What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, March 30

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

In a news conference conducted by telephone Friday, Vera Etches, with Ottawa Public Health, says health agencies are seeing people from a wide range of age groups falling seriously ill with COVID-19. 0:44

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa bylaw officers, police begin enforcing COVID-19 physical distancing and self-isolation orders.
  • Second person dies of COVID-19 in Ottawa, a resident at an Orléans retirement home.
  • Two Ottawa police officers test positive for the virus, both are at home and self-isolating. 
  • Eight new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Ottawa Monday, 10 in the Outaouais. Health officials continue to warn that's likely just a fraction of the actual count.

What you should know

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is urging everyone to continue to practise physical distancing and self-isolation. Ontario has banned all gatherings of more than five people while Quebec has banned all gatherings of two or more people.

There are currently 130 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city, Ottawa Public Health said Monday. A second person has died after contracting COVID-19 and six people are in intensive care in Ottawa. Fifteen others are in hospital receiving treatment for the virus. 

The death of a woman in her 90s in Pembroke on Sunday is also linked to COVID-19.

Physical distancing means avoiding non-essential trips out, working from home, cancelling all gatherings and staying at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with. 

Travellers who return to Canada must now enter a mandatory 14-day period of self-isolation and anyone who's had close contact with someone who has travelled should also self-isolate for 14 days.

That means staying home and asking others to leave groceries, medication and other supplies at the door.

LISTEN: Etches on the age range affected by COVID-19

Experts say COVID-19 data released this week will be crucial to finding out if extreme physical distancing measures are working to slow the spread of the illness. 1:56

People who feel sick should also self-isolate for 14 days or until 24 hours after their symptoms are gone, whichever is longer.

The province of Ontario asks anyone who is over age 70 or has a compromised immune system to self-isolate.

How daily life is changing

Bylaw enforcement officers along with the Ottawa police are now enforcing provincial and federal regulations to ensure people practise physical distancing as well as self-isolation, when required. Gatineau police are also enforcing the measures. 

Sports venues in Ottawa and Gatineau such as fields and courts are closed, as are playgrounds and off-leash dog parks (three Gatineau dog parks are open).

A sign at Ottawa's Sylvia Holden Park reminds residents that the playground has been closed due to the threat of COVID-19, and that people are expected simply to walk through, not linger. (Alistair Steele/CBC)

The NCC has shuttered Gatineau Park, along with parking lots at its trails and dog parks in Ottawa's Greenbelt.

Ontario and Quebec have ordered all non-essential businesses to close.

Quebec schools are closed until at least May, while Ontario schools will likely remain closed past the initial goal of April 6.

Public transit authorities are scaling back service because ridership has dropped substantially. 

Essential services like garbage and recycling collection will continue. 

Domestic travel by train or plane is no longer allowed for anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms.

What the health-care sector is doing

The Ottawa Hospital is doubling its intensive care beds and seeking donations of masks and other personal protective equipment at

There are currently two outbreaks at retirement homes in Ottawa. Five people are confirmed positive cases at Promenade in Orléans and Maplewood Retirement Community in Riverview Park has at least one case.

In Perth, a resident at Carolina Retirement Resident has tested positive for COVID-19 as have two staff members at Providence Care Hospital in Kingston.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from a very mild, cold-like illness to a severe lung infection. The most common symptoms include fever, fatigue and a dry cough.

WATCH: Why this upcoming week is important

Doctors answer your questions about the coronavirus in Canada, including whether cloth masks are a good idea for essential workers. 3:54

Older people, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes are more likely to develop serious illness.

The coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The virus can also spread through close, prolonged contact, such as touching or handshaking, and via surfaces such as door handles, mobile phones, tables and light switches if they touch their eyes, nose or mouth before washing their hands.

If you have severe symptoms and cannot manage at home, call 911.

When to get tested

Anyone who's concerned can first fill out Ontario's online COVID-19 assessment tool. 

Ottawans who have a worsening cough and/or fever and have travelled outside of Canada — or have been in contact with someone been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days — should visit the COVID-19 screening centre at the Brewer Arena.

The centre is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at 151 Brewer Way, off Bronson Avenue near Carleton University. You don't have to call ahead.

WATCH: Do cloth masks really work against COVID-19?

Kingston, Ont.

The assessment centre in Kingston is now at the Kingston Memorial Centre at 303 York St. It is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Other communities

The public health unit in the Belleville, Ont., area is asking people only call it at 613-966-5500 if they've checked the website and still have questions.

The same advice goes for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark's unit at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2499.

It opened a testing site by referral only at the Brockville Memorial Centre at 100 Magedoma Blvd. that's open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Referrals can come from a family doctor or the public health unit.

Hawkesbury, Ont., has an assessment centre at 750 Laurier St. open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. 

Only people older than age 70 in the Prescott-Russell area, who have chronic health problems or compromised immune systems can call 613-933-1375 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to ask about a home visit from paramedics.

Renfrew County is providing home testing under some circumstances.

Call Telehealth​​​, your health care provider or it at 613-735-8654 if they still have more questions.

Anyone who doesn't have or can't reach a family doctor can call its new primary health-care centre at 1-844-727-6404 if they have questions.

In western Quebec:

Gatineau's downtown assessment location is at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond.

Outaouais residents should call the regional help line at 819-644-4545 if they have a cough or fever, whether they've travelled or not.

If your symptoms require a trip to the emergency room, call ahead if your condition allows to let them know your travel history.

WATCH: Here's how Quebec is 'extending the curve' of COVID-19 infections

First Nations communities

The Mohawk communities of Akwesasne and Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) have declared a state of emergency to prepare for possible cases.

Anyone in MBQ who has symptoms can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse

In Akwesasne, community members are asked to carry their status cards when crossing the Canada-U.S. border for essential trips.

The Algonquin communities of Kitigan Zibi and Pikwakanagan have scaled back non-essential services and are asking residents to follow public health advice.

For more information, visit:

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