Ottawa Public Health reports 68 COVID-19 cases, far below provincial records

The Durham Region Health Department confirmed Tuesday that the couple who tested positive for the U.K. variant of the coronavirus is under investigation. (Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Ottawa Public Health is reporting an increase of 68 new COVID-19 cases in the nation’s capital on Thursday, well below the daily figures given for the city by the province.

The local public health unit says there have now been 10,750 coronavirus cases in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic, with 860 of those cases considered active.

One additional person has died in relation to COVID-19 in Ottawa, raising the city’s coronavirus death toll to 394 as of Thursday.

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Ontario, meanwhile, reported 3,519 new cases provincewide on Thursday, setting a new daily record.

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But the provincial dashboard reported 164 new cases in Ottawa, a wide margin from the 68 new cases reported locally. Case figures have differed between OPH and the province from day to day, but Thursday’s reports mark an especially large discrepancy.

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OPH explained the issue on Twitter shortly after noon.

The tweet said OPH and Ontario use different data systems to track daily changes in the COVID-19 case count. While the OPH system is accurate as of Wednesday at 2 p.m., the local health unit received a “large number of case reports” later in the day that are not reflected in its system, while the provincial report does include those figures.

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“OPH anticipates the discrepancy between the provincial and the OPH dashboard case counts on January 7 to be adjusted in the days to come,” the tweet read.

OPH’s dashboard also shows the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 continues to rise, surpassing 20 on Thursday. Nine people are in the intensive care unit, according to the dashboard, consistent with the previous day.

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OPH also added three new coronavirus outbreaks to its dashboard on Thursday, but the number of resolved outbreaks outpaced those newly declared, reducing the total number of ongoing outbreaks to 40.

The Ottawa Hospital announced late Wednesday that 10,000 people have officially received the coronavirus vaccination in the nation’s capital, with some front-line care workers starting to receive their second dose this week.

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