What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, Nov. 14

·7 min read
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, Nov. 14
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, Nov. 14

Recent developments:

  • 78 new cases were logged by health officials in Ottawa on Saturday, with 62 cases and one death confirmed in western Quebec.

  • The Maniwaki area is facing red zone restrictions as COVID-19 cases climb.

What's the latest?

Ottawa Public Health reported another 78 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday but no new deaths.

Those numbers come one day after health officials announced two more assessment centres would be set up in the downtown core.

Provincewide, Ontario saw another record high Saturday, with the Ministry of Health reporting 1,581 new cases and 20 deaths.

Across the river in western Quebec, another 62 cases and one new death were logged Saturday.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Outaouais, so do concerns that the regional municipality that includes Maniwaki, Que., could soon be declared a red zone, the most severe level on the province's pandemic alert scale.

How many cases are there?

As of Saturday, 7,844 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 511 active cases and 6,977 resolved cases.

The city's death toll rests at 356.

Public health officials have reported more than 12,400 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including nearly 10,900 resolved cases.

Eighty-six people with COVID-19 have died elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 64 in western Quebec.

(The Eastern Ontario Health Unit decreased their death count by five Friday, due to a change in how they define a COVID-19 death. The health unit said that some of the positive patients died of something other than COVID-19.)

CBC Ottawa is profiling those who've died of COVID-19, starting with one of the city's youngest victims. If you'd like to share your loved one's story, please get in touch.

What can I do?

Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with, or one other home if people live alone, to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Ottawa is in orange in its provincial pandemic scale, meaning larger organized gatherings are allowed and restaurants, gyms and theatres can reopen.

Ottawa's medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches has said people should focus on managing risks and taking precautions, such as seeing a few friends outside at a distance.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is in yellow, with slightly different measures such as later alcohol serving hours and more people allowed at restaurant tables.

The rest of eastern Ontario is green, the lowest level.

The medical officer of health for the Kingston, Ont., area is flagging a bump up in its curve and asking residents to stay within the region to avoid more "spillover" from Toronto and Ottawa.

In Gatineau and the surrounding area, which is one of Quebec's red zones, health officials say the situation is stable, but now needs to improve. They are still asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential.

Indoor dining at that area's restaurants remains prohibited, while gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed.

The rest of western Quebec is orange, which allows private gatherings of up to six people and organized ones up to 25 — with more in seated venues.

Travel to another region is discouraged throughout the Outaouais. Ontario says people shouldn't travel to a lower-level region from a higher one.

What about schools?

There have been about 200 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.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms.

This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don't live with — even with a mask on.

Ontario has abandoned its concept of social circles.

Etches says people should be wary of blind spots, like taking a lunch break at work with colleagues or carpooling.

Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press
Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and should be worn outdoors when people can't distance from others. Three-layer non-medical masks with a filter are recommended.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their local public health unit. The duration depends on the circumstances in both Ontario and Quebec.

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.

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 pharmacies.

Ottawa has eight permanent test sites, with additional mobile sites deployed wherever demand is particularly high.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls.

Kingston's test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area's other test site is in Napanee.

People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.

Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly. There are none on Remembrance Day.

In western Quebec:

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.

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.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne now has 30 known active cases of COVID-19, its highest of the pandemic.Ten of them are on the Canadian side of the international border.

Its council is asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel.

Aswesasne schools are temporarily closed to in-person learning and its Tsi Snaihne Child Care Centre has also closed. It has a COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.

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.

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte reported its first confirmed case last week.

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.

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.

For more information