What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, July 5

·8 min read
Two people hold hands while walking through the ByWard Market in Ottawa on Sunday. (Joseph Tunney/CBC - image credit)
Two people hold hands while walking through the ByWard Market in Ottawa on Sunday. (Joseph Tunney/CBC - image credit)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa reported four more COVID-19 cases Monday.

  • Eligibility for a second vaccine dose has expanded for Ontarians aged 12 to 17.

  • Border restrictions ease for fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents.

  • Heart institute admits patients with rare, often mild condition potentially tied to mRNA vaccines.

What's the latest?

Ontarians 12 to 17 years old are now eligible to book an appointment to receive their second shot of Pfizer-BioNTech through the provincial booking system.

They must wait 28 days between doses, as recommended by the Ministry of Health.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported another four COVID-19 cases on Monday, but zero deaths. The city reports the fewest known active cases since the start of the pandemic.

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute has admitted at least eight people with a rare but often mild condition called myocarditis that may be linked to the two mRNA vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.

Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents — those who have had a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada — who've travelled outside the country are now able to skip the 14-day quarantine when they return.

Employers are grappling with what a return to work will look like when the pandemic ends — and whether people will be allowed to continue to work from home, return to the office or a hybrid of the two.

And as a steadily rising number of fully vaccinated Canadians emerge from hiding to test the gradual return to pre-pandemic normalcy, a conundrum looms: what to do about those who, for whatever reason, haven't had a shot?

How many cases are there?

As of Monday, 27,703 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 49 known active cases, 27,063 cases considered resolved, and 591 cases where people have died.

Ottawa-Gatineau area confirmed COVID-19 cases

The city has entered the summer of 2021 with signs of spread similar to what they were in late summer 2020. Health officials have said people can slow spread and allow future steps toward reopening by following current rules and advice, including getting vaccinated.

Public health officials have reported more than 50,000 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 49,000 resolved cases.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 193 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 215.

Akwesasne has had about 700 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.

Kitigan Zibi has had 34 cases and one death. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 11, with one death. Pikwakanagan hasn't had any.

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?

Eastern Ontario:

Ontario is in Step 2 of its reopening plan, which brings back activities such as small indoor gatherings with people who don't live together and personal care services in many regions.

Up to 25 people can gather outside, including to play sports.

The province is supposed to spend at least three weeks in each step before moving forward in its plan, leaning on information such as vaccination, hospitalization and spread rates.

That would mean taking Step 3 and allowing more indoor activities no earlier than July 21.

Visitor rules loosen in long-term care homes on Wednesday.

A detailed plan for the next school year is in the works.

Western Quebec

Western Quebec is now under green zone restrictions, the lowest on the province's four-colour scale.

Ten people are allowed to gather inside private residences and 20 people outdoors — which increases to 50 if playing sports. Organized games are permitted outdoors again and gyms are open.

People can eat both indoors and outdoors at restaurants and bars.

Personal care services and non-essential businesses remain open. As many as 3,500 people can gather in a large theatre or arena and at outdoor festivals.

Travel throughout the province is allowed and no longer not recommended.

Christian Patry/Radio-Canada
Christian Patry/Radio-Canada

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets that can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. Coronavirus variants of concern are more contagious and are established.

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.

Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and recommended in crowded outdoor areas.

There's federal guidance for what vaccinated people can do in different situations.

People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine.

As of July 5, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents — those who have had a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada — will be able to skip the 14-day quarantine. Eligible air travellers will also be exempt from the requirement that they spend their first three days in Canada in a government-approved hotel.

WATCH | Quarantine measures relaxed for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers:

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands.

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 of self-isolation varies in Quebec and Ontario.

Vaccines

Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada. Three are in use.

Canada's task force says first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to 16 weeks to get a second. Supply and the more infectious delta variant are some of the factors pushing provinces to speed that up.

That same task force says it's safe and effective to mix first and second doses. Quebec and Ontario are both doing this in some circumstances.

There is evidence giving a second dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine offers better protection for people who got a first AstraZeneca-Oxford shot; both provinces are giving people who got a first AstraZeneca dose the option to get a second of the same kind.

More than 2.2 million doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including more than one million in Ottawa and more than 375,000 in western Quebec.

Eastern Ontario

Ontario is vaccinating anyone age 12 or older.

Starting today, youth aged 12 to 17 are able to book their second doses. All adults are eligible to book or move up a second dose appointment.

Moderna and Pfizer vaccines must be given at least four weeks apart, while people who got a first AstraZeneca dose must wait eight weeks.

People can look for provincial 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.

These bookings depend on the supply being sent to health units.

Local health units have flexibility in the larger framework, including around booking, so check their websites for details. They offer standby lists for doses on short notice along with some walk-in clinics.

Western Quebec

Quebec is vaccinating everyone 12 and older.

Its goal is to provide second doses eight weeks after the first. All adults can book under that timeline.

People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone or visit one of its permanent and mobile walk-in clinics.

Supply issues mean the local health authority CISSSO is only offering Moderna at walk-in clinics.

The province is hoping to provide second doses by the end of August to 75 per cent of people aged 12 and up.

Trevor Pritchard/CBC
Trevor Pritchard/CBC

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.

Recently, a runny nose and headache have become more common.

Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic, and resources are available to help.

In eastern Ontario:

Anyone seeking a test should make an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours.

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. Shoppers Drug Mart stores can now offer rapid tests.

Travellers who need a test have a few more 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 and check wait times online.

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.

Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603

People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-1175 and in Kitigan Zibi, 819-449-5593.

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

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