What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 22
Key updates on COVID-19 in the region
- Ottawa reported 42 more cases of COVID-19 on Friday.
- Ontario to lift capacity limits for restaurants, bars, gyms Monday, source says.
- Canada has quietly lifted a blanket advisory against all non-essential travel outside the country.
- Employment insurance likely won't cover people who lose their jobs for not complying with COVID-19 vaccine policies, minister says.
What's the latest?
Ottawa Public Health reported 42 more COVID-19 cases Friday and no deaths.
The Ontario government will announce its next reopening steps today. A government source says it will allow businesses such as restaurants, bars and fitness centres to start lifting COVID-19 capacity limits starting on Monday. The province has been at Step 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan since mid-July.
Carla Qualtrough, Canada's employment minister, says it's likely that people who lose their jobs for not complying with employer COVID-19 vaccine policies will not be eligible for employment insurance.
Canada has quietly lifted a blanket advisory against all non-essential travel outside the country, an advisory that had been in place since the pandemic was declared in March 2020.
How many cases are there?
As of Friday, Ottawa has a total of 30,632 cases of COVID-19. There are 239 known active cases, 29,791 cases are considered resolved, and 602 people have died from the illness.
Public health officials have reported more than 56,700 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 54,900 cases now resolved. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 213 people with COVID-19 have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 222.
Ottawa and Kingston hospitals are caring for ICU patients from Saskatchewan.
Akwesasne has had more than 1,000 residents test positive for COVID-19 and has reported 12 deaths between its northern and southern sections.
What are the rules?
General gathering limits are 25 people inside and 100 people outside. Those limits are even higher for organized events.
Its vaccine passport system is in place for people of an eligible vaccine age at least until the spring. QR codes for scanning start being used tomorrow, on top of the paper and PDF options currently in use.
Other groups in the region are also coming out with their own COVID-19 vaccine policies, including for staff.
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 says the pandemic state of emergency order that gives the government special powers will be lifted once kids aged five to 11 are vaccinated.
What can I do?
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the future, 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.
There's federal guidance for what vaccinated people can do in different situations.
Health leaders in the area generally say smaller Halloween gatherings are allowed with precautions for the unvaccinated and/or vulnerable. Guidance can be stricter in areas where COVID-19 is spreading more than others, such as Akwesasne.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands.
All would-be travellers must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30 to board a plane, train or marine vessel in Canada.
Fully vaccinated, tested and pre-approved people can come to Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday he's "very confident" countries around the world will accept Canadians' provincial or territorial proof of vaccination.
Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada.
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 3.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region — combined first, second and third doses — which has about 2.3 million residents.
- The Ottawa area's weekly COVID-19 vaccination checkup: Oct. 21
- Vaccination rates slowly improving in Cornwall
They offer doses on short notice as campaigns shift to fill gaps in vaccine coverage.
The province has recommended people age 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.
Symptoms and testing
Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a COVID-19 test can make an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours.
Ontario says to only get tested if you fit certain criteria, such as having symptoms, exposure or a certain job.
People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Rapid tests are available in some places, including some child-care settings when risk is high.
Travellers who need a test have a few 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 what their walk-in options are online. They can also call 1-877-644-4545 with questions.
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.
People in Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg can call the health centre at 819-449-5593 for a test or vaccine; email is another option for vaccine booking.
Tests are available in Pikwàkanagàn by calling 613-625-1175 and vaccines, at 613-625-2259 extension 225 or by email. 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.