What's the latest?
Quebec Premier François Legault says special rules in place for Gatineau and its immediate surroundings will now be expanded to include the entire Outaouais region, starting Thursday and lasting until at least April 26.
WATCH LIVE | Quebec's pandemic update starts at 1 p.m. ET:
Ottawa is reporting 194 more COVID-19 cases and no more deaths. The Outaouais has 245 new cases, and for the second straight day, health authorities in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark are reporting another death.
CHEO, eastern Ontario's children's hospital in Ottawa, says it's preparing to accept intensive care patients up to age 40 who'd otherwise be transferred outside Ottawa. It's the first time in CHEO's 47-year history that the hospital is admitting adult patients.
How many cases are there?
As of Tuesday, 20,267 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 2,617 known active cases, 17,174 resolved cases and 476 deaths.
Public health officials have reported more than 37,300 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 31,800 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 157 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 178.
Akwesasne has had more than 580 residents test positive, evenly split between its northern and southern sections.
Kitigan Zibi has had a spike of about 15 cases late last week. It had about 20 confirmed cases before this.
Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 11, with one death.
What can I do?
Ontario is under a stay-at-home order until at least the first week of May.
People can only leave home for essential reasons such as getting groceries or health care and exercising. They're asked to only leave their immediate area or province if it's absolutely necessary.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has said bylaw officers will inspect stores and respond to complaints about homes and parks.
WATCH | Staff studying 8 p.m. Ottawa park curfew:
The vast majority of indoor gatherings are prohibited, with exceptions for people who live together and those who live alone and pair up with one other household.
Outdoor gatherings have to be essential, masked and distanced.
Most non-essential businesses can only offer curbside pickup. Access to malls is restricted, and big-box stores can only sell essential items.
Gyms and personal care services must close, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery.
WATCH | Reaction to the latest school closures:
Premier François Legault has said the situation is critical in Gatineau and is asking people there to only leave home when it's essential.
Schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses are closed until April 26 in Gatineau and in the MRC des Collines-de-l'Outaouais, which almost entirely surrounds the city.
As of Wednesday, that covers the entire region.
Private gatherings are banned, except for a person who lives alone seeing one other household. Distanced outdoor exercise is allowed in groups up to eight people and masks are mandatory if people mix households.
The curfew starts at 8 p.m.
People in the Outaouais are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only leave their immediate area for essential reasons — under threat of a fine if they go to a yellow or green zone.
Distancing and isolating
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.
WATCH | Variants and outdoor spread:
OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible. Masks are mandatory in the Outaouais if people are sitting outside with someone they don't live with and can't keep two metres apart.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems get help with errands.
Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second.
About 468,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including about 204,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 84,000 in western Quebec.
Ontario is now in Phase 2 of its vaccine rollout, with the first doses during Phase 1 generally going to care home residents and health-care workers.
Phase 3 should involve vaccinating anyone older than 16 starting in July.
The province has opened up appointments for people age 50 to 54 in the K1T, K1V and K2V "hot spot" postal codes, though supply is currently limited. This should soon include all education workers and staff in large workplaces.
Indigenous people over age 16 in Ottawa can make an appointment the same way.
Quebec also started by vaccinating people in care homes and health-care workers.
That will be followed by local essential workers and people with chronic illnesses.
Officials expect everyone who wants a shot to be able to get one by by Fête nationale on June 24.
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.
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.
Check with your area's health unit for clinic locations and hours. Some are offering pop-up or mobile clinics.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki and Petite-Nation.
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.
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.
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