Ottawa’s medical officer of health says the city is experiencing its second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement from Dr. Vera Etches comes as Ottawa Public Health (OPH) confirmed 63 new cases of COVID-19 in the city Friday, bringing the number of residents who’ve tested positive to 3,549.
“It’s the speed of the increase that concerns us. We can’t sustain a rapid rise in cases,” said Etches.
There have been 322 newly confirmed cases in this week’s OPH reports, the second-highest weekly total since the start of the pandemic.
The 574 cases so far in September is just seven shy of May’s figures, and the monthly total may eventually come close to the 1,103 cases logged in April.
The city’s rolling five-day average of the number of people diagnosed each day is now 55, surpassing the previous high set in late April.
Etches said the recent numbers show Ottawans got a bit too “relaxed” in August, but she’s confident the city can bring the numbers back down again.
“People in Ottawa, they’ve done it before. They did it in the first wave, but they did it in July as well when we started to see an increase,” she said.
OPH has called a news conference for 3 p.m. ET.
The full Friday report from OPH notes 25 additional cases are now considered resolved, for a total of 2,918.
There are also 38 more known active cases, for a total of 458. There were 219 as of Sept. 1.
Eleven people are getting COVID-19 treatment in a hospital, the report says. None are in an ICU.
About two-thirds of the people whose cases were added to the system in this report are younger than age 40.
Testing continues to be an issue in and around Ottawa, with its Moodie Drive site already at capacity when it opened Friday at 9 a.m.
Two pop-up sites have been set up at Ottawa schools, and more capacity has been added at the city’s Heron Road site.
Ontario reported 401 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, the highest one-day total in more than three months.
Police across that province will be checking bars and restaurants this weekend to see if they’re following public health rules around crowd size, mask use and acceptable activities.
The premiers of both provinces are in Ottawa for a meeting and announcement today.