What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, July 26

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

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)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa Public Health reported 26 new cases on Sunday, while Ontario confirmed 137.
  • Walmart has confirmed an employee at its Billings Bridge store has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • A spokesperson for Walmart said the store has undergone thorough cleaning and said the employee last worked on July 20.
  • Charities say they're losing revenue as major runs get cancelled or become virtual events due to gathering restrictions.

What's the latest?

Ottawa Public Health has reported double-digit increases in new cases of COVID-19 every day for the last week.

Charities have had major fundraising events cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions on social and other gatherings. They've tried to keep annual race events going virtually but are still seeing major declines in both participation and revenue.

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How many cases are there?

There have been 2,415 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the pandemic began. The number of deaths remains at 263. The majority of cases in the city —1,908 — are classified as resolved.

Gatineau has reported a total of 567 cases.


In all, public health officials have reported more than 3,700 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, and nearly 3,100 are resolved.

COVID-19 has killed 102 people in the region 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 many more businesses are allowed to reopen, including dine-in restaurants and movie theatres.

Quebec has similar rules.

Up to 15 children can be at an Ontario daycare as of this week.

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

Quebec's back-to-school plans will bring students to classrooms again this fall.

A pedestrian wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic walks on a downtown Ottawa street in July 2020. (Michel Aspirot/Radio-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, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and — in Ontario — staying at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with or have in their circle.

Under Stage 3, indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people are now allowed. Physical distancing remains a requirement for people not from the same household or established social 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.

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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.

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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.

Testing has also expanded for local residents and employees who work in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area.

There is a drive-thru centre in Casselman that can handle 200 tests a day and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don't require people to call ahead.

Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.

A disposable non-medical mask lies discarded in Ottawa July 2020. Not properly disposing masks and gloves can cost you a $365 fine under the city's bylaws. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

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.

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.

First Nations:

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

Akwesasne has had eight confirmed COVID-19 cases. Four of them are active and linked back to a gathering on an island with a non-resident who wasn't showing symptoms at the time.

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. It plans on starting to open schools and daycares next month.

For more information

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