What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, May 29
Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region
- The City of Ottawa has painted circles in the grass at Mooney's Bay to encourage park-goers to stay two metres apart.
- The federal government will spend another $650 million to help Indigenous communities through the crisis.
- Canada is considering easing restrictions at the U.S. border to allow for family reunification.
- Starting today, libraries, museums and drive-ins in Quebec can reopen.
What's happening today?
The federal government will spend another $650 million on Indigenous public health, income assistance and to build on-reserve women's shelters.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is also exploring ways to allow families that have been separated due to restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border to reunite.
City crews painted white circles in the grass at Mooney's Bay this week to encourage people to practise physical distancing.
The move follows similar measures by other cities including New York, San Francisco and Toronto, all trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as people flock to outdoor public spaces.
Have you seen the new <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PhysicalDistancing?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PhysicalDistancing</a> circles that have now arrived in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OttCity?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OttCity</a>, at Mooney’s Bay? Simply go in a free circle and catch some rays, while still maintaining 2 m. distance from others! Enjoy the outdoors and prevent the spread. <br>Info: <a href="https://t.co/uc7I4C8No5">https://t.co/uc7I4C8No5</a> <a href="https://t.co/Fv59BJJyd4">pic.twitter.com/Fv59BJJyd4</a>—@ottawacity
How many cases are there?
There have been 1,937 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 240 deaths linked to the respiratory illness. There are more than 3,000 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
More than 2,300 people in the region have recovered from COVID-19.
The deaths of 50 people in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties and 35 more in the wider region have also been tied to the coronavirus.
Confirmed cases are just a snapshot because, until recently, not everyone could be tested in Ontario and results take time to process.
What's open and closed?
WATCH: A call to reopen Ottawa public washrooms
This Sunday, the farmers market at Lansdowne Park reopens for preordering and picking up at a designated time.
So can national parks and historic sites across Canada, which includes Rideau Canal lockstations.
Quebec elementary schools outside Montreal are open. Schools for its older students and all Ontario schools are closed through summer.
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 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.
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.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
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.
WATCH: Questions about staffing at hard-hit Almonte care home
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: What it's like to be new to Canada during the pandemic
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 planned to let businesses reopen as of today 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.