Ottawa’s coronavirus case count passed the 8,000 mark on Thursday as the city saw its number of active cases dip below 400 for the first time since September.
Ottawa Public Health reported 37 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday and no new deaths related to COVID-19.
There have now been 8,027 cases of the virus in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic, with 396 cases considered active.
One new coronavirus outbreak has been declared in the past 24 hours locally at an unspecified community organization. The number of ongoing outbreaks in Ottawa now stands at 37.
There are now 43 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa, four of whom are in the intensive care unit.
Ottawa’s hospitalization figures have remained steady in the past 24 hours even as the Ontario Hospital Association indicates the province has hit the “critical” mark of 150 people in the ICU — the level at which hospitals might have to start cancelling surgeries.
But spokespeople from Ottawa-area hospitals say hitting that dire provincial benchmark is unlikely to immediately affect surgeries locally.
A spokesperson with the Ottawa Hospital said the stable level of ICU occupancy is not currently putting upcoming surgeries at risk of cancellation.
OPH’s COVID-19 dashboard shows 98 per cent of acute care beds were occupied in Ottawa as of Monday. Local ICU beds were 86 per cent occupied, meanwhile, and 38 per cent of those beds with ventilators were in use.
Though OPH’s bed occupation figures lag by a few days, local hospitalizations have dropped even lower since Monday.
A spokesperson with the Queensway-Carleton Hospital said Thursday the west-end hospital has not yet had to cancel any surgeries, but has been “heavily loading” the operating schedule with same-day surgeries due to regularly nearing or exceeding 100 per cent occupancy levels in its beds.
The Ontario government announced two weeks ago it plans to spend $45 million to increase capacity at local hospitals by 254 beds.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.