A growing number of day camps and child-care facilities in Ottawa are facing COVID-19 outbreaks the same week a majority of kids in the city are heading back to the classroom, according to the local public health unit.
Ottawa Public Health reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, with a total of 296 active cases of the virus in the city.
No new deaths related to COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday.
There are currently seven people in hospital with COVID-19, three fewer than at the start of the Labour Day long weekend, with one patient in the intensive care unit.
Everyone currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ottawa is between the ages of 40 and 70.
OPH’s COVID-19 dashboard shows there have so far been 351 confirmed or suspected cases of the Delta variant in the city, with 160 of those cases coming in the past 30 days. That compares to 303 Delta variant cases this time last week.
Ottawa’s weekly coronavirus positivity rate stood at 2.2 per cent as of Tuesday.
There are now five ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks in Ottawa, four of which affect child-care or day camp facilities. Tuesday’s report included a new outbreak at an undisclosed camp, though the exact number of cases related to the outbreak was not included in the update.
Students at Ottawa’s English-language school boards head back to the classroom this week, with students at the catholic board starting class on Tuesday and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board kicking off the school year on Thursday. French-language boards in Ottawa sent kids back to school on Aug. 31.
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, released a message over the weekend for parents and students heading back to school for the second time in the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said Ottawa families should have “confidence” about a return to in-person learning, given ongoing public health measures and growing vaccination rates.
So far, 87 per cent of Ottawa residents born in 2009 or earlier have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 80 per cent of the same group now fully vaccinated against the virus.
For youth aged 12 to 17, first-dose rates stand at 89 per cent, while some 76 per cent have received both doses.
Etches highlighted that screening and COVID-19 testing will continue to be important, even for students who are vaccinated against the virus, before kids leave for school each day.
Those experiencing symptoms at school this year will be given a take-home COVID-19 test, which can be administered by a parent and then picked up by an OPH courier.
Anyone at school this year who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not have to self-isolate after a possible exposure to the virus, provided they are not exhibiting symptoms.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.