What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 11
Key updates on COVID-19 in the region
- Remembrance Day ceremonies will take place but with some COVID-19 precautions.
- Ottawa reports 40 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and no new deaths.
- Ontario has paused its plan to lift capacity limits in higher-risk settings for at least a month.
- The province reported 642 new COVID-19 cases today.
What's the latest?
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 40 more COVID-19 cases Thursday and no new deaths.
Remembrance Day ceremonies will be taking place today, but some pandemic-related adjustments have been made.
While spectators are welcome at the National War Memorial, distancing and masks will still be required.
The Royal Canadian Legion says there will not be a veterans' parade or a Canadian Armed Forces parade. Wreathes are being pre-placed at the memorial this year.
Ontario reported 642 new COVID-19 cases, a 46-per-cent jump from this time last week and the most new cases on a single day in more than a month.
It's pausing its plan to lift capacity limits in remaining higher-risk settings "out of an abundance of caution."
Across Ontario, capacity limits and physical distancing will remain in place for night clubs, event spaces where there is dancing (for example, those that host wedding receptions), strip clubs and other such venues where proof of vaccination is required.
Limits were set to be lifted on Nov. 15. Instead, the province now says it will monitor data for 28 days from that point to determine when it is safe to proceed.
How many cases are there?
As of Thursday, Ottawa has had 31,241 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are 328 known active cases, while 30,304 cases are considered resolved and 609 people have died from the illness.
Public health officials have reported more than 57,700 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 56,000 cases now resolved. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 223 people with COVID-19 have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 223.
Akwesasne has had more than 1,000 residents test positive for COVID-19 and has reported 14 deaths between its northern and southern sections.
What are the rules?
The plan is to lift public health measures in stages until March 2022, with the next on Monday ending capacity limits in places such as night clubs and dancing spaces for wedding receptions.
Private gathering limits are 25 people inside and 100 people outside.
Under its green zone rules, 10 people are allowed to gather inside private residences and 20 people outdoors — which increases to 50 if playing sports.
The premier said in October the state of emergency that gives the government special powers will be lifted once kids aged five to 11 are vaccinated.
A vaccine passport is in place for most people age 13 and up in many public spaces.
People can use an app or show paper proof; people from out of province can show proof from their province, territory or country. The province has a record for Quebecers to use outside of the province.
Other groups in the region are also coming out with their own COVID-19 vaccine policies, including for staff and visitors.
Key upcoming dates include unvaccinated federal public servants being put on unpaid leave as early as Monday, the same day unvaccinated health-care workers in Quebec lose bonuses and have to get regularly tested.
What can I do?
This means it is important to take precautions such as staying home while sick — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and surfaces clean and considering distancing from anyone you don't live with.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands and have supplies in case they need to isolate.
The U.S. has reopened its land border with Canada. It requires all travellers — land, air and water — to be fully vaccinated. Some people with mixed doses will be allowed and it won't require a recent test.
The prime minister said in late October he's "very confident" countries around the world will accept provincial or territorial proof of vaccination.
Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada.
The two most common are approved for youth as young as 12. Trial data is being reviewed for the first shot for younger kids and health officials are well into developing plans for if it's approved.
Canada's vaccine task force says people can wait three to 16 weeks between first and second doses and it's safe and effective to mix first and second doses.
There have been more than 3.6 million COVID-19 first, second and third vaccine doses administered in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region, which has about 2.3 million residents.
With our recent spike in new COVID-19 cases, I ask everyone in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KFLA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KFLA</a> to continue to follow all public health measures to bring our numbers down. <a href="https://t.co/7ZqkObfiGG">pic.twitter.com/7ZqkObfiGG</a>—@MOHKFLA
Local health units have some flexibility so check their websites for details. They offer doses on short notice as campaigns look to fill gaps in vaccine coverage and cover expanded third dose eligibility.
The province has recommended people aged 18 to 24 get the Pfizer-BioNTech, or Comirnaty, vaccine because the Moderna or Spikevax vaccine brings a mild risk of a rare heart condition.
As of Nov. 16, people age 70 and over can get a third dose at least six months after their second.
Symptoms and testing
"Long-haul" symptoms can last for months.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
In eastern Ontario:
Ontario says to get tested by making an appointment at a clinic if you fit certain criteria, such as having symptoms, exposure or a certain job.
Rapid and take-home tests are available in some places, including pharmacies and some child-care settings when risk is high. A positive test will trigger a test at a clinic.
Travellers who need a test have local options to pay for one.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
People can make an appointment or see if they're near a walk-in option online. They can also call 1-877-644-4545 with questions during hours the line is running.
Gargle tests are being offered in some places instead of a swab.
Rapid COVID-19 tests are available in all Quebec preschools and elementary schools.
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.
Akwesasne has COVID-19 test and vaccine clinics, with information online or at 613-575-2341.
Media Release: HPEPH holding testing clinic for Central Hastings residents <a href="https://t.co/DPB4sklJbG">https://t.co/DPB4sklJbG</a> <a href="https://t.co/t3EzoTAhnu">pic.twitter.com/t3EzoTAhnu</a>—@HPEPublicHealth
Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and should watch the website for dedicated vaccine clinics.
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.