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Ottawa’s leading source for health information, programs & services. Prevention, promotion, & protection for healthy communities. Français = @OttawaSante
Benedict Schmidt Profile picture Potato Of Reason Profile picture 2 subscribed
Aug 30 4 tweets 1 min read
Right, so let's try this again...

Re-posting this to fix a glaring mistake.

We said COVID-19 was "no longer a pandemic", and we meant to say it was no longer a global health emergency (as per the WHO).

It's a truly embarrassing mistake, and we are ridiculously sorry. (1/4) We've seen your Qs about COVID-19, & yes...we've also seen an increase in the levels of COVID-19 circulating in our community.

It's a reminder that while it's no longer a global health emergency, COVID-19 doesn't really care about designations.

It's still out there. (2/4)
Feb 22, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Hello, Ottawa.

Earlier today, many of us saw tweets about a situation at the Rideau Centre.

Recently, we learned the police operation is now over (though the investigation is ongoing).

While this is indeed welcome news, we'd like to take a moment to address something. (1/4) This community's been through a lot, not just in these past weeks, but over the past 2 years.

You may find yourself feeling more affected by events like what happened today than you used to be.

That's normal, & it does 𝙣𝙤𝙩 mean you're weak.

It just means you're human. (2/4)
Jan 7, 2022 16 tweets 4 min read
We’re sorry it’s been a while since we’ve had one of our longer chats. A lot has changed in the past little bit so let’s get into it.
Grab a cup of tea & get comfortable – this is a long one.
(1/16) The amount of COVID-19 in our community is higher than ever. So high that our testing facilities can’t keep up.
As such, case counts are not representative of COVID-19 in Ottawa.
There is WAY more COVID than these numbers show.
Jun 10, 2021 10 tweets 2 min read

Last week, the remains of 215 children were found at a former residential school. They were all victims of racism.

A few days ago, 4 people were murdered in yet another act of racism.

Keep reading. (1/10) These aren't the only recent incidents of racism. They also won't be the last.

Each time they occur, people say "This isn't our Canada!"

Except it is. Racism exists in Canada.

And denying its existence is condoning racism.

It's all around us, if you're willing to look. (2/10)
Jun 9, 2021 9 tweets 2 min read

So, our dashboard says -1 cases. About that...

Our dashboards are live documents. The data you see reported each day is a snapshot in time.

Fun fact: today, we actually have 20 new cases.

Why did the dashboard say -1? Let's discuss. (1/9) Data is important to us.

Being transparent & providing you with the most accurate information possible is the mission of our epidemiologists. Their work doesn't stop after a case is added to our dashboard.

In fact, that's actually when the bulk of their work begins. (2/9)
Apr 1, 2021 13 tweets 3 min read

Today we expect the Province to announce further protective measures in response to the levels of COVID in Ottawa.

We know this may not be welcome news for everyone, but it is necessary.

Let's discuss, in 13 tweets. (1/13) So, this is easily the most candid thing we've written since the pandemic began.

Simply put: our healthcare system is exhausted.

It’s been 13 grueling months, and the pace hasn’t slowed once. If anything, it’s increased.

The fact that any of the amazing humans involved (2/13)
Mar 25, 2021 12 tweets 3 min read

Yes, it's true. Some tweets were lies. But they were small lies & they served a purpose.

We'll get to that...after we chat about today's numbers.

Please join us as we embark on this exhilarating 12-tweet journey of important information (1/12) No one would blame you for being startled by today's numbers. It's a normal reaction. 151 is a big number.

There are only a handful of times when we've had daily numbers this high.

Plus, our % positivity and cases per 100,000 are now deeply into the Red zone. Not good. (2/12)
Mar 5, 2021 8 tweets 2 min read

We've seen a few "but there's only X people in ICU" comments of late in response to our warnings about our numbers.

Allow us to explain why that’s an issue in these eight (yes, only 8!) tweets. (1/8) Hospitalizations & ICU cases are what we call lagging indicators. As in, they can take a week or 2 to manifest.

Think of it this way: someone who is exposed to COVID today isn't going to be in the hospital tonight.

The virus needs time to incubate (which can take days). (2/8)
Feb 12, 2021 14 tweets 4 min read

Today, the Province will likely announce what zone of the reopening framework we'll shift into as of Tuesday. Whatever is announced, though, doesn't change what we need to do. Why?

Kindly read these 14 tweets & we'll tell you. (1/14) Fun fact: COVID-19 does not follow us on Twitter. COVID doesn't know, or particularly care, if we're in the Red or Orange zone.

The behaviours of the virus do not depend on the current ‘zone’ of public health restrictions. And, to be perfectly candid, neither should ours. (2/14)
Feb 8, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Well, this seems like a great opportunity to chat about misinformation.

As the amazing people at @ScienceUpFirst will tell you, it's important to ask questions of the things you see online. So, with that in mind, let's analyze this now famous tweet together, shall we? (1/4) (i) using that placeholder image makes no sense. None. It just seems like a redundant amount of work to have made it, no?

(ii) it's posted via Twitter & a quick scan of our tweets shows we always use the same platform when scheduling (i.e. it was not a pre-scheduled tweet) (2/4)
Jan 28, 2021 15 tweets 4 min read

So, schools are opening. Is this a good thing or a risky thing? Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: read these 15 tweets (sorry)

Schools aren't opening because "things are great". Literally nothing about this is cause to relax. (1/15) It’s quite the opposite, actually. Simply put: schools are opening because the risks and impacts of keeping schools closed far outweigh those of opening them.

Remember: just as peace is more than the absence of war, good public health is more than the absence of disease. (2/15)
Jan 11, 2021 11 tweets 3 min read

Let's 11 tweets

First & foremost: COVID levels in Ottawa are trending at the highest we've seen since this all started. We're now deeply in the Red level. We are once again in a crisis, & we don't use that word lightly. (1/11) Our local healthcare system is again nearing its capacity. And remember: the people working in these healthcare settings have been at this for 10 long months. They need us as much as we need them.

We must bring this back. There isn't a choice when lives are on the line. (2/11)
Dec 31, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read

Our dashboard has updated with today's cases. The number reported is different than what the Province reported earlier. There are reasons for this...involving databases, reporting methods, data verification at local level, etc.

But we must look deeper. (1/5) The day-by-day case counts aren't what we need to focus on. It's the trends that matter. And ours are trending up. All of the data indicates that. And that's not good.

Many of you will likely say "but you wanted a shorter shutdown". Indeed we did. And like we always do, (2/5)
Dec 4, 2020 13 tweets 3 min read

It's Friday, March 278th, 2020, and this is the longest thread we've ever written. Let that sink in.

So, we need to talk about how we're going to spend our holidays. Before we get into it, let's pause to appreciate being able to have this talk. (1/13) We should be proud of our efforts that got us here. But we must stay the course. The winds can quickly change if we let our guard down.

We'll still celebrate the one is taking that away from us. It'll just be different than normal. So let's chat about that. (2/13)
Oct 30, 2020 11 tweets 3 min read

Yesterday, the province presented data about sources of COVID-19 outbreaks in Ottawa. That data, notably the pie charts, caused some confusion and we understand your frustrations.

Perhaps we can clear things up a smidgen? (1/11) In a pandemic, it's even more vital that you get clear, concise info to help you understand the “why” behind the guidance that is being provided. Many of you are currently frustrated & know that we understand. Sometimes the data can be overwhelming, and we'd like to help. (2/11)
Oct 2, 2020 10 tweets 3 min read
Threads were intended for major shifts. Things that couldn't be explained in 1 tweet. We'd planned to use one every 6-7 weeks. But this is our third thread in a month. And we're writing this one because we've hit a critical point. We'll get to that, but first let's chat.

(1/10) It would've been simpler to work in physics. "Hey, does gravity exist?"...drops something..."yup! Case closed!"

But public health during a pandemic isn't like that. A piece by @edyong209 in @TheAtlantic way back in April put it perfectly. Quoting Harvard's Bill Hanage, he (2/10)
Sep 24, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Hello. The other day, we tweeted about breastfeeding/chestfeeding. We received many replies w/regards to our use of the term chestfeeding.

Shall we take a moment to address that? Chestfeeding is a term used by many transmasculine & non-binary parents to describe how they (1/3) feed/nurture their children. Some prefer the term nursing, others prefer breastfeeding. We use these words & we warmly accept the term a family chooses for their own experiences. We will keep supporting parents of all gender identities & family structures by using inclusive (2/3)
Sep 16, 2020 9 tweets 2 min read
Ok, bad news first.

Bad news: our recent rise in cases is concerning. Very concerning.

Not-as-bad news (hint, this is a thread): in terms of spread within the community (i.e. not from institutional outbreaks like hospitals or LTC homes), most of our recent cases are (1/9) coming from private gatherings (parties and get-togethers) & close contacts of confirmed cases. This tells us that our cases are manageable if we can all agree to get on the same page.

Our actions matter. And changes now will be reflected in our case count in 2-3 weeks. (2/9)
Aug 31, 2020 8 tweets 2 min read
Tomorrow is September. Let that sink in. Then read this thread.

It's been 6+ months since COVID-19 arrived. In that time, we've learned a lot...but there's still much that we don't know. And with back-to-school, we understand how nervous many of you are. Who wouldn't be? (1/8) Many of us at OPH have children & COVID has often reminded us of becoming a new parent/caretaker: you're discovering new things daily & you usually have to make important decisions based on the info available to you at the time. You often wish you had more info than what's (2/8)
Jul 27, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
Ottawa, can we talk about these rising case #'s?

Yes, there is cause for concern. If we don't get a handle on this, it could undermine all the work we’ve done. But while we're seeing new cases, the solution to the issue isn't new. In fact, it's a solution we all know. (1/5) COVID-19 hasn't gone anywhere. The virus is still here, and if we're gonna get these case #'s back down, we need to keep doing the things that we know work: frequent hand-washing, practicing physical distancing, wearing masks and staying home when sick. (2/5)
Jul 24, 2020 8 tweets 5 min read
Well Ottawa, you asked us to write this, and here you go....

Novel Coronavirus: a cautionary tale - youth fiction edition (1/8) As the week has progressed, we have seen case counts #CatchingFire. We wanted to let you know, as this is #Divergent from what we would like to see, and is hopefully just a #WrinkleInTime (2/8)