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Mapping of Confirmed COVID-19 in Ottawa

COVID-19 is present in every single community within Ottawa. The map below provides a snapshot of COVID-19 across Ottawa, based on Ward geography. Wards are administrative boundaries and do not reflect the natural ebb and flow of Ottawa residents within the municipality nor the communities in which they live, work, play and raise their families.  

This map cannot be used to identify “COVID-19 hot spots” in Ottawa. Areas with lower or higher rates are not more or less “safe” from COVID-19 transmission. This map is not intended to assist with service delivery planning, recovery efforts or requests for additional services at a neighbourhood level. OPH continues to work with the health care sector and community partners to ensure we support the needs of at-risk populations. OPH is sharing this information in the interest of transparency.

Variables that may be driving the observed rates of COVID-19 in Ottawa Wards: 

  • Age: In Ottawa, as well as many other communities affected by COVID-19, individuals over the ages of 60 years are more likely to develop a serious infection after contracting the virus and are a priority group for testing. Thus, reported rates of confirmed COVID-19, may be higher in communities with a larger percentage of seniors. 
  • Rurality: To account for differences in the size of urban and rural populations, rates (i.e. the number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 population) are provided. Rates in rural wards will be more sensitive to changes in the number residents with confirmed COVID-19, as they have smaller populations. Rural areas tend to have lower population density that facilitates physical distancing.
  • Testing: Testing is essential for monitoring COVID-19 in our community. Provincial testing criteria have varied throughout the response and been limited to priority groups when laboratory capacity was more limited. Only a small fraction of all the persons who were infected with the COVID-19 virus were tested and the number of reported confirmed community cases underestimates the actual number of infections. Information on overall infection rates in Canada will not be available until large studies on COVID-19 antibody presence in blood serum are conducted. Based on available information, the actual number of infections may lie from 5 to more than 30 times the reported number of confirmed cases. 
  • Social determinants of health: The social determinants of health, such as income and ethnicity, can contribute to differences in disease prevalence and health behaviours. According to a recent ICES report, Ontarians who tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to live in lower-income neighbourhoods or neighbourhoods with a higher percentage of visible minorities and recent immigrants. 

The map below is based on the place of residence of Ottawans with confirmed COVID-19 and does not necessarily reflect where the disease was contracted. Exposure to COVID-19 can occur anywhere people congregate, such as workplaces or essential services open to the public. The best way to limit your exposure to COVID-19 is to practice physical distancing, limiting your exposure to your immediate family, and washing your hands. 

Two maps providing a snapshot of COVID-19 across Ottawa Wards. The first and most predominant map is colour coded based on the rate of confirmed COVID-19 per 100 000 residents, excluding cases linked to outbreaks in long-term care homes and retirement homes. The second, smaller map is colour coded based on the total number of Ottawa residents with COVID-19 linked to outbreaks in long-term care homes and retirement homes. The darker the shading the higher the value. 

Map Data Notes:  

  • Data extracted by Ottawa Public Health at 2pm from the COVID-19 Ottawa Database (The COD) on July 6th, 2020. The COD is a dynamic disease reporting system that allow for continuous updates of case information. These data are a snapshot in time, reflect the most accurate information that OPH has at the time of reporting, and the numbers may differ from other sources. 
  • Cases are assigned to Ward geography based on their postal code and Statistics’ Canada’s enhanced postal code conversion file (PCCF+) released in January 2020. Most postal codes have multiple geographic coordinates linked to them. Thus, when available, postal codes were attributed to XY coordinates based on the Single Link Identifier provided by Statistics’ Canada’s PCCF+. Otherwise, postal codes that fall within the municipal boundaries but whose SLI doesn’t, were attributed to the first XY coordinates within Ottawa listed in the PCCF+. For this reason, results for rural areas should be interpreted with caution as attribution to XY coordinates is less likely to be based on an SLI and rural postal codes typically encompass a much greater surface area than urban postal codes (i.e. greater variability in geographic attribution, less precision in geographic attribution). 
  • Population estimates are based on the 2016 Census. 

The data table for this map is available for download on Open Ottawa


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