Ottawa reported 94 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, the highest one-day total since late January.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit will move to the yellow zone on Monday, the province has announced.
What's the latest?
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recorded 94 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday — the highest one-day total since Jan. 21 — and one more death.
Western Quebec reported 48 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, but no death were reported.
Public health officials are urging Ottawans 90 and older who became newly eligible this week to be vaccinated to now wait until the province's booking system launches Monday to try to arrange an appointment.
All vaccine appointments at the Nepean Sportsplex have been booked until Tuesday, the city says.
A pair of Ottawa restaurants have been charged with violating public health laws after allegedly hosting after-hours gatherings with dozens of people.
The head of the city's bylaw department is calling the violations a "flagrant disregard for public safety."
Stuck at home, some families are realizing they have too much stuff. They're decluttering, donating, and moving stuff along using websites and professional organizers.
Quebec will allow other kinds of organized sports in non-school settings, in orange zones such as the Outaouais, as of March 26, as long as there are no more than eight players inside and 12 outside.
Speaking of Ottawa's rollout, the city says all appointments for people 90 and older are full for now. More will be made available Monday, when the provincial system launches.
How many cases are there?
As of Saturday, 15,494 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 595 known active cases, 14,452 resolved cases, and 447 deaths.
Public health officials have reported more than 27,500 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 25,700 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 133 people have died of COVID-19, and 167 people have died in western Quebec.
Akwesasne has had more than 250 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border, six of them active cases, and seven deaths. It's had more than 500 cases combined with its southern section.
What can I do?
Restaurants, gyms, personal care services, theatres and non-essential businesses are open across eastern Ontario. Most sports can also resume.
Social gatherings can have up to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. Organized events can be larger.
People 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.
Eastern Ontario ranges from orange to green under the province's colour-coded pandemic scale.
Ottawa Public Health and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) are orange, with more restrictions than other regions.
Health units in Renfrew and Lanark counties have warned private gatherings are a problem. Local health units can also set their own rules, as Kingston's is doing around St. Patrick's Day starting tomorrow.
Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people are now are allowed, and places of worship can welcome more people.
The region's curfew hours are 9:30 p.m. until 5 a.m.
The exception is Grenville-sur-la-Rouge and some of the surrounding area, which remains in red.
Like in Ontario, people in western Quebec are asked not to have close contact with anyone they don't live with and are discouraged from travelling from one region to another.
Quebec will allow extra-curricular activities and sports in schools across the province starting next week
Distancing and isolating
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the months to come like staying home while symptomatic — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and frequently touched 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.
Symptoms and vaccines
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 can develop a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
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Four COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in Canada.
In early March the national task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second, meaning jurisdictions could spread first doses widely.
About 142,000 doses have been given out in the wider region since mid-December, including about 73,000 doses in Ottawa and 15,100 in western Quebec.
Ontario's first doses generally went to care home residents and health-care workers.
The provincewide campaign expands to priority groups such as people over age 80 next week, followed by people with underlying health conditions in April. Those who can't work from home and are as young as 60 could be vaccinated in June.
Generally, Ontarians who are eligible can book appointments online or over the phone starting Monday.
Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check their websites — as they're asking people to keep their phone lines clear — for specifics.
For example, Ottawa has begun offering shots to certain groups in certain high-risk neighbourhoods and anyone born in or before 1931.
Quebec also started by vaccinating people in care homes and health-care workers.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
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.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Casselman, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester.
People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or in Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.
Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki and Petite-Nation.
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