What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, April 6
Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region
- There have been 2 new deaths from COVID-19 reported in Ottawa.
- Canada's top doctor now says non-medical masks can help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others.
- Ontario has just one week of protective equipment left for health-care workers, but a shipment held at the U.S. border is being released.
- Ottawans are helping during the pandemic. Find out how on our new Facebook page.
Here's what's happening today
Ontario has just one week's supply of personal protective equipment left for health-care workers, but after singling out a shipment held by the United States, the premier now says 500,000 more masks are on the way.
There's a change in recommendations from Canada's top doctor when it comes to masks. Theresa Tam now says non-medical masks can help stop the spread of the virus to others.
Canadians in need of financial help because the pandemic forced them to stop working can now apply for the federal government's emergency assistance program.
How many cases do we have?
There are 370 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and more than 675 in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
The deaths of six people in Ottawa and four more people in the wider region have been tied to COVID-19.
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 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.
WATCH: Can my pet spread COVID-19?
How daily life is changing
Quebec has banned non-essential travel into and through western Quebec, which police are enforcing with moving checkpoints.
Police in Belleville, Ont., charged the organizer of a Sunday evening parking lot party of about 25 people with failing to follow an emergency order.
WATCH: Here's what you can and can't do in Ottawa's parks
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.
The coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
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.
People with mild or moderate symptoms can also visit the new Bells Corners clinic 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.
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.
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:
- Ottawa Public Health,
- your local eastern Ontario health unit,
- the Ontario Ministry of Health (in several languages).
- the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais (in French).