What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, July 27

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

A person rests on a bench at Mooney's Bay Beach in Ottawa in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Recent developments:

What's the latest?

Ottawa Public Health's daily update says Ottawa has 28 more cases of COVID-19, along the lines of its average since last weekend.

Most of the cases are people under age 40.

Ontario's municipalities are getting up to $4 billion from the provincial and federal governments to help with the COVID-19 budget crunch, with some money specifically for public transit.

The Quebec government's message to people age 15 to 34 who make up "a very significant proportion" of new cases is to be more careful and peer pressure each other to follow pandemic rules.

WATCH | Quebec COVID-19 update at 1 p.m. ET

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Ever wondered who's behind the clever and informative social media at Ottawa Public Health? Kevin Parent, who heads the team, talked to CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning about their thinking.

How many cases are there?

There have been 2,443 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 —1,915 — are classified as resolved.


In all, public health officials have reported more than 3,800 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, and more than 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.

Mary Jane Clinkard is thrilled to be able to swim again after nearly four months of COVID-19 pool closures. But she's worried about the potential for a second wave that could shut these facilities down again. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Quebec has similar rules, with its distanced gathering cap going up to 250 people in public venues next week. 

Child-care centres can increase the size of their groups today from 10 to 15 children.

The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum reopens to the public on Saturday.

A staircase at the Ottawa Art Gallery reminds patrons to remain a safe distance apart from one another. The gallery reopened to the public July 8. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Ontario has put three options for the next elementary and secondary school year on the table, promising an update next week, 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.

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.

Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 are now allowed in Ontario. 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.

WATCH | NHL playoff teams arrive in hub cities

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

The grace period for Quebec's mandatory mask on public transit law is over and transit officials are now required to bar access to users over age 12 who refuse to wear a mask.

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.

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.

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.

People cool down at Five Span Bridge Park on the Mississippi River in Pakenham, Ont. on Friday, July 10, 2020, as a heat wave hits the region. There are more heat warnings covering the entire Ottawa-Gatineau region today. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

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 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Eight 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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