What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, Nov. 22
Key updates on COVID-19 in the region
- Ottawa reported 24 more cases of COVID-19 Monday.
- There were large case increases in Belleville and Renfrew County.
- Ontario is opening COVID-19 vaccine appointments for younger kids tomorrow.
- More details of this expansion are coming from local health units.
What's the latest?
Ottawa Public Health reported 24 more COVID-19 cases Monday, and 80 per cent of its residents had at least one vaccine dose. There were large weekend case counts in Belleville and Renfrew County.
Ontario is opening COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children born in 2016 or earlier on Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET. Shots can begin as early as Thursday depending on deliveries.
Ottawa's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said before that update she was hopeful its clinics could start opening Friday. They'll eventually include three new community clinics and many after-hours clinics at schools.
How many cases are there?
As of Monday, Ottawa has had 31,685 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are 347 known active cases, while 30,724 cases are considered resolved and 614 people have died from the illness.
Public health officials have reported more than 58,900 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 57,000 cases now resolved. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 226 people with COVID-19 have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 223.
Akwesasne has had nearly 1,100 residents test positive for COVID-19 and has reported 14 deaths between its northern and southern sections.
What are the rules?
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.
Other groups in the region are also coming out with their own COVID-19 vaccine policies, including for staff and visitors.
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. 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.
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.
Appointments open for children born in 2016 and earlier tomorrow. Doses for kids age five to 11 will be given at least eight weeks apart.
People can look for provincial appointments online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900.
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.
Pharmacies and some family doctors offer vaccines through their own booking systems.
The province has recommended people under 24 get the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine because the Moderna Spikevax vaccine brings a mild risk of a rare heart condition.
The province's health minister says the hope is to give each child one dose of the vaccine by Christmas. Its full plan for younger kids is expected this week.
Symptoms and testing
"Long-haul" symptoms can last for months.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
In eastern Ontario:
Officials say they're seeing more people coming to its sites after having symptoms for several days and delaying getting tested, sometimes spreading COVID in the meantime.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RCDHU?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RCDHU</a> is using a virtual assistant to help staff with reaching out to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19</a> contacts. If you have been deemed a close contact, you will receive a text notification about the exposure. The virtual assistant uses an out of county/long distance # (1-226...). <a href="https://t.co/rlPKuoc8Pg">pic.twitter.com/rlPKuoc8Pg</a>—@RCDHealthUnit
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 follow-up test.
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.
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.