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

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

Recent developments:

  • Health officials reported three new COVID-19 deaths in Ottawa Saturday and four more in western Quebec.

What's the latest?

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting 78 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday and three more deaths.

Western Quebec, meanwhile, reported another four deaths today, bringing that region's total to 55.

Ottawa and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) to the east are moving into orange alert today. That means the COVID-19 rules will be similar to what used to be known as Stage 3, but with no social circles and a few tweaks for bar hours and other things.

The rules will be looser than what's been in place in Ottawa for the past four weeks and tighter in the EOHU. Eastern Ontario's other health units will be green, the lowest level on the province's new scale.

National Aboriginal Veterans Day ceremonies have been scaled back this year in communities such as Pikwakanagan and Kitigan Zibi.

WATCH | Daughter and mom on challenges managing diabetes during COVID-19:

How many cases are there?

As of Saturday's update from Ottawa Public Health (OPH), 7,438 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

There are 595 known active cases, 6,504 resolved cases and 339 deaths.

Public health officials have reported more than 11,600 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 10,000 resolved cases.

Eighty-five people with COVID-19 have died elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 55 in western Quebec.

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's medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said as the city moves to orange, people need to work and have more activities available for their overall health.

She wants people to focus on managing risks in businesses like they have in schools and taking precautions when seeing those they don't live with.

Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press
Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

In Gatineau and the surrounding area, which is a red zone, health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential.

Indoor dining at its restaurants has been 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 — higher in seated venues.

Travel to another region is discouraged throughout the Outaouais.

The Royal Canadian Legion is asking people to pay their respects from home on Remembrance Day.

What about schools?

There have been about 190 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.

Patrick Louiseize/Radio-Canada
Patrick Louiseize/Radio-Canada

Ottawa's medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says people should be wary of blind spots such as taking a lunch break at work or carpooling.

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 symptoms or who's ordered to do so by their local public health unit should self-isolate. The duration is subject to a range stipulated by health officials 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.

Testing numbers have been lower than the groups running it would like and they want people to know there are often same-day appointments available.

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.

Kingston's test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area's other test site is in Napanee. Both are open seven days a week.

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

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.

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:

Several people have recently tested positive for COVID-19 in Akwesasne, with 14 known active cases across the community.

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.

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