What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, July 3

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

Ayzeh Gaju and mother Mimi Uwase cool off at a splash pad in Ottawa on July 2, 2020. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Recent developments

  • Ottawa reported three new COVID-19 cases on Friday but no new deaths. 
  • Four more people in Kingston have tested positive for COVID-19, health authorities said on Friday.
  • Ottawa hospitals are pushing for the creation of space for non-acute patients to help free up hospital beds.
  • Renfrew County has recorded its first new case of COVID-19 since the beginning of June.

What's the latest?

Ottawa hospitals are asking the Ontario government to quickly approve plans to create hundreds of new long-term care and transitional beds at local retirement homes in order to free up space for acute-care patients.

Hospital administrators say COVID-19 has prompted them to take action to deal with overcrowding, an issue that existed long before the pandemic. 

Kingston health officials reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Health authorities in the region say they're seeing more cases due to the disease spreading at a third nail salon in the city.

A health-care worker re-enters the building at the Laurier Manor in Ottawa, a long-term care facility that was experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 until mid-June. Hospital administrators in Ottawa are looking to create more space for non-acute patients to free up beds. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Renfew County is warning residents they could have been exposed to the virus after a new, positive case.

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit issued an advisory Thursday, stating the person had visited the Walmart in Pembroke, Ont., between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on June 22 and the Shopper's Drug Mart in Petawawa, Ont., between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on June 24.

Anyone who visited either location during those times is asked to self monitor for symptoms.

How many cases are there?

There have been 2,104 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 263 deaths. The vast majority of cases in the city, 1,798, are classified as resolved. 

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.

Kingston now has 36 new, active cases of COVID-19. Most are linked to three nail salons: Binh's Nails and Spa, where the recent outbreak started, Kingdom Nails and Georgia Nail Salon. Amherstview Golf Club has also seen new cases. 

Clients at all four businesses are being asked to self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19.

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.

Some streets in Ottawa's ByWard Market turn into patio space starting tomorrow. Ottawa's pools start to open next week.

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.

The National Gallery of Canada reopens Thursdays to Sundays starting July 18. The iconic downtown hotel Fairmont Château Laurier reopened on Canada Day. 

A patio in Ottawa's ByWard Market is decked out for Canada Day on June 25, 2020. (Hugo Belanger/CBC)

Quebec now allows indoor, distanced gatherings of up to 50 people, including in places of worship and indoor sports venues, and has relaxed rules at daycares.

The province has also allowed bars, spas, water parks and casinos to reopen.

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.

Participants raise their hands as they swear the oath to become Canadian citizens during a virtual citizenship ceremony held over livestream due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Canada Day, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The livestream here is seen on a computer in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

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 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.

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.

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.

Peter Tilley, executive director of the Ottawa Mission, says front line staff would normally be walking the streets, handing out water bottles and making sure residents have a cool place to go — but the pandemic has made that work much harder. 0:57

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.

Ontario has started onsite testing as a way to tackle the COVID-19 outbreaks on farms and in greenhouses in Windsor-Essex County. But the government's measures overlook approximately 2,000 undocumented migrant workers in the area, and fears of deportation prevent them from coming forward. 4:05

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents should call 1-877-644-4545 if they have symptoms for further assistance.

First Nations:

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

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