What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 1

·7 min read
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 1

Recent developments:

  • The Moodie Drive testing centre closed on Tuesday because of a power outage.

  • Quebec's holiday guidelines may change again.

What's the latest?

The Moodie Drive COVID-19 testing and care centre closed Tuesday because of a power outage. The Queensway Carleton Hospital said anyone with appointments at the Moodie Drive location will be accepted at any of Ottawa's other testing sites as a walk-in patient.

Ottawa Hydro said power in the Moodie and Fallowfield area should be restored by about 4 p.m.

Ottawa has 34 of Ontario's 1,707 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases. One more person has died of COVID-19 there and in western Quebec.

Quebec Premier François Legault said there may need to be changes to that province's holiday guidelines because of the high rate of spread of the coronavirus and number of hospitalizations.

Any changes would be made by Dec. 11, he said, or two weeks before Christmas.

More antibody tests are now available, but health experts and the private labs that conduct the tests are reminding patients not to alter their behaviour if they receive a positive test.

How many cases are there?

As of Tuesday, 8,521 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa. There are 351 known active cases, 7,794 cases now considered resolved and 376 people who have died of COVID-19.

Public health officials have reported more than 13,900 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 12,500 resolved cases.

Ninety people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 81 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?

Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with, or one other home if people live alone, to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Ontario says this will apply through December's holidays, with people who live away from home such as post-secondary students asked to reduce close contacts for 10 to 14 days before going back.

Quebec has shared what it will take to have at most two small holiday gatherings this month. Rules won't be loosened until mid-January at the earliest.

Travel from one region to another is discouraged throughout the Outaouais.

Ontario says people shouldn't travel to a lower-level region from a higher one and some lower-level health units want residents to stay put to curb the spread.

Andrew Lee/CBC
Andrew Lee/CBC

Ottawa is currently in the orange zone of Ontario's five-colour pandemic scale, which allows organized gatherings and restaurants, gyms and theatres to bring people inside.

Public skating returns to 11 Ottawa arenas today with reservations ahead of time and limits of 25 skaters on the ice.

Three other eastern Ontario health units are under yellow zone restrictions:

  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health.

  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.

That means restaurant hours, table limits and rules around capacity fall somewhere between those in place in Ottawa and the rest of eastern Ontario, which is currently green, the lowest level.

In Gatineau and the surrounding area, which is one of Quebec's red zones, health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential.

There is no indoor dining at restaurants and gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed.

The rest of western Quebec is orange, which allows private gatherings of up to six people and organized ones up to 25 — more in seated venues.

What about schools?

There have been about 200 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:

Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.

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 sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don't live with — even with a mask on.

WATCH | A recap of the new federal financial plan:

Ontario has abandoned its concept of social circles.

Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and should be worn outdoors when people can't distance from others. Three-layer non-medical masks with a filter are recommended.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their local public health unit. The duration depends on the circumstances in both Ontario and Quebec.

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Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible.

Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.

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 cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell.

Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. 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.

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.

People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies.

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

Kingston's test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area's other site is in Napanee.

People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls and a mobile test site visiting smaller communities.

Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.

In western Quebec:

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.

Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.

They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.

There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.

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

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne had its most known COVID-19 cases of the pandemic in November. Its council is asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel and its curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is back.

Akwesasne schools and its Tsi Snaihne Child Care Centre are temporarily closed to in-person learning. It has a COVID-19 test site available 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 reported its first confirmed case last month.

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