What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, June 27

·8 min read
Mustafa Hassun, right, adjusts his brother Halid's mortarboard as he gets ready to have a photo taken under the balloon arch during graduation at Ottawa's Gloucester High School last week. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Mustafa Hassun, right, adjusts his brother Halid's mortarboard as he gets ready to have a photo taken under the balloon arch during graduation at Ottawa's Gloucester High School last week. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa reported nine more COVID-19 cases Sunday.

  • Facebook has helped local artists connect during the pandemic.

  • Employment rates among child-care workers have dropped over past year.

What's the latest?

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) confirmed another nine cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. No new deaths were reported.

With galleries and restaurants both shuttered for much of the pandemic, two Facebook groups have helped emerging artists in Ottawa connect and support each other.

Employment among child-care workers was 21 per cent lower in February 2021 than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020, according to a new Statistics Canada study.

How many cases are there?

As of Sunday, 27,650 Ottawa residents had tested positive for COVID-19. There are 106 known active cases, 26,953 cases considered resolved, and 591 cases where people have died.

The city enters the summer of 2021 with signs of spread similar to what they were in late summer 2020. Health officials have said people can slow spread and allow future steps toward reopening by following current rules and advice.

Ottawa-Gatineau area confirmed COVID-19 cases

Public health officials have reported more than 50,000 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 48,800 resolved cases.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 191 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 214.

Akwesasne has had about 700 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.

Kitigan Zibi has had 34 cases and one death. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 11, with one death. Pikwakanagan hasn't had any.

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

What can I do?

Eastern Ontario:

Ontario is in Step 1 of its reopening plan, which allows for outdoor dining and indoor shopping for non-essential items.

Up to 10 people can now gather outside, including people from different households. Indoor gatherings between households are generally not allowed.

Trevor Pritchard/CBC
Trevor Pritchard/CBC

Step 1 has also brought back outdoor fitness classes, pools and non-contact sports practices as long as they're under the gathering limit.

Gyms and personal care services remain closed.

Ontario's next reopening step is officially coming Wednesday.

Step 2 brings back activities such as small indoor gatherings with people who don't live together, outdoor sports games and personal care services in most regions.

The province is supposed to spend at least three weeks in each step before moving forward in its plan, leaning on information such as vaccination, hospitalization and spread rates.

Western Quebec

Western Quebec is under yellow zone rules for one more day — rules that permit some masked indoor gatherings for people who don't live together and unmasked indoor gatherings for fully vaccinated people.

People can eat both indoors and outdoors at restaurants and bars. A maximum of two people from different addresses can sit together.

Gyms can reopen, with masks mandatory inside.

Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people are allowed, or 25 if playing contact-free sports. As many as 2,500 people can gather in a large theatre or arena and outdoor festivals can have up to 3,500 attendees.

Travel throughout the province is allowed, but not recommended.

The entire province moves to green zone rules on Monday, loosening rules further for gatherings and outdoor sports.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets that can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. Coronavirus variants of concern are more contagious and are established.

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.

Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and recommended in crowded outdoor areas.

People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine and have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air.

These rules start to change July 6 for fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length of self-isolation varies in Quebec and Ontario.

Updated guidance is still in the works for fully vaccinated people.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press
Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Vaccines

Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada. Three are in use.

Canada's task force says first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to 16 weeks to get a second. Supply and the more infectious delta variant are some of the factors pushing provinces to speed that up.

That same task force says it's safe and effective to mix first and second doses under certain conditions. Quebec and Ontario are both doing this.

There is evidence giving a second dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine offers better protection for people who got a first AstraZeneca-Oxford shot; both provinces are giving people who got a first AstraZeneca dose the option to get a second of the same kind.

More than two million doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including more than 900,000 in Ottawa and more than 350,000 in western Quebec.

Eastern Ontario

Ontario is vaccinating anyone age 12 or older. People can look for provincial appointments opening up online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900.

Pharmacies continue to offer vaccines through their own booking systems, as do some family doctors.

Anyone in the area who got a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna on or before May 9 can now try to book or rebook their second shot. People who got a first AstraZeneca dose can get a second dose after eight weeks.

All adults will be eligible to make or move a second dose appointment as of Monday at 8 a.m.

These bookings depend on the supply being sent to health units.

Health officials continue to tell people who got a first dose before their second dose was automatically booked that they won't be forgotten. They say most people that want a second dose can get one by autumn.

Local health units have flexibility in the larger framework, including around booking, so check their websites for details. They offer standby lists for doses on short notice.

Western Quebec

Quebec is vaccinating everyone 12 and older.

Its goal is to provide second doses eight weeks after the first. All adults can book under that timeline.

People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone or visit one of its permanent and mobile walk-in clinics.

Supply issues mean the local health authority CISSSO is only offering Moderna at walk-in clinics. It says it should get a Pfizer shipment soon.

The province is hoping to provide second doses by the end of August to 75 per cent of people aged 12 and up.

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.

Recently, a runny nose and headache have become more common.

Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic, and resources are available to help.

In eastern Ontario:

Anyone seeking a test should make an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours.

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you fit certain criteria, such as having symptoms, exposure or a certain job.

People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Shoppers Drug Mart stores can now offer rapid tests.

Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.

In western Quebec:

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.

People can make an appointment and check wait times online.

Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, or someone travelling to work in a remote Indigenous community, are eligible for a test in Ontario.

Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603

People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-1175 and in Kitigan Zibi, 819-449-5593.

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

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