What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 29
Key updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the region
- Ottawa Public Health is reporting four more deaths linked to COVID-19 and 58 new cases.
- Quebec is expected to begin receiving its first batch of rapid COVID-19 tests today.
- Ontario is releasing its latest pandemic models this afternoon.
- The Ottawa 67's and other OHL teams won't play again until February.
What's the latest?
Another four people have died from COVID-19 in Ottawa, raising the city's death toll during the pandemic to 321. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is also reporting 58 new cases of the illness.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is reporting one more death.
Quebec is expected to start receiving its 30,000 rapid COVID-19 testing kits today.
WATCH LIVE | Quebec's premier, health officials talk to reporters:
Ontario is expected to release its latest pandemic models at 3 p.m.
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL), which includes the Ottawa 67's and Kingston Frontenacs, has moved the start of its shortened season back to February.
How many cases are there?
As of Thursday's update from OPH, 6,830 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19.
There are 670 known active cases, 5,839 resolved cases and 321 deaths.
Public health officials have reported more than 10,500 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 8,900 of them resolved.
Seventy-eight people with COVID-19 have died elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 41 in western Quebec.
What can I do?
Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with or one other home if people live alone to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Indoor dining at restaurants has been prohibited, while gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed and travel to another region is discouraged.
Ottawa's medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says there are encouraging late-October signs the spread is slowing, but people should be wary of blind spots such as taking a lunch break at work or carpooling.
OPH and some eastern Ontario health units are urging people not to have a Halloween party with other households or go trick-or-treating.
Every other eastern Ontario health unit except for the one for the Kingston, Ont., area is asking residents not to trick-or-treat and all five of them say if you do go out, to follow certain rules.
Even though most of the region has been declared a red zone, Quebec Premier François Legault said kids can trick-or-treat as long as they don't go with friends and precautions are taken when giving out candy.
What about schools?
There have been more than 180 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:
- Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est
- Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario
- Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
- Ottawa Catholic School Board
Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.
As of mid-October, a small fraction of Ottawa students and staff had tested positive.
WATCH | Q&A on COVID-19 and schools:
Distancing and isolating
The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.
People can be contagious without symptoms.
This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don't live with — even with a mask on.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible.
Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.
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What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell.
Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.
Anyone seeking a test should now book an appointment. Different sites in the area have different ways to book, including over the phone or going in person to get a time slot.
Testing numbers have been lower than the groups running it would like and they want people to know there are often same-day appointments available.
People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies.
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The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.
People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.
Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.
Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.
They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.
There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis:
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.
People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259.
Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.
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.