What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, Feb. 14

·7 min read
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, Feb. 14
Three people walk down Wellington Street toward Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Feb. 3, 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Three people walk down Wellington Street toward Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Feb. 3, 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Andrew Lee/CBC)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa reported 45 new cases of COVID-19 on Valentine's Day.

What's the latest?

Ottawa's health officials reported 45 new cases of COVID-19, but no new deaths on Valentine's Day.

Twenty-five newly confirmed cases were recorded in western Quebec.

Starting Tuesday, businesses like restaurants, gyms and salons will be allowed to welcome customers — with some restrictions — and the City of Ottawa will begin gradually reopening services to the public.

Canadian pharmacies are ready to help with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to the public once enough doses become public, according to the head of an association that represents the retailers.

How many cases are there?

As of Sunday, 13,948 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 426 known active cases and 13,090 resolved cases. Public health officials have attributed 432 deaths to COVID-19.

Public health officials have reported more than 24,800 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 23,300 resolved cases.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 125 people have died of COVID-19, and 157 people have died in western Quebec.

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?

The Ontario stay-at-home order remains in place until Tuesday for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit and Ottawa.

People in those regions must only leave home when it's essential or they could face a fine.

Travel between regions and provinces is not recommended.

Private indoor gatherings are not allowed, while outdoor gatherings are capped at five people. It's strongly recommended people stick to their own households and socializing is not considered essential.

People who live alone are allowed close contact with one other household.

Most outdoor recreation venues are open with restrictions, including the full Rideau Canal Skateway.

Students across eastern Ontario can return to the classroom.

Communities in the Belleville, Kingston and Renfrew County areas have already returned to green, the lowest level on the province's colour-coded pandemic scale.

WATCH | For many restaurants, reopening is not worry-free, manager says

Western Quebec residents are also being asked to stay home unless it's essential to leave and not see anyone they don't live with. An exception for people living alone allows them to exclusively visit one other home.

Non-essential businesses, hair salons and museums are now allowed to open across Quebec. Locally, gyms and restaurants will stay closed.

Students are back in classrooms, including post-secondary ones.

Like in Ontario, travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged.

Quebec's 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew remains in place.

Distancing and isolating

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

People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. New coronavirus variants can be more contagious.

This means it is important to take precautions now and in the months to come like staying home while symptomatic, keeping hands and frequently touched 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. OPH says residents should also wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.

The federal government is in the midst of tightening international travel rules and asks people not to vacation abroad.

As of Monday, people will have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine.

Francis Ferland/CBC
Francis Ferland/CBC

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 varies in 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 and get friends and family to 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.

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

COVID-19 vaccines have been given to local health-care workers and long-term care residents.

About 52,400 doses have been given out, including about 34,700 doses in Ottawa and 8,800 in western Quebec.

Ontario's first doses are going to care home residents. It says a first dose has been offered at every long-term care home.

Ottawa has given a second dose to most long-term care residents, is giving second doses to some health-care workers and has given a first dose to high-risk retirement home residents.

That province's campaign is still expected to expand to priority groups such as older adults and essential workers in March or April, with vaccines widely available in August.

Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press
Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press

Ottawa believes it can have nearly 700,000 residents vaccinated by August's Phase 3, hitting a groove of nearly 11,000 doses a day by early summer.

Quebec is also giving a single dose to as many people as possible, starting with people in care homes and health-care workers, then remote communities, then older adults and essential workers and finally the general public.

Quebecers should get their second dose within 90 days.

When the campaign expands, western Quebec's health authority plans two vaccine clinics in Gatineau and four outside the city that can vaccinate between 3,000 to 6,000 people a day.

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, if you've been told to by your health unit or the province, or if you fit certain other criteria.

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.

Ottawa has nine permanent test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.

People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or in Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.

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

Kingston's main test site is at the Beechgrove Complex, another is in Napanee.

Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.

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

In western Quebec:

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

Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 ave. Buckingham. They can check the wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.

There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki, Fort-Coulonge and Petite-Nation.

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

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne has had more than 170 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and six deaths. More than 330 people have tested positive across the community and eight have died.

The COVID-19 outbreak has ended at its Iakhihsohtha Lodge long-term care home.

Its curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is back and it has a COVID-19 test site 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.

It has released its vaccine plans.

Kitigan Zibi has had 20 confirmed cases and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had four, three of them active.

People in Pikwakanagan, which hasn't yet had a confirmed case, 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