What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, May 28
Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region
- OC Transpo wants all riders and staff to start wearing cloth masks by mid-June.
- Ottawa Public Health is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths.
- A staff member at a Gatineau, Que., care home has died of COVID-19, the first health-care worker in western Quebec to fall victim to the respiratory illness.
- Starting tomorrow, libraries, museums and drive-ins in Quebec can reopen.
What's happening today?
An employee at Gatineau's CHSLD Lionel-Émond care home has died of COVID-19, the first health-care worker in western Quebec to fall victim to the respiratory illness.
OC Transpo wants all riders and staff to wear a non-medical cloth mask or equivalent face covering starting on June 15. The recommendation will be discussed and voted on June 1 at a special meeting of the city's transit commission.
The Ottawa Public Library Board has approved plans to start taking back borrowed books and setting up curbside pickup June 8.
Quebec's libraries, drive-ins and museums can reopen Friday, while courts and tribunals can resume Monday.
How many cases are there?
There have been 1,930 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 240 deaths linked to the respiratory illness. There are more than 3,070 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
More than 2,300 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?
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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.
Quebec elementary schools outside Montreal are open. Its high schools, CEGEPs and universities are closed to in-person classes until fall.
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 staying at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with.
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.
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.
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.
WATCH: If you feel sick, get tested, says OPH
Where to get 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.
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.
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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.
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.
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 tomorrow and Kitigan Zibi is keeping schools closed through the summer.
For more information
- Ottawa Public Health.
- Your local eastern Ontario health unit.
- The Ontario Ministry of Health (in several languages).
- The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada.