Ottawa surpasses 3,000 COVID-19 cases, OPH assembles school team

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has now reported 3,009 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, as it confirms 22 more cases today (Sept. 3).

That total dates to the start of the pandemic in March. Of all OPH confirmed cases, 2,543 (84.5 per cent) have been resolved.

OPH says there are 199 active cases of COVID-19 in the city as of Thursday.

The number of residents hospitalized with the virus remains at 11, with one person in intensive care.

No new local deaths linked to COVID-19 leaves Ottawa’s current toll at 267.

Laurier Manor long-term care home has declared an outbreak after one of its staff members tested positive for the virus on Sept. 1. The facility endured an outbreak from April 13 to June 16, which saw 103 cases and 25 deaths. It’s one of 18 Ottawa institutions dealing with at least one case of COVID-19.

OPH COVID-19 nurses to support back to school

A team of nurses has been established by OPH focused solely on responding to Ottawa’s publicly funded schools, all ready for the start of a very different school year.

Program manager at OPH, Marino Francispillai, already has established a team of 45 nurses ready to be deployed — each one designated for one of Ottawa’s 294 publicly funded schools as well as private schools and post secondary schools.

The usual school team is made up of 22 nurses. But this year, in the midst of a global pandemic, more bodies were needed to make sure schools remain a safe place for kids, so doubling the number of nurses on the team was necessary. 

The nurses will be working with principals and superintendents to make sure schools have everything they need, as well as be available to answer questions. 

“They’re the liaison — they’re the connection to a whole suite of OPH experts and we’re doing what we can to help out,” Francispillai said. “They are going to be available virtually and in-person, visiting the schools and be on site. They’ll be doing a walk-through with the principals where needed and where they have the time to do that.”

And they will be doing this seven days a week, Francispillai says. 

Should an outbreak happen, Francispillai says there won’t be one way to handle it as each case will be different. 

“A nurse will be assigned to do the case and contact management and they’ll do an investigation to determine what the contacts were,” he explains. “They’ll have to figure out who the high-risk contacts were, who will need to isolate. It will be different by case.”