What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, Sept. 26

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

Patrons are led to their seats on the patio at Banditos, a restaurant in Ottawa, on June 12. Starting today, Ontario is banning the sale of alcohol after 11 p.m. (Justin Tang/CP)

Recent developments: 

  • Ottawa public health officials are reporting the city's 4,000th case of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
  • Hundreds of people have been flocking to the COVID-19 testing site at Calypso Waterpark since it opened this week, including some people from Ottawa.
  • Starting today, Ontario is closing strip clubs and banning sale of alcohol after 11 p.m.
  • The NCC has cancelled this weekend's shuttle bus to see fall colours in Gatineau Park.
  • The Ottawa Hospital is taking over resident care at two local nursing homes with serious outbreaks.

What's the latest?

Starting today, Ontario is closing strip clubs and banning the sale of alcohol after 11 p.m.

The province is citing "outbreak clusters in restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments, including strip clubs, with most cases in the 20-39 age group."

A server wears a mask as she works among the plexiglass dividers at a bar's outdoor patio in the ByWard Market in Ottawa in July 2020. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Hundreds of people lined up in their vehicles Friday to get a COVID-19 test at a new drive-thru testing centre at Calypso Waterpark near Limoges, Ont., southeast of Ottawa.

The Ottawa Hospital will take over care of residents at West End Villa and Laurier Manor long-term care homes, the province announced Friday.

The National Capital Commission has cancelled its usual shuttle bus to and from Gatineau Park to see the fall colours this weekend because of the pandemic, and says it may do the same on weekends to come.

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How many cases are there?

Ottawa reported 45 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. 

As of the most recent Ottawa Public Health (OPH) update on Saturday, 4,005 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. That includes 567 known active cases, 3,158 resolved cases and 280 deaths.

Overall, public health officials have reported more than 6,100 cases of COVID-19 across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 4,900 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.

What's open and closed?

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

Ottawa and Kingston, Ont., 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.

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

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 Thursday.

It is closing the McNabb Arena respite centre for people without housing on Oct. 2 and expanding services at nearby support centres.

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.

Ottawa's medical officer of health is 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.

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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.

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

In eastern Ontario:

As of Thursday Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, have been told to by your health unit or by the province because of your work.

Most of Ottawa's testing happens at one of four permanent sites, with additional mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.

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

People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select Ottawa pharmacies.

A man walks down Sparks Street in Ottawa on Sept. 8. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, there are drive-thru centres in Casselman and Limoges and a 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.

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 today.

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.

They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.

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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