What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 16
Key updates on COVID-19 in the region
- Ottawa reports 60 more COVID-19 cases Thursday.
- Reduced demand means reduced hours for western Quebec vaccine clinics.
- Quebec says gathering teachers' personal data helps it understand vaccine rates.
What's the latest?
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 60 more COVID-19 cases Thursday and no deaths. It's up to 12 active COVID-19 outbreaks with eight of those in child-care settings.
The western Quebec health authority says it has made changes to its vaccine clinic locations and hours in the coming days to match reduced demand.
Quebec's Health Ministry is defending its decision to gather the personal information of employees in the province's educational institutions, insisting that having a picture of COVID-19 vaccination coverage among staff is critical to managing the pandemic in high-risk areas.
How many cases are there?
As of Wednesday, 29,076 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 433 known active cases, 28,049 cases considered resolved, and 594 people who have died from the illness.
Public health officials have reported more than 52,300 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 51,200 cases now resolved.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 200 people with COVID-19 have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 216.
Akwesasne has had more than test positive for COVID-19 — about 35 in the last week — and has reported 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.
What are the rules?
Ontario's vaccine passport system starts Wednesday for many activities.
People will have to show photo identification and either a paper or PDF version of their vaccine receipt until an app is ready, likely in late October. There will be medical exemptions.
In the meantime, COVID-19 vaccines are becoming mandatory for many activities and services.
General gathering limits are 25 people inside and 100 people outside. Those limits are even higher for organized events.
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. Organized events can be much larger.
This province's 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.
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.
Vaccines curb the spread of all variants of COVID-19 and go a long way toward avoiding deaths and hospitalizations, without offering total protection. There's federal guidance for what vaccinated people can do in different situations.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands.
Did you know that you're 6x more likely to develop myocarditis or pericarditis while suffering from a COVID-19 infection, than developing it due to a side effect from COVID-19 vaccines?<br><br>Don’t take the risk. Get fully vaccinated. <a href="https://t.co/37WucSYfWW">https://t.co/37WucSYfWW</a> <a href="https://t.co/mm6sxnVl5z">pic.twitter.com/mm6sxnVl5z</a>—@OttawaHealth
Canada's vaccine task force says people can wait up to 16 weeks between first and second doses. Factors pushed provinces to drastically speed up that timeline, including supply and the more infectious delta variant.
That same task force says it's safe and effective to mix first and second doses.
There have been more than 3.4 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.
Third shot details depend on the health unit.
Pharmacies continue to offer vaccines through their own booking systems, as do some family doctors.
Quebec is giving third shots to people who are immunocompromised or undergoing dialysis.
Symptoms and testing
Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.
WATCH | COVID-19 during pregnancy means 10 times higher risk of ICU admission:
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should make an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours.
Ottawa's drive-thru COVID-19 test site on Coventry Road near the RCGT Park baseball stadium will be open until 5:30 p.m. daily instead of 2 p.m. daily as of Sunday because of increased demand, says Ottawa's testing task force.
Ontario recommends only getting 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, now including some schools.
Ottawa's COVID-19 testing task force says unvaccinated people without symptoms can't get the tests they need to work, learn on a university campus or attend a public event at its clinics. They need to look for a pharmacy or lab that offers it.
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.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
Rapid tests are being used in schools in other parts of the province.
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 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.