What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 7
Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region
- Ottawa has topped 400 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic struck, but one-quarter of those have recovered.
- Ontario's premier now says the province could be out of protective masks in less than two weeks.
- There's a happy update to the story of an Ottawa nurse left in the lurch when her landlord backed out of her lease.
- Need something to feel good about? Check out CBC Ottawa's new Facebook page.
Here's what's happening today
A local woman that lived through COVID-19 is sharing her agonizing experience to assure people they can make it through the pain.
The provincewide ban on gatherings, coupled with Ottawa's shutdown of non-essential services until June 30, is prompting popular spring and summer festivals and events to cancel or move their events online.
The Ottawa Redblacks will have a late start to their season, along with the rest of the CFL.
WATCH: Cancellation of jazz festival 'devastating'
How many cases do we have?
There are 403 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and more than 725 in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
The deaths of six people in Ottawa and five more people in the wider region have been tied to COVID-19.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) lists 101 people as recovered. Most local health units don't share this number.
Confirmed cases are just a snapshot because of the limits of testing. There are likely thousands more.
Distancing and isolating
Health officials now say homemade masks may offer additional protection in places like grocery stores or the pharmacy.
WATCH: Dr. Tam on new non-medical mask advice
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.
Anyone who is sick or travelled recently must self-isolate for at least 14 days.
The close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is presumed to have COVID-19 or who has travelled recently and then gotten sick, must also self-isolate for 14 days.
The government also recommends people older than 70 or those with compromised immune systems go into voluntary self-isolation.
How daily life is changing
Quebec has banned non-essential travel into and through western Quebec. Last weekend Gatineau police sent more than 1,400 drivers back home.
Ontario and Quebec schools are closed until May and non-essential businesses should be closed.
WATCH: Beer Store workers worried as return program resumes
Public transit authorities are scaling back service. Essential services like waste collection and emergency responses 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 a Bells Corners clinic from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.
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.
A COVID-19 assessment centre is now open in Rockland, Ont. It is open Monday to Saturday. Patients must ahead call for a referral at 1-800-267-7120.
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.
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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.
Be prepared for Telehealth wait times.
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).