What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, Aug. 9

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

Key updates on COVID-19 in the region

Two people wearing masks sit on a park bench with a dog in August 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Ian Black/CBC)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa reported five new COVID-19 cases Sunday and zero deaths.
  • Fully vaccinated Americans can now enter Canada and skip their quarantine.

What's the latest? 

It could be a busy day at Ottawa's airport and eastern Ontario border crossings, as fully vaccinated Americans can now enter Canada and skip the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Only American citizens and permanent residents residing in and travelling from the United States will be allowed across the border, and they must have received all required doses of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine 14 days prior to entering Canada.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported five new COVID-19 cases Monday and zero deaths.

That's actually fewer new cases than in the much smaller Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Unit, where officials confirmed six cases Monday and one new outbreak.

Provincewide, officials reported another 325 new cases of COVID-19 this morning, the most on a Monday since June 14 and nearly double the number logged on the same day last week.

How many cases are there?

As of Sunday, 27,878 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 77 known active cases, 27,208 cases considered resolved, and 593 people have died from the illness.

Public health officials have reported more than 50,500 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including 49,400 resolved cases.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 198 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 215.

Akwesasne has had more than 700 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.

Kitigan Zibi has had 34 cases and one death. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 13, with one death. Pikwakanagan hasn't had any.

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 are the rules?

Eastern Ontario:

Ontario is in Step 3 of its reopening plan.

The plan allows indoor dining, with capacity limits based on distancing. Gyms, movie theatres and museums can reach a capacity of 50 per cent inside.

Larger general gathering limits are 25 people inside and 100 people outside. Those limits are even higher for organized events, leading to the resumption of summer festivals and professional sports.

WATCH | Did the pandemic increase our appreciation for live music? This artist thinks so 

Did the pandemic increase our appreciation for live music? This artist thinks so

2 years ago
Duration 0:51
Carson Becke, pianist and artistic director of Pontiac Enchanté, says tickets to the outdoor classical music event sold out quickly, a sign of how much people have missed live music during the pandemic.

Ontario's back-to-school plan allows for extracurricular activities, and while masks remain mandatory, vaccines are not.

Moving beyond Step 3 to the "exit step" will depend on health trends such as the percentage of people who are fully vaccinated. The province hasn't yet met those goals.

Western Quebec

Western Quebec is now under green zone restrictions, the lowest on the province's four-colour scale.

The physical distancing length in the province has been reduced to one metre.

Ten people are allowed to gather inside private residences and 20 people outdoors — which increases to 50 if playing sports.

Events during which people remain seated in designated spaces, like bleachers or stands, can now welcome up to 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. 

Stadiums, venues and festivals can welcome 15,000 spectators outdoors and 7,500 people indoors.

The province's school plans depend on vaccination and overall spread.

It will be introducing a vaccine passport for non-essential services, and Quebec's premier has said details will be released soon.

WATCH | Quebec to require vaccine passport for non-essential service

Quebec to require vaccine passport for non-essential service

2 years ago
Duration 5:27
Quebec Premier François Legault has announced that vaccine passports will soon be required to access non-essential services such as gyms and restaurants.

What can I do?

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 established.

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.

Vaccines curb the spread of all types of the coronavirus.

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

There's federal guidance for what vaccinated people can do in different situations.

Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents can now skip the 14-day quarantine. People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine.

Fully vaccinated Americans can visit Canada without having to quarantine starting Monday, while tourists from all other countries would be allowed as of Sept. 7. The U.S. border remains closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions 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 of self-isolation varies in Quebec and Ontario.


Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada. Three are in use, with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine the only one approved for children aged 12 to 17.

Canada's vaccine task force says people can wait up to 16 weeks between doses. There are factors pushing provinces to drastically speed up that timeline, including supply and the more infectious delta variant.

That same task force says it's safe and effective to mix first and second doses.

There have been more than 3.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region — combined first and second doses — which has about 2.3 million residents.

Eastern Ontario

Ontario is vaccinating anyone age 12 or older.

People can look for provincial appointments opening up online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900. Pharmacies continue to offer vaccines through their own booking systems, as do some family doctors.

Local health units have flexibility in the larger framework, including around booking, so check their websites for details. They offer standby lists and walk-in doses on short notice.

Campaigns are shifting away from mass clinics to target those who are eligible to get their a second shot sooner or who haven't yet got their first.

Western Quebec

Quebec is vaccinating anyone 12 and older. Its goal is to provide second doses four weeks after the first.

People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone or visit one of the province's permanent and mobile walk-in clinics.

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. Recently, a runny nose and headache have become more common.

Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.

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 make an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours.

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you fit certain criteria, such as having symptoms, exposure or a certain job.

People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Rapid tests are available in some places.

Travellers who need a test have a few local options to pay for one. Those options now include Ottawa's Brewer Arena.

In western Quebec:

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.

People can make an appointment and check wait times online. Some walk-in testing is available.

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.

Akwesasne has COVID-19 test and vaccine clinics, with information online or at 613-575-2341. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and should watch the website for dedicated vaccine clinics.

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