What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, Jan. 13
Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region
- More details are expected on Ontario's stay-at-home order, which starts at midnight.
- Ottawa is reporting 179 more COVID-19 cases.
- Ontario plans to deliver the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to all long-term care homes in the province by Feb. 15.
What's the latest?
Premier Doug Ford said Wednesday anyone unsure whether their outing is essential should stay home. Ford's office said the details of the order will likely be shared this evening, but won't include a definitive list of what's considered essential activity and what's not.
Ontario also said Wednesday it plans to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in all nursing homes and high-risk retirement homes by Feb. 15.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting 179 more COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, with a record per capita rate of new cases and more patients in intensive care.
One more person has died of COVID-19 in western Quebec.
How many cases are there?
In Ottawa, 11,747 people have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 1,217 known active cases, 10,132 resolved cases and 398 deaths from COVID-19.
Public health officials have reported more than 21,100 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 18,100 resolved cases.
Ninety-nine people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario and 137 people have died in western Quebec.
What can I do?
As of tomorrow, people who leave home for non-essential reasons can be fined.
The province's examples of essential reasons include getting groceries, exercising and accessing health care and each should be done close to home.
Travel within Ontario is not recommended. Residents who leave the province should isolate for 14 days upon returning.
Private gatherings are not allowed. Outdoor household gatherings can't have more than five people. People who live alone are still allowed to interact with one other household.
In-person shopping is limited to essential businesses. Others can offer pickup and delivery.
The province will announce by next Wednesday which school boards can again offer general in-person learning. Child-care centres remain open.
The lockdown rules are in place until at least Feb. 11.
WATCH | Cornwall, Ont.'s mayor on its COVID-19 growth:
In western Quebec, residents are asked not to leave home unless it's essential and not see anyone they don't live with, with an exception for people living alone who can visit one other home.
It has shut down non-essential businesses and has extended secondary school closures until next week.
Travel from one region to another is discouraged throughout Quebec.
Those rules are in place until Feb. 8.
Distancing and isolating
The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.
People can be contagious without symptoms.
This means people should take precautions such as staying home when they have symptoms, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone they 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 stay home as much as possible and get friends and family to help with errands.
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Symptoms and vaccines
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
COVID-19 vaccines have been given to health-care workers and long-term care residents in most of the Ottawa-Gatineau area.
“This signals brighter days,” says KHSC's Dr. David Pichora. Today with all 3 public health groups in SE Ontario, <a href="https://twitter.com/HPEPublicHealth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HPEPublicHealth</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/LGLHealthUnit?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LGLHealthUnit</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/KFLAPH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KFLAPH</a>, the 1st long-term care workers received doses of <a href="https://twitter.com/pfizer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@pfizer</a>/<a href="https://twitter.com/BioNTech_Group?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BioNTech_Group</a> COVID-19 vaccine! More: <a href="https://t.co/4Gt2BeDdOY">https://t.co/4Gt2BeDdOY</a> <a href="https://t.co/WDgTJMGBLl">pic.twitter.com/WDgTJMGBLl</a>—@KingstonHSC
The exception for now is Renfrew County, which said it expects its first doses early next month.
Ontario wants every long-term care resident and worker to have at least one shot by Feb. 15.
About 10,000 Ottawa residents had received at least one dose as of Jan. 6. More doses arrived today.
In Ontario, it's expected that vaccination will expand to priority groups such as older adults and essential workers in April, potentially March, with vaccines widely available to the public in August.
Ottawa believes it can have nearly 700,000 residents vaccinated by then.
Quebec has a somewhat controversial policy of giving a single dose to as many people as possible rather than giving fewer people two doses.
As of Jan. 12, western Quebec's health authority had given out about 3,600 doses.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.
Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.
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:
Akwesasne has had nearly 100 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and four deaths. More than 200 people have tested positive across the community.
Its curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is back and it has a COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.
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.
Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, 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.