What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, Oct. 9
Key updates on COVID-19 in the region
- Ontario's concert venues, theatres and cinemas return to 100 per cent capacity starting today.
- The Ottawa Senators can play in front of a full arena when the NHL season gets underway.
- Ottawa reports 48 more COVID-19 cases.
What's the latest?
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 48 more COVID-19 cases Saturday and no more deaths.
Starting today, Ontario has returned select spaces where proof of COVID-19 vaccination is already required to 100 per cent capacity.
Capacity limits are lifted for:
- Concert venues, theatres and cinemas.
- Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (but not for gyms or personal training).
- Meeting and event spaces (indoor spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing).
- Horseracing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues.
- Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.
The Ottawa Senators will also be able to play in front of a full arena when the NHL season gets underway later this month.
Capacity limits remain in effect for all other settings.
How many cases are there?
As of Saturday, Ottawa has a total of 30,231 cases of COVID-19. There are 338 known active cases, 29,295 cases are considered resolved, and 598 people have died from the illness.
Public health officials have reported more than 55,600 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 53,800 cases now resolved.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 206 people with COVID-19 have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 222.
Akwesasne has had more than 950 residents test positive for COVID-19 and has reported 10 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.
People age 12 and up have to show photo identification and either a paper or PDF version of their vaccine receipt for many activities until an app is ready, likely in late October. There will be medical exemptions.
Other groups are also coming out with their own COVID-19 vaccine policies, including for staff.
- Here are the noteworthy vaccine policies for Ottawa-Gatineau
- RCMP union warns Mounties of consequences if they don't get vaccinated
Indoor dining capacity is based on distancing. Gyms, movie theatres and museums can reach a capacity of 50 per cent inside.
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.
There are no longer capacity limits for Quebec venues with assigned seats.
School rules include masks in class for students, but don't include classroom bubbles.
A vaccine passport is in place for people age 13 and up in spaces such as public events, bars, restaurants and gyms.
Quebecers can use an app or show paper proof; people from out of province will have to show paper proof. Everyone will also have to show ID.
As in Ontario, there are medical exemptions.
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 maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with, even with a mask on.
Limit your child’s social contacts outside of school to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent school closures. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19KFLA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19KFLA</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/LimestoneDSB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LimestoneDSB</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/alcdsb?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@alcdsb</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/KingsTownSchool?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingsTownSchool</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MulberryWaldorf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MulberryWaldorf</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/LakeshoreSchool?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LakeshoreSchool</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/leahurstcollege?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@leahurstcollege</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MdRoybon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MdRoybon</a> <a href="https://t.co/lZacRgHh1Q">pic.twitter.com/lZacRgHh1Q</a>—@KFLAPH
There's federal guidance for what vaccinated people can do in different situations.
This year health leaders in the area generally say smaller Thanksgiving and Halloween gatherings are allowed with precautions for the unvaccinated and/or vulnerable. Guidance is stricter in select areas where COVID-19 is spreading more than others, such as Akwesasne and Tyendinaga.
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.
The U.S. land border will remain closed to Canadians until at least Oct. 21 and as of early November, the U.S. will require all foreign nationals flying into the country to be fully vaccinated.
Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada and are now going by brand names instead of manufacturer names.
Canada's vaccine task force says people can wait as little as three to four weeks and up to 16 weeks between first and second doses.
That same task force says it's safe and effective to mix first and second doses. Ontario and Quebec are giving certain groups third 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.
Ontario is vaccinating anyone who will be age 12 or older in 2021. People can look for provincial appointments opening up online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900.
It's recommended people age 18 to 24 get the Pfizer-BioNTech, or Comirnaty, vaccine because the Moderna/Spikevax vaccine brings a mild risk of a rare heart condition.
Third shot details depend on the health unit.
Pharmacies continue to offer vaccines through their own booking systems, as do some family doctors.
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 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 elementary schools in the Outaouais for students with symptoms.
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.
For more information
- Ottawa Public Health.
- Your 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.