The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ottawa continues to climb as the provincial hospital association warns the capacity of Ontario’s health-care system will be increasingly strained as coronavirus levels rise.
There are now 40 people in hospital with COVID-19 locally, according to the latest update from Ottawa Public Health, three more than the day before. Roughly a third of those people are in the intensive care unit.
OPH’s COVID-19 dashboard shows 95 per cent of acute care beds are currently occupied across the city’s health-care system. ICU beds are currently 78 per cent occupied.
Dr. Doug Manuel, an epidemiologist with The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, tweeted Tuesday showing projections that COVID-19 hospitalizations in the city could hit an “all-time high” in the next two weeks.
The president of the Ontario Hospital Association said this week that increasing COVID-19 patient numbers across the province is putting pressure on hospitals’ capacities, leading to more patient transfers and cancelled surgeries.
Speaking to The Canadian Press, Anthony Dale pointed to an increasingly younger demographic of patients experiencing severe cases of COVID-19 as a strain on the system.
Alex Munter, head of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, tweeted Tuesday saying that Ottawa’s health-care system is already at capacity with “relatively few” COVID-19 patients.
He warned that failing to curb the spread of the third wave of COVID-19 in Ottawa will result in “less care and longer waits” for everyone else in the system.
Hospitals in Ottawa have also been sites of numerous coronavirus outbreaks in recent weeks.
Of the 43 ongoing coronavirus outbreaks in Ottawa, nine are affecting hospital wards.
The most severe of these outbreaks is at The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, where 48 people have tested positive for the virus and nine patients have died in connection with COVID-19 since the outbreak began on Feb. 19.
OPH meanwhile reported 112 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and three new deaths related to the virus.
There have now been 17,177 coronavirus cases in Ottawa and 463 deaths related to COVID-19. Active coronavirus cases in the city rose to 1,185 on Tuesday.
Public Health Ontario said that 40 of Tuesday’s new cases were flagged for mutations of possible variants of concern, raising the number of likely COVID-19 variant cases in Ottawa to 561.
Ottawa’s weekly incidence rate of COVID-19 jumped to 85 cases per 100,000 population on Tuesday, up from 77 per 100,000 people as of Monday.
— With files from The Canadian Press