What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 31

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

‘Some people think they’re invincible’ when it comes to COVID-19, Ottawa mayor says

CBC News Ottawa

1 year ago
In an interview with CBC’s Ottawa Morning, Mayor Jim Watson urged people to take physical distancing seriously. He said the reason some people may not be is because they think COVID-19 won’t affect them. 1:00

Recent developments:

  • Paramedic in Ottawa tests positive for COVID-19. 
  • A third person has died of COVID-19 in Ottawa, a woman in her 80s at an Orléans retirement home.
  • Outbreaks have been declared at three retirement homes and one long-term care facility in Ottawa. 
  • Employee at long-term care home in Pembroke, Mirimichi Lodge, tests positive. 
  • Hastings and Prince Edward Counties report first COVID-19 death and confirm virus is spreading in the community. 
  • 14 new COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, 12 in western Quebec.

Here's what's happening today

Ottawa Public Health says its top concern now is long-term care facilities and retirement homes after declaring outbreaks at four facilities on Tuesday.

Two residents of Promenade retirement home in Orléans have now died from COVID-19, a man and a woman in their 80s. CBC learned Tuesday they were a married couple.

Other residents at Promenade have contracted the respiratory illness, and a resident at Maplewood Retirement Community on Industrial Avenue has also tested positive.

One employee at Park Place retirement home in Central Park has tested positive, and an employee at Garden Terrace long-term care facility in Kanata is also sick. 

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit reported late Tuesday an older male resident of Almonte Country Haven has died from the virus. 

More than a dozen people died at a nursing home in Bobcaygeon, Ont.

LISTEN: Ottawa bylaw watching for gatherings

People pull loved ones out of nursing homes during COVID-19 pandemic

The National

1 year ago
After the recent COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes and long-term care facilities, some are bringing their loved ones home to try and protect them from the virus and reduce the load on staff. 2:01

Ontario has announced its schools will stay closed throughout April, matching Quebec.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is urging everyone to practise physical distancing and self-isolation — and now bylaw officers have warned they're about to start cracking down.

Tomorrow's monthly rent payment is on the minds of people whose jobs and bank accounts have been affected.

WATCH: Relatives pulling seniors from care homes

Can I safely cook or bake food for friends without spreading COVID-19?

The National

1 year ago
Doctors answer your questions about the coronavirus in Canada, including whether you can safely cook or bake for others while physical distancing. 4:25

How many cases do we have?

There are currently 144 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 273 in the wider region.


Confirmed cases are just a snapshot of the total because of the limits of testing. There are likely hundreds, even thousands more.

What are distancing and isolating?

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

Travellers who return to Canada must now enter a mandatory 14-day period of self-isolation: staying home and asking others to leave supplies at the door.

Anyone who's had close contact with someone who has travelled, who is older than 70 or who has a compromised immune system should also self-isolate for 14 days.

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

WATCH: Doctors answer your questions about COVID-19

COVID-19 restrictions leave expectant parents feeling helpless, mother says

CBC News Ottawa

1 year ago
Erin deWinter, who was anticipating giving birth in a hospital in July, says she’s now considering a home birth in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. She says the loss of control over where to give birth has caused some anxiety. 1:42

How daily life is changing

Ontario and Quebec have ordered all non-essential businesses to close and Quebec is closing more businesses on Sundays.

Public transit authorities are scaling back service

Essential services like garbage and recycling collection continue. 

WATCH: COVID-19 restrictions leave expectant parents feeling helpless

The ‘impossible’ task of physical distancing while being homeless

The National

1 year ago
A homeless man in Toronto talks about the challenges of staying safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2:52

The health-care sector

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

Ottawa family doctors have had to reduce in-person visits because of equipment issues. 

There are outbreaks at three retirement homes and one long-term care facility in Ottawa.

In Perth, a resident at Carolina Retirement Residence has tested positive for COVID-19 as have two staff members at Providence Care Hospital in Kingston and a staff member at the long-term care home Miramichi Lodge in Pembroke, Ont.

WATCH: Ontario pledges more screening, protection at long-term care homes

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

They range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection. The most common symptoms include fever, fatigue and a dry cough.

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 problems.

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

It can also spread through close, prolonged contact, such as touching or handshaking, and via surfaces such as door handles, mobile phones and light switches.

Most people with mild symptoms can self-isolate and get better. If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

When to get tested

Anyone concerned in Ontario can fill out its online assessment tool. 


Ottawans who have a new or worsening cough or fever and have left the country — or have spent lots of time with someone 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. at 151 Brewer Way near Carleton University. You don't have to call ahead.

A person re-enters a building at the Promenade retirement residence, where local health officials reported Ottawa's first case of COVID-19 in a retirement or long-term care home after a resident tested positive for the novel coronavirus, on Saturday, March 28, 2020. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Kingston, Ont.

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

Other communities

The public health unit in the Belleville area is asking people only call it at 613-966-5500 if they still have questions after the province's self-assessment.

Same for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark's unit at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2499.

It opened a testing site by referral from a family doctor or the health unit only at the Brockville Memorial Centre.

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

Only people older than age 70 in the Prescott-Russell area or 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 you 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, even if they're not related to COVID-19.

WATCH: How homelessness complicates physical distancing

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents should call 819-644-4545 if they have a cough or fever, whether they've travelled or not. You could be referred to Gatineau's testing centre.

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

First Nations communities

Akwesasne and Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) have declared states of emergency to prepare for possible cases.

The Franklin County, N.Y., health unit said on March 28 there is a confirmed case in Akwesasne, which straddles the Canada-U.S. border.

The community member is at home. Anyone returning to Akwesasne from farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

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

Kitigan Zibi and Pikwakanagan have scaled back non-essential services and ask residents to follow public health advice.

For more information, visit:

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now