Ottawa

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 24

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

People walk past a closed DavidsTea store amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Recent developments: 

What's the latest?

Ottawa has 82 more confirmed COVID-19 cases, the city's second-highest daily tally of the pandemic. Ottawa is now nearing 1,000 new cases this month alone.

As long waits for COVID-19 tests continue, the province is recommending only people with symptoms, who have a job where the government requires testing or who have been told they've been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, should get a test.

The recommendation resembles advice from public health officials in Ottawa.

People in Ontario who are asymptomatic for COVID-19 will now only be tested if they are part of a targeted group, such as health-care workers, according to Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health. 1:24

The federal government tabled legislation Thursday to provide what it's calling a "safe bridge" for Canadians who are still experiencing lost income due to COVID-19.

The proposed new suite of measures aims to transition people from the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) to an employment insurance program with expanded eligibility, or to one of three new recovery benefits. CERB is scheduled to expire Sept. 27. 

How many cases are there?

As of the most recent Ottawa Public Health (OPH) update on Thursday, 3,919 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. That includes 587 known active cases, 3,052 resolved cases and 280 deaths.

Its five-day average of new cases per daily report is at its highest level of the pandemic.

Overall, public health officials have reported more than 5,900 cases of COVID-19 across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 4,700 of those cases considered resolved.

COVID-19 has killed 104 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 34 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario.

 

According to data shared by Ottawa's four boards and OPH, more than 50 schools had reported at least one case of COVID-19 involving a staff member or student.

 

What's open and closed?

Some public health rules are being rolled back because of the second wave of the pandemic.

Ottawa public health officials are ordering anyone with symptoms or who has been identified as a close contact of someone who's tested positive to immediately self-isolate or face a fine of up to $5,000 per day in court.

Private, unmonitored gatherings across Ontario are now limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Quebec has introduced tighter restrictions in the province's "orange zones,"  which now includes the Outaouais.

Ottawa will resume ticketing drivers who park longer than allowed in unmarked areas on Oct. 1.

Kingston, Ont., has tightened its distancing rules in city parks and increased fines.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.

People can be contagious without symptoms.

This means precautions such as working from home, keeping your hands and frequently-touched surfaces clean socializing outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone you don't live with or have in your social circle, including when you have a mask on.

WATCH | A recap of federal promises in the throne speech:

As Canada enters a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government’s speech from the throne made big, and costly, promises for vaccine procurement, national pharmacare, long-term care standards, business supports and child care. 2:29

Ottawa's medical officer of health and Quebec's top health official are pleading with residents to reduce the number of people they're in close contact with as new cases of COVID-19 continue to surge.

Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec, including transit services and taxis in some areas.

Masks are also recommended outdoors when you can't stay the proper distance from others.

Final preparations are made to the Senate in advance of the throne speech in Ottawa on Sept. 23, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.

Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days if they have not had a fever for at least 48 hours and has had no other symptom for at least 24 hours.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. 

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 cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. 

Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.

Getting tested any sooner than five days after potential exposure may not be useful since the virus may not yet be detectable, says OPH.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Where to get tested

Wait times and lines have been long at many of the area's test sites, causing some to reach capacity before closing time or even before opening.

It's also taking up to five days for laboratories to process tests, according to OPH's Etches on Wednesday.

Health officials have said they're trying to add more test capacity.

People line up for testing at the Brewer Arena in Ottawa on Sept. 23, 2020. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

In eastern Ontario:

In Ottawa any resident can get tested, but record wait times have led OPH to ask that testing be limited for now to people with symptoms or who have been referred for a test because of contact tracing.

That message was later echoed by Ontario health officials.

This testing happens at one of four permanent sites, with additional mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.

The Brewer Arena's CHEO area for children is now primarily by appointment, which can be booked online.

The province says 13 pharmacies in Ottawa will offer COVID-19 tests by appointment starting tomorrow to people without symptoms.

A test clinic is expected to open at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex in Orléans, likely by mid-October.

With many out of work or under-employeed due to the on-going pandemic. The federal government has committed to supporting Canadians with through this economic crisis. 9:51

In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman and walk-up site in Hawkesbury that doesn't require people to call ahead.

Its medical officer of health says the Casselman centre will be moved to reduce its impact on traffic.

Others in Alexandria, Rockland, Cornwall and Winchester require an appointment.

Vehicles at a drive-thru COVID-19 test site on Principale Street in Casselma, Ont., Sept. 23, 2020. This photo has been edited to remove a licence plate number. (Frédéric Pepin/Radio-Canada)

In Kingstonthe Leon's Centre is hosting the city's test site though Gate 2.

It moves to the Beechgrove Complex near King Street West and Portsmouth Avenue this weekend and will start with two days of drive-thru testing as a trial.

Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.

People can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville, Picton or Trenton by calling the centre. Only Belleville and Trenton run seven days a week and also offer online booking.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit has walk-in sites in Kemptville and Brockville — the latter with extended hours this weekend. Testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment, same for a pop-up site in Perth tomorrow.

Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor. Those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.

People can also visit the health unit's website to find out where testing clinics will be taking place each week.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.

There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.

They can call 1-877-644-4545 if they have other questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms. People without symptoms can also get a test.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases, most linked to a gathering on an island in July.

It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.

Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Inuit in Ottawa can also call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.

People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. 

Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse.

For more information

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