What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 5
Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region
- Ottawa Public Health is reporting 31 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city, and 11 more deaths.
- Quebec says residents of private seniors' homes that don't have a case of COVID-19 can now go on unaccompanied walks and meet their families outside, at a distance.
- The federal government announced $250 million in funding for the agri-food industry and $50 million to buy food at risk of going to waste, which will be given to the vulnerable.
- Visit our Facebook page dedicated to feel-good local stories.
What's happening today?
The number of people with COVID-19 rose slightly Tuesday, with 31 newly confirmed cases. Ottawa Public Health also reported 11 more fatalities from the respiratory illness, raising the city's death toll to 138.
Since the pandemic began, 1,535 people have tested positive in Ottawa, and 875 have since recovered.
A group of Ottawa city councillors is calling on the city and province to reopen green spaces in city parks. City staff say they're working to "reassess" the closure.
Nature Québec has asked that province to reopen its 24 provincial parks and take pressure off sometimes-crowded urban green spaces.
Send in your questions for tomorrow's Ottawa Morning live Q&A on COVID-19 and your rights.
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How many cases are there?
There are now 1,535 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 138 deaths. There are currently more than 2,393 confirmed cases in all of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
Nearly 1,275 people have recovered from the coronavirus in the region.
The deaths of 42 people in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, and 11 more in the wider region, have also been tied to COVID-19.
What's open and closed?
Quebec has banned non-essential travel into and through the Outaouais until May 11, when the ban should be lifted everywhere but Gatineau.
The Laurentians region's restrictions ended Monday, which includes Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, Que. Health officials still advise against unnecessary trips.
Municipal parks are only open to walk through. The NCC plans to reopen Gatineau Park for people within walking or biking distance starting Saturday.
Ottawa has cancelled event permits and closed many facilities until July. Quebec has asked organizers to cancel events until September.
Quebec plans to allow manufacturing businesses to start back up as of this coming Monday.
As for schools: Ontario's will remain closed through May, but Quebec plans to open elementary schools and daycares in mid-May for parents who want to send their kids.
Quebec high schools, CEGEPs and universities will stay closed to in-person classes until fall.
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Distancing and isolating
The coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, although people can be asymptomatic and still be contagious.
That means physical distancing measures remain in effect: people should avoid non-essential trips, work from home, cancel gatherings and stay at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with.
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.
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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, fatigue and a dry cough.
Other potential symptoms include a sore throat, runny nose and the loss of taste or smell.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
Where to get tested
Anyone concerned they have COVID-19 in Ontario can call Telehealth at 1-866-797-000 or fill out the province's online assessment tool.
In Ottawa people who fit the criteria can be tested at the Brewer Arena from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., seven days a week.
Those with mild or moderate symptoms can visit clinics in Bells Corners or Alta Vista weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for anyone with symptoms.
The public health unit in the Belleville area is asking people to call 613-966-5500 or one of its testing centres in Belleville, Trenton or Bancroft if they have symptoms. You may also qualify for a home test.
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The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to call it if you have symptoms at 1-800-660-5853, ext. 2499.
It has testing sites open in Almonte and Smiths Falls which require a referral, as well as a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and a home test service for people in care or with mobility challenges.
Renfrew County is also providing home testing under some circumstances. Residents without a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 if they have health questions.
In western Quebec:
Outaouais residents should call 819-644-4545 if they have a cough or fever. They could end up being referred to Gatineau's testing centre.
First Nations communities
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 new council has ordered all businesses to close and has cancelled its August powwow.
Kitigan Zibi has postponed its June election and 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.