What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, May 31

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

A cyclist makes his way past a barrier blocking off a stretch of Byron Avenue to non-local traffic on May 30, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

Recent developments:

What's happening today?

Premier Doug Ford says the province is considering opening areas of Ontario with low transmission levels, such as places in eastern Ontario, earlier than others.

This may mean the second stage of reopening in Renfrew, Ont., for example, could look very different from Toronto's.

Drive-in movie theatres and batting cages can reopen today as the province continues to slowly loosen COVID-19 restrictions.

Cities in eastern Ontario and western Quebec are trying to figure out how to give pedestrians room to practise physical distancing while avoiding disruptions to car traffic.

In Ottawa, crews have painted white circles in the grass at Mooney's Bay to encourage people to practise physical distancing.

Monday marks the next phase of Quebec's plan to reopen its economy, and some Gatineau businesses are expecting more than a few Ontario licence plates in their parking lots.

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

How many cases are there?

There have been 1,951 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 244 deaths linked to the respiratory illness. There are more than 3,100 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.


Nearly 2,400 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. Also, not everyone with COVID-19 will go to get tested (potentially because they are asymptomatic) and results take time to process.

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.

This Sunday, the farmers market at Lansdowne Park reopens for preordering and picking up at a designated time. Drive-in movie theatres and batting cages can reopen in Ontario as of Sunday, as well.

Quebec malls, campgrounds and Airbnbs, courts and services such as dentist offices and hair salons can reopen Monday

So can national parks and historic sites across Canada, which includes Rideau Canal lockstations.

As of June 1st, backcountry camping at Ontario Parks sites and recreational camping on Crown lands is allowed. 

Many parks are now open with limits, such as not using playground equipment or gathering.

Quebec elementary schools outside Montreal are open. Schools for its older students and all Ontario schools are closed through summer.

The closure of overnight camping and some day-use activities at provincial parks and conservation reserves will continue until at least June 14.

Post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes this fall, with Ontario promising a fall plan for younger students by July and Quebec hoping to have students back in class full-time.

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.

WATCH: How to buy or sell a home during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what happens when you buy or sell a house. Andrew Chang walks through what’s changed in the real estate game. 1:48

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:

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

WATCH: Makeshift home offices taking physical toll

Many people working in makeshift offices at home and sitting in awkward positions could face an increased risk of injuries, including neck and back problems, experts say. 2:01

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.

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.

WATCH: Calls for improved staffing, training, pay at nursing homes

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how badly Ontario’s long-term care system needs an overhaul, with a growing number of workers, experts and families calling for changes in everything from staffing levels to better pay and training. 1:49

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.

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 planned to let businesses reopen as of May 29. Kitigan Zibi is keeping schools closed through the summer.

For more information

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

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

Sign up now