What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 10

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

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Meg Beckel, president and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature, says the museum has focused on staying connected with visitors digitally as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the museum remains closed. 1:02

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa reports three new cases and no new deaths Wednesday. 
  • Ottawa's medical officer of health says the city is ready for Stage 2 of the province's reopening plan, which will mean lifting more restrictions starting Friday and continuing into June and July.
  • We're learning more about how summer camps run by the city will look. Officials promise lots of outdoor time and regular health checks.
  • Daycares in Ottawa say they need more time before they can open. 
  • Another resident at the city-run Peter D. Clark long-term care home has tested positive for COVID-19. Seven residents and one staff member have died from the respiratory disease.

What's happening today?

Ottawa's medical officer of health told council Wednesday that the city is trending in a positive direction, with confirmed cases, hospitalizations and institutional outbreaks all in decline, while testing has increased. Vera Etches is advising residents to continue wearing masks, washing their hands and maintaining physical distance from others.

"We're confident to welcome in Stage 2 in Ottawa," Etches said, attributing the success to the steps residents have taken so far to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The City of Ottawa revealed more details of its reopening plan today.

Splash pads, baseball diamonds and sports fields (10 people or fewer, for training only) will reopen in mid-June, following the release of provincial safety requirements. Starting in July, certain city buildings will resume counter services, including marriage licences, parking permits and the commissioner of oaths.

Lifeguards will return and water testing will resume at three city beaches (Mooney's Bay, Westboro and Petrie Island) in early July. The city also expects playgrounds, including play structures, to reopen some time in July, although no firm date has been set.

Daycares and camp operators are busy getting ready for reopening after the province made a surprise announcement Tuesday, saying both services can restart this coming Friday.

The City of Ottawa says it should be ready to begin running camps by July 6 but the camps will be a good deal different than last year. There will be regular health checks, lots of physically distanced outdoor play and no pool time.

An Ottawa daycare tells CBC it needs more time before it can train staff and ensure its facility is ready to begin caring for kids.

Janet LeBlanc, director of the Bettye Hyde Cooperative Early Learning Centre, says she's been messaging with other daycare directors during the shutdown, many of whom had been expecting to receive three weeks notice from the government before reopening, not three days.

How many cases are there?

As of OPH's latest report on Wednesday, there have been 2,002 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 256 deaths linked to the respiratory illness. Ten cases were removed from the city's totals Wednesday after the people who tested positive were determined to live outside the city. 

There are more than 3,200 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

More than 2,500 people in the region have recovered from COVID-19.

COVID-19 has killed 50 people in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 17 in other parts of eastern Ontario and 27 in the Outaouais.

What's open and closed?

Ontario is in "Stage 1" of its three-stage reopening plan. Starting on Friday, Ottawa and two dozen other regions of Ontario enter "Stage 2." As of Friday, public pools can reopen, as can restaurant patios, salons, all shopping malls and a host of other businesses. 

Ontario will also allow child-care centres across the province to reopen starting Friday, provided they adhere to strict public health measures including capacity limits, enhanced screening for symptoms and a ban on visitors

Ontario Parks campgrounds and private campgrounds can also open for RV, car camping and all other types of camping starting Friday.

In Quebec, malls, campgrounds and Airbnbs, courts and services such as dentist offices and hair salons reopened.

Daycares in Ontario are able to open Friday, new provincial rules say. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

The City of Ottawa says summer day camps will start July 6 with smaller group sizes, more counsellors and restricted activities due to the coronavirus. 

Soccer and baseball teams in western Quebec can begin training, but players will have to continue physical distancing.

Outdoor team sports may resume in Ontario as well, if physically distanced, and for training only.

Quebec elementary schools outside Montreal are open. Schools for its older students and all Ontario schools are closed through summer.

Post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes this fall, with Ontario promising a fall plan for younger students by July and Quebec hoping to have students back in class full-time.

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 staying at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with.

Ottawa Public Health now wants people to think about how to safely do certain things and recommends people wear a fabric or non-medical mask when they can't always stay two metres from strangers, such as at a grocery store.

Customers in masks wait to enter a discount department store on Sparks Street in Ottawa on May 28, 2020. (Andrew Lee/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.

People 70 and older or with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions should also self-isolate.

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 pink eye. 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.

Tests are done at the Brewer Arena from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., seven days a week, or at 595 Moodie Dr. and 1485 Heron Rd. those same hours on weekdays.

Staff member Celine Robitaille waits for a client to come to the door to pick up a meal at lunchtime at the Shepherds of Good Hope soup kitchen in Ottawa, on Sunday, May 24, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

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 and others in Rockland, and Cornwall that require an appointment.

In Kingston, the assessment centre at the Kingston Memorial Centre is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for anyone with symptoms. 

Napanee's test centre is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 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 at 613-966-5500, their family doctor or Telehealth if they have symptoms or questions.

If you have no symptoms, you can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre, or in Picton by texting 613-813-6864. You can also call Picton's number as a backup.

You may also qualify for a home test.

Renfrew County is also providing home testing under some circumstances. Residents without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 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 819-644-4545 if they have symptoms. They could end up being referred to Gatineau's testing centre.

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 has symptoms can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse.

Pikwakanagan's council planned to let businesses reopen as of May 29. Kitigan Zibi is keeping schools closed through the summer.

For more information

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