Monday, January 24, 2022

Omicron ‘likely increasing’ most Ottawans will be exposed to COVID, says top doctor

Ottawa’s top doctor has warned that Omicron worries “the likelihood” most people in Ottawa will eventually be exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

And with students and teachers to return to class on Monday for the first time since a holiday break, Dr. Vera Aches, the medical officer for health, is urging people to get vaccinated and stay home if they are sick to keep up with the population and hospital capacity. be protected. ,

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Aches called the Omicron version a “game changer” because of its high transmission efficiency, and it’s important for all residents to help “blunt the curve.”

“Most people will be able to cope with the virus at home and people can make sure they have basic supplies on hand and painkillers at home,” Aches said during a media conference on Wednesday.

“Seek a health care evaluation for severe symptoms including chest pain, difficulty breathing, confusion, or rapidly worsening symptoms. Many people who are unvaccinated and have contracted COVID-19, and even that some vaccinated individuals will also require hospital care to reverse the effects of the associated disease.

“Omicrons cannot be completely stopped, but we can work to flatten the curve, blunt that peak, and slow transmission so that hospitals can maintain their ability to deliver care.”

The COVID-19 Wastewater Monitoring Project for Ottawa is showing signs that the viral signal may be peaking, and has declined slightly over the past week.

Aches says it’s too early to say whether Ottawa has reached the peak of the Omicron wave, but there are some signs the measure is “getting down just a little.”

On January 5, the Ontario government closed indoor dining, gyms and cinemas to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Etches says now is the time we’ll see if those measures will have an impact on community transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

“I would say this is unexpected with Omicron because it is so permeable, there are still many people in our community who can get it,” Aches said.

“Because it’s still infecting people who have been vaccinated, there are a lot of people in Ottawa where we can still see ongoing transmission because it’s highly transmissible. Then, if we can slow it down So it helps our hospitals.”

Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced on Wednesday that parents would only be notified of a potential COVID-19 outbreak when about 30 percent of students at their school would be absent.

Get vaccinated: Etches

Ottawa Public Health says anyone who is eligible for a first, second, or booster dose can go to a community clinic to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, with no appointment required.

The health unit said that while the drop-in is accepted, they can’t guarantee and booking a shot on the provincial portal can ensure you get a shot.

Aches says Ottawa has the “ability” to vaccinate everyone, including a booster dose.

“I strongly recommend all Ottawa residents eligible for a third dose, get one as soon as possible,” Achs said.

“There is increasing evidence that immunity may decrease over time and that the third dose provides greater protection against serious illness and complications from COVID-19. The evidence is clear that the rate of hospitalization due to Omicron infection significantly higher than in vaccinated people.”

oppose tax on unpaid

On Tuesday, Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced that the province would impose “significant” fines on those who refuse vaccination against COVID-19.

Mayor Jim Watson and Dr. Aches both say they oppose the idea.

“I don’t support what the Premier of Quebec has proposed; I think there are logistical challenges with it. I would like to work with those people to continue to explain to them about the merits of vaccination.” Work as opposed to sending a big tax bill,” Watson said on Wednesday.

“I would like us to use carrots instead of sticks and encourage people to get their vaccinations, because at the end of the day it is in their own interest to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Dr Aches says vaccination is important protection, but she doesn’t support the tax.

“I think it’s important to recognize the value of access to health care as a right, and something that we in Canada prioritize. So it would be problematic for me to create barriers to health care for people.”

This is a developing story. CTV News Ottawa will have the latest as it becomes available


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