What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 14

·7 min read
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 14

Recent developments:

What's the latest?

Ontario's stay-at-home order is now in effect, adding the threat of fines to the province's message to avoid non-essential outings. Local officials haven't announced how the order will be enforced.

With COVID-19 numbers on the rise, the scene inside Ottawa's hospitals is becoming increasingly grim.

How many cases are there?

In Ottawa, 11,879 people have tested positive for COVID-19 as its spread reaches a record high. There are 1,243 known active cases, 10,238 resolved cases and 398 deaths from COVID-19.

Public health officials have reported more than 21,300 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 18,300 resolved cases.

Ninety-nine people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario and 137 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?

Ontario says people need to only leave home when essential to avoid more COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

People who leave home for non-essential reasons can now be fined.

Travel within Ontario is not recommended. Residents who leave the province should isolate for 14 days upon returning.

Private gatherings are not allowed. Outdoor household gatherings can't have more than five people. People who live alone are still allowed to interact with one other household.

Outdoor recreation venues remain open for now. Ottawa's new rules restricting some outdoor activities are under review in light of Ontario's updated lockdown.

The Rideau Canal Skateway is still planning to open with restrictions.

Andrew Lee/CBC
Andrew Lee/CBC

In-person shopping is limited to essential businesses. Others can offer pickup and delivery.

The province will announce by Wednesday which schools can offer general in-person learning. Child-care centres remain open.

The lockdown rules are in place until at least Feb. 11.

WATCH | Businesses struggling with decision to open or close under new rules:

In western Quebec, residents are asked not to leave home unless it's essential and not see anyone they don't live with, with an exception for people living alone who can visit one other home.

Quebec's 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is now in effect, with fines of up to $6,000 for breaking the rules.

It has shut down non-essential businesses and has extended secondary school closures until next week.

Travel from one region to another is discouraged throughout Quebec.

Those rules are in place until Feb. 8.

Distancing and isolating

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

People can be contagious without symptoms.

This means people should take precautions such as staying home when they have symptoms, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone they don't live with — even with a mask on.

WATCH | Dental clinic's closure sending homeless patients to the ER:

Masks, preferably with three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and should be worn outdoors when people can't distance from others.

OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.

Michel Aspirot/CBC
Michel Aspirot/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.

Anyone returning to Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days. Air travellers have to show recent proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

WATCH | Changes made as new test rule strands many travellers:

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 health-care workers and long-term care residents in most of the Ottawa-Gatineau area.

The exception for now is Renfrew County, which said it expects its first doses early next month.

Ontario wants every long-term care resident and worker to have at least one shot by Feb. 15.

About 10,000 Ottawa residents had received at least one dose as of Jan. 6. More doses arrived yesterday.

In Ontario, it's expected that vaccination will expand to priority groups such as older adults and essential workers in April, potentially March, with vaccines widely available to the public in August.

Ottawa believes it can have nearly 700,000 residents vaccinated by then.

Quebec has a somewhat controversial policy of giving a single dose to as many people as possible rather than giving fewer people two doses.

As of Jan. 14, western Quebec's health authority had given out about 3,600 doses.

WATCH | First Nations leaders work to combat health-care hesitancy:

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 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.

Guillaume Lafrenière/Radio-Canada
Guillaume Lafrenière/Radio-Canada

Ottawa has 10 permanent test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.

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

People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or 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.

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

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

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 110 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and four deaths. More than 200 people have tested positive across the community.

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.

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte had its only confirmed case in November. Kitigan Zibi logged its first in mid-December and has had more since.

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