What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, June 29

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

A rider wears a mask as they wait for an OC Transpo bus in Ottawa June 15, 2020, the first day wearing one was mandatory on the capital's public transit service. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Recent developments

  • The City of Ottawa is considering making non-medical masks mandatory in indoor commercial settings. 
  • There are now 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to the outbreak at Binh's Nail and Spa in Kingston, Ont.
  • New federal pandemic projections suggest COVID-19 transmission is largely under control but relapses are possible.
  • The federal government wants to extend commercial rent assistance another month, the prime minister said this morning.

What's the latest?

Ottawa Public Health is looking to make the use of non-medical masks mandatory at indoor businesses in Ottawa, medical officer of health Vera Etches said Monday.

The city is considering creating a new bylaw to enforce mask use, officials say. There are no details about the potential new regulation, nor what the potential fine might be for non-compliance. 

WATCH: Ottawa considers making masks mandatory 

Vera Etches, chief medical officer of health, says Ottawa Public Health is “seriously exploring” making masks mandatory for residents in commercial settings. 0:52

Kingston's medical officer of health says today there are now 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to the outbreak at Binh's Nails and Spa: six staff, six clients and close contacts that include an employee at a second salon.

WATCH: Managing risks at personal care businesses

Colin Furness, infection control epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, says workers who are in close contact with clients, including salon employees and tattoo artists, are at higher risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 as the economy reopens. 0:27

The federal government will work with the provinces and territories to extend commercial rent assistance another month, the prime minister said this morning.

Canada's chief public health officer said today transmission of the novel coronavirus is largely under control in this country, but warned that the caseload can flare up at any time.

LISTEN: The pitch for "pop-up" establishments in city parks

We speak to the owner of Flora Hall Brewing about his idea to bring beer to a park near you this summer. 10:07

How many cases are there?

There have been 2,086 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 263 deaths. Ottawa Public Health said Monday the lab-confirmed cases still represent only a fraction of the true number of cases in the city, and warned a second wave is still possible in Ottawa if physical distancing is not maintained. 

There are more than 3,300 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.


Health units say more than 2,800 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, allowing more activities and "circles" of up to 10 people that don't have to distance.

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.

Drivers will have to feed Kingston's parking metres again as of today.

Quebec has also allowed bars, spas, water parks and casinos to reopen. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

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

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.

People line up to get into a business in Ottawa's Stittsville community on June 24, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

The National Gallery of Canada reopens Thursdays to Sundays starting July 18.

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.

When the pandemic shut down support programs for vulnerable people, it left a lot of people feeling isolated. Bill O'Brien had recently moved from a shelter to his own apartment and he found himself alone, without a phone. Then the Canadian Mental Health Association gave him one. 6:33

Quebec allows closer distancing in some circumstances.

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

Masks are mandatory in many indoor spaces in Kingston.

A west Ottawa business lets shoppers know it's open again during the COVID-19 pandemic June 24, 2020. (Francis Ferland/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.

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. 

WATCH: Lessons from Japan

Japan faced dire warnings about the COVID-19 pandemic and a few scares, but managed to keep cases under control without mandatory lockdowns. Some say Japan’s system of wearing masks, avoiding crowds and using rigorous contact tracing could be a model for other countries until there’s a vaccine. 2:13

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.

Ontario hopes to start testing a federal contact tracing app next week 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.

The Brewer Arena site is closed Canada Day but the others are open regular hours.

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.

After Kingston, Ont., mandated masks be worn in indoor businesses and public settings, two other municipalities in eastern Ontario said they were considering doing the same. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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.

All test centres are closed on Canada Day.

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.

It's closed Canada Day, replaced by a drive-thru test site at St. Lawrence College.

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.

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 pop-up clinics in Stirling today and Madoc Friday. You may also qualify for a home test.

WATCH: Airlines face backlash by resuming to sell middle seats

Physical distancing on Canadian airlines is about to get harder, as the country's two biggest carriers will go back to filling middle seats on July 1. Many passengers aren’t happy about the decision. 1:56

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.

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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