Quebec wants the federal government to ban non-essential international travel.
What's the latest?
Ottawa is reporting 56 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, the lowest daily total of the month. Two more people have died in Ottawa, and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is also reporting two deaths.
Quebec Premier François Legault is calling on the federal government to ban non-essential international travel. Legault says vacationers are still flying to the Caribbean despite the worrying rise of COVID-19 variants in other countries.
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How many cases are there?
As of Tuesday, 12,427 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 1,137 known active cases, 10,883 resolved cases and 407 deaths from COVID-19.
Public health officials have reported more than 22,300 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 19,500 resolved cases.
One hundred and seven people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario and 142 people have died in western Quebec.
What can I do?
Ontario says people must only leave home when it's essential to avoid more COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Places such as Kingston have started to take patients from other regions struggling with capacity.
Travel within Ontario is not recommended. Residents who leave the province should isolate for 14 days upon returning.
Private indoor gatherings are not allowed, while outdoor gatherings are capped at five. It's strongly recommended people stick to their own households and socializing is not considered essential.
People who live alone are still allowed to interact with one other household.
Outdoor recreation venues remain open. In-person shopping is limited to essential businesses. Others can offer pickup and delivery.
The lockdown rules are in place until at least Feb. 11.
In western Quebec, residents are also being asked to stay home unless it's essential and not see anyone they don't live with, with an exception for people living alone.
They can visit one other home.
Western Quebec's health authority said Jan. 19 it had postponed about 300 surgeries so far in 2021 to free up space for COVID-19 patients.
Those rules are in place until Feb. 8.
Distancing and isolating
The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person speaks, coughs, sneezes, or breathes onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.
People can be contagious without symptoms.
This means it's important to take precautions like staying home while symptomatic, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with — even with a mask on.
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Masks, preferably with three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec. OPH says residents should also wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.
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.
Symptoms and vaccines
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
COVID-19 vaccines have been given to health-care workers and long-term care residents in most of the region.
Renfrew County expects its first doses in early February.
Ontario wants every long-term care resident and worker to have at least one shot by Feb. 15. That's already happened in Ottawa.
That, and Pfizer temporarily slowing its vaccine production to expand its factory, means some areas can't guarantee people will get a second dose three weeks after the first. It may take four to six weeks.
Ontario's campaign is still expected to expand to priority groups such as older adults and essential workers in March or April, with vaccines widely available to the public in August.
Ottawa believes it can have nearly 700,000 residents vaccinated by August.
Quebec is also giving a single dose to as many people as possible. It said before Pfizer's announcement people will get their second dose within 90 days.
Ottawa had given about 22,000 vaccine doses as of Jan. 18. As of Jan. 19, western Quebec's health authority had given out about 6,000 doses.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.
Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.
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, 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 more than 130 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and five deaths. More than 240 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.
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