What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 4

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

Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region

A pedestrian on a scooter passes the site of a small electrical fire on O’Connor Street on Sept. 3, 2020. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

Recent developments: 

What's the latest?

Citing a lack of physical distancing, the City of Kingston has banned people over 16 who don't live together from being closer than two metres from one another in municipal parks, tightening rules around social circles.

 The city's Gord Downie Pier at Breakwater Park and the surrounding area are now closed from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Ottawa logged 13 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, but the number of active cases, including those being treated in hospital, continues to drop.

About 15 staff and customers of Shaker Cuisine & Mixologie in Gatineau, Que., have now tested positive for COVID-19.

Three Ottawa Catholic School Board students opened up about their hopes and fears for the year ahead.

Grade 10 student Tabitha Lipambala, left, Grade 8 student Alexia Ndombe, middle, and Grade 12 student Patrick Bennett, right, say they have mixed feelings about returning to school during a pandemic. (Amanda Pfeffer/CBC/Submitted by Patrick Bennett)

How many cases are there?

There have been 3,022 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic: 187 known active cases, 2,568 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?

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

WATCH | Parents frustrated by class and teacher use strategies:

Parents frustrated by prospect of fewer teachers, bigger class sizes

CBC News Ottawa

5 months agoVideo
Megan Dybka, whose son goes to senior kindergarten in Orléans, says she was surprised and frustrated to learn that class sizes would not be smaller this year, despite the number of students opting for online learning. 1:26

With just days to go before English Catholic school staff welcome students back, Tom D'Amico, director of education for the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB), answered your questions on CBC's Ottawa Morning about what that first day will look like.

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

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.

Teacher Chelsea O'Brien leads a group of students in an outdoor tent at an elementary school in Gatineau, Que., Sept. 2, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The Canadian Museum of Nature reopens with pandemic changes starting tomorrow.

Rue Jacques-Cartier in Gatineau and the Queen Elizabeth Driveway reopen to vehicles Tuesday. The driveway will close to vehicles on weekends the rest of the month.

That same day, a new Ontario rule formally removes time limits on caregiver visits to long-term care homes and eight Ottawa arenas will be available again for rentals.

The Ontario government is updating the rules on when family caregivers can enter long-term care homes … to give them greater access to loved ones, even in an outbreak. Two caregivers -- who have been struggling with the restrictions since March - share their thoughts on the changes. 8:03

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.

WATCH | How Ottawa Public Health is working in schools:

Ottawa Public Health working with schools to prevent COVID-19 transmission

CBC News Ottawa

5 months agoVideo
Vera Etches, medical officer of health, says public health officials are on the ground at Ottawa schools, offering guidance on how to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks as students return. 1:04

Masks are now 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.

People wearing masks make their way to the bus stops at the Tunney's Pasture LRT station in Ottawa on Sept. 3, 2020. (Trevor Pritchard/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 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 pinkeye. Children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

If you're looking for coping advice for back-to-school anxiety in the time of COVID-19, you won't want to miss our conversation with registered social worker Mara Rothschild. 10:45

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 four sites — including a new drive-thru testing site that launches today. 

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.

This new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in the parking lot of RCGT Park on Coventry Road should begin seeing its first patients late Friday morning. (CBC)

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

Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.

All are closed on Labour Day.

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 ahead.

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.

Cans are sold through curbside pickup at Weatherhead Brewing Company in Perth, Ont., in August 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andrew Foote/CBC)

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.

People check out exhibits at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., on Sept. 2, 2020, the day most of its space reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

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. Its office and well-being centre will be open by appointment, with bookings starting Sept. 14.

People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. While its powwow has been cancelled this year, their traditional feast is happening as a drive-thru on Sunday afternoon.

Kitigan Zibi's fitness centre and playground park are opening up with restrictions..

For more information

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