What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, June 22

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

Federal employees can expect more flexibility when it comes to working from home

1 year ago
Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos says the coronavirus pandemic has proved that it is possible for many federal employees to work remotely. 0:54

Recent developments:

  • Remote working arrangements will continue for the foreseeable future for most federal public servants, the government announced Monday.
  • Ottawa Public Health has added just one new COVID-19 case in its latest update.
  • Ontario's finance minister says the government will soon have an update on "Stage 3" of its reopening plan.
  • Changes kick in today in Quebec and at Ontario's provincial parks.

What's the latest?

The return to federal government offices will be gradual and vary by department, the Treasury Board Secretariat says in a new statement, adding remote work will continue for the foreseeable future.

WATCH: Public service management will be flexible, minister says

Problems with long-term care top of mind as families consider moving loved ones in

1 year ago
Jill Vickers says she’s having second thoughts about moving her 95-year-old mother into a long-term care home because of safety concerns exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 1:06

Ottawa Public Health logged a single new case of COVID-19 in its daily update Monday. There have been 25 new known cases over the last week in Ottawa.

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips said the province will soon have an update on "Stage 3" of its reopening plan. Every region but Windsor-Essex has now been cleared to enter Stage 2.

Quebec is allowing indoor, distanced gatherings of up to 50 people starting today, including in places of worship and indoor sports venues, along with changes to daycare rules.

Ontario Parks reopens some campsites and services starting today, and National Capital Commission beaches, all in Quebec, are now open.

How many cases are there?

There have been 2,056 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 260 deaths.

There are more than 3,275 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.


More than 2,750 people in the region have recovered from 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 and Quebec also has different restrictions for different regions.

Tomorrow, masks are mandatory on all Via Rail trains and Kingston city staff will have an update on its pandemic-affected services.

Kingston starts closing parts of some downtown streets this week to offer more space.

Most Ottawa beaches reopen Saturday (Gatineau's opened this past weekend) and this will be the final scheduled weekend for the National Capital Commission's COVID-19-related road closures.

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.

2nd wave of COVID-19 a ‘statistical certainty:’ infectious disease expert

1 year ago
World-renowned infectious disease expert Dr. Gabriel Leung was among the first to predict the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic in January and he says the worst is far from over. 7:20

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.

A cyclist passes an Ottawa mural painted by artist Juliana LaChance thanking COVID-19 workers for their efforts. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Children in Quebec can now be one metre apart at school and day camps and all Quebecers can be within 1.5 metres of each other while seated at indoor venues such as theatres.

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.

A construction worker wears a mask on Parliament Hill in Ottawa during the COVID-19 pandemic 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.

WATCH: The choices facing families on care home wait-lists

Technical difficulties cause frustration among medical students taking online exams

1 year ago
Rishi Sharma, director of education with the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, says technical issues and communication problems have caused concern among medical students who are taking exams online during the pandemic. 1:15

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.

Ontario hopes to test a federal contact tracing app next month that would let users know if they've been close to a confirmed case.

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.

Petrie Island in east Ottawa in June 2020. Ottawa is in its fifth day of a heat warning, with five community cooling centres open. People heading to one are asked to bring a cloth mask. (Jérémie Bergeron/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 Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.

Paroisse St-Pierre Apôtre in Hawkesbury, Ont. That region's health unit has 18 known active COVID-19 cases as of its last update, the most outside Ottawa-Gatineau. (CBC)

In Kingston, the assessment centre at the Kingston Memorial Centre is open seven days a week for walk-ins. 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 open seven days a week at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.

WATCH: Looking ahead to a potential second wave

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 are weekly pop-up clinics in other communities and you may also qualify for a home test.

WATCH: New national online med school exam plagued with glitches

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 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 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.

Pikwakanagan's council let businesses reopen May 29 and is not running checkpoints at entrances during the day.

For more information

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