What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 5
Key updates on COVID-19 in the region
- Ottawa is reporting 141 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths.
- Ontario is on track to give first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to most adults this month.
- The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe for kids as young as 12, says Health Canada.
What's the latest?
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting 141 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths Wednesday. More than one-third of the city's residents, or more than 353,000 people, have had at least one vaccine dose.
Ontario is now on track to administer first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 65 per cent of the province's adult populaton by the end of May, provincial health officials said Wednesday.
Health Canada says the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now approved for children as young as 12. It's the first vaccine deemed safe for children in Canada.
How many cases are there?
As of Tuesday, 24,892 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 1,722 known active cases, 22,693 resolved cases and 517 deaths.
Public health officials have reported more than 45,400 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 41,900 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 178 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 201.
Akwesasne has had more than 650 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.
The transfer of COVID-19 patients from other regions to Ottawa hospitals continues. As of the most recent update Tuesday, there were about 35 COVID-19 patients from other communities in Ottawa ICUs.
What can I do?
People should only leave home for essential reasons like getting groceries, seeking health care and exercising. They should stay within immediate area or province unless it's absolutely necessary to leave.
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The vast majority of gatherings are prohibited, with exceptions that include small activities with households and small religious services.
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Most non-essential businesses can only offer curbside pickup. Access to malls is restricted and big-box stores can only sell essential items.
Gyms and personal care services are closed, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery.
Premier François Legault has said the situation is critical in Gatineau and is asking people there to only leave home when it's essential.
Schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses are closed until Monday across the Outaouais. Some rules start to loosen that day.
Private gatherings are banned, except for a person who lives alone seeing one other household. Distanced outdoor exercise is allowed in groups up to eight people.
The curfew is from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
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 leave their immediate area for essential reasons — under threat of a fine if they go to a yellow or green zone.
Distancing and isolating
There is still a chance you could get COVID after you have received 1 dose of vaccine. While it likely won’t be severe, you could still spread it to those who may struggle more. Stay <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVIDSmart?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVIDSmart</a> and get tested If you have obvious COVID symptoms, so you help stop the spread. <a href="https://t.co/uwBG6lEAlA">pic.twitter.com/uwBG6lEAlA</a>—@LGLHealthUnit
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.
OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.
- When can we stop wearing masks?
- When will the Canada-U.S. border reopen?
- When can we start travelling overseas again?
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems get help with errands.
Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second.
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About 835,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including about 381,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 160,000 in western Quebec.
The province has opened up appointments for people age 18 and up in Ottawa's K1T, K1V and K2V "hot spot" postal codes.
Separately, some Ottawans in the city's priority neighbourhoods above age 18 and Indigenous people above age 16 can check their eligibility online and make an appointment through the city for a pop-up clinic.
TODAY there is a pop up vaccine clinic at the AMA Community Centre for residents who are 18 years and older living in Ottawa South! No appointment is necessary. <a href="https://t.co/8xh1ZW3NWF">pic.twitter.com/8xh1ZW3NWF</a>—@SEOCHC
Ontario has a staggered rollout plan to expand its vaccination campaign week-by-week, allowing everyone over age 18 to make an appointment starting the week of May 24.
Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check their websites for details. Some have said they won't have the vaccine supply to cover everyone who becomes eligible right away.
Officials expect everyone who wants a shot to be able to get one by by Fête nationale on June 24.
People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone. Pharmacists there have started giving shots with appointments through the province.
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. Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
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In eastern Ontario:
As Ontario enhanced restrictions and ordered a stay-at-home order across the province, the number of COVID-19 cases in the KFL&A region have continued to rise. <a href="https://t.co/p6F5kXLjDJ">https://t.co/p6F5kXLjDJ</a> <a href="https://t.co/nncyni60Ws">pic.twitter.com/nncyni60Ws</a>—@KFLAPH
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.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms, their contacts and people who have been told to get tested.
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.
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.
Tyendinaga's council is asking people not to travel there to camp or fish.
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
- Ottawa Public Health.
- Your 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.