Ottawa reported 133 more cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and no new deaths.
An Ontario school board group says teachers should be vaccinated over spring break, not summer vacation.
What's the latest?
On Monday, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit will be the latest in the region to move from the orange to the more restrictive red zone in the province's COVID-19 framework.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recorded 133 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. Sixty-eight new cases and one new death were confirmed in western Quebec.
How many cases are there?
As of Saturday, 16,755 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 954 known active cases, 15,342 resolved cases and 459 deaths.
Public health officials have reported more than 30,200 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 27,500 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 137 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 172.
Akwesasne has had more than 260 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and seven deaths. It's had 540 cases when its southern section is added.
What can I do?
Eastern Ontario now ranges from red to green under the province's colour-coded pandemic scale. Restaurants, gyms, personal-care services and non-essential businesses are open across the region.
Ottawa and Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties are in the red zone, which means all gatherings are capped at five people inside and 25 outside. Religious services can have more people.
Restaurants in red zones have a maximum capacity of 50 per cent to a maximum of 50 people. In orange, red and grey zones, only people who live together can sit together inside; so can people who live alone with one other household. That expands to patios in grey.
Theatres are closed in red zones and team sports games and scrimmages are banned.
Going red also means only leaving home for essential reasons and not having indoor visitors.
Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people are allowed. The region's curfew hours are 9:30 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Rules around capacity limits for sports and places of worship loosened Friday.
People across the Ottawa-Gatineau area are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only travel for essential reasons, especially between differently coloured zones.
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.
OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get help with errands.
Four COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in Canada.
Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second, meaning jurisdictions can spread first doses widely.
About 256,000 doses have been given out in the wider region since mid-December, including about 110,000 doses in Ottawa and about 34,000 in western Quebec.
Ontario's first doses of Phase 1 generally went to care home residents and health-care workers.
The provincewide campaign has expanded to include more priority groups such as all people over age 75. People can book appointments online or over the phone.
Phase 3, slated to begin in July, will involve vaccinating anyone older than 16.
Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check their websites for details. What each local health unit is managing themselves can differ from what they're leaning on the provincial system to do.
Quebec also started by vaccinating people in care homes and health-care workers.
Officials expect everyone over the age of 65 to be vaccinated by mid-April and everyone who wants a shot to be able to get one by by Fête nationale on June 24.
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 book an appointment.
The health unit for the Kingston area is asking anyone who has left the region or seen someone from outside the region to get tested as it tracks variants.
People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies.
Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.
Check with your area's health unit for clinic locations and hours. Some are offering pop-up or mobile clinics.
Starting this weekend, Ottawa's Brewer Park, Moodie and Ray Friel testing sites are extending their weekend hours because of increased demand.
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:
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.
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