April 23 COVID-19 update: Ottawa numbers, $1.1. billion research funding, army support, Montfort outbreak

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) says three more people died yesterday (April 22) due to COVID-19 complications as local long-term care homes, retirement residences and hospitals deal with 35 new cases of COVID-19 in residents and another 22 in staff members.

OPH reports there are 234 residents of long-term care facilities across the city battling the coronavirus and 70 staff members. A reported 26 residents have died.

Three deaths reported on Thursday happened at Madonna Care Community, which has now seen six of its residents pass away after COVID-19 was first detected in the facility.

Montfort Long-Term Care Centre continues to see the most cases of the virus among all Ottawa institutions. OPH is reporting another 19 resident cases as of today (April 23), and two staff cases, bringing its overall totals to 61 residents and eight staff. There have been 11 deaths at the home.

Another hard-hit home is Carlingview Manor, which is reporting 11 new resident cases of COVID-19, Thursday and nine infections in its staff.

Just one institution has announced its first case of the coronavirus on Thursday – one staff case at Saint-Louis Residence in Orleans.

Settler’s Ridge OCAPDD, which had recently been cleared of the virus now has another resident case as well.

For a full institutional breakdown of COVID-19 in Ottawa, click here.

PM announces funding for research

CANADA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $1.1-billion in funding today (April 23) for the launch of a national research strategy in response to COVID-19. 

Nearly $115 million will fund research for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments in hospitals and universities, with another $662 million funding clinical trials. 

Trudeau says $350 million of the announced funding will be used to expand COVID-19 testing and modelling capabilities. 

The prime minister also used Thursday’s daily address to announce the launch of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, which will be tasked with testing two million Canadians over the course of two years for COVID-19 research.  

PPE drive in Ottawa Saturday

OTTAWA – A national grassroots organization, working to supply healthcare workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic, is hosting a PPE drive in Ottawa.

The drive is set for Saturday, April 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1050 Morrison Drive, just west of Greenbank Road and south of Highway 417.

If you have PPE you can donate, you can drop them off at the address above. The drive will be collecting for health care workers but is also accepting female personal hygiene equipment identified by women’s shelters as needed.

St. John’s Ambulance is helping to host the event, as it has done in the Toronto area and in Vancouver.

COVID-19 hits another bus driver

OTTAWA – OC Transpo officials have confirmed a fourth bus driver has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The driver last worked on Sunday and was tested for the virus on Tuesday. 

The operator is currently self-isolating at home.  

Ottawa Public Health says they are working to find out who the driver was in contact with on Sunday, as well as the two days prior to feeling ill. 

The driver operated three buses on several routes last Friday, Saturday and Sunday but none in west Ottawa.

Friday, April 17

  • Route 111: Baseline Station 5:35 am to Billings Bridge Station 6:08 am
  • Route 44: Billings Bridge Station 6:15 am to Hurdman Station 6:44 am
  • Route 44: Hurdman Station 6:48 am to Billings Bridge Station 7:18 am
  • Route 111: Billings Bridge Station 7:27 am to Baseline Station 8 am
  • Route 111: Baseline Station 8:05 am to Billings Bridge Station 8:38 am
  • Route 44: Billings Bridge Station 8:45 am to Hurdman Station 9:14 am
  • Route 44: Hurdman Station 9:18 am to Billings Bridge Station 9:48 am
  • Route 111: Billings Bridge Station 9:57 am to Baseline Station 10:30 am
  • Route 111: Baseline Station 10:35 am to Billings Bridge Station 11:11 am
  • Route 44: Billings Bridge Station 11:22 to Hurdman Station 11:51 am
  • Route 44: Hurdman Station 12 pm to Billings Bridge Station 12:31 pm
  • Route 44: Billings Bridge Station 12:37 pm to Hurdman Station 1:06 pm
  • Route 44: Hurdman Station 1:15 pm to Billings Bridge Station 1:46 pm
  • Route 44: Billings Bridge Station 1:52 pm to Hurdman Station 2:21 pm

Saturday, April 18

  • Route 75: Rideau Centre 4:09 am to Barrhaven Centre 4:54 am
  • Route 75: Barrhaven Centre 4:58 am to Rideau Centre E 5:42 am
  • Route 42: Hurdman 6:10 am to Blair 6:40 am
  • Route 34: Blair Station 6:47 am to Renaud & Saddleridge Drive 7:17 am
  • Route 34: Renaud & Saddleridge Drive 7:17 am to Blair Station 7:55 am
  • Route 42: Blair Station 8:05 am to Hurdman Station 8:34 am
  • Route 42: Hurdman Station 8:40 am to Blair Station 9:10 am
  • Route 34: Blair Station 9:17 am to Renaud & Saddleridge Drive 9:47 am
  • Route 34: Renaud & Saddleridge Drive 9:47 am to Blair Station 10:25 am
  • Route 42: Blair Station 10:35 am to Hurdman Station 11:04 am
  • Route 42: Hurdman Station 11:10 am to Blair Station 11:40 am

Sunday, April 19

  • Route 48: Hurdman Station 7:27 am to Elmvale Acres Shopping Centre 8:01 am
  • Route 48: Elmvale Acres Shopping Centre 8:05 am to Hurdman Station 8:36 am
  • Route 9: Hurdman Station 8:45 am to Daly Avenue & Nicholas Street intersection 9:10 am
  • Route 9: Daly Avenue & Nicholas Street intersection 9:12 am to Hurdman Station 9:39 am
  • Route 46: Hurdman Station 10:05 am to Billings Bridge Station 10:40 am
  • Route 46: Billings Bridge Station 10:47 am to Hurdman Station 11:27 am 

OC Transpo is identifying vehicles and facilities that this person may have had contact with that requires additional cleaning and sanitization. 

Province calling in military

ONTARIO – The Government of Ontario is calling in military assistance and expanding testing as it battles the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes, where nearly 3,000 people have been infected and almost 450 residents have died.

Premier Doug Ford said he would make a formal request Wednesday (April 22) for reinforcements from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Forces personnel.

“We’re in the thick of a raging battle against COVID-19 in our long-term care homes,” he said. “When you’re in a fight like this you leave nothing on the table.”

The additional personnel will provide operational and logistical assistance so long-term care staff can focus on the care of residents, Ford said. They will be deployed to five priority homes, though his minister of long-term care, MPP Dr. Merrilee Fullerton declined to name them.

“Things change very quickly, sometimes hour by hour,” Fullerton said. “That military assistance will go to the homes in greatest need and so I will leave it there.”

There have been at least 448 deaths in long-term care amid outbreaks at 127 facilities, according to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care. That is 49 more deaths since the previous day.

There were 367 new cases in residents reported in the past day, and 90 new cases in staff. In total, 1,985 residents and 957 staff have tested posive for COVID-19.

Ontario also announced Wednesday it is expanding testing to all 78,000 residents and 56,000 health workers in long-term care homes.

Provincial health officials have previously resisted calls for such widespread testing of asymptomatic people, but a new memo from the deputy ministers of health and long-term care, as well as the chief medical officer of health, tells public health units (PHUs) to immediately develop plans for the broad testing.

“This point-in-time testing will enable homes, PHUs, and the province to better understand the prevalence of COVID-19 in long-term care homes and inform future planning,” the government released in a statement. “Testing is an important component of a comprehensive response plan being implemented to address COVID-19 in this vulnerable population in order to ensure that these facilities have every resource needed to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Homes with current outbreaks should be prioritized, as should the testing of residents, but it’s also important to understand the prevalence among staff, the memo said.

Expanded testing guidance earlier this month told public health units to test any asymptomatic contacts of a confirmed positive case in a home, including residents in adjacent rooms, but stopped short of directing that all residents and staff be tested.

Provincewide, Ontario reported 510 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday (April 22) and 37 more deaths. That data is taken from a different system than the specific long-term care data and the two are often out of sync. The new cases brings the provincial total to 12,245 — a 4.3 per cent increase over Tuesday, which is the lowest growth rate in weeks.

The total also includes 659 deaths and 6,221 cases that have been resolved, which puts the proportion of those cases over 50 per cent for the first time.

While health officials have said community spread appears to be peaking, cases in long-term care continue to rise.

Montfort long-term care facility reports 42 resident cases, death toll at 11

OTTAWA – Montfort Long-Term Care Centre is seeing a spike in resident deaths due to COVID-19, but it’s not the only institution struggling with the virus.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting seven new coronavirus-related deaths city-wide, as of yesterday (April 22), along with 44 new cases, bringing the city’s total to 943 and 32 dead.

Montfort LTC is dealing with 42 resident cases of COVID-19 and another six in its staff. Between OPH’s report Tuesday and Wednesday, six residents succumbed to their battles with the coronavirus, bringing the centre’s death toll to 11.

Other homes struggling at the moment include Carlingview Manor, Laurier Manor, Madonna Care Community and Promenade Retirement Residence.

There are 38 residents at Carlingview with the virus and three have died. Seven staff members at the home have also tested positive.

At Laurier Manor, another 38 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and while none have died, five of its staff members also have the virus.

Madonna Care Community is dealing with 32 resident cases of coronavirus and four staff cases, while three residents have died due to COVID-19-related complications.

There have been four deaths at Promenade Retirement Residence in Orleans. That home continues to see 11 resident cases and one staff member with COVID-19.

Two other coronavirus-related deaths in community institutions have been linked to The Ottawa Hospital General Campus and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

OPH has posted a full breakdown of local institutional outbreaks here

Meanwhile, OPH says there are just 10 people in intensive care with COVID-19 while 36 are in hospital overall, Wednesday.

Of 943 total lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, 379 have been resolved (40 per cent).