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Ottawa should be confident in pandemic response, Etches says

Ottawa should be confident in pandemic response, Etches says

Sep 12, 2020

Ottawa (Canada), September 12: Six months to the day after Ottawa reported its first case of COVID-19, the city's medical officer of health says we're in a much less precarious position than we were was at the start of the pandemic, even as new cases emerge daily.
Ottawa's daily count of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases crept back up Friday, ending a brief trend of declining numbers. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 37 new cases Friday and only eight resolved, upping the number of active cases in the city by 29.
During a teleconference Friday afternoon, Dr. Vera Etches said despite the steady rise in cases, Ottawa has the equipment and the preparation to deal with the pandemic, and there's no reason to be as anxious today as many were back in March.
"That fear of not having enough masks for our nurses and our doctors and our health-care workers, not enough capacity in hospital beds and ventilators, that's been addressed with better supply chains, with better surge capacity plans and also through the prevention that each one of us has done," Etches said.
As long as people continue practising physical distancing, wearing masks indoors and handwashing, the chances of getting COVID-19 out in the community remain low, she said.
Eleven of the city's confirmed cases on Friday are people in their 20s, and 15 more are in their 30s and 40s.
There are currently 11 patients being treated in hospital for COVID-19, including two in intensive care.
To date, 3,200 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including 255 active cases, 2,678 resolved and 267 deaths linked to the respiratory illness.
The daily reports don't necessarily reflect how many people tested positive for COVID-19 on the day the numbers are made public; rather, they indicate the number of new cases OPH is notified of as of 2 p.m. the previous day.
Elsewhere in the region, health officials in Renfrew County are reporting the area's fourth positive test this week.
According to Ontario's first official report on COVID-19 in the province's schools, Ottawa has more confirmed cases than any other community, and the only infections among students.
To date, no Ottawa school has been the site of an outbreak, Etches noted on Friday. All new cases involving students or staff at schools are the result of transmission in the community.
As of Friday, six schools in Ottawa - all in the city's French public and French Catholic boards, which sent kids back to class earlier than most other boards in the province - have had a student or staff member test positive for COVID-19. (The report adds École secondaire publique De La Salle to the five schools already named by OPH earlier this week.)
Provincewide, 213 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Ontario Friday, marking the first time the province's daily count has surpassed the 200 mark in months.
Once again, Ottawa's new cases were disproportionately high Friday.
Quebec logged 219 new COVID-19 cases Friday.
Source: CBC News