What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 28
Key updates on COVID-19 in the region
- Ottawa reports 217 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths.
- Ontario will allow hospitals to transfer some patients to care homes.
- The province will make an announcement about paid sick leave this afternoon, sources say.
- Details are emerging about the lack of pandemic preparedness in Ontario's long-term care homes.
What's the latest?
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting 217 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths Wednesday, pushing the city's pandemic death toll over 500.
Ontario has issued an emergency order that will allow hospitals to transfer some patients to long-term care or retirement homes without their consent if required.
Ontario's ministers of labour and finance are scheduled to hold a news conference at 3:15 p.m. ET. A source confirmed to CBC News the announcement will be about paid sick leave in the province.
Internal government documents obtained by CBC News indicate Ontario's long-term care sector was ill-prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The province's auditor general agrees.
How many cases are there?
As of Wednesday, 23,864 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 2,363 known active cases, 20,998 resolved cases and 503 deaths.
Public health officials have reported nearly 43,600 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 39,100 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 177 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 193.
Akwesasne has had about 625 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.
The vast majority of gatherings are prohibited, with exceptions that include small activities with households and small religious services.
Golf courses and tennis and basketball courts are among the shuttered recreation venues.
WATCH | Air ambulance service says it's seeing unprecedented demand:
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 at least May 10 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
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.
Direct flights from India and Pakistan are banned until late May.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems get help with errands.
Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second.
About 725,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including more than 330,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 133,000 in western Quebec.
When you get vaccinated – 2 weeks later you will have good protection against severe COVID and hospitalization. Those around you may not – that’s why we continue to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MaskUp?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MaskUp</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVIDSmart?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVIDSmart</a> for the win! <a href="https://t.co/ijNlB3lAyy">pic.twitter.com/ijNlB3lAyy</a>—@LGLHealthUnit
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, while it's 55 and over in Renfrew County. People can book appointments online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900.
The province has opened up appointments for people age 45 and up 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.
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.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
WATCH | I tested positive for COVID-19 twice:
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.
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.