What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 3

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 3

Recent developments:

  • Washrooms at five Ottawa beaches are open but the water remains off limits for swimming.
  • Ottawa is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, but no additional deaths. Health authorities in the Outaouais are reporting two more deaths. 
  • Ontario has extended the provincewide declaration of emergency until June 30.
  • As Gatineau salons reopen, Ottawa hairdressers say Ontario's pace may cost them their businesses.

What's happening today?

City of Ottawa officials have announced washrooms at five city beaches — Britannia Park, Andrew Haydon Park, Westboro Beach, Mooney's Bay Beach and Petrie Island — are now open and will be cleaned regularly. 

Mayor Jim Watson said during a teleconference Wednesday the water remains off limits to swimmers because there are no lifeguards on duty and the water quality is not being tested.

The 2020 Canada Army Run has been cancelled due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers say. The annual event, which attracts thousands of participants, was scheduled to run from Sept. 12-20.

Hairdressers in Ottawa say the province's decision to extend the state of emergency could cost them their livelihoods, especially as salons across the river in Gatineau, Que., reopen for business.

Melissa Brouwers, a health services researcher and director of the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, answered your summer vacation questions this morning on CBC's Ottawa Morning and on Facebook.

How many cases are there?

There have been 1,977 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 247 deaths linked to the respiratory illness, as of the latest Ottawa Public Health data available Wednesday. The city's death count decreased Wednesday because one of the individuals who died recently was found not to be a resident of Ottawa, the health agency says. 

There are more than 3,100 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

More than 2,400 people in the region have recovered from COVID-19.

COVID-19 has killed 50 people in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 17 in other parts of eastern Ontario and 22 in the Outaouais.

Confirmed cases are just a snapshot because, until recently, not everyone could be tested in Ontario. Also, not everyone with COVID-19 will go to get tested (potentially because they are asymptomatic) and results take time to process.

What's open and closed?

Ontario is in "stage one" of its three-stage reopening plan. When ready, its next stage should bring more offices, outdoor spaces and gatherings back. Ontario has extended its state of emergency until June 30.

On May 31, the farmers market at Lansdowne Park reopened for pre-ordering and pickup-by-appointment. Drive-in movie theatres and batting cages in Ontario also opened Sunday.

In Quebec, malls, campgrounds and Airbnbs, courts and services such as dentist offices and hair salons reopened Monday

National parks and historic sites across Canada, which includes Rideau Canal lockstations. Backcountry camping at Ontario Parks sites and recreational camping on Crown lands in Ontario is open.

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

The City of Ottawa has cancelled all summer day camps and is providing refunds or credits. The city said it hopes to set up a different type of camp format, similar to what the City of Gatineau is doing, but didn't release any plans Monday.

Many parks are now open with limits, such as not using playground equipment or gathering.

Quebec elementary schools outside Montreal are open. Schools for its older students and all Ontario schools are closed through summer.

The closure of overnight camping and some day-use activities at provincial parks and conservation reserves will continue until at least June 14.

Post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes this fall, with Ontario promising a fall plan for younger students by July and Quebec hoping to have students back in class full-time.

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 staying at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with.

Ottawa Public Health now wants people to think about how to safely do certain things and recommends people wear a fabric or non-medical mask when they can't always stay two metres from strangers, such as at a grocery store.

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

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.

People 70 and older or with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions should also self-isolate.

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 pink eye. 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.

Tests are done at the Brewer Arena from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., seven days a week, or at 595 Moodie Dr. and 1485 Heron Rd. those same hours 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 and others in Rockland, and Cornwall that require an appointment.

In Kingston, the assessment centre at the Kingston Memorial Centre is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for anyone with symptoms. 

Napanee's test centre is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 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 at 613-966-5500, their family doctor or Telehealth if they have symptoms or questions.

If you have no symptoms, you can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre, or in Picton by texting 613-813-6864. You can also call Picton's number as a backup.

You may also qualify for a home test.

Renfrew County is also providing home testing under some circumstances. Residents without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 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 819-644-4545 if they have symptoms. They could end up being referred to Gatineau's testing centre.

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 has symptoms can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse.

Pikwakanagan's council planned to let businesses reopen as of May 29. Kitigan Zibi is keeping schools closed through the summer.

For more information