What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 1
Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region
- Eight new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Ottawa on Wednesday.
- No official fireworks or celebrations in Ottawa this Canada Day.
- Bylaw officials and police will monitor parks, beaches and other public areas for large crowds.
- Quebec and many Ontario municipalities are adopting mandatory face masks.
What's the latest?
Ottawa looks a whole lot different this Canada Day, thanks to the coronavirus. The usual fireworks and celebrations downtown are cancelled and gatherings of more than 10 are still prohibited under Ontario's rules.
Public health officials are urging people to party on a small scale instead, with just close contacts. Officials recommend people stay outside and try to remain two metres apart from others and avoid sharing food and utensils.
In dozens of communities in eastern Ontario, including in Cornwall and Casselman, non-medical masks will soon be mandatory indoors at businesses and other public settings.
Ottawa plans to implement a similar rule. Details about a mandatory mask bylaw in the city are expected this week.
Another one-day testing centre is being held at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ont., today as the city is continuing to deal with the aftermath of an outbreak at a nail salon. The assessment centre is open until 12 p.m.
How many cases are there?
There have been 2,094 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 263 deaths.
Health units report more than 3,300 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec and more than 2,800 people in the region have recovered from COVID-19.
So far, 30 cases in the Kingston area have a confirmed link to a shut-down nail salon, prompting calls for visitors of three salons and a golf course to get tested.
COVID-19 has killed 102 people outside Ottawa: 52 in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 17 in other parts of eastern Ontario and 33 in the Outaouais.
What's open and closed?
Eastern Ontario is in "Stage 2" of the province's recovery plan, allowing more activities and "circles" of up to 10 people that don't have to distance.
The province has also allowed bars, spas, water parks and casinos to reopen.
The City of Ottawa has started warning people tickets will be given out again next week for overstaying at on-street parking spaces with posted time limits.
Some streets in Ottawa's ByWard Market turn into patio space starting Saturday. Ottawa's pools start to open next week.
The National Gallery of Canada reopens Thursdays to Sundays starting July 18.
Quebec's back-to-school plans bring older students to classrooms again. Ontario has put three options for next school year on the table, while post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes in September.
Distancing and isolating
The coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People don't need to have symptoms to be contagious.
That means physical distancing measures such as working from home and in Ontario, staying at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with or have in their circle.
Let’s get creative this <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CanadaDay?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CanadaDay</a>! Plan for a backyard BBQ with no more than 10 people who are part of your identified close circle, enjoy a picnic in a local park, or check out some of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ottawa?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ottawa</a>’s beautiful local attractions! <a href="https://t.co/jLg9JXvEcK">pic.twitter.com/jLg9JXvEcK</a>—@ottawahealth
Anyone who has symptoms or travelled recently outside Canada must self-isolate for at least 14 days.
Specifically in Ottawa, anyone waiting for a COVID-19 test result must self-isolate at least until they know the result.
The same goes for anyone in Ontario who's been in contact with someone who's tested positive or is presumed to have COVID-19.
Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urges self-isolation for individuals who have weakened immune systems and Ottawa Public Health recommends people over 70 stay home as much as possible.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a dry cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell.
Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pinkeye. The Ontario government says in rare cases, children can develop a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
The Brewer Arena site is closed Canada Day but the others are open regular hours.
Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.
Testing has also expanded for local residents and employees who work in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area.
There is a drive-thru test centre in Casselman and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don't require people to call ahead.
Others in Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.
A COVID-19 assessment centre will open in Alexandria next week, running Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment only.
All test centres are closed on Canada Day.
In Kingston, the Leon's Centre is now open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, replacing the location at the Kingston Memorial Centre. Find it at Gate 2.
It's closed Canada Day, replaced by a drive-thru test site at St. Lawrence College.
Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call for an appointment.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.
It has a walk-in site in Brockville open seven days a week at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.
The public health unit in the Belleville area is asking people to call it, their family doctor or Telehealth if they have symptoms or questions.
You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre, or in Picton by texting or calling 613-813-6864.
There is a pop-up clinic in Madoc on Friday. You may also qualify for a home test.
Renfrew County is also providing pop-up and home testing under some circumstances. Residents without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.
If you're concerned about the coronavirus, take the self-assessment.
In western Quebec:
Outaouais residents should call 1-877-644-4545 if they have symptoms for further assistance.
Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.
Akwesasne has opened a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to Akwesasne who's been farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. The community's reopening plan that's now underway.
There's a pop-up testing clinic at Pikwakanagan's Makwa Centre Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. for people who pre-registered by Tuesday evening.
Kitigan Zibi is planning for an Aug. 29 election with changes depending on the status of the pandemic at that time.
For more information
- Ottawa Public Health.
- Your local eastern Ontario health unit.
- The Ontario Ministry of Health (in several languages).
- The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada.