October 17, 2021

Drbodyscience

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COVID-19: Ottawa reports 61 new cases, 798 in Ontario; First day of school crashes OPH screening site

5 min read
COVID-19: Ottawa reports 61 new cases, 798 in Ontario; First day of school crashes OPH screening site

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Ottawa Public Health reported 61 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and no new deaths, bringing the total number of COVID cases in the city to 28,703 since the pandemic started, while the death toll remains unchanged at 593.

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There are currently 318 active cases in Ottawa. Of those, six people are in hospital with COVID, one in intensive care.

The city’s seven-day infection rate, meanwhile, is 26.5 per 100,000 population.

Ottawa’s seven-day positivity rate is 3.2 per cent, while the seven-day reproduction rate, R(t), is 1.06, indicating that the virus’s spread is increasing.

Positivity levels in testing were 3.2 per cent.

As of 3 a.m. Thursday, 87 per cent of Ottawans 12 and over had received at least one vaccine dose, while 80 per cent were fully vaccinated.

There was one new outbreak reported on Thursday, in a community setting. That brings Ottawa’s current number of active outbreaks to eight – two in community settings and six at schools or daycares.

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Meanwhile, due to the high volume of people trying to access it, Ottawa Public Health’s school and workplace screening tool page, crashed on Thursday morning, the first day of school for Ottawa Carleton District School Board students.

Parents, students and school staff are required to use the screen tool each day.

OPH is urging people to use the provincial screening tool, at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/, until the OPH site is fixed.

Latest COVID-19 news from Ontario

Ontario reported 798 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, and three new deaths.

There were additionally seven other deaths that occurred more than a month ago, that are being reported now as part of a data cleanup.

Meanwhile, there are 365 COVID patients currently in Ontario hospitals, including 185 patients in ICU with COVID-related illnesses, and 115 on ventilators with COVID-related illnesses.

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Additionally, 38,391 vaccine doses were administered in the province in the 24-hour period ending Wednesday evening, for a province-wide total of 21,062,281. A total of 10,109,582 Ontarians have been fully vaccinated, an increase of 20,348 over the previous day’s total.

In a tweet, Health Minister reported 178 of the new cases were among fully vaccinated people, just 34 of the hospitalized patients were fully vaccinated and 11 of the ICU cases.

Toronto, with 155 new cases, Peel, with 73, and York, with 72, were the province’s worst-hit regions.

In other health units in the capital region, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit saw its confirmed case numbers go up by five, while Kington added six new cases. Renfrew County reported one, and Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District had three.

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The new figures raise Ontario’s total number of COVID cases since January 2020 to 572,130 and its death toll to 9,579. There are 15,635 active cases in the province.

Latest COVID-19 news in Quebec

In Quebec, 703 new COVID cases were confirmed Thursday, and one new death.

The new figures bring the province’s overall case count to 395,155 since the pandemic began, and its death toll to 11,297.

There are 198 COVID patients hospitalized in Quebec, an increase of 20 cases, with 70 in intensive care, a decrease of one patient.

The province administered 23,737 vaccine doses in the most recent 24-hour reporting period, for a province-wide total of 12,543,668.

Latest COVID-19 news nationally

Moderna Inc. is developing a single-dose vaccine that combines a COVID-19 booster dose with a flu booster.

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Company CEO Stéphane Bancel made the announcement on Thursday, saying that Moderna’s top priority at the moment is to “bring to market a Pan-respiratory annual booster vaccine, which we plan to always customize and update.”

Additionally, the company is trial testing its COVID-19 vaccine in a group of 4,000 children between six and 12 years of age, while dose selection studies for younger children are underway.

Meanwhile, a new report indicates the cost to treat a COVID-19 patient in intensive care can climb to about $50,000, or roughly six times the $8,400 that ICU treatment costs a heart attack patient.

According to a report released Thursday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the average cost to treat a patient with COVID-19 is about $23,000.

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COVID-19 patients, the report notes, stay in the hospital for about 15 days, twice as long as typical pneumonia patients whose treatment costs about $8,000.

According to Ann Chapman, interim director of health spending and primary care at the agency, Thursday’s report underlines the economic consequences of a serious illness. The figures do not include the costs for doctors, and only includes data to March 2021, when vaccines were becoming more widely available.

The agency estimated the cost of COVID-related hospitalization in Canada, excluding Quebec, at nearly $1 billion between January 2020 and March 2021.

Walter Wodchis, a health economist at the University of Toronto’s Dana Lana School of Public Health, said treating COVID patients is just one aspect of the pandemic’s overall cost to society.

“There are more hospitalizations among youth for mental health-related reasons than in prior years. And we’ve lost a lot of life years from people who’ve ended up on opioids. I don’t think the increase in opioids was independent of the COVID crisis.

“I think we need to have a more generic, general discussion about how do we allocate the scarce health-care resources, as opposed to singling out one population.”

-With files from The Canadian Press.

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