What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 22

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

An e-scooter rider wears a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic as they walk on a downtown Ottawa street in July 2020. (Michel Aspirot/Radio-Canada)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa Public Health confirms 33 new COVID-19 cases in today's report.
  • There are now no known active cases in the Belleville, Ont., area.
  • Confusion around social circles is in the spotlight as Ottawa's confirmed COVID-19 cases rise.

What's the latest?

Ottawa Public Health has confirmed 33 more cases of COVID-19, fewer than yesterday but still the second-highest daily report of the month.

As Ottawa's COVID-19 case count rises to daily totals last seen in May, there's focus on what role confusion around social bubbles is playing.

The Hastings Prince Edward Public Health unit in the Belleville area said in its Wednesday update it no longer has any known active cases of COVID-19, joining the health units in Renfrew, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties.

How many cases are there?

There have been 2,320 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the pandemic began. The number of deaths remains at 263. The vast majority of cases in the city —1,868 — are classified as resolved.

Gatineau has reported a total of 551 cases.

Kingston has gone four days without reporting a new case of COVID-19 after a major outbreak ​​mainly related to local nail salons. The region now only has one active case.

In all, public health officials have reported more than 3,650 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, and more than 3,050 are resolved.

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.

The last coronavirus-related death in the region was June 25.

What's open and closed?

Ottawa is now in Stage 3 of Ontario's reopening plan, which means larger distanced gatherings and more activities allowed inside.

Indoor visits are now allowed again at Ontario's long-term care homes and up to 15 children can be at a daycare as of next week.

Quebec's back-to-school plans bring older students to classrooms again.

Ontario has put three options for next school year on the table, promising an update by early August, while post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes in September.

'We've now succeeded in flattening the curve… but that success is fragile. ' | Dr. Howard Njoo

3 years ago
Duration 10:52
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo on the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Canada.

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.

Ottawa's medical officer of health said in mid-July people should be ready for COVID-19 social restrictions well into 2021 or 2022.

Masks are now mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec.

The Secret Bench of Knowledge near Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa has a COVID-19 update because the pair can't physically distance. (Michel Aspirot/CBC)

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:

In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can now be tested at one of three sites.

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.

A sign on Ottawa's Sparks Street asks people to stay two metres apart during the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2020. (Michel Aspirot/Radio-Canada)

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 Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.

In Kingston, the Leon's Centre is now hosting the city's test site. Find it at Gate 2.

Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call for an appointment.

WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo on keeping the curve flat

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 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 and in Picton by texting or calling.

Renfrew County is providing pop-up testing in five communities this week and home testing under some circumstances.

Residents should call their family doctor and those 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.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau five days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond and at recurring clinics in communities such as Maniwaki, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.

They can call 1-877-644-4545 if they have other questions or to make an appointment.

Shoppers wear masks as they line up at a mall in Quebec Monday. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

First Nations:

Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.

Akwesasne has had seven confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the latest three confirmed Monday.

It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only and anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days. It's 100 miles or 160 kilometres away on the American side.

Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. Face coverings are now mandatory in its public buildings.

People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259.

Kitigan Zibi is planning for an Aug. 29 election with changes depending on the status of the pandemic at that time.

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