Four COVID-19 deaths reported in the region.
Cornwall's hospital is scaling back non-urgent surgeries.
What's the latest?
Four COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the Ottawa-Gatineau area Wednesday, three of them in Ottawa and one in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties.
Quebec has postponed the deadline for health-care workers to be fully vaccinated from Friday until Nov. 15. With 21,900 workers still not adequately vaccinated, the health minister said the system wouldn't be able to handle having so many of them suspended.
The Cornwall Community Hospital is stopping non-urgent surgeries because of the need for COVID-19 care.
Its health unit has almost as many local COVID-19 hospital patients as the rest of the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region combined and long-term care outbreaks are stopping patients from being transferred from hospital beds.
Eastern Ontario's pediatric hospital says it's been deluged with young patients as family physicians limit in-person visits due to COVID-19 and viruses kept at bay by pandemic measures re-emerge.
How many cases are there?
As of Wednesday, Ottawa has a total of 30,359 cases of COVID-19. There are 283 known active cases, 29,475 cases are considered resolved, and 601 people have died from the illness.
Ottawa-Gatineau area confirmed COVID-19 cases
Public health officials have reported more than 56,000 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 54,100 cases now resolved.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 208 people with COVID-19 have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 222.
Akwesasne has had nearly 970 residents test positive for COVID-19 and has reported 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.
What are the rules?
General gathering limits are 25 people inside and 100 people outside. Those limits are even higher for organized events.
People age 12 and up have to show photo identification and either a paper or PDF version of their vaccine receipt for many activities until an app is ready, likely in late October. There are some exemptions.
Under its green zone rules, 10 people are allowed to gather inside private residences and 20 people outdoors — which increases to 50 if playing sports. There are no longer capacity limits for Quebec venues with assigned seats.
School rules include masks in class for students, but don't include classroom bubbles.
A vaccine passport is in place for people age 13 and up in spaces such as public events, bars, restaurants and gyms.
Quebecers can use an app or show paper proof; people from out of province will have to show paper proof. Everyone will also have to show ID.
As in Ontario, there are medical exemptions.
Other groups are also coming out with their own COVID-19 vaccine policies, including for staff.
What can I do?
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the future, such as 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.
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There's federal guidance for what vaccinated people can do in different situations.
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Health leaders in the area generally say smaller Halloween gatherings are allowed with precautions for the unvaccinated and/or vulnerable. Guidance can be stricter in select areas where COVID-19 is spreading more than others, such as Akwesasne and Tyendinaga.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands.
All would-be travellers must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30 to board a plane, train or marine vessel in Canada.
Fully vaccinated, tested and pre-approved people can come to Canada.
The U.S. will require all foreign nationals coming to the country to be fully vaccinated in early November as a condition of reopening borders, with an exact date to be announced.
Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada and are now going by brand names instead of manufacturer names.
Canada's vaccine task force says people can wait as little as three to four weeks and up to 16 weeks between first and second doses.
That same task force says it's safe and effective to mix first and second doses. Ontario and Quebec are giving certain groups third doses.
There have been more than 3.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region — combined first, second and third doses — which has about 2.3 million residents.
Ontario is vaccinating anyone who will be age 12 or older in 2021. People can look for provincial 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.
Third shot details depend on the health unit.
The province has recommended people age 18 to 24 get the Pfizer-BioNTech, or Comirnaty, vaccine because the Moderna/Spikevax vaccine brings a mild risk of a rare heart condition.
Symptoms and testing
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 can make an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours.
Ontario says to only get 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. Rapid tests are available in some places, including some child-care settings when risk is high.
Travellers who need a test have a 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 or see what their walk-in options are online. They can also call 1-877-644-4545 with questions.
Rapid COVID-19 tests are available in all Quebec preschools and elementary schools.
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 COVID-19 test and vaccine clinics, with information online or at 613-575-2341.
People in Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg can call the health centre at 819-449-5593 for a test or vaccine; email is another option for vaccine booking.
Tests are available in Pikwàkanagàn by calling 613-625-1175 and vaccines, at 613-625-2259 extension 225 or by email. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and should watch the website for dedicated vaccine clinics.
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