What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, April 22
Key updates on COVID-19 in the region
- Ottawa is reporting 281 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths.
- Quebec is stepping up vaccination of residents with disabilities and chronic illness.
- Ontario Premier Doug Ford is apologizing for some of the pandemic measures imposed last Friday.
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:
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?
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.
What can I do?
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.
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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.
NEW | Our former “<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SundayBikedays?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SundayBikedays</a>” will be expanded to become “Weekend <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bikedays?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bikedays</a>”. <br><br>This means four times the number of hours available for people to use our Ontario parkways safely! <br><br>Stay tuned for more info before we launch on May 1. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ottawa?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ottawa</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ottnews?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ottnews</a> <a href="https://t.co/7AjfSkBGcF">pic.twitter.com/7AjfSkBGcF</a>—@NCC_CCN
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.
Most non-essential businesses can only offer curbside pickup. Access to malls is restricted and big-box stores can only sell essential items.
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
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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Phase 3 should involve vaccinating anyone older than 16 starting in July.
Unfortunately, due to unanticipated shortages in local vaccine supply due to reallocation to hot spots and supply chain delays, select HPEPH community vaccination clinics are unable to take place. For more info: <a href="https://t.co/sQLxk6FPmm">https://t.co/sQLxk6FPmm</a> <a href="https://t.co/wK786NCLWC">pic.twitter.com/wK786NCLWC</a>—@HPEPublicHealth
The province has opened up appointments for people age 50 to 54 in Ottawa's K1T, K1V and K2V "hot spot" postal codes.
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 45 and older, along with essential workers and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
The MCA Dept. of Health is hosting additional walk-in clinics for the COVID-19 vaccine — open to adult community members, Akwesasronon/First Nations living in Cornwall & non-native spouses of Akwesasronon residing in the community.<br><br>Learn more at: <a href="https://t.co/s5JaxglXzJ">https://t.co/s5JaxglXzJ</a> <a href="https://t.co/ypAFcLtMAR">pic.twitter.com/ypAFcLtMAR</a>—@MCAkwesasne
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.
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If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
In eastern Ontario:
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.
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.
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
- 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.