we can’t access it,” he said. “We need it, where can we get it?”

The stories of the Wood and Ngwenya families reflect a world starkly divided between vaccine haves and have nots, between those who can imagine a world beyond the pandemic and those who can only foresee months and perhaps years of illness and death.

In one country, early stumbles in the fight against COVID-19 were overcome thanks to money and a strong public health infrastructure. In the other, poor planning, a lack of resources and the failure of a global mechanism intended to share scarce vaccines have led to a desperate shortage of COVID-19 shots – and oxygen tanks and protective equipment, as well.

With 70% of its adult population receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Canada has among the world’s highest vaccination rate and is now moving on to immunize children, who are at far lower risk of coronavirus complications and death.

Meanwhile, only about 9% of the population in Zimbabwe has received one dose of coronavirus vaccine amid a surge of the easier-to-spread delta variant, first seen in India. Many millions of people vulnerable to COVID-19, including the elderly and those with underlying medical problems, are struggling to get immunized as government officials introduce more restrictive measures.

Ngwenya said the crush of people trying to get vaccinated is disheartening.

“The queue is like 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) long. Even if you are interested in a jab you can’t stand that. Once you see the queue you won’t try again,” he said

Vaccines weren’t always plentiful in Canada. With no domestic coronavirus vaccine production, the country got off to a sluggish start, with immunization rates behind those in Hungary, Greece and Chile. Canada was also the only G7 country to secure vaccines in the first round of deliveries by a U.N.-backed effort set up to distribute COVID-19 doses primarily to poor countries known as COVAX.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it had always been Canada’s intention to secure vaccines through COVAX, after investing more than $400 million in the project. The vaccines alliance, Gavi, said COVAX was also meant to provide rich countries with an “insurance policy” in case they didn’t have enough shots.

COVAX’s latest shipment to Canada – about 655,000 AstraZeneca vaccines – arrived in May, shortly after about 60 poor countries were left in the lurch when the initiative’s supplies slowed to a trickle. Bangladesh, for example, had been awaiting a COVAX delivery of about 130,000 vaccines for its Rohingya refugee population; the shots never arrived after the Indian supplier ceased exports.

Canada’s decision to secure vaccines through the U.N.-backed effort was “morally reprehensible,” said Dr. Prabhat Jha, chair of global health and epidemiology at the University of Toronto. He said Canada’s early response to COVID-19 badly misjudged the need for control measures including aggressive contact tracing and border restrictions.

“If not for Canada’s purchasing power to procure vaccines, we would be in bad shape right now,” he said.

Weeks after the COVAX vaccines arrived, more than 33,000 doses were still sitting in warehouses in Ottawa after health officials recommended Canadians get shots made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna instead – of which they had bought tens of millions of doses.

The Wood children got the Pfizer vaccine. When Canada began immunizing children aged 12 and over, Wood, who works with children in the entertainment industry and her architect husband didn’t hesitate.

Wood said her children, who are all avid athletes, have been unable to play much hockey, soccer or rugby during repeated lockdowns. Lola has missed baking lemon loaves and chocolate chip cookies with her grandmother, who lives three blocks away.

“We felt we had to do our part to keep everyone safe, to keep the elderly safe, and to get the economy going again and the kids back to school,” she said.

In Zimbabwe, there is no expectation of a return to normal anytime soon, and things are likely to get worse – Ngwenya worries about government threats to bar the unvaccinated from public services, including transport.

Although Zimbabwe was allocated nearly 1 million coronavirus vaccines through COVAX, none have been delivered. Its mix of purchased and donated shots – 4.2 million – consist of Chinese, Russian and Indian vaccines.

Official figures show that 4% of the country’s 15 million population are now fully immunized.

The figures make Zimbabwe a relative success in Africa, where fewer than 2% of the continent’s 1. 3 billion people have been vaccinated, according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, the virus is spreading to rural areas where the majority live and health facilities are shambolic.

Ngwenya is a part-time pastor with a Pentecostal church; he said he and his flock have had to rely on their faith to fight the coronavirus. But he said people would rather have vaccines first, and then prayer.

“Every man is scared of death,” he said. “People are dying and we can see people dying. This is real.”

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