Respiratory trends settle after last week's leap

This batch of weekly data on COVID-19, flu and RSV is a slight improvement after several indicators jumped last week.

Individual levels now range from low to very high

A man walks past a city street mural with a nature scene and a blue face on it. It's late autumn.
A man wearing a mask walks past a Bank Street mural in downtown Ottawa in November 2021, the second fall of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Ian Black/CBC)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa's COVID-19 numbers are mostly stable.
  • Individual trends range from low to very high.
  • RSV activity is generally high, flu numbers generally low.
  • Twenty-two more local COVID deaths have been reported.

The latest

The city's COVID-19 numbers to watch are mostly stable at levels ranging from low to very high in this week's Ottawa Public Health (OPH) updates.

The latest numbers show a generally high amount of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity, while flu trends are mostly low.

This is a slight improvement after several indicators jumped last week.

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. 15, the average coronavirus wastewater level has been settling down from the second spike in a month. OPH still 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. 15, 2023. (


In the past week, the average number of Ottawa residents in local hospitals for COVID-19 is a stable 69, with three patients in an ICU.

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 risen again.

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. CBC's last record of it reaching 200 was in January 2022. (Ottawa Public Health)

There were 11 new patients in the previous week, compared to 54 the week before. OPH sees 11 as a low number of new hospitalizations.

Tests, outbreaks and deaths

The city's weekly average test positivity rate is about 17 per cent, which has remained stable. OPH categorizes this as high.

The 34 active COVID outbreaks are also stable. Almost all outbreaks are in either retirement homes or hospitals, and there are a very high amount of new outbreaks. 

The health unit reported 285 more COVID cases in the last week and six more COVID deaths. Five victims were in their 80s and one in their 70s.

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 are moderate.

The area's average coronavirus wastewater reading is considered very high and rising, while its average COVID-19 test positivity rate is a moderate, 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 very high test positivity rate of 29 per cent.

COVID tests in Renfrew County are coming back positive about 25 per cent of the time.

Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) Public Health says 13 per cent of its residents have had a COVID vaccine in the last six months, up from 12 per cent last week.

Hospitalizations and deaths

The EOHU sees a rise to 27 COVID hospitalizations, which it considers very high.

The Kingston area's health unit says it has 21 active COVID-19 patients in its hospitals, including anyone living in a different health unit. That is categorized as high and stable.

HPE, like Ottawa, gives a weekly COVID hospital average: a slight drop to 16 in its weekly update, with about four ICU patients.

Renfrew County has four COVID hospital patients, two of them in intensive care.

Western Quebec drops to 72 hospital patients with COVID. The province says there have been five more COVID deaths there for a total of 521.

Renfrew County reported its eighth COVID death of 2023, which is its 90th overall. The health unit for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) counties reported its 173rd COVID death.

HPE reported nine more deaths, including "missing historical deaths from January 15, 2020 to March 31, 2023."

The entire region has passed both 350 reported COVID deaths in 2023 and 2,500 total reported victims.

LGL data goes up to Nov. 12.