Schools battle large respiratory outbreaks as COVID-19 indicators mostly decline


  • COVID-19 trends in Ottawa are mostly down.
  • The pace of the city’s COVID vaccines continues.
  • Some of his school respiratory outbreaks affect well over 100 students.
  • Five other local residents with COVID have died.
  • COVID hospitalizations in the Belleville area drop to their lowest level since July.

The latest guidelines

Officials in Ontario and Quebec say the health care system, especially for children, is under extraordinary strain due to COVID-19, early seasons of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well than a shortage of drugs.

Local and broader signs indicate that the spread of RSV and COVID is slowing, but the same cannot be said for influenza.

Experts strongly recommend people wear masks indoors. Staying home when sick, keeping hands and surfaces clean, and keeping up to date with COVID and flu vaccines are also recommended to help keep vulnerable people safe.


The weekly average level of coronavirus in Ottawa’s sewage is moderate, according to OPH. It indicates that as of November 24, the average has slowly declined this month and is at a level last seen in June.

Ottawa Public Health shares the last 30 days of coronavirus sewage measurements from the research team. (Ottawa Public Health)

Tests, outbreaks and deaths

Testing strategies have changed under the Omicron variant, which means many COVID-19 cases are not reflected in counts. Now, public health officials only track and report outbreaks in health care settings.

Ottawa’s COVID test positivity rate is around 11%, which OPH considers high. It has generally declined over the past month and was around 22% a month ago.

There are 18 active COVID outbreaks in Ottawa. It’s moderate, according to OPH, and the number is down.

The health unit is also reporting an outbreak of influenza, while the number of “other” respiratory outbreaks — almost all in child care facilities — has fallen to around 40. Five of the active respiratory outbreaks in schools, however, count more than 100 cases.

OPH reported 81 more COVID cases in four days. Surveillance of active cases has become less useful after large-scale testing changes, but the current number of known active cases of 300 is the lowest in Ottawa in 2022.

The capital also reported the deaths of three people aged 60 and over with COVID. In all, 968 Ottawa residents who had COVID have died since the pandemic began, including 358 this year.


According to Tuesday’s update, the number of active and local COVID-19 hospital patients from OPH is 18, with four patients in intensive care.

The health unit says the number of COVID hospital admissions is moderate.

There is another tally that includes other patients, such as those admitted for other reasons who later test positive for COVID, those admitted with persistent COVID complications, and those transferred from other health units.

This number increased slightly on Tuesday and remains generally stable.

A graph breaking down COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ottawa.
Ottawa Public Health has a COVID-19 Hospital Count that shows all hospitalized patients who have tested positive for COVID, including those admitted for other reasons, and who live in other areas. (Ottawa Public Health)


Approximately 11,600 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to Ottawa residents last week. That weekly number has generally hovered between 10,000 and 15,000 this fall.

About 9,000 of the injections were fourth doses.

According to the latest weekly update, 93% of Ottawa residents aged five and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 90% had at least two and 61% at least three.

Thirty-three percent of Ottawans aged 12 and older received at least four doses.

About 9,000 residents under the age of five received a first dose, or about 20% of Ottawa’s population in that age group. About 3,750, or 8%, had two.

In the whole region


Wastewater trends are decreasing in Kingston, and low and decreasing in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties. They are up in Hawkesbury and down in the rest of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU).

Data for other areas is outdated or unavailable.

After a brief dip, COVID test positivity in the EOHU is back to about 17%, about where it was in the previous month.

Hospitalizations and deaths

Western Quebec’s health authority, CISSSO, reported an increase of 89 hospitalizations related to COVID-19. One of the patients is in intensive care.

Eastern Ontario communities outside of Ottawa are reporting about 40 COVID hospitalizations, including four in intensive care.

This regional count does not include Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPE), which has a different method of counting. His tally fell to two on Tuesday for the first time since July.

This health unit also says it has a high level of influenza activity.

LGL’s health unit reported two more COVID deaths in its weekly update for a total of 139.

This is by far the deadliest year for reported COVID-19 deaths in the greater Ottawa-Gatineau region, with nearly half of its more than 2,000 reported COVID deaths in 2022.

Of the seven local health authorities, Ottawa is the only one not to have had the highest number of reported COVID deaths in 2022.

Nationally, those who died of COVID in the final months of 2022 were generally older, living with pre-existing conditions, or undergoing immunosuppressive treatments.


In Eastern Ontario, between 81 and 92% of residents aged five and older have received at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and between 53 and 65% of these residents have received at least one. three.


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