What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7

·6 min read
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7

Recent developments

  • No new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Ottawa on Tuesday, but two new cases were reported in Gatineau.

  • Masks are now mandatory at public, indoor settings in Ottawa and the surrounding region in Ontario.

  • Ottawa businesses are uncertain how the mandatory mask policy will be enforced.

What's the latest?

Residents of eastern Ontario, including the City of Ottawa, are now required to wear masks inside public places like grocery stores and coffee shops.

There will be exemptions for people who cannot wear masks, such as those who have trouble breathing, those who can't take their masks off safely on their own, and children under two. Businesses won't be expected to challenge customers who aren't wearing masks.

Still, some businesses wonder how to approach customers who aren't wearing masks and are concerned about potential fines they could face — ranging from $500 to $800 — if their customers don't comply with the rules.

How many cases are there?

There have been 2,118 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 263 deaths, as of Tuesday. The vast majority of cases in the city, 1,808, are classified as resolved. On Tuesday, two more cases of COVID-19 were reported in Gatineau, increasing its total to 525 cases.

Public health officials have reported more than 3,400 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, of which nearly 2,900 are resolved.

Kingston now has 37 active cases of COVID-19. Most are linked to three nail salons: Binh's Nails and Spa, where the recent outbreak started, Kingdom Nails and Georgia Nail Salon. The Amherstview Golf Club has also seen new cases.

Clients at all four businesses are being asked to self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19.

COVID-19 has killed 102 people outside Ottawa: 52 in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 17 in other parts of eastern Ontario and 33 in the Outaouais.

What's open and closed?

Eastern Ontario is in "Stage 2" of the province's recovery plan, allowing more activities and "circles" of up to 10 people that don't have to distance.

Some streets in Ottawa's ByWard Market have now turned into patio space, including parts of Clarence Street, William Street and a section of the north side of York Street.

Francis Ferland/CBC
Francis Ferland/CBC

Ottawa's pools will start to reopen Monday, as will five city rinks.

As of Monday, drivers are once again subject to tickets if they violate posted time limits at on-street parking spaces.

The National Gallery of Canada reopens Thursdays to Sundays starting July 18.

Quebec now allows indoor, distanced gatherings of up to 50 people, including in places of worship and indoor sports venues, and has relaxed rules at daycares.

The province has also allowed bars, spas, water parks and casinos to reopen.

Quebec's back-to-school plans bring older students to classrooms again. Ontario has put three options for next school year on the table, while post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes in September.

Distancing and isolating

The coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People don't need to have symptoms to be contagious.

That means physical distancing measures such as working from home and in Ontario, staying at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with or have in their circle.

The City of Ottawa has made cloth face masks mandatory in indoor public settings.

Anyone who has symptoms or travelled recently outside Canada must self-isolate for at least 14 days.

Specifically in Ottawa, anyone waiting for a COVID-19 test result must self-isolate at least until they know the result.

The same goes for anyone in Ontario who's been in contact with someone who's tested positive or is presumed to have COVID-19.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urges self-isolation for individuals who have weakened immune systems and Ottawa Public Health recommends people over 70 stay home as much as possible.

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 dry cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell.

Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pinkeye. The Ontario government says in rare cases, children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can now be tested at one of three sites.

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.

Testing has also expanded for local residents and employees who work in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area.

There is a drive-thru test centre in Casselman and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don't require people to call ahead.

Others in Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.

A COVID-19 assessment centre will open in Alexandria next week, running Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment only.

In Kingston, the Leon's Centre is now open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, replacing the previous location at the Kingston Memorial Centre. Find it at Gate 2.

Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call for an appointment.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.

It has a walk-in site in Brockville open seven days a week at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.

The public health unit in the Belleville area is asking people to call it, their family doctor or Telehealth if they have symptoms or questions.

You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre, or in Picton by texting or calling 613-813-6864.

Renfrew County is also providing pop-up and home testing under some circumstances. Residents without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.

If you're concerned about the coronavirus, take the self-assessment.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents should call 1-877-644-4545 if they have symptoms for further assistance.

First Nations:

Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.

Akwesasne has opened a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to Akwesasne who's been farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. The community's reopening plan that's now underway.

Kitigan Zibi is planning for an Aug. 29 election with changes depending on the status of the pandemic at that time.

For more information