What's the latest?
Gatineau, Que., and parts of the Outaouais are moving to red alert COVID-19 status — the highest level possible in the province of Quebec.
The new level brings new restrictions in western Quebec, many of which are similar to those now in place in Ottawa as three Ontario hotspots return to a modified version of Stage 2 pandemic restrictions.
Ontario is reporting 809 new cases and seven more deaths of COVID-19 on Saturday, with the total number of people who have died of COVID-19 provincewide now standing at 3,004.
Ottawa health officials, meanwhile, confirmed 94 new cases Saturday and one new death.
Fines will be $260, the city said Friday. Young children and customers who identify themselves as having a medical exemption or a disability will not be fined.
Ottawa's medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, is advising people to take up a hobby as COVID-19 limits activities and keeps families close to home. CBC Ottawa discovered the local hobby economy is booming.
The federal government announced renewed support for businesses as the coronavirus spreads, including direct rent support for business owners.
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How many cases are there?
As of Ottawa Public Health (OPH)'s Saturday update, there have been 5,373 Ottawa residents who've tested positive for COVID-19.
That includes 847 known active cases, 4,229 resolved cases and 297 deaths.
Overall, public health officials have reported more than 7,900 cases of COVID-19 across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with nearly 6,300 of those cases considered resolved.
COVID-19 has killed 104 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 34 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario.
What can I do?
Ontario is telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with or one other home if people live alone.
In general, occasionally seeing a small number of other people at a time they don't live with outdoors and more than two metres apart carries a lower risk of transmission.
Involving food is riskier and OPH has asked residents not to go to a restaurant with people they don't have as a close contact.
In Ottawa, the second wave is being driven by people ignoring health rules.
Ottawa's medical officer of health has said the entire health-care system is on the verge of collapse and is advising people to celebrate Thanksgiving only with members of their immediate household.
Ottawans are now being told not to have a Halloween party and consider alternatives to trick-or-treating and usual late-December gathering plans.
Other health units with different COVID-19 situations may have slightly different Thanksgiving advice.
Western Quebec's health authority says residents need to stop seeing all people they don't live with, even outdoors, until the end of October.
What about schools?
There have been more than 160 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:
Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.
Ontario updated its COVID-19 school symptom rules last week.
Distancing and isolating
The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.
People can be contagious without symptoms.
This means people should take precautions like staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with — even when you have a mask on.
Ottawa will start fining people who don't wear a mask on OC Transpo without a valid reason on Oct. 22.
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Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate, so should anyone told to by a public health unit. If Ottawans don't, they face a fine of up to $5,000 per day in court.
Kingston's medical officer of health said people living with someone waiting for a test result now do not need to self-isolate and someone with COVID-19 now has to isolate for at least 10 days from the day they first experience symptoms.
Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days under certain conditions.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible.
Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.
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 cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell.
Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.
Getting tested any sooner than five days after potential exposure may not be useful since the virus may not yet be detectable, says OPH.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.
Anyone seeking a test should now book an appointment. Different sites in the area have different ways to book, including over the phone or going in person to get a time slot.
People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select Ottawa pharmacies.
There is limited walk-up capacity and telephone booking for some sites for people without internet access and priority groups such as health-care workers.
Its Coventry Road clinic will be closed on Monday.
In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the Limoges drive-thru centre is now taking appointments.
The health unit also has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester. All are closed on Monday.
In Kingston, the test site is at the Beechgrove Complex and online booking isn't available yet. For now, people are asked to go to the complex to make an appointment.
Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.
People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls.
Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.
In western Quebec:
Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.
They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.
There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms. People without symptoms can also get a test.
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, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.
People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259.
Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.
For more information