What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, April 22

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

Key updates on COVID-19 in the region

A cyclist wearing a mask rides along Booth Street toward the Chaudière Bridge on April 19, 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

Recent developments:

What's the latest?

Ottawa is reporting 281 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths. Ottawa Public Health's latest update suggests another person in their 40s has died of COVID-19, the third death in that age group since the pandemic began.

Starting April 28, anyone in Quebec who has a physical or intellectual disability will become eligible for vaccination against COVID-19. Quebec is also expanding eligibility to include anyone with a chronic illness.

WATCH LIVE | Quebec's update starts at 1 p.m. ET:

Doctor explains B1617 variant, as Ottawa reviews travel from India

CBC News

2 months ago
Dr. Cora Constantinescu of the Vaccine Hesitancy Clinic at the Alberta Children's Hospital explains the B1617 coronavirus variant first identified in India and now detected in B.C. and Quebec. 10:17

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has apologized for some of the pandemic measures imposed last Friday, admitting the province moved too fast. Ford also reiterated his government's commitment to develop some sort of special sick pay.

How many cases are there?

The region is in a record-breaking third wave of the pandemic that includes more dangerous coronavirus variants, pushing hospitals past their limits.

As of Thursday, 22,686 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 3,179 known active cases, 19,021 resolved cases and 486 deaths.

Public health officials have reported more than 41,700 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 34,900 resolved cases.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 169 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 187.

Akwesasne has had more than 610 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.

Kitigan Zibi has had 34 cases. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 11, with one death.

CBC Ottawa is profiling those who've died of COVID-19. If you'd like to share your loved one's story, please get in touch.

What can I do?

Eastern Ontario:

Ontario is under a stay-at-home order until at least May 20.

People can only leave home for essential reasons such as getting groceries, seeking health care and exercising. They're asked to only leave their immediate area or province if absolutely necessary.

The vast majority of gatherings are prohibited, with exceptions that include people who live together, those who live alone and pair up with one other household, and small religious services.

Golf courses and tennis and basketball courts are closed.

Police checkpoints are set up at border crossings between Ontario and Quebec, but are not running 24/7 on either end.

Officers in Ontario have the power to stop and question people if they believe they've gathered illegally.

Ottawans take the late snowfall in stride on April 21, 2021. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

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 are closed, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery. Ontario has indefinitely moved to online learning. Daycares remain open.

Local health units and communities can also set their own rules, as Ottawa's is doing around playgrounds, Prince Edward County's is doing around travel and Kingston is doing for Breakwater Park.

Western Quebec

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 May 3 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.

The curfew is from 8 p.m. to 5 a.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.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets that can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. Coronavirus variants of concern are more contagious and are taking over.

WATCH | Canada eyes policy on travel from India:

Ontario premier promises help with paid sick days


2 months ago
Ontario Premier Doug Ford spoke from COVID-19 isolation on Thursday to announce his government will work on its own support program for those who lose wages when they're forced off work because of the coronavirus. 0:49

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.

Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec.

OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.

It's takeout and delivery only at this restaurant in downtown Ottawa on April 13, 2021, during Ontario's stay-at-home order. (Brian Morris/CBC)

People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine and have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems get help with errands.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Quebec and Ontario.

WATCH | Ontario's premier says work underway on paid sick day 'solution':

Dr Alykhan Abdulla is getting set to give some of his patients in Manotick their first dose of the vaccine. He fielded some of the questions he’s been hearing from patients. 14:24


Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada.

Ottawa residents who cannot work from home are next to be vaccinated, OPH says

2 months ago
Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, says most residents aged 60 and over will have received their first vaccine dose by the end of April, making way for other high-risk groups to be vaccinated, including those who work in food distribution, child care and transit. 1:30

Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second.

About 610,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including about 275,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 112,000 in western Quebec.

Eastern Ontario

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 40 or are turning 40 this year can contact participating pharmacies for a vaccine appointment. Pharmacies are now allowed to offer walk-in vaccines if they wish.

Phase 2 includes people with underlying health conditions, followed by essential workers who can't work from home in May.

WATCH | Dr. Vera Etches on the essential worker timeline

Dr. Samir Sinha at the Sinai Health System explains why he thinks opening up pre-registration to all Ontario residents will remove some of the confusion around the province’s vaccine booking system. 10:06

Phase 3 should involve vaccinating anyone older than 16 starting in July.

Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check their websites for details.

The province has opened up appointments for people age 50 to 54 in Ottawa's K1T, K1V and K2V "hot spot" postal codes.

Separately, some Ottawans in priority neighbourhoods age 50 and up can check their eligibility online and make an appointment through the city for a pop-up clinic.

Indigenous people over age 16 in Ottawa can make an appointment the same way.

COVID-19 long-hauler files human rights complaint after being fired

CBC News Ottawa

2 months ago
Rob Kingston of Peterborough, Ont., whose COVID-19 symptoms began last March, has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario claiming he was let go from his job because of the lingering effects of his illness. 1:41

Western Quebec

Quebec also started by vaccinating people in care homes and health-care workers.

The vaccination plan now covers people age 45 and older, along with essential workers and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

People age 45 to 79 can get a same-day 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.

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.

WATCH | The effects of Rob Kingston's COVID-19 symptoms:

Bank of Canada optimistic about post-pandemic recovery

The National

2 months ago
The Bank of Canada is predicting the country will see quick economic growth after the current wave of COVID-19 and is reducing how much government debt it buys each week. 2:07

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic, and resources are available to help.

In eastern Ontario:

Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours.

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, if you've been told to by your health unit or the province, or if you fit certain other criteria.

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

Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.

In western Quebec:

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms, their contacts and people who have been told to get tested.

Outaouais residents can make an appointment and check wait times online.

Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.

WATCH | An update on the post-pandemic economy:

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.

Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only and a curfew of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

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.

People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-1175. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and in Kitigan Zibi, 819-449-5593.

Tyendinaga's council is asking people not to travel there to camp or fish.

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

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?