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COVID-19: What you need to know on Thursday, May 5


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Ontario

(Reported Thursday)

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32: New deaths

12,921: Total deaths

1,676: People in hospital and testing positive

205: In ICU

100: On ventilators (subset of previous number)

2,700: New confirmed cases (case numbers are considered underestimates with testing limited to certain groups)

1,268,390: Total cases

Ottawa

(Reported Thursday)

1 : New death

783: Total deaths

26: Ottawa residents in hospital due to an active infection

4: In ICU because of active infection

99: Confirmed COVID-19 patients in Ottawa hospitals as of Monday (includes non-Ottawa residents), 42 in hospital because COVID-19 (seven in ICU) and 57 for other reasons (none in ICU)

127: New COVID-19 cases (case numbers are considered underestimates with testing limited to certain groups)

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72,079:Total cases

1,331: Active cases

56: Ongoing outbreaks in institutional settings

15.79: Per cent test positivity in the community (seven-day average as of Tuesday)

Current public health measures

COVID-19 levels in the capital “remain high,” Ottawa Public Health said in a “snapshot” Wednesday which warned this wave isn’t over.

While levels of the virus detected in wastewater and the per cent of lab tests coming back positive “seem to be slowly decreasing, they remain high (and could climb again if we let down our guard).”

With warmer weather here, the health unit suggested gathering with friends and family outdoors to boost connections and mental health while reducing the risk of infection.

Staying up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations lowers the risk, OPH said. Boosters strengthen protection even for people who’ve had the virus and drop-in doses are available.

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“We still strongly recommend that you wear a mask when in public and/or crowded indoor settings,” OPH said. “It’ll lower the risks to those around you.

“So, in short: this wave isn’t over, gather outdoors if you can, get boosted (and) wear masks. And stay home when sick.”

Ontario has extended mask mandates in hospitals, long-term care homes, on transit and other high-risk settings until June 11.

How to get vaccinated

Ontario parents will now be given the choice of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for their children between the ages of six and 11.

The provincial government had previously only made Pfizer vaccines available to that age group, even thought Health Canada had approved vaccines by both Pfizer and Moderna.

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Fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines are available to Ontario residents aged 60 and over as well as First Nation, Inuit and Métis people and household members aged 18 and up.

Eligible people can book through the province’s COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling 1-833-943-3900, through public health units that use their own booking systems and at participating pharmacies.

Ottawa Public Health community clinics and after-school clinics are open for drop-in shots for people eligible for a first dose, second dose or booster dose.

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa

Anyone 70 and older, people 60 and older with fewer than three vaccine doses, and those 18 and older with fewer than three doses and at least one risk factor such as a chronic medical condition can now be tested and assessed for treatment in Ontario.

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Molecular testing in the province has been prioritized for people at increased risk and those living or working in high-risk settings.

Ottawans can find out more about eligibility on the Ottawa Public Health website along with what to do if they have symptoms, test positive or are high-risk contacts.

Where to get rapid tests

Ontario is distributing free rapid antigen tests through pharmacy and grocery store locations across the province until at least July 31.

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