What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 23
Key updates on COVID-19 in the region
- Vaccination appointments for younger children are open in Ontario and Quebec.
- Ottawa and Renfrew County report COVID-19 deaths.
- An Ottawan working for the province is accused of using vaccine information for fraud.
- Ending the pandemic is a key theme of today's federal throne speech.
What's the latest?
Quebec Premier François Legault has a joint news conference today with Health Minister Christian Dubé at 5 p.m. ET. That province has also expanded its third dose eligibility to people age 70 to 74 as of Tuesday.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 31 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday and one more death. Renfrew County's health unit reported its first COVID-19 death since August.
Police say they have arrested and charged men from Ottawa and Quebec who allegedly breached the province's COVID-19 immunization system to fish for personal information from people who recently booked an appointment.
The Liberal government is promising to bring the pandemic to an end while building the economy, fighting climate change, rolling out new child-care deals with the provinces and pursuing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in its speech from the throne.
How many cases are there?
As of Tuesday, Ottawa has had 31,716 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are 316 known active cases, while 30,785 cases are considered resolved and 615 people have died from the illness.
Public health officials have reported more than 59,000 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 57,100 cases now resolved. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 227 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.
Ten people are allowed to gather inside private residences and 20 people outdoors — which increases to 50 if playing sports. There are no capacity limits for Quebec venues with assigned seats and restaurants.
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.
Travellers must now be vaccinated to board a plane, train or marine vessel in Canada. Partially vaccinated travellers can show proof of a valid COVID-19 molecular test until Monday, when that rule ends.
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.
If your 5-11 year old is unable to attend a community vaccine clinic due to immunosuppression, medical complexity, anxiety, autism, etc., you can still register them for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KidsComeFirst?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KidsComeFirst</a> Health Team's COVID vaccine clinics at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CHEO?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CHEO</a>. Learn more: <a href="https://t.co/oQbg9wsCBq">https://t.co/oQbg9wsCBq</a> <a href="https://t.co/nvgfcrxwW8">pic.twitter.com/nvgfcrxwW8</a>—@CHEO
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.
Ontario is vaccinating anyone who will be age five or older in 2021. 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.
There is a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19Vaccine?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19Vaccine</a> clinic taking place today at the Ma-te-way Activity Centre in Renfrew from 11:30am - 3:30pm. <br><br>This clinic is by appointment only, so book your spot before it fills up. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VaccinesWork?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VaccinesWork</a> <br><br>Click here to book an appointment <br>👉 <a href="https://t.co/UCz8KRO2oj">https://t.co/UCz8KRO2oj</a> 👈 <a href="https://t.co/TYl5xiYsKT">pic.twitter.com/TYl5xiYsKT</a>—@RCDHealthUnit
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 today.
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.
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.