What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 22
Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region
- Ottawa is reporting 55 new COVID-19 cases and one more death.
- Ontario has changed its school and child-care COVID-19 screening rules.
- Premier Doug Ford is expected to speak at 2 p.m. ET.
What's the latest?
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recorded 55 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death Monday. Some of Ottawa's key indicators have been slowly rising for about a week, nearing levels that would qualify the city for a move into the red zone — and the tighter restrictions that come with it.
Students in Ontario with just a single potential symptom of COVID-19, such as a runny nose or unexplained nausea, now have to stay home and be tested for the illness, similar to last September.
WATCH LIVE | An Ontario COVID-19 update starts at 2 p.m. ET:
How many cases are there?
As of Monday, 14,404 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 477 known active cases and 13,490 resolved cases. Public health officials have attributed 437 deaths to COVID-19.
Public health officials have reported more than 25,500 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 24,000 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 130 people have died of COVID-19, and 158 people have died in western Quebec.
Akwesasne has had more than 210 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and seven deaths. Kitigan Zibi has had 21 confirmed cases and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had four, with one death.
What can I do?
Restaurants, gyms, personal care services, theatres and non-essential businesses are open across eastern Ontario. Most sports can also resume.
Social gatherings at private homes, backyards or in public parks can have up to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. Organized events can be larger.
People are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only travel for essential reasons, especially between differently coloured zones.
Both Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) are orange under the province's colour-coded pandemic scale.
Western Quebec is now under that province's orange zone rules, which have some differences from Ontario's rules.
Western Quebec's new curfew hours are 9:30 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Like in Ontario, people are asked not to see anyone they don't live with in person and travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged.
Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people will be allowed as of Friday.
Distancing and isolating
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the months to come like staying home while symptomatic — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with, even with a mask on.
OPH says residents should also wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.
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; the latter recently updated its rules.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get friends and family to help with errands.
WATCH | New hotel quarantine rules for air travellers are now in effect:
Symptoms and vaccines
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 can develop a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
Canada's COVID-19 vaccine supply has stabilized.
About 70,800 doses have been given out since mid-December, including about 46,600 doses in Ottawa and 12,600 in western Quebec.
WATCH | The ramped-up vaccine delivery to provinces:
Ontario's first doses are generally going to care home residents and health-care workers.
Ottawa has given a second dose to most long-term care residents, is giving second doses to some health-care workers and has given a first dose to high-risk retirement home residents.
The city is now vaccinating older Indigenous people.
The province's campaign is expected to expand to priority groups such as older adults and essential workers in March, with vaccines widely available in August.
Quebec is also giving a single dose to as many people as possible, starting with people in care homes and health-care workers, then remote communities, then older adults and essential workers and finally the general public.
Quebecers should get their second dose within 90 days.
Many of the local vaccine clinic locations that have been announced are in the same communities as test sites.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
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.
WATCH | Our 'Cool with Cold' series features Mongolian knucklebone:
People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or in Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.
UPDATE: we are extending the temporary closure of overnight visits until March 8 in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.<br><br>1/4 <a href="https://t.co/SsVFzLc4hg">pic.twitter.com/SsVFzLc4hg</a>—@OntarioParks
Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Casselman, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki, Fort-Coulonge and Petite-Nation.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis:
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.
Akwesasne has also released its vaccine plans.
Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing and now vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.
For more information
- Ottawa Public Health.
- Your local 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.