COVID-19: What you need to know on Tuesday, March 10

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File: A young boy gets his vaccine at the Palais des Congrès vaccination centre in Montreal.
File: A young boy gets his vaccine at the Palais des Congrès vaccination centre in Montreal. Photo by John Kenney /Postmedia

Ottawa Public Health reported one new death linked to COVID-19 Thursday, for a total of 752 since the pandemic began.

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There were eight residents in hospital due to an active infection, two in intensive care.

OPH reported 134 new cases of the virus among 835 known active cases but case counts are considered underestimates because lab tests are limited to high-risk people and groups.

There were no new outbreaks in health-care or other institutional settings, which held steady at 13.

Ontario reported 20 COVID-19 deaths Thursday, 14 new and six in a data cleanup.

A total of 742 people were in hospitals across the province with the virus and 244 patients were in intensive care units.

The province reported 2,125 new cases of the virus, and 2,361 cases resolved but, again, testing is limited.

With most provincial mask mandates ending later this month, Ottawa Public Health is launching new resources aimed a helping people reduce their risk of COVID-19.

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Some of the people who are at higher risk include older adults and people living with certain medical conditions, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said Wednesday in a statement issued after the provincial announcement.

The new webpage is aimed at helping people and families assess their risk of severe outcomes and choose their “layers of protection,” Etches said.

If people suspect they have COVID-19, care clinics continue to provide assessment, testing if eligible — although Ontario is limiting testing to high-risk groups — and access to treatment if needed.

Etches said that Ottawa has seen a gradual decrease in levels of COVID-19 in wastewater and hospitalizations have dropped and are stable, along with outbreaks.

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The per cent of tests coming back positive has gone up, which may be linked to low levels of testing, Etches said.

“It is important to know that while monitoring indicators are predominantly improving, COVID-19 is still present in our community at a relatively high level.”

By the Numbers:

Ottawa

(Reported Thursday)

134: New cases* (Case numbers are considered underestimates because testing is limited to high-risk groups)

63,85: Total cases

1: New deaths

752: Total deaths

832: Active cases

8: In hospital because of an active infection

2: In ICU because of an active infection

82.6: Rolling seven-day average of cases per 100,000 people (March 2-8)

14.6: Per cent positivity in testing in the community (March 2-8)

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Ontario

(Reported Thursday)

2,125: New confirmed cases

1,119,564: Total cases

20: New deaths (includes six added in a data clean up)

12,638: Total deaths

742: Hospitalized

245: In ICU

Where to get tested for COVID-19 Ottawa

With molecular testing now prioritized for people at increased risk, and those living or working in high-risk settings, testing is no longer recommended for everyone with symptoms of the virus, Ottawa Public Health said.

Ottawans can find out of they’re eligible and how to book a test on the health department’s web site along with how to find in-person assessment and treatment and private testing options for travellers.

People who have symptoms, or test positive on a rapid antigen test, but aren’t eligible for PCR testing are presumed to have COVID-19 and must self-isolate, OPH said, with more information for their high-risk contacts. OPH is currently being updated to reflect its information to reflect new guidelines announced by the provincial government Wednesday.

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Where to get rapid tests

Ontario is distributing 5.5 million rapid antigen tests each week for eight weeks starting Feb. 9 at pharmacy and grocery locations across the province, as well as through community organizations in vulnerable communities.

How to get vaccinated

Ottawa Public Health community clinics and after-school clinics are open for drop-in shots for everyone eligible for a first dose, second dose and booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Other venues offering the vaccine in Ottawa include select pharmacies, mobile clinics for workplaces and the Kids Come First Health Team vaccination clinics.

OPH has a frequently-asked questions page about COVID-19 vaccination or call 613-580-6744 to speak to a public health nurse.

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It’s important to remember that getting vaccinated (and boosted!) is still our best tool against COVID-19.

If eligible, you can drop-in to any of our clinics for your 1st, 2nd or 3rd dose. No appointment needed! Drop in whenever it’s best for you!

Info: https://t.co/37WucSYfWW pic.twitter.com/5JLB7c4mYx

— Ottawa Public Health (@OttawaHealth) March 9, 2022

Current public health restrictions

The province announced Wednesday that most mask requirements will be dropped as of March 21, with remaining mandates for higher risk settings such as long-term care, hospitals and transit, ending April 27.

Ontario moved to the next phase of the provincial reopening this month with proof of vaccination no longer required for most indoor settings and capacity limits lifted. But businesses can choose to keep requiring proof of vaccination.

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