What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept....

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 15


Recent developments: 

What’s the latest?

Ottawa reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the highest daily tally since early May.

Both Mayor Jim Watson and Premier Doug Ford said large social gatherings are of particular concern. Ford said all options are on the table to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario’s hardest-hit regions, including Ottawa.

One more fatality in Ottawa has been linked to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 268.

Opening hours at two COVID-19 assessment centres will be extended in the coming days to accommodate higher volumes of people seeking coronavirus tests.

There were long lines outside Ottawa’s Brewer Arena assessment centre and the Moodie Drive COVID-19 clinic Monday, with some people reporting three- to four-hour waits for a test.

As cases surge in Ottawa, a Barrhaven mother is sharing her painful experience as a COVID-19 ‘long-hauler,’ and wants others to know it can happen to them, too.

A negotiator with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation says provincial money meant to hire more custodians to perform extra cleaning during the pandemic hasn’t trickled down to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB).

How many cases are there?

Testing has confirmed 3,335 people in Ottawa have had COVID-19.

Of those, 334 remain active cases and 2,733 are considered resolved.

Overall, public health officials have reported more than 5,100 people with COVID-19 across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 4,200 of them considered resolved.

COVID-19 has killed 104 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 34 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario.


What’s open and closed?

Every local school board or service centre has started bringing students back. All classes should start by Friday.

More than 2,000 students in Ottawa’s English school boards don’t have their usual school bus because of a shortage of bus drivers.

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Ontario is in Stage 3 of its reopening plan, which means more businesses open and gatherings of up to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors are now allowed under physical distancing guidelines.

There won’t be any further loosening of rules until at least Oct. 6 because of the concerning upward trend in its numbers. Last week, Premier Doug Ford said he’d like any stricter rule changes to be done by local officials, not the province.

Kingston, Ont., has tightened its distancing rules in city parks.

People line up to take a coronavirus test in the field outside the Brewer Park assessment centre on Sept. 14. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

PR Transpo transit service in Prescott-Russell is back as of Monday.

Quebec has similar reopening rules to Ontario, with its cap on physically distanced gatherings in public venues now up to 250 people, allowing smaller festivals.

It is allowing more extracurriculars in its schools today.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.

People don’t need to have symptoms to be contagious.

That means physical distancing measures such as working from home, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone you don’t live with or have in their circle, including when you have a mask on.

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Masks are now mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec, including transit services and taxis in some areas.

Quebec has given police the power to fine people ignoring mandatory mask laws.

Masks are also recommended outdoors when you can’t stay the proper distance from others.

Members of the honour guard stand during the Canadian Firefighters Memorial Service in Ottawa on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. The ceremony was held at the Canadian Firefighters Memorial and broadcast over a livestream due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.

In Ontario, that’s the same period of self-isolation for anyone with symptoms. When self-isolating, only leave home or see other people if it’s critically important, such as to go see a doctor.

Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days if they have not had a fever for at least 48 hours and has had no other symptom for at least 24 hours.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. 

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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 pinkeye. Children can develop a rash.

People should not get tested any sooner than five days after potential exposure, since it takes about that long for the virus to grow to be detectable by a test, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Vera Etches in early September.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can be tested at one of four sites — including a new drive-thru testing centre.

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.

There’s also a mobile testing van operated by Inner City Health that mostly serves people experiencing homelessness and some tests done in hospitals.

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In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don’t require people to call ahead.

Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.

In Kingstonthe Leon’s Centre is hosting the city’s test site though Gate 2.

Napanee‘s test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.

You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling. Only Belleville and Trenton run seven days a week.

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The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.

It has a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.

Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor and those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.

People can also visit the health unit’s website to find out where testing clinics will be taking place each week.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond.

There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.

They can call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment or if they have other questions.

First Nations:

Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases, most linked to a gathering on an island in July.

It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available 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.

In early September, it expanded its gathering limit to 50 people. Its schools start bringing students back the week of Sept. 21.

Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. Its office and well-being centre are now open by appointment.

People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. 

Kitigan Zibi‘s fitness centre and playground park are opening up with restrictions..

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