What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15

·8 min read
Ten-year-old Matthew Nadon and his brother, 13-year-old James Gordon, sit on Monney's Bay Beach in their inflatable tubes after floating in the Rideau River this past weekend. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press - image credit)
Ten-year-old Matthew Nadon and his brother, 13-year-old James Gordon, sit on Monney's Bay Beach in their inflatable tubes after floating in the Rideau River this past weekend. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press - image credit)

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa reports 10 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

  • Quebecers who got a Moderna or AstraZeneca dose can move up their second dose.

What's the latest?

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) confirmed another 10 cases of COVID-19 and no more deaths Tuesday. This is the fewest new cases reported in one day since Aug. 17, 2020.

Quebecers who received a first dose of the Moderna or AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine will be able to advance their appointment for a second dose starting on Tuesday if they're 50 or older. That had already started for Pfizer-BioNTech recipients.

Tuesday is the last day of police checkpoints to ban non-essential travel between Ontario and Quebec.

After a lost 2020 season, the Ottawa Redblacks return on Aug. 7 in Edmonton against the newly renamed Elks.

The CFL schedule announcement did not say whether fans will be in the stands at TD Place this season. Ottawa's home opener is set for Aug. 28.

How many cases are there?

As of Tuesday, 27,459 Ottawa residents had tested positive for COVID-19. There are 307 known active cases, 26,567 cases considered resolved and 585 people have died.

Ottawa-Gatineau area confirmed COVID-19 cases

Public health officials have reported more than 49,700 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 48,200 resolved cases.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 190 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 214.

Akwesasne has had about 700 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.

Kitigan Zibi has had 34 cases and one death. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 11, with one death. Pikwakanagan hasn't had any.

The transfer of COVID-19 patients from other regions hospitals continues. As of Tuesday, there were three COVID-19 patients from other communities in Ottawa ICUs.

The Kingston area has also been taking many patients from other areas.

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?

Eastern Ontario:

Ontario is in Step 1 of its reopening plan, bringing changes such as allowing outdoor dining and indoor shopping for non-essential items.

Up to 10 people can gather outside, including people from different households. Indoor gatherings between households are generally not allowed.

WATCH | The long waits for driving tests:

Step 1 brought back outdoor fitness, pools and non-contact sport practices under the gathering limit.

Gyms and personal care services are closed. Ontario has moved to online learning for the rest of this school year.

The province's reopening plan leans on rates of spread, hospitalization and vaccination. The next step would come in early July at the earliest, allowing small indoor gatherings, outdoor sports and personal care services.

Western Quebec

Western Quebec is under yellow zone rules. This brings back some masked indoor gatherings for people who don't live together.

People can eat both indoors and outdoors at restaurants and bars; a maximum of two people from different addresses can sit together.

Gyms can reopen and masks are mandatory inside.

Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people are allowed, or 25 if playing contact-free sports. As many as 2,500 people can gather in a large theatre or arena and there is no longer a curfew.

Travel throughout the province is allowed but not recommended.

Non-essential travel is not allowed between Ontario and Quebec. Neither province's checkpoints are running 24/7. These border restrictions lift tomorrow.

The next step in its reopening plan should start June 25, bringing back festivals and allowing people with two vaccine doses to do more.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets that can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. Coronavirus variants of concern are more contagious and are established.

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.

Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and recommended in crowded outdoor areas.

Trevor Pritchard/CBC
Trevor Pritchard/CBC

People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine and have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air. These rules should change soon.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands.

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 Quebec and Ontario.

Vaccines

Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada. Three are in use.

Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second. Supply and the more infectious delta variant are some of the factors pushing provinces to speed that up.

WATCH | 2nd doses versus the delta variant:

That same task force says it's safe and effective to mix first and second doses under certain conditions. Quebec and Ontario are both doing this.

More than 1,700,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including more than 750,000 in Ottawa and more than 300,000 in western Quebec.

Eastern Ontario

Ontario is vaccinating anyone age 12 or older. People can look for provincial first dose appointments opening up online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900.

Pharmacies continue to offer vaccines through their own booking systems, as do some family doctors.

Ontario is speeding up second dose appointments. The next expansion locally is planned for July 19 for people who got a first dose on or before May 9.

All of these bookings depend on the supply being sent to health units.

Health officials continue to tell people who got a first dose before a second dose was automatically booked they won't be forgotten. They say most people that want a second dose can get one by autumn.

Local health units have flexibility in the larger framework, including around booking, so check their websites for details. Some offer standby lists for first doses.

Western Quebec

Quebec is giving a first dose to anyone 12 and older.

There are permanent and mobile walk-in clinics for first doses, walk-in clinics for second AstraZeneca doses and a bus bringing first and second shots around the Outaouais.

The province is looking at 75 per cent of people age 12 and up getting their second dose by the end of August.

Its goal is second doses eight weeks after the first, allowing people to rebook by age. That has now expanded to people age 50 and over. People age 45 to 49 will be eligible tomorrow.

The province had been asking people who got a first AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccine to wait for more supply — which it now says it has.

People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone.

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.

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

In eastern Ontario:

Anyone seeking a test should make an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours.

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you fit certain criteria, such as having symptoms, exposure or a certain job.

People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Shoppers Drug Mart stores can now offer rapid tests.

Travellers who need a test have very few 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 and check wait times online.

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

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 a COVID-19 test site by appointment only. Its curfew and travel isolation rules have ended.

People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-1175. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and in Kitigan Zibi, 819-449-5593.

Tyendinaga's council is asking people not to travel there to camp or fish.

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

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