Ottawa reports varied respiratory risks; flu concerns persist

Ottawa Public Health’s latest respiratory update presents a mixed outlook on the region’s health landscape. While COVID-19 and RSV rates are considered low to moderate, flu indicators such as wastewater readings and hospitalizations, despite a downward trend, are alarmingly high as the flu season extends into spring. Health authorities are advising the public to take preventative measures such as covering coughs, wearing masks, maintaining hand hygiene, staying home if ill, and keeping up to date with COVID and flu vaccinations to safeguard themselves and those at higher risk.

The health care system in Ottawa is under continued strain from respiratory illnesses, a situation unchanged since late August. This stress is expected to persist until such illnesses significantly decline. The city is experiencing a moderate uptick in the weekly average test positivity rate, now at 10%. Additionally, 14 new hospital admissions due to COVID were recorded, with six ongoing outbreaks and one recent death attributed to the virus. An update on COVID vaccination efforts is anticipated in early April.

Regional Overview:

In western Quebec, 18 hospital patients have COVID, and one more death has been reported.
Kingston’s health unit has exited the high-risk category for respiratory diseases.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) describes its respiratory risk as moderate but stable.
Renfrew County reports stable COVID trends, with an additional fatality.
Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark (LGL) show stable or declining trends as of March 17. Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health’s latest COVID update was pending at the time of reporting.–Web Desk