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Local Stats: Cases & Outbreaks

COVID-19 Surveillance Reporting

*Cases are reported from data collected at 4:00pm yesterday.

This surveillance report contains local COVID-19 case data from March 26, 2020 to present. To align with the Ministry of Health’s reporting system, our daily summary is based on data collected up to 4:00pm the previous day. When we receive new information about an individual the database is updated. Subsequent reports include this new information.

COVID-19 Surveillance Report updated around 10:00am Monday, Wednesday and Friday only except statutory holidays.

COVID-19 Weekly Immunization Summary Report updated by 12:00pm Tuesdays only

Local School COVID-19 Outbreak Surveillance

NOTICE: We have seen an increase in new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and waste water COVID-19 levels. It is a good time to take some extra precautions to protect our vulnerable family and friends. Find tips on how to reduce the spread of the virus here.

Frequently Asked Questions

When choosing to attend or host gatherings, be mindful of community spread of COVID-19 and the presence of the Delta and Omicron variants in the community; also ask if people are traveling from an area where there are a lot of cases/outbreaks.

Yes, the number of hospitalizations is the total of cases (living in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark) in hospital (any hospital) including those in the ICU, ICU is the total in ICU including those on a ventilator. So 1 in hospital 1 in ICU and 1 on ventilator is all 1 case, not 3.

Because the number of Ontarians who are immunized is so much higher than the number of Ontarians who are not immunized, it is important to compare the rate of hospitalizations for each group, rather than the overall numbers of individuals who are hospitalized for each group. The rates show us that individuals who are immunized are significantly less likely to experience hospitalization or ICU admission. This information is available at a provincial level, but not at the local level to protect individual’s privacy and personal health information. Here are 2 places to check for provincial data: https://covid19-sciencetable.ca/ontario-dashboard/ and https://covid-19.ontario.ca/data

Starting December 30, 2021, Public Health Ontario and other COVID-19 diagnostic labs discontinued routine generic variant screening of all positive samples in the province. This change was intended to optimize the diagnostic testing capacity of our laboratories and turnaround time and is being applied to high-risk settings now only. At the end of general population testing in Ontario, over 40% of tests were coming back positive for COVID-19, and of those, 90% of tests that were positive were for the Omicron variant. From this data we know that we have high levels of COVID-19 circulating in our population. Reporting case counts and viral variant types are no longer effective due to the above-mentioned changes in laboratory reporting.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care posts data on the Ministry of Health website on each Long-Term Care outbreak. The information on whether someone had COVID-19 is personal health information and belongs to the individual and the home.

Our daily summary must be based on the data that is in the province’s disease reporting systems (Integrated Public Health Information System and Case and Contact Management System). The system takes a while to download the data and then it must be analyzed and a report generated from the data. Then it must be reviewed for any discrepancies and then sent to the communications team for posting.

The Ministry of Health receives the data once a day in the evening. This time lag is usually no more than one day, but means that Public Health Unit data is often the most up-to-date. While we both report on data from the same database/system, there is a difference in the timing of reporting that can cause different numbers. Also, as investigations evolve and data are cleaned, the numbers can also change. It’s important to be aware of these differences when comparing data between sources.

Sentinel surveillance monitors the rate of disease occurrence through a voluntary network to assess changes in the health of the larger population. Data collected in a sentinel system can be used to signal trends, identify outbreaks, and monitor disease burden in a specific geographical area and/or community. Sentinel surveillance is conducted only at selected locations called sentinel surveillance sites that are responsible for the collecting and analysing data and generating results.

Measuring molecular COVID-19 indicators in wastewater can be used as an early indicator to help detect COVID-19 in a community. People with active COVID-19 infections shed the virus (called SARS-CoV-2) in their urine and stool, sometimes even before COVID-19 symptom onset. This viral shedding can occur for a few days to several weeks. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in sewage suggests some level of COVID-19 activity in the population using that sewer system. A key advantage of active Wastewater Surveillance (WWS) is that a single test represents data from everyone in the community using that wastewater system (including those with symptoms, those without symptoms, and those who have recovered from COVID-19). This type of surveillance is even more beneficial to help us identify COVID-19 in our local area when access to clinical testing for COVID-19 is restricted as is currently the case. Data collected from Wastewater Surveillance allows for centralized measuring of the level of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, which can help shed light on whether the number of infected people in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit region is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same.

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit currently has three Wastewater Surveillance sites reporting (Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls). Currently, the Wastewater Surveillance program run by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is at full capacity and cannot accept any additional Wastewater Surveillance sites. We are waiting for the program to be expanded for further testing capacity to become available in our health unit region.

As our region is more rural than urban, many of our residents use independent septic systems or wastewater treatment systems that cannot support Wastewater Surveillance testing. This is a limitation as to how much Wastewater Surveillance testing can be done. However, the detection of positive Wastewater Surveillance signals in our urban centres indicates that COVID-19 is circulating in our region and gives an idea of the direction in the trend of disease occurrence as well.

Background information and a detailed description of the Wastewater Surveillance program can be found here:

And here: 

COVID-19 Wastewater surveillance is a cooperative program between the Ontario Wastewater Surveillance Initiative, municipal wastewater treatment facilities, Carleton University, and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. Currently, five days a week, wastewater is collected and transported to a laboratory where viral RNA levels are immediately tested and results reported the next morning. In Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit there are currently three wastewater surveillance sites which are tested several times weekly and analyzed to detect potential increases in viral RNA particles. Data from these sites can be used as an indicator, along with other public health indicators, to identify potential trends in COVID-19 in our region. It is important to note that there is some variability in the readings due to various reasons including: the level of virus in the stool maybe fairly low, and due to environmental factors such as efficient dilution due to rain or snow-melt runoff into the municipal sewer systems. Therefore daily variability in viral detection signals must be interpreted with caution.

At this time, WWS has the potential to provide a cost-effective and early indication of the presence of COVID-19 by gauging the level of COVID-19 presence in our community and tracking community trends. There are indications that we can learn about COVID-19 in our community by analyzing our wastewater possibly days before we learn it from other methods such as swabs taken from persons and observable reports of illness. When used alongside existing COVID-19 indicators, Waste Water Surveillance data can help inform the need for increased testing, public health measures and/or communications in affected communities.

COVID-19 case and vaccination rates have been recalculated using the recently released Census of Canada 2020 population counts from Statistics Canada. We had been using the 2020 Ministry of Finance calculation. The 2020 Census has indicated that our population has grown by about 4% in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark since 2016. These population estimates will now be used by the Health Unit in our rate calculations going forward in both our weekly vaccination dashboard and daily COVID-19 case summary dashboard. This will provide a more complete and accurate picture of our population’s COVID-19 case and vaccination rates. However, changing our population counts have resulted in some of our reported statistics changing as well. Our reported vaccination rates by age group have decreased along with our overall vaccination rates. The result is that the COVID-19 rates and vaccination rates in the daily COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard and the weekly COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard have decreased slightly. 

The Ministry of Health is not currently using the recently released Census of Canada 2020 population data from Statistics Canada, so the denominator they are using for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark is still from the 2020 Ministry of Finance calculation. Our epidemiologists worked quickly to incorporate this new data into our local dashboard as soon as possible to reflect the current population of the area. The integrity of our statistics is important to us. Slight fluctuations in data are normal when compiling statistics and adjustments are sometimes necessary; we have always been committed to providing the most accurate statistics possible.

Occasionally, data entry errors will result in a client being assigned to the wrong age grouping when their COVID-19 vaccine information is entered into the COVAX system. This results in some age groups where the client count is actually larger than the census count for that age group, giving a total percentage vaccinated that is larger than 100%.

Questions About Archived Information

Ontario’s health privacy legislation, the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), establishes a set of rules regarding your personal health information (PHI). The rules in this Act protect “identifying information” about an individual, whether oral or recorded; if the information is related to the individual’s physical condition, for example testing positive for COVID-19. Being a rural area such as ours, that is less densely populated and where many people know their neighbours, we have to limit the geographic identification of individual people who have tested positive in order to comply with this regulation. To provide some data by place of residence, Lanark, Leeds and Grenville has been grouped into sub-regions to describe the distribution of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in our region overall.

Lanark East

  • Mississippi Mills
  • Almonte, Pakenham
  • Beckwith
  • Town of Carleton Place
  • Montague

Lanark West

  • Lanark Highlands
  • Tay Valley
  • Township of Drummond and North Elmsley
  • Town of Perth
  • Town of Smiths Falls

United Counties Leeds and Grenville East

  • North Grenville
  • Kemptville
  • Merrickville Wolford
  • Edwardsburgh/Cardinal
  • Spencerville
  • Augusta Township
  • Town of Prescott

United Counties Leeds and Grenville West

  • Rideau Lakes
  • Westport
  • Newboro
  • Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands
  • Town of Gananoque

United Counties Leeds and Grenville Central

  • City of Brockville
  • Township of Elizabethtown/Kitley
  • Township of Athens
  • Front of Yonge Township

The government reports cases in schools on their website every weekday at 10:30am. Because the timing of their reporting is different than ours, there may be differences between what we report compared to what the government reports.

When it comes to COVID-19 cases, there are often rumours about positive cases so it’s important to think carefully when you hear a rumour. Other times, someone who tests positive for COVID-19 may work at a school, workplace, or healthcare facility in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, but may not live in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark. If someone doesn’t live in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, then their case is not included in our local numbers and reporting. We only share information about community outbreaks when there is a risk to the public.

For clarification of any case information, please email us at [email protected].

Archived COVID-19 Surveillance Reports and Maps

COVID-19 Case Summary Dashboard Archive March 26, 2020 to January 13, 2022

Archived COVID-19 Surveillance Reports and Maps until December 22, 2020. Archived information for dates after that can be found by using the query section in tabs 2–6 in the surveillance report dashboard. Archived map information is not available.