Looking at the recent data shared by Ottawa Public Health, we’ve been seeing that Beacon Hill-Cyrville has been in the top 3 for COVID cases. Seeing this has caused some anxiety and worry in the ward and also some misunderstanding. The Ottawa Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Public Health need to do better.
In late august I raised the issue that I felt the COVID data maps were not effectively sharing case information and asked what we could do to fix it. I have been working with OPH and Dr. Vera Etches as I feel very strongly that 23 wards do not offer enough break down and understanding of the community cases and where they stem from. I am happy now to hear that OPH will be working with ONS (Ottawa Neighbourhood Study) to show data based one 103 community zones; We will see these new data maps within the next two weeks. By breaking down the wards further into neighbourhoods, we can see where the cases are and also understand the numbers based on outbreaks, community spread and close contact cases. This will enable OPH and the city to respond to areas in real need and allow us to communicate effectively with our residents.
The current numbers we are seeing are still extremely low, but it doesn’t get presented as such as the current map is based per 100,000. The city is preparing for more testing with focus on their ability to respond to any new outbreaks as we see kids going back to school and work life and social life continuing as it has been over the summer.
On July 31st, I headed an initiative to have the east end representatives come together to write to Cameron Love, the new CEO of the Ottawa Hospital, to express the great need of an east end testing centre. We were all thrilled to receive a response so quickly and kindly hearing that the Coventry drive thru centre was already in the works and currently there are plans for a full-time facility further east to accommodate all the east-end residents. We are looking forward to the announcement of this new centre so please stay tuned for the confirmed location and opening date. Following this news we are also very glad to see extended hours coming to the Brewer Arena and Coventry rd testing centres as demand for testing increases. Thank you to all who’ve taken time our of their lives to wait for testing and have isolated themselves as needed when they’ve risked exposure or felt ill. Your efforts are not unnoticed.
Mask up, stand back and wash your hands. Stay safe out there, folks!
For more information please visit the Ottawa Public Health website.