What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 22
Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region
- Ottawa reported 87 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death Friday.
- Working from home during COVID-19? These accountants have some tax tips for you.
- The pandemic has prompted the city to reconsider its snow-clearing priorities.
What's the latest?
As Canadians begin preparing their 2020 taxes, two Ottawa accountants share their tips for people working from home — and dispel notions of a great windfall this spring.
Pandemic stay-at-home orders have changed how people are getting around Ottawa, and now the city wants to know whether its approach to snow and ice clearing should evolve, too.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 87 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and one more death.
How many cases are there?
As of Friday, 12,761 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 1,037 known active cases, 11,308 resolved cases and 416 deaths from COVID-19.
Public health officials have reported more than 22,800 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including nearly 20,200 resolved cases.
One hundred and eight people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario and 147 people have died in western Quebec.
What can I do?
Places such as Kingston have started to take patients from other regions struggling with hospital capacity.
COVID-19 is a call to service and Kingston is responding - co written by Jane Philpott, David Pichora, Cathy Szabo, and Kieran Moore. <a href="https://t.co/ROlM8GSFRd">https://t.co/ROlM8GSFRd</a> <a href="https://t.co/nZvA31KPMF">pic.twitter.com/nZvA31KPMF</a>—@MOHKFLA
Travel within Ontario is not recommended. Residents who leave the province should isolate for 14 days upon returning.
Private indoor gatherings are not allowed, while outdoor gatherings are capped at five. It's strongly recommended people stick to their own households and socializing is not considered essential.
People who live alone are still allowed to interact with one other household.
Schools can reopen to general in-person learning Monday in the areas of eastern Ontario with lower COVID-19 levels — not in Ottawa nor communities under the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. There is no return date for them.
Child-care centres remain open.
Outdoor recreation venues remain open. In-person shopping is limited to essential businesses. Others can offer pickup and delivery.
UPDATE: The State of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19</a> in Renfrew County and District.<br><br>For more information visit: <a href="https://t.co/irB8HT4OiK">https://t.co/irB8HT4OiK</a>. <a href="https://t.co/hVlqZt0eG9">pic.twitter.com/hVlqZt0eG9</a>—@RCDHealthUnit
In western Quebec, residents are also being asked to stay home unless it's essential and not see anyone they don't live with to ease the "very critical" load on hospitals and avoid more delayed surgeries.
An exception for people living alone allows them to exclusively visit one other home.
Those rules are in place until Feb. 8.
Distancing and isolating
The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person speaks, coughs, sneezes, or breathes onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.
People can be contagious without symptoms.
This means it's important to take precautions like staying home while symptomatic, 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.
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.
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.
COVID-19 vaccines have been given to health-care workers and long-term care residents in most of the region. Renfrew County expects its first doses in early February.
Local health units have said they've given more than 29,800 doses, including about 22,000 in Ottawa and more than 7,300 in western Quebec.
Ontario wants every long-term care resident and worker to have at least one shot by Feb. 15. That's already happened in Ottawa and across Quebec.
That, and Pfizer temporarily slowing its vaccine production to expand its factory, means some areas can't guarantee people will get a second dose three weeks after the first. It may take four to six weeks.
- CBC Explains | What you need to know about Pfizer's supply
- Vaccinate retirement home residents before it's too late, says family
Ontario's campaign is still expected to expand to priority groups such as older adults and essential workers in March or April, with vaccines widely available to the public in August.
Ottawa believes it can have nearly 700,000 residents vaccinated by 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.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester. Its Alexandria and Casselman sites will reopen Monday.
People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.
This is a network diagram that illustrates the path of a real outbreak. Each red dot indicates a case of COVID-19 in LGL. Each blue dot is a high-risk contact. This demonstrates the far-reaching spread of a single positive case. Visual motivation to stay <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVIDSmart?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVIDSmart</a>. <a href="https://t.co/OQhlCvylkj">pic.twitter.com/OQhlCvylkj</a>—@LGLHealthUnit
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 more than 130 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and five deaths. More than 240 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 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.
- COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: Over 5,000 active cases in First Nations
- COVID-19 is hitting First Nations in Western Canada especially hard
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.