What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 1

CBC Ottawa's latest roundup of key points during the coronavirus pandemic.

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

People pull loved ones out of nursing homes during COVID-19 pandemic

4 years ago
Duration 2:01
After the recent COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes and long-term care facilities, some are bringing their loved ones home to try and protect them from the virus and reduce the load on staff.

Recent developments:

Here's what's happening today

Ottawa saw its biggest single-day jump Wednesday with 50 new cases. Ottawa Public Health says most of the new positive cases stemmed from samples taken on or before March 19, so health officials are blaming the sudden jump largely on a backlog.

A new regional testing centre can now turn around tests in about two days. 

As of noon, non-essential travel into western Quebec is banned, including from Ontario. Police will be setting up random checkpoints to ensure motorists are complying with the order.

It's an uncertain day for many tenants and landlords as monthly rent is due.

OPH says nursing and retirement homes remain a top concern. There are four outbreaks at such facilities in the city, and the province is changing testing protocols at these homes. There's a fifth outbreak at a group home run by the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities.

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WATCH: People pull loved ones out of nursing homes

What to do about physical distancing faux pas 

4 years ago
Duration 2:10
While most are trying their best to follow physical distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes a crowded grocery aisle can present a dilemma.

How many cases do we have?

There are currently 194 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and more than 300 in the region, including seven deaths linked to the coronavirus.


Confirmed cases are just a snapshot of the total because of the limits of testing. There are likely hundreds, even thousands more.

Distancing and isolating

Physical distancing means avoiding non-essential trips, working from home, cancelling all gatherings and staying at least two metres away from others when out for a walk.

WATCH: Here's how to handle physical distancing faux pas

‘Being overwhelmed with anxiety is not going to serve you well,’ ICU doctor says

4 years ago
Duration 1:35
Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, an intensive care physician, says following public health guidelines, avoiding social media, and avoiding worry over “what-if” scenarios is a good way to stay physically and mentally healthy during the pandemic.

Travellers who return to Canada must now enter a mandatory 14-day period of self-isolation: staying home and asking others to leave supplies at the door.

Anyone who's had close contact with someone who has travelled, who is older than 70 or who has a compromised immune system should also self-isolate for 14 days.

People who feel sick should self-isolate for 14 days or until their symptoms are gone for 24 hours, whichever is longer.

How daily life is changing

Ontario and Quebec have ordered all non-essential businesses to close and Quebec is closing more businesses on Sundays.

Parks are only open to walk through and bylaw officers are watching for gatherings in many communities.

Ontario and Quebec schools are closed all of April.

Public transit authorities are scaling back service

Essential services like garbage and recycling collection continue. 

WATCH: Ottawa ICU doctor shares mental health tips

Made-in-Canada ventilators, masks, coronavirus test kits on the way

4 years ago
Duration 1:55
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is investing $2 billion into domestically manufactured ventilators, protective equipment and coronavirus test kits.

The health-care sector

The Ottawa Hospital is doubling its intensive care beds and seeking donations of protective equipment at

Ottawa family doctors have had to reduce in-person visits because of equipment issues. 

WATCH: Here's how companies are pivoting to produce pandemic equipment

Can I safely cook or bake food for friends without spreading COVID-19?

4 years ago
Duration 4:25
Doctors answer your questions about the coronavirus in Canada, including whether you can safely cook or bake for others while physical distancing.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

They range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection. The most common symptoms include fever, fatigue and a dry cough.

Older people, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes are more likely to develop serious problems.

The coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It can also spread through close, prolonged contact, such as touching or handshaking, and via surfaces such as door handles, mobile phones and light switches.

Most people with mild symptoms can self-isolate and get better. If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Where to get tested

Anyone concerned they have COVID-19 in Ontario can fill out its online assessment tool. 


Ottawans who have a new or worsening cough or fever and have left the country — or have spent lots of time with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days — should visit the COVID-19 screening centre at the Brewer Arena.

The centre is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 151 Brewer Way near Carleton University. You don't have to call ahead.

A person re-enters a building at the Promenade retirement residence, where local health officials reported Ottawa's first case of COVID-19 in a retirement or long-term care home after a resident tested positive for the novel coronavirus, on Saturday, March 28, 2020. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Kingston, Ont.

The assessment centre at the Kingston Memorial Centre at 303 York St. is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Other communities

The public health unit in the Belleville area is asking people only call it at 613-966-5500 if they still have questions after the province's self-assessment.

Same for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark's unit at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2499.

It has testing sites by referral from a family doctor or the health unit only at the Brockville Memorial Centre and the Smiths Falls hospital.

WATCH: Can food spread COVID-19?

Hawkesbury, Ont., has an assessment centre at 750 Laurier St. open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and the WInchester, Ont., Lions Hall on Albert Street is opening another by referral only.

Only people older than age 70 in that area or who have chronic health problems or compromised immune systems can call 613-933-1375 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to ask about a home visit from paramedics.

Renfrew County is providing home testing under some circumstances.

Call Telehealth​​​, your health care provider or it at 613-735-8654 if you still have more questions.

Anyone who doesn't have or can't reach a family doctor can call its new primary health-care centre at 1-844-727-6404 if they have questions, even if they're not related to COVID-19.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents should call 819-644-4545 if they have a cough or fever, whether they've travelled or not. You could be referred to Gatineau's testing centre.

If your symptoms require a trip to the ER, call ahead if your condition allows to let them know your travel history.

First Nations communities

Akwesasne and Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) have declared states of emergency to prepare for possible cases.

With a confirmed case in Akwesasne, anyone returning from farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Anyone in MBQ who has symptoms can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse

Kitigan Zibi and Pikwakanagan have scaled back non-essential services and ask residents to follow public health advice.

For more information, visit:

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