What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 1

·6 min read
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 1
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 1

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa reported 132 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday — one of the highest one-day totals since the start of the pandemic — and five new deaths.

What's the latest?

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 132 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the highest single-day total since Oct. 8.

Public health officials also reported five more deaths. The city's death toll now rests at 328. Two more deaths were also confirmed in western Quebec, for a total of 45 since the start of the pandemic.

Restaurants in Ottawa say they're doing what they can to abide by constantly changing COVID-19 rules — and now some of them are pleading with the city for better communication around those ever-shifting regulations.

COVID-19 protocols will have a profound effect on this year's Remembrance Day service at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, with people being asked to pay their respects from home.

For the region's Mexican community, those same protocols have also pushed the festivities that traditionally mark Day of the Dead online.

How many cases are there?

As of Sunday's update from OPH, 7,132 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

There are 762 known active cases, 6,042 resolved cases and 328 deaths.

Public health officials have reported more than 11,000 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 9,300 of them resolved.

Seventy-eight people with COVID-19 have died elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 45 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.

In Ottawa, which has been rolled back to a modified Stage 2, and the Gatineau area, which is a red zone, health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential.

Indoor dining at restaurants has been prohibited, while gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed and travel to another region is discouraged.

Ottawa's medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says there were encouraging signs in late October that the spread is slowing, but people should be wary of blind spots such as taking a lunch break at work or carpooling.

WATCH | Association chair says it's frustrating that indoor dining was shut down in Ottawa:

With Halloween now past, one of the next major communal gatherings on Ottawa's calendar is the annual Remembrance Day service at the National War Memorial.

Provincial restrictions on public gatherings have forced organizers to plan for a service with fewer than 100 guests around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Royal Canadian Legion is asking people to pay their respects from home, and police will be on-hand to ensure anyone who does show up keeps moving along.

What about schools?

There have been more than 180 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.

As of mid-October, a small fraction of Ottawa students and staff had tested positive.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.

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.

Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and are recommended outdoors when people can't distance from others.

Michel Aspirot/Radio-Canada
Michel Aspirot/Radio-Canada

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.

Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press
Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press

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 five 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:

Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. It expects to bring back its mobile site in the spring.

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