What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 27

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

Calls for Ottawa to take action on long-term care after military report

2 years ago
Duration 2:03
A report about conditions in Ontario long-term care homes during the pandemic is increasing calls for Ottawa's involvement in them to not end with the current military mission or the pandemic. 2:03

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa is reporting 14 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, raising the city's total to 1,922.
  • Ottawa's medical officer of health says the city is trending in the right direction when it comes to controlling the spread of the virus.
  • Vera Etches says people with symptoms should not hesitate to get tested as quickly as possible.
  • Cooling centres have opened in Ottawa to give people a break from the heat, with some restrictions.

What's happening today?

In response to Tuesday's damning military report on conditions in the province's long-term care homes, Ontario Premier Doug Ford is vowing to step up inspections at some of the hardest-hit facilities, begin random checks and move an independent commission from September to July.

He's tossing aside calls from the opposition to fire long-term care minister and Ottawa MPP Merrilee Fullerton.

WATCH: Reaction to the Ontario long-term care report

If you feel sick, don’t wait to get tested for COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health says

2 years ago
Duration 0:56
Vera Etches, Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health, says more than 50 per cent of people who may have symptoms of COVID-19 are waiting more than two days to get tested, complicating efforts to track the virus. 0:56

Ottawa's medical officer of health says the spread of COVID-19 continues to slow in the city, which shows distancing is working.

Vera Etches told Ottawa city council Wednesday Ottawa Public Health wants people to focus on how to leave home safely and urged residents not to hesitate when they start feeling symptoms.

WATCH: Quicker testing means better tracking, Etches says

Ottawa airport CEO says passenger numbers may not recover until 2024

2 years ago
Duration 0:58
Ottawa airport CEO Mark Laroche says revenue has “cratered,” with only a handful of flights arriving and departing each day. 0:58

The City of Ottawa has opened four cooling centres to provide people refuge from the current heat wave, and is working to install air conditioning at the Brewer Arena COVID-19 testing centre.

A jogger runs along the Ottawa River on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 as temperatures rise to above 30C. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

How many cases are there?

There have been 1,922 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 238 deaths linked to the respiratory illness. There are more than 3,000 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.


More than 2,200 people in the region have recovered from COVID-19.

The deaths of 49 people in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties and 32 more in the wider region have also been tied to the coronavirus. 


Confirmed cases are just a snapshot because not everyone can be tested and results take time to process, though testing criteria are being expanded.

What's open and closed?

Ontario is in "stage one" of its three-stage reopening plan. When ready, its next stage should bring more offices, outdoor spaces and gatherings back.

Quebec's libraries, drive-ins and museums can reopen Friday, with malls and services such as dentist offices and hair salons poised to reopen Monday.

Gatineau Park and provincial parks are now open with limits, like the National Capital Commission and Ottawa-Gatineau city parks

Ontario's rules continue to prohibit parks from reopening some amenities where physical distancing is difficult to maintain, including splash pads and play structures. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

This Sunday, the farmers market at Lansdowne Park reopens for preordering and picking up at a designated time.

The national park reopenings Monday include boat launches and trails in Thousand Islands National Park and along the Rideau Canal, with canal lockstations back up and running as well.

Ottawa has cancelled event permits until the end of August. Quebec has asked organizers to cancel events until September.

WATCH: Ottawa International Airport getting loans to cover massive shortfall

Why working from home doesn’t work for everyone

2 years ago
Duration 1:26
Linda Duxbury, a management professor at Carleton University who has studied work-life balance, says not everyone wants to work remotely and even if they do, they may face other pressures — like child care — that impede productivity at home. 1:26

Ontario schools are closed through summer. Post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes this fall, with the province promising a fall plan for younger students by July.

Quebec elementary schools outside Montreal are open. Its high schools, CEGEPs and universities are closed to in-person classes until fall.

WATCH: Why working from home doesn't work for everyone

What to expect on the golf course during the pandemic

2 years ago
Duration 1:45
Golf was one of the first recreational activities to restart during the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrew Chang shows the changes being made at the golf course. 1:45

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 avoiding non-essential trips, working from home, not gathering and staying at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with.

A staff member places ice cream cones on a window ledge before shutting the window to allow a contact-free purchase at La Cigale in Chelsea, Que., May 24, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Ottawa Public Health 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. 

Anyone who has symptoms, travelled recently outside Canada or, specifically in Ottawa, is waiting for a COVID-19 test result must self-isolate for at least 14 days.

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: How golfers have been adapting

Nearly all new COVID-19 cases are happening in the GTA, Ottawa and Windsor

2 years ago
Duration 2:04
The COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario is now almost exclusively a problem in the province's big urban areas. Data analyzed by CBC News show nearly all new infections are happening in the GTA, Ottawa and Windsor. 2:04

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 Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptomscan 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.


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.

Hotels implement enhanced cleaning, safety measures to reopen during pandemic

2 years ago
Duration 1:59
For hotels preparing to reopen during the pandemic, they are implementing enhanced cleaning procedures and with new measures in place to keep guests safe. 1:59

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: 3 regions in Ontario have most of its new known COVID-19 cases

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.

WATCH: How hotels plan to reopen

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.

A sign advises people to practise physical distancing as they enter Gatineau Park in Chelsea, Que., on May 24, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

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 plans to let businesses reopen Friday and Kitigan Zibi is keeping schools closed through the summer.

For more information

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