What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, May 25

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, May 25

Recent developments:

  • Ontario has pushed back plans to let people gather in larger groups.

What's happening today?

Quebec plans to reopen shopping malls outside Montreal next week.

Ontario's number of known COVID-19 cases continues to climb as the province falls well short of its testing goals.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says that has delayed the province's plan to allow gatherings larger than the current limit of five people.

Michel Aspirot/Radio-Canada

Send in your questions about COVID-19 and the workplace for CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning's weekly Q&A on Wednesday after 8 a.m.

How many cases are there?

There have been 1,901 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 234 deaths linked to the respiratory illness. There are more than 3,000 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

 

More than 2,100 people in the region have recovered from COVID-19.

The deaths of 49 people in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties and 30 more in the wider region have also been tied to the coronavirus. 

 

Confirmed cases are just a snapshot because not everyone can be tested and results take time to process, though testing criteria are being expanded.

What's open and closed?

Ontario is in "stage one" of its three-stage reopening plan. When ready, its next stage will take another step toward bringing more offices, outdoor spaces and gatherings back.

Justin Tang/Canadian Press

Quebec now allows larger outdoor gatherings. Its libraries and museums can reopen Friday and services such as dentist offices and hair salons can reopen June 1.

Gatineau Park and provincial parks are now open with limits, like the National Capital Commission and Ottawa-Gatineau city parks

National parks start to reopen June 1.

Justin Tang/Canadian Press

Ontario schools will stay closed through the summer. Post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes this fall, with the province promising a fall plan for younger students by July.

Quebec elementary schools outside Montreal are open. Its high schools, CEGEPs and universities will stay closed to in-person classes until fall.

Ottawa has cancelled event permits until the end of August. Quebec has asked organizers to cancel events until September.

Distancing and isolating

The coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People don't need to have symptoms to be contagious.

That means physical distancing measures such as avoiding non-essential trips, working from home, not gathering and staying at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with.

Ottawa Public Health recommends people wear a fabric or non-medical mask when they can't always stay two metres from strangers, such as at a grocery store. 

Justin Tang/Canadian Press

Anyone who has symptoms, travelled recently outside Canada or, specifically in Ottawa, is waiting for a COVID-19 test result must self-isolate for at least 14 days.

The same goes for anyone in Ontario who's been in contact with someone who's tested positive or is presumed to have COVID-19.

People 70 and older or with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions should also self-isolate.

Alexandra Freemark

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 dry cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. 

Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. The Ontario government says in rare cases, children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Where to get tested

In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can now be tested.

Tests are done at the Brewer Arena from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., seven days a week, or at 595 Moodie Dr. and 1485 Heron Rd. those same hours on weekdays.

 

Testing has also expanded for local residents and employees who work in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area.

There is a drive-thru test centre in Casselman and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don't require people to call ahead and others in Rockland, and Cornwall that require an appointment.

In Kingston, the assessment centre at the Kingston Memorial Centre is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for anyone with symptoms. 

Napanee's test centre is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily for people who call for an appointment.

WATCH: Why people in Ottawa chose to get tested today

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to call it at 1-800-660-5853, ext. 2499 or your doctor if you have questions after doing the province's self-assessment.

It has testing sites open in Almonte and Smiths Falls which require a referral, as well as a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and a home test service for people in care or with mobility challenges.

WATCH: The National's regular COVID-19 Q&A

The public health unit in the Belleville area is asking people to call it at 613-966-5500 or Telehealth with questions.

You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the health unit or in Picton by calling it, Telehealth or your family doctor. You may also qualify for a home test.

Renfrew County is also providing home testing under some circumstances. Residents without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.

If you're concerned about the coronavirus, take the self-assessment.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents should call 819-644-4545 if they have symptoms. They could end up being referred to Gatineau's testing centre.

First Nations communities

Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.

Akwesasne has opened a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to Akwesasne who's been farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Anyone in Tyendinaga who has symptoms can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse.

Pikwakanagan's council plans to let businesses reopen May 29 and Kitigan Zibi is keeping schools closed through the summer.

For more information