What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, Jan. 30
Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region
- Ottawa reported 74 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday but no new deaths.
- Vets say they're "swamped" by the surge in pandemic pets.
- The fear of shortages is driving Ottawa gardeners to rush to buy seeds.
What's the latest?
The nation's capital reported 74 new COVID-19 cases Saturday but no deaths, according to Ottawa Public Health (OPH).
In western Quebec, health officials logged 13 new cases of the virus and one new death.
Animal hospitals across Canada have their hands full with the sudden surge of newly purchased pandemic pets, a situation compounded by a nationwide shortage of qualified veterinarians.
Seed sellers in Ottawa are reporting early demand as COVID-19-weary gardeners plot their spring strategy.
How many cases are there?
As of Saturday, 13,290 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 674 known active cases, 12,194 resolved cases and 422 deaths from COVID-19.
Public health officials have reported more than 23,700 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 21,700 resolved cases.
One hundred and fourteen people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario and 153 people have died in western Quebec.
What can I do?
Ontario says people must only leave home when it's essential. Some places, like Kingston, Ont., have started taking on patients from other regions struggling with hospital capacity.
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 people. It's strongly recommended people stick to their own households and socializing is not considered essential.
People who live alone are allowed close contact with one other household.
Students across eastern Ontario will be able return to the classroom as of Monday.
In-person shopping is limited to essential businesses. Others can offer pickup and delivery.
In western Quebec, residents are also being asked to stay home unless it's essential to leave and not see anyone they don't live with. An exception for people living alone allows them to exclusively visit one other home.
Like in Ontario, travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged.
Those rules are in place until Feb. 8. Premier François Legault says he may lift some restrictions in parts of Quebec that day.
Distancing and isolating
People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine.
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the months to come 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.
In cold weather – masks will get damp sooner. Carry an extra dry mask with you in the winter so you can change it when needed. That’s being <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVIDSmart?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVIDSmart</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVIDPrepared?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVIDPrepared</a> <a href="https://t.co/mRxJYnKLvp">pic.twitter.com/mRxJYnKLvp</a>—@LGLHealthUnit
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 started being given to local health-care workers and long-term care residents.
About 37,400 doses have been given out, including about 25,100 doses in Ottawa and 8,400 in western Quebec.
Vaccination day! Lanark Lodge’s clinical team, in partnership with <a href="https://twitter.com/LGLHealthUnit?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LGLHealthUnit</a> and Lanark County Paramedic Services, is grateful to have had the opportunity for our residents to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine! It takes a village and we are proud of ours! <a href="https://t.co/ybHmkSflnk">pic.twitter.com/ybHmkSflnk</a>—@LanarkCounty1
Pfizer temporarily slowing its vaccine production to expand its factory means some jurisdictions can't guarantee people will get the necessary second dose three weeks after the first. It may take four to six weeks.
- Moderna to cut deliveries to Canada in new blow to vaccination campaign
- Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine appears 66% effective overall
Its campaign is still expected to expand to priority groups such as older adults and essential workers in March or April, 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.
It has had to delay vaccinating people in private seniors' homes.
Quebecers should get their second dose within 90 days.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
The KFL&A health unit says people that have left southeastern Ontario or been in contact with someone who has should get a test as they track a COVID-19 variant.
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.
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.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Casselman, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester. Alexandria's site moves to its hospital on Monday.
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 150 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and six deaths. More than 300 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.
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.