Ottawa reported 61 more cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the highest single-day total in eight weeks.
Ottawa Public Health warns of possible COVID-19 exposure during private rideshare.
Untenable' insurance policies could silence live music venues.
What's the latest?
Another 61 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Ottawa on Sunday. It's the highest single-day case total reported by Ottawa Public Health (OPH) in two months.
OPH says the male driver of a rideshare between Montréal's Trudeau International Airport to the Barrhaven area last Wednesday may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor himself for symptoms.
The rideshare left the airport around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 24. The single passenger has since tested positive for the illness and would have been contagious at the time, the health agency wrote in a release. The rideshare arrived in Ottawa around 10:30 p.m.
Ottawa-Gatineau area confirmed COVID-19 cases
Members of Ottawa's African community say they'd like more done to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts on the continent as a new variant of concern, Omicron, has been detected in the southern part of the continent.
They say the variant has also affected some people's holiday travel plans to visit family members in the area.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already taken a big toll on Ontario's music venues, with several in Ottawa having closed their doors for good.
For those who've survived the lockdowns and capacity restrictions, however, there's now a new threat: many small-and-medium-sized venues are facing remarkably high increases in their insurance premiums.
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is advising people who visited the Belleville Shoeless Joe's on Nov. 20 and 21 that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
The health unit is investigating multiple cases of COVID-19 at the restaurant during these dates and people are advised to undergo testing, even if they do not have symptoms.
How many cases are there?
As of Sunday, Ottawa has had 31,943 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are 345 known active cases, while 30,980 cases are considered resolved and 618 people have died from the illness.
Public health officials have reported more than 59,600 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 57,500 cases now resolved. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 230 people with COVID-19 have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 223.
Akwesasne has had more than 1,100 residents test positive for COVID-19 and has reported 14 deaths between its northern and southern sections.
What are the rules?
Private gathering limits are 25 people inside and 100 people outside.
The province's vaccine passport is required for people age 12 and up in many public places. It won't be required for younger kids now that they're eligible for a dose. People can show paper, PDF or QR code proof.
Ten people are allowed to gather inside private residences and 20 people outdoors — which increases to 50 if playing sports. There are no capacity limits for Quebec venues with assigned seats and restaurants.
Quebec Premier François Legault says the more people respect current gathering rules, the more likely it is they can be loosened for the holidays.
A vaccine passport is in place for most people age 13 and up in many public spaces. People can use an app or show paper proof. It won't apply to younger kids.
Other groups in the region are also coming out with their own COVID-19 vaccine policies, including for staff and visitors.
What can I do?
This means it is important to take precautions such as staying home while sick — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and surfaces clean and considering distancing from anyone you don't live with.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands and have supplies in case they need to isolate.
Travellers must now be vaccinated to board a plane, train or marine vessel in Canada. Partially vaccinated travellers can show proof of a valid COVID-19 molecular test until Monday, when that rule ends.
WATCH | What's known about the omicron variant
People have to be fully vaccinated, tested and pre-approved to enter Canada. Rules for trips under 72 hours change on Tuesday and the list of approved vaccines has expanded. Rules for younger kids also change now that they're eligible for a vaccine.
The U.S. requires all travellers — land, air and water — to be fully vaccinated. Some people with mixed doses will be allowed and it won't require a recent test.
The prime minister said in late October he's "very confident" countries around the world will accept provincial or territorial proof of vaccination.
Vaccines curb the spread of all variants of COVID-19 and go a long way toward avoiding deaths and hospitalizations, without offering total protection. Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada.
Health Canada has approved Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine for children as young as five. Doses for kids age five to 11 will be given at least eight weeks apart in both local provinces.
It's possible even younger children could have an approved vaccine early in 2022, according to Canada's chief public health officer.
There have been more than 3.6 million COVID-19 first, second and third vaccine doses administered in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region, which has about 2.3 million residents.
Ontario is vaccinating anyone born in 2016 and earlier.
People can look for provincial appointments online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900.
Pharmacies and some family doctors offer vaccines through their own booking systems.
The province has recommended people under 24 get the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine because the Moderna Spikevax vaccine brings a mild risk of a rare heart condition.
Clinics for newly eligible children will operate in schools and kids will need written consent from a parent to be vaccinated there.
Siblings can be booked together in a single time slot and parents can check a box to signal if their child is nervous about the process.
Symptoms and testing
"Long-haul" symptoms can last for months.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
In eastern Ontario:
Rapid and take-home tests are available in some places, including pharmacies and some child-care settings when risk is high. A positive test will trigger a follow-up test.
Officials in some areas say they're seeing more people coming to its sites after having symptoms for several days and delaying getting tested, sometimes spreading COVID in the meantime.
Travellers who need a test have 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 or see if they're near a walk-in option online. They can also call 1-877-644-4545 with questions during hours the line is running.
Gargle tests are being offered in some places instead of a swab.
Rapid COVID-19 tests are available in all Quebec preschools and elementary schools.
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 COVID-19 test and vaccine clinics, with information online or at 613-575-2341.
Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and should watch the website for dedicated vaccine clinics.
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.