Ottawa reported 86 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, as well as three more deaths.
A Brockville, Ont., pharmacist says she's looking forward to administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
What's the latest?
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 86 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, with three more deaths also being recorded.
Today is the final day before changes come to two eastern Ontario health units.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit moves from yellow to red tomorrow, while Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health moves from green to yellow.
Kingston area health officials are also warning that people who visited TresOrs Jewellers, located at 235 Princess St., may have been exposed to COVID-19. Individuals who attended the store between March 13 and March 20 should be tested and self-isolate while awaiting results.
They should be tested seven to 10 days after they visited the business.
A Brockville, Ont., pharmacist who's gone above and beyond her regular duties over the past 12 months is now looking forward to her next big task: administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking of vaccines, some Ottawa residents with vaccination appointments on March 23, 24 and 25 may end up having them rebooked due to scheduling problems with the provincial system.
Those not contacted by the province should show up for their appointments as planned.
How many cases are there?
As of Sunday, 16,107 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. There are currently 736 known active cases, 14,917 resolved cases and 454 deaths.
Public health officials have reported more than 28,700 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 26,600 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 134 people have died of COVID-19 and 170 people have died in western Quebec.
Akwesasne has had more than 250 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and seven deaths. It's had more than 500 cases its southern section is added in.
What can I do?
Eastern Ontario now ranges from red to green under the province's colour-coded pandemic scale.
Restaurants, gyms, personal care services and non-essential businesses are open across the region.
Ottawa is in the red zone, which means all gatherings are capped at five people inside and 25 outside, while the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit enters that zone tomorrow.
Restaurants in red zones recently saw the rules change for indoor dining, with the maximum allowable capacity increaseed to 50 per cent, up to a maximum of 50 people.
Theatres are closed in red zones, and participants in team sports cannot play games or hold scrimmages.
Going red also means only leaving home for essential reasons and not having indoor visitors.
Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people are allowed. The region's curfew hours are 9:30 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, Que., and some of the surrounding area remains in red, however.
People in all these areas 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.
Distancing and isolating
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.
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.
Four COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in Canada.
Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second, meaning jurisdictions can spread first doses widely.
About 195,000 doses have been given out in the wider region since mid-December, including more than 88,000 doses in Ottawa and about 24,000 in western Quebec.
Ontario's first doses generally went to care home residents and health-care workers.
The provincewide campaign has expanded further into Phase 1 to include more priority groups such as all people over age 80.
Starting tomorrow, that expands to anyone above 75. People can book appointments online or over the phone.
That range increases to anyone above 60 as of tomorrow.
Phase 3, slated to begin in July, will involve vaccinating anyone older than 16.
WATCH | Ottawa police look to curb hate crimes as reports rise during COVID-19
Quebec also started by vaccinating people in care homes and health-care workers.
Officials expect everyone over the age of 65 to be vaccinated by mid-April and everyone who wants a shot to be able to get one by by Fête nationale on June 24.
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. Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
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.
Check with your area's health unit for clinic locations and hours. Some are offering pop-up or mobile clinics.
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