What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, April 15
Key updates on COVID-19 in the region
- Ottawa has tied its one-day record with 370 new COVID-19 cases.
- Moderna delays are expected to push back Canadian vaccine deliveries.
- Do our current restrictions match the dire situation in Ottawa? Joanne Chianello takes a look.
What's the latest?
Ottawa Public Health is reporting 370 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, tying the city's one-day record. This April has now seen more confirmed cases than any other month since the pandemic began.
Public health officials in the Outaouais are reporting 167 more cases and three more deaths.
Vaccine manufacturer Moderna is facing a persistent "quality assurance" backlog at its production facilities, resulting in days-long delivery delays of doses destined for Canada.
Joanne Chianello is highlighting a gap between the grim messaging and the steps Ottawa is taking in its parks to slow the spread.
How many cases are there?
As of Thursday, 20,966 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 2,953 known active cases, 17,534 resolved cases and 479 deaths.
Public health officials have reported more than 38,500 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 32,600 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 158 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 183.
Akwesasne has had more than 580 residents test positive, evenly split between its northern and southern sections.
What can I do?
Ontario is under a stay-at-home order until at least the first week of May.
People can only leave home for essential reasons such as getting groceries or health care and exercising. They're asked to only leave their immediate area or province if absolutely necessary.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has said bylaw officers will inspect stores and respond to complaints about homes and parks. Rules may tighten in city parks this weekend.
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The vast majority of gatherings are prohibited, with exceptions such as people who live together, those who live alone and pair up with one other household, and small religious services.
The National Capital Commission is again opening some stretches of road for active use this weekend.
Most non-essential businesses can only offer curbside pickup. Access to malls is restricted, and big-box stores can only sell essential items.
Gyms and personal care services must close, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery.
Premier François Legault has said the situation is critical in Gatineau and is asking people there to only leave home when it's essential.
Schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses are closed until April 25 in the Outaouais.
Private gatherings are banned, except for a person who lives alone seeing one other household. Distanced outdoor exercise is allowed in groups up to eight people and masks are no longer mandatory if doing so.
The curfew starts at 8 p.m.
People there are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only leave their immediate area for essential reasons — under threat of a fine if they go to a yellow or green zone.
The director of its health authority said Wednesday the provincial border checkpoints of spring 2020 may return if the situation doesn't improve.
Distancing and isolating
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the future like staying home while sick — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with, even with a mask on.
OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.
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Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems get help with errands.
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Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second.
More than 500,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including about 221,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 90,000 in western Quebec.
Ontario is now in Phase 2 of its vaccine rollout, with the first doses during Phase 1 generally going to care home residents and health-care workers.
All health units in eastern Ontario are now vaccinating people age 60 and older at their clinics. It's 55 and over in Renfrew County. People can book appointments online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900.
People who are above or turning age 55 can contact participating pharmacies for a vaccine appointment.
Phase 3 should involve vaccinating anyone older than 16 starting in July.
The province has opened up appointments for people age 50 to 54 in Ottawa's K1T, K1V and K2V "hot spot" postal codes, though supply is currently limited.
Separately, some Ottawans in certain priority neighbourhoods can check their eligibility online and make an appointment through the city. This should soon include all education workers and staff in large workplaces.
Indigenous people over age 16 in Ottawa can make an appointment the same way.
Quebec also started by vaccinating people in care homes and health-care workers.
The vaccination plan now covers people age 55 and older, along with local essential workers and people with chronic illnesses.
People age 55 to 79 can line up in their vehicles to get a ticket for a walk-up appointment at Gatineau's Palais des Congrès.
Officials expect everyone who wants a shot to be able to get one by by Fête nationale on June 24.
People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone. Pharmacists there have started giving shots with appointments through the province, not individual pharmacies.
Symptoms and testing
COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.
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If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
Individuals who attended a social gathering that occurred on April 1 at 1000 Islands Village rental properties just outside of Brockville, may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. For more information, read our media release: <a href="https://t.co/7BZ0XYBaxH">https://t.co/7BZ0XYBaxH</a> <a href="https://t.co/8xZe9ns24T">pic.twitter.com/8xZe9ns24T</a>—@LGLHealthUnit
Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.
Check with your area's health unit for clinic locations and hours. Some are offering pop-up or mobile clinics.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
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First Nations, Inuit and Métis:
First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, or someone travelling to work in a remote Indigenous community, are eligible for a test in Ontario.
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 call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing and vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.
For more information
- Ottawa Public Health.
- Your 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.