What's the latest?
Ontario and Quebec have each announced restrictions on non-essential travel between the two provinces will be lifted at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) confirmed another 23 cases of COVID-19 and no more deaths Monday. For the first time, more second doses than first doses were administered to Ottawa residents over the weekend.
Western Quebec is one of the province's regions under yellow zone rules as of today. A big change is the return of masked and distanced indoor gatherings between two households, along with bars being able to open up inside again.
Ontarians who received the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine are now able to get their second dose eight weeks after their first, instead of waiting 12 weeks as previously required.
Whether they are able to depends on vaccine supply in their area.
How many cases are there?
As of Monday, 27,449 Ottawa residents had tested positive for COVID-19. There are 348 known active cases, 26,516 cases considered resolved and 585 people have died.
Ottawa-Gatineau area confirmed COVID-19 cases
Public health officials have reported more than 49,600 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 48,200 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 190 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 214.
Akwesasne has had about 700 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.
The transfer of COVID-19 patients from other regions to Ottawa hospitals continues. As of Friday, there were 13 COVID-19 patients from other communities in Ottawa ICUs. Some patients are even coming from Manitoba.
What can I do?
Ontario has moved into Step 1 of its reopening plan, bringing changes such as allowing outdoor dining and indoor shopping for non-essential items.
Up to 10 people can gather outside, including people from different households. Indoor gatherings between households are generally not allowed.
Gyms and personal care services are closed. Ontario has moved to online learning for the rest of this school year.
The province's reopening plan leans on rates of spread, hospitalization and vaccination. The next step would come in early July at the earliest, allowing small indoor gatherings, outdoor sports and personal care services.
Western Quebec is under yellow zone rules. This brings back some masked indoor gatherings for people who don't live together.
People can eat both indoors and outdoors at restaurants and bars; a maximum of two people from different addresses can sit together.
Gyms can reopen and masks are mandatory inside.
Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people are allowed, or 25 if playing contact-free sports. As many as 2,500 people can gather in a large theatre or arena and there is no longer a curfew.
Travel throughout the province is allowed but not recommended.
These restrictions lift on Wednesday.
The next step in its reopening plan should start June 25, bringing back festivals and allowing people with two vaccine doses to do more.
Distancing and isolating
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the future like 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.
People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine and have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air. These rules should change soon.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands.
Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second.
That same task force says it's safe and effective to mix first and second doses under certain conditions. Quebec and Ontario are both doing this.
More than 1,600,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including more than 750,000 in Ottawa and more than 300,000 in western Quebec.
Ontario is vaccinating anyone age 12 or older. People can look for provincial first dose appointments opening up online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900.
Pharmacies continue to offer vaccines through their own booking systems, as do some family doctors.
People who got an AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine can try to book a second dose of any kind for when eight weeks have passed.
Ontario is speeding up other kinds of second dose appointments. The next expansion locally is planned for July 19 for people who got a first dose on or before May 9.
All of these bookings depend on the supply being sent to health units.
Health officials continue to tell people who got a first dose before a second dose was automatically booked they won't be forgotten. They say most people that want a second dose can get one by autumn.
The province is looking at 75 per cent of people age 12 and up getting their second dose by the end of August.
The province asks people who got a first AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccine to wait for more supply.
People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone.
Symptoms and testing
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 tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.
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.
The hours are changing at Ottawa's drive-thru test site on Coventry Road, moving to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily as of today.
Ontario recommends only getting tested if you fit certain criteria, such as having symptoms, exposure or a certain job.
Travellers who need a test have very 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.
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.
Tyendinaga's council is asking people not to travel there to camp or fish.
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