Rising COVID-19 numbers reported in Ottawa, eastern Ontario

After a few broadly stable respiratory updates in Ottawa, this week shows some rising, worrisome trends, particularly at local hospitals.

COVID and RSV hospitalizations jump in the capital

People cross a downtown city street in front of a mall entrance in autumn.
An entrance to the Rideau Centre mall in downtown Ottawa on Oct. 20, 2023. The city's weekly COVID hospitalization average has nearly doubled since this photo was taken. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa's COVID-19 numbers are mostly rising.
  • Individual trends are now high or very high.
  • RSV activity is generally high, while flu numbers are mixed.
  • COVID signals are high and rising in the EOHU.
  • Thirteen more local COVID deaths have been reported.

The latest

After a few broadly stable respiratory updates in Ottawa, this week sings a different tune — particularly at local hospitals.

The city's COVID-19 numbers to watch are mostly rising at levels categorized as either high or very high in this week's Ottawa Public Health (OPH) updates.

The latest numbers show a high amount of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity — including 22 new hospitalizations — while flu trends are mixed between low and very high.

Experts recommend that people cover coughs and sneezes, wear masks, keep their hands and often-touched surfaces clean, stay home when sick and keep up to date with COVID and flu vaccines to help protect themselves and vulnerable people.

OPH says the city's health-care institutions remain at a high risk from respiratory illnesses, as they have been since early September.


Data from the research team shows, as of Nov. 9, the average coronavirus wastewater level has been rising for about 10 days and recently reached one of the highest levels of the year. OPH considers this very high.

A chart of the level of coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater since June 2020.
Researchers have measured and shared the amount of novel coronavirus in Ottawa's wastewater since June 2020. The most recent data is from Nov. 9, 2023. (


In the past week, the average number of Ottawa residents in local hospitals for COVID-19 has risen to 71, with one patient in an ICU.

It is the highest number of hospitalizations since OPH switched to the weekly average in early summer. The agency previously shared a snapshot of this count, rather than an average, and that count was last in the 70s in February 2022.

separate count — which includes patients who either tested positive for COVID after being admitted for other reasons, were admitted for lingering COVID complications or were transferred from other health units — has also risen.

A chart showing the number of people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID.
Ottawa Public Health has a COVID-19 hospital count that shows all hospital patients who tested positive for COVID, including those admitted for other reasons and who live in other areas. (Ottawa Public Health)

There were 54 new patients from the previous week, which OPH sees as an increase in its scale from moderate to high.

Tests, outbreaks and deaths

The city's weekly average test positivity rate is about 19 per cent, which has remained stable. OPH categorizes this as high.

OPH also says there's been an increase to 37 active COVID outbreaks. Most outbreaks are in either retirement homes or hospitals, and there are a very high amount of new outbreaks. 

The health unit reported 207 more COVID cases in the last week and three more COVID deaths. One victim was in their 60s, one in their 70s and one age 90 or above.

OPH's next COVID vaccination update is expected in early December.

Across the region

Spread and vaccination

The Kingston area's health unit says its COVID trends are stable at moderate to very high levels and it's in a high-risk time for transmission. Flu indicators are low and RSV trends, which are increasing, range from low to high.

The area's average coronavirus wastewater reading is considered very high and rising, while its average COVID-19 test positivity rate is a high, stable 15 per cent.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) says it's in a high-risk time for COVID, with high wastewater readings and a high, rising test positivity of 23 per cent.

Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health says 12 per cent of its residents have had a COVID vaccine in the last six months, up from 10 per cent last week.

Hospitalizations and deaths

The Kingston area's health unit says it has 22 active COVID-19 patients in its hospitals, including anyone living in a different health unit. That is categorized as high, but the number has dropped.

The EOHU sees a rise to 25 COVID hospitalizations, a threefold increase from its report one week ago. It considers this to be high.

HPE, like Ottawa, gives a weekly hospitalization average. It dips a little bit to 21, with four patients receiving intensive care.

Western Quebec has 85 hospital patients with COVID, which is stable. The province reported eight more COVID deaths there in the last week for a total of 516 since the pandemic began in early 2020.

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties reported two more COVID deaths.

LGL's data goes up to Nov. 5, while the most recent data for Renfrew County is as of Nov. 4.