What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 3

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

A pedestrian walks through Ottawa's Chinatown neighbourhood on Sept. 2, 2020. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

Recent developments: 

What's the latest? 

Ottawa Public Health reported 22 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, pushing the city's total past the 3,000 mark.

Once again, there were more resolved cases than new ones, so the number of active cases in the city actually dropped.

Ottawa's new drive-thru COVID-19 assessment centre is now taking appointments ahead of its Friday opening, according to The Ottawa Hospital.

The testing site is located at 300 Coventry Rd. in the parking lot of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (RCGT) Park. It will begin seeing patients tomorrow at 11:30 a.m., a hospital news release said Thursday.

The testing centre requires people to book online first at the Ottawa Public Health's website.

A new drive-thru testing site in the parking lot of RCGT Park on Coventry Road in Ottawa will start taking bookings in the coming days, local health officials say. (CBC)

The closure of some National Capital Commission roadways in Ottawa and Gatineau Park to vehicles has been extended until the last weekend of September to encourage distanced exercise and active transportation.

Queen Elizabeth Driveway will reopen to vehicles on weekdays starting Tuesday. The closures in Gatineau Park will end Friday, Sept. 25.

They're meant to promote active transportation and give people more room to move around safely during the pandemic.

We've put together an in-depth breakdown of back to school plans for every board and service centre in the region.

Dr. David Williams answers questions about the province’s back to school plans. 17:15

How many cases are there?

There have been 3,009 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic: 199 known active cases, 2,543 cases considered resolved and a total of 267 deaths related to the illness.

Overall, public health officials have reported more than 4,600 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 3,900 resolved.


COVID-19 has killed 103 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 33 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario.

What's open and closed?

Ontario  is in Stage 3 of its reopening plan, which means more businesses are open including dine-in restaurants and movie theatres.

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The Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum are reopening, but with fewer opportunities to interact with exhibits. 0:52

Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 are now allowed in that province but attendees must follow physical distancing guidelines.

Quebec has similar reopening rules, with its cap on physically distanced gatherings in public venues now up to 250 people, allowing smaller festivals.

Schools have started coming back in both provinces.

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Science teacher Tasha Ausman says the new quadmester system for high school students, in which classes are delivered in four-hour blocks, will require teachers to adjust their strategies to make sure students don’t fall behind. 1:49

The Canadian Museum of Nature reopens with pandemic changes starting on Saturday.

Rue Jacques-Cartier in Gatineau reopens to vehicles Tuesday. That same day, a new Ontario rule formally removes time limits on caregiver visits to long-term care homes.

PR Transpo transit service in Prescott-Russell resumes Sept. 14.

Distancing and isolating

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

People don't need to have symptoms to be contagious.

That means physical distancing measures such as working from home, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone you don't live with or have in their circle, including when you have a mask on.

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

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

A woman walks past a Chinatown restaurant offering takeout only on Sept. 2, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

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

In Ontario, that's the same period of self-isolation for anyone with symptoms. When self-isolating, only leave home or see other people if it's critically important, such as to go see a doctor.

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 those people, older adults and people with underlying medical conditions 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 pinkeye. 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 be tested at one of three sites.

The Brewer Arena test site will be closed on Labour Day.

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

It's the official first day of school for many students in the French public and French Catholic school boards. We get a picture of what drop off looks like this morning from an elementary school in Vanier. 5:16

In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman that can handle 200 tests a day and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don't require people to call ahead.

Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.

In Kingston, the Leon's Centre is hosting the city's test site. Find it at Gate 2.

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

Staff help students to find their keys during Queen's University's move-in day in Kingston, Ont., on Tuesday Sept. 1, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press)

You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling. Only Belleville and Trenton run seven days a week.

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 at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.

Almonte's site will be closed Monday.

WATCH | Safer shopping in larger stores:

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With cases of COVID-19 in malls and big box stores across the country, some are concerned about the risks they could pose. But experts say there are several factors that will change or reduce the risk. 2:08

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

It's testing in five communities this week with an appointment.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond. Wait times mean you may be assigned a time to come back if the centre is busy.

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

They can call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment or if they have other questions.

First Nations:

Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Most are linked back to a gathering on an island with a non-resident who wasn't showing symptoms at the time.

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.

Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. Face coverings are now mandatory in its public buildings.

People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. It lifted its state of emergency in late August.

Kitigan Zibi plans on starting to open schools and daycares next month.

For more information

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