What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, July 17

·7 min read
Paul Roberston works out at Crossfit Bytown as patrons return to the gym as Ontario enters Step 3 of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Paul Roberston works out at Crossfit Bytown as patrons return to the gym as Ontario enters Step 3 of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa reported five new cases on Saturday.

What's the latest?

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On Saturday, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported five new cases of COVID-19.

WATCH | Bride getting married Saturday describes stressful pandemic planning:

How many cases are there?

As of Saturday, 27,734 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 23 known active cases, 27,118 cases considered resolved, and 593 cases where people have died.

Ottawa-Gatineau area confirmed COVID-19 cases

Public health officials have reported more than 50,200 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 49,200 resolved cases.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 197 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 215.

Akwesasne has had nearly 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 are the rules?

Eastern Ontario:

Ontario is in Step 3 of its reopening plan.

It brings back indoor dining, with capacity based on everyone being able to distance, and gyms, movie theatres and musems with a capacity of 50 per cent inside.

Larger general gathering limits rise to 25 people inside and 100 people outside. Organized events can have more and that's leading festivals and sports teams to return with people in attendance.

The next step leans on pandemic trends including having 80 per cent of eligible residents (12 and older) with at least one vaccine dose, 75 per cent fully vaccinated, and no health unit with less than 70 per cent fully vaccinated.

A detailed plan for the next school year is in the works, according to the education minister.

Western Quebec

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

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.

Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press
Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

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.

What can I do?

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.

Vaccines curb the spread of all types of the coronavirus.

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.

Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents can now skip the 14-day quarantine. People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine.

The border may reopen for fully vaccinated Americans in mid-August and the rest of the world in early September, depending on the pandemic's status.

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; the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only one approved for children age 12 to 17.

Canada's task force says people can wait up to 16 weeks between doses. Supply and the more infectious delta variant are some of the factors pushing provinces to drastically speed that up.

That same task force says it's safe and effective to mix first and second doses.

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 Ontario and Quebec are giving people who got a first AstraZeneca dose the option to get a second of the same kind.

More than 2.8 million doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including more than 1.3 million in Ottawa and more than 400,000 in western Quebec.

Eastern Ontario

Ontario is vaccinating anyone age 12 or older.

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.

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 and recently, more walk-in options.

Campaigns are shifting to target those who are eligible to get their a second shot sooner or who haven't yet got their first, but could be open to it. Some are closing mass clinics in the coming weeks.

These bookings depend on the supply being sent to health units, which generally aren't reporting the supply problems of previous months.

Western Quebec

Quebec is vaccinating anyone 12 and older. Its goal is to provide second doses four weeks after the first.

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

People may have to show proof of being fully vaccinated to access certain services if there is an autumn surge of cases.

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.

Testing requirements change at long-term care homes as of Friday.

People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Rapid tests are available in some places.

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. Some walk-in testing is available.

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 COVID-19 vaccine clinics, with information online or at 613-575-2341. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and should watch the website for dedicated vaccine clinics.

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.

The last day for Ottawa's Indigenous vaccination clinic is July 29.

For more information

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