What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 8

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

COVID-19 projections for Ottawa show how physical distancing is flattening the curve

1 year ago
In a presentation to council by phone on Wednesday, Vera Etches, Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health, said there could be as many as 34,000 cases in the city, though physical distancing measures will help hospitals manage the number of patients. 1:36

Recent developments:

Here's what's happening today

Ottawas top doctor is offering a more precise picture of how many people likely have COVID-19, and what needs to happen to stop hospitals from becoming overwhelmed in the summer or fall.

WATCH: When Ottawa's curve may peak

Opening roads to pedestrians would make essential trips safer, councillor says

1 year ago
Coun. Catherine McKenney says many people who live downtown must often walk to pharmacies or grocery stores, potentially passing dozens of people on a crowded sidewalk. 1:09

Days after health officials changed their guidance on fabric face masks, an army of volunteers has assembled in Ottawa to make skull caps, headbands and non-medical masks.

Jewish people are getting ready for a Passover celebration unlike any other tonight.

How many cases do we have?

There are 429 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 800 in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

The deaths of seven people in Ottawa and six more people in the wider region have been tied to COVID-19.


Ottawa Public Health (OPH) lists 130 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

Physical distancing means avoiding non-essential trips, working from home, cancelling all gatherings and staying at least two metres away from anyone you don't live with.

WATCH: Crowded sidewalks a problem, councillor says

‘We can’t ask too much of parents and families’

1 year ago
Annie Kidder, executive director of advocacy group People for Education, says families are facing numerous challenges when it comes to helping their kids learn at home, including handling their own work arrangements and dealing with financial worries. 1:28

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.

Parks are only open to walk through and authorities are watching for gatherings in many communities. Ottawa has cancelled event permits until July.

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

WATCH: Working and teaching at the same time

Why is B.C. doing a better job of flattening the curve compared to Ontario and Quebec

1 year ago
Dr. Bonnie Henry says luck, preparation and the timing of the province’s later spring break are factors in slowing down the pace of COVID-19 cases. 1:19

Public transit authorities have cut 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.

Flower beds near Dow's Lake in Ottawa, site of the annual Canadian Tulip Festival, on April 7, 2020. The festival isn't setting anything up at its sites this year and is asking people to mind other people's personal space if they take a walk to see the flowers. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

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.

WATCH: A B.C. case study

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.

An assessment centre is now open in Rockland Monday to Saturday with a referral from 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.

A pedestrian wearing a masks walks Ottawa's downtown Rideau Street in April 2020. (Jonathan Dupaul/CBC)

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.

A park in Gatineau, Que., largely closed by the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. (Matthew Kupfer/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.

All businesses are closed on Pikwakanagan first nation after a state of emergency was declared. (Submitted by Wendy Jocko)

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:

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now