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1 new COVID-19 death, 2 hospitalizations added in Ottawa

People skate on the Rink of Dreams at City Hall in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 are climbing in Ottawa into the first week of 2022.

Ottawa Public Health on Tuesday reported a new death related to COVID-19 for the second consecutive day, raising the local death toll of the pandemic to 625.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 meanwhile rose by two to hit 26 in the past day, while four such patients are still in the intensive care unit.

Read more: The Ottawa Hospital restricting visitors to essential caregivers only

Case counts are also climbing in Ottawa, with at least 446 new cases added in the past day.

These figures are almost certainly an underestimate of actual levels of the virus in Ottawa as COVID-19 testing is severely constrained, limited to essential workers and the most vulnerable.

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Viral signal detected in Ottawa’s wastewater system has hit highs not seen since the wave in early April 2021, with the Omicron variant of concern now making up the vast proportion of the virus detected by researchers in wastewater samples.

wastewater covid chart
COVID-19 viral signal detected in Ottawa’s wastewater system as of Jan. 2, 2022. 613covid.ca

The positivity rate of tests in Ottawa hit 36.3 per cent in the past week, with more than half of all COVID-19 tests coming back positive on New Year’s Day, according to OPH.

There are currently 74 active COVID-19 outbreaks in the city, the majority of which are hitting health-care and communal living settings like long-term care homes.

Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches and Mayor Jim Watson will address the local pandemic situation in a press conference at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Click to play video: 'New round of COVID restrictions begin on Wednesday in Ontario'
New round of COVID restrictions begin on Wednesday in Ontario

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