What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, April 2

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

Ottawa mayor pleads for physical distancing as bylaw officers break up gatherings

2 years ago
Duration 1:08
In a news conference conducted by telephone Wednesday, Mayor Jim Watson says bylaw officers have already had to break up several large gatherings, including a child’s birthday party with over a dozen children present, and a yard sale in the Greenboro area.

Recent developments:

Here's what's happening today

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says medical officials will offer an update Friday on the situation in province.

In Gatineau, police enforcing the province's new ban on non-essential travel in the Outaouais and turning around drivers at the Ontario border is causing some frustration.

Stu Mills spoke to rural families without reliable internet facing e-learning. Expect to see more out of smaller communities in the coming days.
A Quebec police officer speaks with a driver as provincial police stop traffic heading into the province on an interprovincial bridge, in Gatineau, Que., Thursday, April 2, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

How many cases do we have?

There are currently 252 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 450 in the region, including seven deaths linked to the coronavirus.

Confirmed cases are just a snapshot because of the limits of testing. There are likely 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.

Travellers who return to Canada must now self-isolate for 14-days: 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

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

Ontario and Quebec schools are closed until May and all non-essential businesses should be closed. 

LISTEN: Ottawa mayor pleads for physical distancing

Final-year respiratory therapy students tapped to help run province’s ventilators

2 years ago
Duration 1:37
Kevin Taylor, CEO of the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario, says final-year respiratory therapy students are being registered quickly to help hospitals run ventilators in the case of an increase of severe COVID-19 cases.

Public transit authorities are scaling back service.

Gatineau's STO is moving to a Saturday service on weekdays, with some tweaks, as of Monday, April 6.

Essential services like waste collection continue. 

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.

WATCH: Respiratory therapy students tapped to help run ventilators 

Trudeau asked about eastern provinces closing their borders to fight COVID-19

2 years ago
Duration 1:16
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters on Thursday.

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

It can also spread through close, prolonged contact, such as handshaking, and via surfaces such as door handles, 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 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.

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

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 in Brockville, Almonte and Smiths Falls.

There is now a drive-thru assessment centre in Casselman, Ont. open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 872 Principale St. for people with worsening symptoms, like the test site at 750 Laurier St. in Hawkesbury, Ont., open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. No need to call ahead.

There are others by appointment only in WInchester, Ont., by calling your family doctor or Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, and Cornwall, Ont. — it has a mental health counsellor working there. Call 613-935-7762 if you have worsening symptoms.

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.

A new COVID-19 assessment centre in Casselman, Ont., east of Ottawa, on April 2, 2020. (Frédéric Pepin/Radio-Canada)

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.

WATCH: PM on travel restrictions

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 the American part of 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

Pikwakanagan has also declared a state of emergency, with its new council ordering all businesses to close.

Kitigan Zibi has scaled back non-essential services.

For more information, visit:

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