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Ottawa sees single-digit increase in new COVID-19 cases

Ottawa Public Health reported eight new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and no new deaths related to the virus. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

Ottawa Public Health is reporting eight new COVID-19 cases in the city on Tuesday, reflecting a low not seen in the pandemic since August 2020.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the city also dropped to 172 and no new deaths related to the virus were reported in the past 24 hours.

Tuesday tends to be the lowest day of the week for new COVID-19 case reports, and local health officials have cautioned that low testing volumes could be underestimating the actual levels of the virus in the community.

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Tuesday’s report also saw one new case of the Delta variant, first identified in India, added to Ottawa’s case count. There have been 13 cases of the more transmissible variant identified locally to date.

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Other areas of Ottawa’s efforts to keep the virus pinned down are bearing fruit, however.

An outbreak at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre that saw 36 inmates and five staff members test positive for the virus was declared resolved as of Monday.

Medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said in her update on the pandemic at Monday night’s Ottawa Board of Health meeting that OPH has sent a letter to the Ministry of the Solicitor General with recommendations on how to prevent and mitigate similar outbreaks within correctional facilities across Ontario.

Among the suggestions were to expand the pilot of rapid testing before an individual is transferred into a correctional facility, provide greater capacity for self-isolation within prisons and track immunization coverage within facilities among staff and inmates, she said in a media availability after the meeting.

Read more: Moderna vaccines to offset Pfizer delays at Ottawa clinics this week

There are currently eight ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks across the city.

Meanwhile, there are now 10 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa. Half of those patients are currently in the intensive care unit, according to OPH.

The latest vaccination updates show that one in five Ottawa adults is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses.

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