Ottawa

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, April 4

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

CBC News Network showcases the best of CBC journalism, covering breaking stories with speed, and adding context and meaning along the way. CBC News Network is also the destination for original journalism, with added depth from CBC News bureaus across the country and around the world. 0:00

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa has 33 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, Ontario's Ministry of Health reported Saturday morning.
  • Ottawa Public Health says another person has died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to four. 
  • The Ottawa Hospital is reporting a case in one of its in-patient units. The patient is in isolation.
  • Ontario is reporting 375 new COVID-19 cases as of Saturday morning.
  • So far, 110 people have died in the province, according to numbers compiled by CBC News.
  • Registration for free daycare for essential workers is now open in Ottawa and Kingston
  • This weekend Ottawa is crunching numbers to see how much the pandemic is costing the city.
  • Ontario could see 3,000 to 15,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to a new report from the province.
  • Ottawans are helping during the pandemic. Find out how on our new Facebook page.

Here's what's happening today

If you are an essential worker and need childcare, there are options now. On Friday registration opened for three, free daycares for children between the ages of 18 months and five years old. 

The announcement comes as Ottawa's numbers continue to climb — currently the number of people infected with coronavirus doubles every four days or so. 

Ontario released its projections for how the virus might affect the province and the modelling suggests only in a "best case" scenario would there be enough intensive care beds for all who may need them. 

Ottawa Public Health experts say that's why it is critically important people continue to practise physical distancing and self-isolation. Flattening the curve is the best way to ensure there are enough ventilators for everyone.

WATCH: Perth, Ont., emergency physician of preparing for COVID-19

Dr. Alan Drummond says his emergency room staff have done a lot of planning but are anxious about having enough protection and equipment. 5:35

Ottawa bylaw officers say after issuing dozens of warnings, they will start to fine people for breaking COVID-19 rules.

Other communities such as Kingston, Ont. and Gatineau are in a similar boat.

How many cases do we have?

There are now  322 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 562 in the region. The virus has killed four people in Ottawa.

 

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.

WATCH: Here's what you can and can't do in Ottawa's parks

Jogging? Yes. Sitting on a park bench? No. The CBC’s Omar Dabaghi-Pacheco, with some help from Coun. Tim Tierney, outlines what is and isn’t allowed in the city’s public parks during the pandemic. 1:41

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 is older than 70, or who has a compromised immune system, or who has been in close contact with  someone who either has tested positive or has symptoms after recent travel 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

Quebec has banned non-essential travel into and through western Quebec, which police are enforcing with moving checkpoints.

Ottawa is set to release more details next week on how the drop in revenues from physical distancing will affect the city's balance sheet. 

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

WATCH: Ontario could have seen 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

Dr. Peter Donnelly, president and CEO of Public Health Ontario, says the number of fatalities in the province could be reduced to somewhere between 3,000 and 15,000 if strict preventative measures continue to be taken. 1:33

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

Public transit authorities are scaling back service. 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: Ontario's ICU capacity at risk, says head of Ontario Health

Matthew Anderson says people must adhere to physical distancing or the province could see a rise in critical care COVID-19 cases beyond what it can manage. 0:41

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

Ottawa Public Health says unless you need an N-95 mask for your job, only people with respiratory illnesses and those caring for sick people should wear them.

Homemade masks may do little to stop the spread of the virus — aside from stopping people from touching their faces and muffling a cough or sneeze. Kingston General Hospital has banned staff from wearing them.

The germs 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. You don't have to call ahead.

WATCH: At least 2,000 waiting to get tested for COVID-19 in Ontario

Ontario struggles with a mounting backlog of sick people waiting to be tested for COVID-19. 1:56

Starting Monday a former school in Bells Corners will become a care centre for people with moderate symptoms from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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.

A person crosses a road in Ottawa by an inspirational sign, Friday, April 3, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

It has testing sites by referral from a family doctor or the health unit only in Brockville, Almonte and Smiths Falls and a new home test service for people in care or with mobility challenges. Call the health unit to ask about one.

There is a drive-thru test 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. 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.

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 any health questions.

Ottawa Public Health officials say flattening the curve is the best way to ensure the region has enough hospital beds for all who need them during the pandemic. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

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 you can to let them know your travel history.

First Nations communities

Akwesasne, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) and Pikwakanagan have declared states of emergency..

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's new council has ordered all businesses to close.

Kitigan Zibi has scaled back non-essential services.

For more information, visit:

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