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Coronavirus: Ottawa adds 77 COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations drop

A nurse speaks with a driver as she demontrates how a drive-thru Covid-19 testing centre will work at the National Arts Centre Wednesday November 18, 2020 in Ottawa. The testing centre replaces an outdoor facility in the city in preparation for winter.
A nurse speaks with a driver as she demontrates how a drive-thru Covid-19 testing centre will work at the National Arts Centre Wednesday November 18, 2020 in Ottawa. The testing centre replaces an outdoor facility in the city in preparation for winter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Ottawa Public Health is reporting a week high in new coronavirus cases on Friday as the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 drops.

The local public health unit added 77 new cases to Ottawa’s COVID-19 case count on Friday, more than twice the 37 cases from the day before.

Though Friday’s increase is the largest of the week, Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said Tuesday that the pattern of local case reporting tends to rise later in the week as testing volumes generally increase by mid-week.

Read more: With new capacity ready, Ottawa task force urging residents to get tested for coronavirus

Friday’s total raises the number of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa to 8,104 since the start of the pandemic.

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The number of active cases in Ottawa rose to 412 on Friday after briefly dipping below 400 for the first time since September on Thursday.

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One additional person has died in relation to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, raising the city’s death toll of the pandemic to 364.

OPH’s latest update included one new coronavirus outbreak in Ottawa, as a resident in a local shelter has tested positive for the virus. There are currently 35 ongoing outbreaks across Ottawa institutions such as long-term care homes, schools and workplaces.

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The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa now stands as 31, with two in the intensive care unit. That’s down from a total of 43 coronavirus patients the day before and 60 last Friday.

The situation in Ottawa’s ICUs appears to differ from other COVID-19 hot spots in the province, as the Ontario Hospital Association announced Thursday the province hit the “critical” mark of 150 coronavirus patients in the intensive care unit, which could lead to the cancellation of some surgeries in harder hit regions.

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Global News heard from four of Ottawa’s hospitals on Thursday, each of which indicated occupancy levels in the city had not yet warranted cancelling surgeries.