Ottawa sees 64 new COVID-19 cases, Ontario could see 1,000 daily

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting 64 new COVID-19 cases today (Sept. 30) and reports two more residents have died because of the novel coronavirus.

OPH also added three more retirement homes to its institutional outbreak list as staff members tested positive for COVID-19 at Hunt Club Manor, Promenade and Westwood’s Building 1.

Five more childcare centres have also been added to the list of outbreaks, which now includes 49 long-term care and retirement homes, as well as childcare centres and schools.

It’s not clear where the two new deaths were recorded, but OPH reports they bring Ottawa’s pandemic death toll to 287.

OPH adds, there are 685 active cases of COVID-19 in the community, Wednesday.

There are 19 people hospitalized with the virus and three of whom are in intensive care.

Since March, there have now been 4,322 lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa with 3,291 of them resolved.

Ontario could see 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day by mid-October, the government predicted earlier today, saying rising infections among young people were driving the spread of the virus among all demographics.

New projections show a recent upward trajectory in COVID-19 cases, with Ontario’s number currently doubling every 10 to 12 days.

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, one of those who put together the figures, said a rising number of cases in those aged 20 to 39 are now contributing to spread of the coronavirus across all age groups.

While young people with COVID-19 have lower mortality rates, they can transmit the virus to older people who are more at risk, Brown said.

“A large amount of infection among young people right now is likely starting to spill over, which is where we see the most tragic and most challenging consequences,” the dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto said.

The modelling also warns about the risks of increasing occupancy in hospital intensive care units, which Ontario Health CEO Matt Anderson said is just one measure of the virus’ impact on the health care system.

The province is trying to avoid ordering a total stop to most surgeries as was done earlier in the pandemic, creating a significant backlog. But normal hospital operations cannot be maintained if more than 350 patients are in ICUs across the province, the projections state.

As of Wednesday, 35 people were being treated for COVID-19 in ICUs in different parts of Ontario.

Officials said the latest modelling doesn’t take into account new rules introduced by the government in recent days, such as closing strip clubs and limiting hours of operation for bars and restaurants.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams said in order to lessen the effect of the second wave, residents must again strictly follow public health rules.

Williams also said further restrictions may be issued in the coming weeks if needed.

In April, Ontario’s projections show the pandemic death toll could range from 3,000 to 15,000 people depending on the actions taken by government and members of the public.

The province’s current death toll stands at 2,848.

Ontario reported 625 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and four new deaths related to the virus. It marked a record-high 700 cases on Monday.

The majority of new cases are in the Greater Toronto Area.

The Public Health Agency of Canada released its own latest modelling last week, predicting up to 9,300 deaths across the country by early October if the current trajectory of the epidemic continues.