• Sat. Oct 29th, 2022

CBC Ottawa’s latest roundup of key updates during the coronavirus pandemic.

Feb 22, 2021

Recent developments:

  • Gatineau, Que., and the rest of the Outaouais moves in to the orange zone today.
  • Ottawa confirmed 80 cases of COVID-19 Sunday, while 10 cases were recorded in western Quebec.
  • Provincial officials say there have been more than 400 COVID-19 cases involving variants.

What’s the latest?
Today is the day that Gatineau, Que., and the rest of the Outaouais enters the orange zone on the province’s pandemic scale.
That means a number of COVID-19 restrictions have been loosened among them, gyms and restaurants can once again welcome customers indoors.
The curfew remains in effect, although it now begins later, at 9:30 p.m.
In Ottawa, health officials recorded 80 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the highest one-day total in the nation’s capital in more than three weeks.
Ontario’s health ministry says there have been 401 cases involving variants of concern since the first one was reported in late December.
How many cases are there?
As of Sunday, 14,349 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 476 known active cases and 13,437 resolved cases. Public health officials have attributed 436 deaths to COVID-19. 
Public health officials have reported more than 25,400 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 23,900 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 130 people have died of COVID-19, and 158 people have died in western Quebec. 
Akwesasne has had more than 200 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and seven deaths. Kitigan Zibi has had 21 confirmed cases and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had four.
CBC Ottawa is profiling those who’ve died of COVID-19. If you’d like to share your loved one’s story, please get in touch
What can I do?
Restaurants, gyms, personal care services, theatres and non-essential businesses are open across eastern Ontario. Most sports can also resume.
Social gatherings at private homes, backyards or in public parks can have up to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. Organized events can be larger.
People are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only travel for essential reasons, especially between differently coloured zones.
Both Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) are orange under the province’s colour-coded pandemic scale.
They have more restrictions than the rest of the region, which is in green, the lowest level. Local health units can also set their own rules.
Today, western Quebec moves into the province’s orange zone.
That means local gyms and restaurants will be able to reopen.  Non-essential businesses, hair salons and museums are already allowed to open across the entire province.
The region is still under curfew, although its new hours as of Monday are 9:30 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Like in Ontario, travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged. Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people will be allowed as of Friday, Feb. 26.
Distancing and isolating
The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person speaks, coughs, sneezes, or breathes onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.
People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. New coronavirus variants can be more contagious.
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the months to come like staying home while symptomatic  and getting help with costs if needed  keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don’t live with, even with a mask on.
Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings
 in Ontario and Quebec
OPH says residents should also wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.
UPDATE: we are extending the temporary closure of overnight visits until March 8 in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.<br><br>1/4 <a href=”https://t.co/SsVFzLc4hg”>pic.twitter.com/SsVFzLc4hg</a>
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who’ve been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Ontario
 and Quebec
People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine and now have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get friends and family to help with errands.
Symptoms and vaccines
COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness
 to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. 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
Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine supply has stabilized.
About 63,500 doses have been given out since mid-December, including about 41,700 doses in Ottawa and 10,600 in western Quebec.
WATCH LeBlanc confident provinces can handle increased vaccine deliveries
In an interview on Rosemary Barton Live, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said he was ‘very confident’ in the provinces’ ability to take on ramped-up COVID-19 vaccine deliveries.9:45
Ontario’s first doses are going to care home residents.
Ottawa has given a second dose to most long-term care residents, is giving second doses to some health-care workers and has given a first dose to high-risk retirement home residents.
The city is now vaccinating older Indigenous people.
The province’s campaign is expected to expand to priority groups such as older adults and essential workers in March, with vaccines widely available in August.
Ottawa believes it can have nearly 700,000 residents vaccinated by August’s Phase 3, hitting a groove of nearly 11,000 doses a day by early summer.
Quebec is also giving a single dose to as many people as possible, starting with people in care homes and health-care workers, then remote communities, then older adults and essential workers and finally the general public.
Quebecers should get their second dose within 90 days.
Many of the local vaccine clinic locations that have been announced for when the time is right are in the same communities as test sites.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment
Ontario recommends only getting tested
 if you have symptoms, if you’ve been told to by your health unit or the province, or if you fit certain other criteria.
People without symptoms but who are part of the province’s targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.
Ottawa has nine permanent test sites
, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high
Kingston’s main test site is at the Beechgrove Complex,
 while another is in Napanee
People can arrange a test
 in Picton over the phone or in Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark
 health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville
 and Smiths Falls and a mobile clinic.
Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly
. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit
 has sites in Alexandria, Casselman, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
Outaouais residents
 can make an appointment in Gatineau at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 ave. Buckingham. They can check the wait time
 for the Saint-Raymond site.
There are recurring clinics by appointment
 in communities such as Maniwaki, Fort-Coulonge and Petite-Nation.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis:
Akwesasne’s curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is back and it has a COVID-19 test site
 by appointment only.
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.
Akwesasne has also released its vaccine plans.
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